For you or a loved one, making the decision to move into a wheelchair from another mobility aid, or from no mobility aid at all, can be incredibly hard. Not only is it an admittance that your mobility needs are greater, but for some people, it may be the first time they’ve had to be reliant on family and friends to help them in their daily life.
Transitioning into being a wheelchair user can be a difficult stage in someone’s life. Today, we share some advice and signs that it may be time for someone to move into a wheelchair, and how they can be supported.
Signs You May Need a Wheelchair
When considering moving to a wheelchair of any kind, you should consider the following first. Also bear in mind that this should first and foremost be a medical decision, so consult your doctor, occupational therapist, physio etc as it may be that there are other avenues you can explore before you move to a wheelchair, as it is a major move to make.
You are falling or tripping more regularly
If you currently use a walking stick or walker, then you will have some element of support. However, if you, or your loved ones, have noticed an increase in the number of trips or falls recently, then it may be wise to consider moving to a wheelchair.
While an increase in trips or falls may be a sign that your health is worsening, it can also be something that can be rehabilitated, so a temporary move into a wheelchair for longer distance walks, or for leaving the home in, can help to reduce the risk and provide needed support on bad days.
There is a noticeable pain increase on a daily basis
While many who need a wheelchair, whether through ill health or with old age, will have some pain, whether at a manageable level or instances of very sharp pain, a regular increase in pain is a sign you may want to transfer to a wheelchair.
Pain levels can vary for different people, but in general, anything that is at a discomfort level should be a sign to consider a wheelchair. While it may not reduce your pain, it will reduce the amount of stress your body is under and therefore your daily pain rating will come down.
You are having to decline social occasions
If you, or a loved one, are having to decline social occasions because the pain of standing up, or having to support yourself, is too much, then a wheelchair may be the key to allowing you to interact more.
For your quality of life, feeling like you can interact with others without your physical health declining is so important. You shouldn’t have to feel like a prisoner in your home because of your physical health, and a wheelchair is a great way to enable you to explore outdoors without being in pain.
You want to be able to be active
For someone who was previously active, or wants to be able to get outdoors more, a wheelchair can allow you to exercise more, or take up a new sport, without the need to compromise your health.
This could be something as simple as being able to go out with your family, or something like playing wheelchair rugby, or archery. A wheelchair simply enables you to carry out these activities at your own pace.
How Do You Decide Whether You Need a Wheelchair?
As well as consulting with your medical team, you should also speak to your family or friends, as they will spend more time with you, and can help you to understand your current mobility needs as they see it.
It won’t be an easy conversation, but once you have become accustomed to using a wheelchair, you’ll probably find you feel more relaxed and enjoy life that little bit more.
Having a Conversation with a Loved One
If you feel like your loved one may need to move into a wheelchair, it can be an incredibly hard conversation to have.
Therefore, it’s important to speak to other family members and friends, and if possible, medical professionals/physios. They will be able to provide you with a case to present to your loved one to help them to see why a wheelchair may be useful. It’s best to give them some time to come around to it, and research companies for them, making the process as easy as possible.
What our Customer Said
One of our customers, Sabrina , recently shared with us how much getting a wheelchair changed her life “I lost a lot of my independence when I started losing my mobility three years ago after I started falling a lot. After repeated falls I became scared of leaving my house, I was unable to walk my dogs alone, I couldn’t go shopping, I couldn’t socialise. I started using mobility aids just before I was diagnosed with HSD, starting with a walking stick. I then progressed on to crutches or two walking sticks and then on to a rollator.
Even with these aids helping with my stability, I found that my energy levels were being severely affected and the fatigue caused by my chronic pain conditions meant I was missing out on so much. I spoke to my husband about how depressed I was feeling because I was too scared, too tired, and in too much pain to go anywhere. This is when I started researching chairs and scooters. As soon as I saw a few videos of LITH-TECH chairs I could see some light at the end of the tunnel.
As soon as I got my chair, I felt like there was no stopping me. I went more places in the first 2 months than I had in 2 years…My LITH-TECH powerchair has changed my life and has opened up my world again. I just want others to feel this too.”
If you’re considering moving to a wheelchair, speak to LITH-TECH Mobility
Whether you want to ask us questions about moving into a wheelchair or want to discuss whether a folding electric wheelchair may be right for you, we’re more than happy to help.