New wheelchair users tend to have a lot on their mind. Making the transition can be emotional, and often overwhelming. It can impact your life in ways that are often unanticipated. Below are some suggestions for people who may be new to spending their day on wheels.
5 Things New Wheelchair Users Need to Understand
Find Ways to Change Your Sitting Position – This is important to remember, even if you have to find somebody to help you do it. This can help you to reduce the risk of pressure sores. Another way to reduce this risk is through using a wheelchair cushion.
You’ll Need to Assert Yourself – It can be challenging to do certain things while seated, when everyone around you is standing. You may have to squeeze in somewhere or make your presence known. That kind of confidence is often the only way to be noticed in crowds.
Your Wheelchair Provides Freedom – It may not always feel like it. You may be in a cycle of comparison with your previous life, or with healthy family and friends. But a wheelchair is often the difference between going out or staying home. It can be the difference between being able to perform an activity or not.
People May Not Understand, But They Are Friendly – Many people may not have come across a wheelchair user. They may stare or make assumptions. They may raise their voice like you can’t hear them. But often times if you give them the benefit of the doubt, they may still be friendly.
Make Life Work for You – The old ways of doing things may not work any longer. But becoming a wheelchair user can also be an excuse to recreate your space so that it works for you. This means making sure your home is wheelchair accessible, but it also goes past that. Make sure that everything you’ll need on a daily basis remains within reach.