It’s a big change to go from walking to a wheelchair full-time. Yet many people every day must make the change because of health struggles of different kinds. Because a wheelchair is a different way of life from walking, it’s helpful to have the knowledge and experience of others who have done it before you, to help you out.
A popular question is “If I am currently making the transition from walking to a wheelchair, what advice would you have for me?” Here are some of the answers:
- It depends on whether it’s a slow transition or a sudden one. There’s a great deal of difference between someone who has started using a wheelchair and someone who’s never thought of using one but suddenly finds themselves in the situation where they can no longer walk.
- A wheelchair can give your loved one more mobility rather than less, which is opposite to what you might first think. If they have been staying home because of the difficulty of walking, a wheelchair can help them get out and be more social again.
- A wheelchair provides the security of not falling. When they walked with a cane or a walker that fear of falling was always at the back of their mind. In a wheelchair, there’s a lot greater feeling of being secure.
- When used properly, a wheelchair can set you free. If your loved one has felt homebound or isolated, an outing in a wheelchair can feel like regaining their freedom.
- Help your loved one by going for small walks at first so they can get used to the feel of the chair. Make sure the seat is plenty comfortable and if not, look into getting a special cushion for it.
- Make sure her house is wheelchair friendly. It may mean wider doorways, fixing bumps in floors etc.
Your mom’s elder care provider can also help her make the transition. You mom will have to “start all over” figuring out what she can and can’t do. Before the wheelchair she could stand and wash dishes. Now she can’t. Before the wheelchair she couldn’t get out of her living room chair by herself. Now she has decided to watch TV from her wheelchair and since she can get around easier than before, she finds herself actually doing more things and watching less TV.
Some wheelchair users report having found more hobbies they can do while sitting that they never thought of doing before, so it has given them a liberated feeling. Even though your loved one may resent the wheelchair at first, the feeling is common. After they’ve had the chance to try it out for a while, they may decide it’s working pretty good after all!
If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of elderly care in Pittsford, NY contact the caregivers at Caring Hearts of Rochester, LLC. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (585) 245-0134 for more information.
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