Thursday, January 8, 2015

Advice: So You're New to Using a Wheelchair...

First, I speak from experience when I say, using a wheelchair is awesome, and it will afford you so much more freedom!  I'm happy for you, and I'd love to offer what advice I can.  It won't be long (I hope) until cruising in your chair is entirely second-nature for you.

GENERAL TIPS:

1) Know that projecting your voice a little extra and being a bit more firm will probably be necessary.  You are the only expert on you and what you need.  Don't let others speak for you.

2) Know you may have to ask for a bit more help than usual, and there is no shame in that.  High shelves are a reality.  So are narrow aisles.  If you need something from a store and cannot reach it, ask.

3) Bring someone with you when shopping, especially if you are new to using your chair.  It will help to have someone who can push a cart, which will enable you to buy more items at one time than you would on your own.

4) There may be household chores you cannot do at all (like vacuuming and sweeping) and there may be others you need to troubleshoot a bit before coming up with a way of doing them that works for you.  I've found it helps to try them out for the first time while someone else is there, in case you do need a hand.

5)  Adapting the way you do things will likely take time, but be patient and don't be afraid to ask if questions come up.

MORE SPECIFICS:

Adapting to Being in a Wheelchair

Carrying Money While Shopping

Dealing with Inaccessibility in the Kitchen

Finding Accessible Housing

First Overnight Trip Using a Wheelchair

Shopping While Using a Wheelchair

Ways to Find Power and Take Control in Your Life

Wheelchair Maintenance

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