Question:

What can I expect when I am out and about in a wheelchair?

Life in a Wheelchair

Living in a wheelchair seems like it should not be a problem—until you have to do it. What is second nature to a person not in a wheelchair can be problematic for someone in a wheelchair. Curb cutaways are not always in the right place, and trying to get over a curb with no cutaways can be difficult. Simple things like getting something from a top shelf or approaching a bar are more difficult. Things such as potholes tend to pose a major difficulty.

Ambulatory people tend not to think of these things, so when a person becomes non-ambulatory, it can become difficult to cope with life in a wheelchair. Life in a wheelchair does not have to be difficult. Have someone help to arrange your home so that things are low enough to reach from a seated position, or if the person in the wheelchair has the ability to stand, keep things in upper cabinets on the lower shelves.

Do strength training exercises for the upper body so that it is easier to maneuver through tougher areas, such as curbs, potholes and other tough places. Strength training exercises will also help the overall health—keeping weight in check, which in turn helps with heart disease and diabetes.

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Carma Spence-Pothitt