When you’re a new wheelchair user

Finding out that you now need a wheelchair can be a bit of a shock. Life is about to change and you will now be viewing it from about 1.5m off the ground and thanking whoever did invent the wheel. You’ll also be learning some new skills if you are going down the road of lightweight wheelchairs. This is a way of being you may not have had to think about before, and even if it is only temporary, there are some things you are going to have to think about.

Firstly, you’ve got to choose the right mobility for you. At Karma Mobility, we supply mobility aids and their accessories to the nation. We have a wide range of lightweight wheelchairs. These are the chairs that are easier to use in the home and if you need to take your wheelchair with you on some other kind of transport (like your car). Powerchairs are for going longer distances over rougher terrain outdoors, and for if you need to get about independently but don’t have much use of your upper body.

What are you going over?

When you use your feet to get around, you often don’t notice what is under them. With wheels, it’s a different story. You notice every change in surface, from super smooth tarmac to gravel to lumpy, bumpy ground. And then there are the slopes and steps, what do wheelchair users do about those? If you are all for lightweight wheelchairs and using your own body rather than a motor to get around, you will find yourself becoming a bit obsessed with the location of dropped kerbs and ways to get around steep slopes and steps.

Getting in and out of places

Since legislation in 2010, people with disabilities are legally entitled to be able to enter and exit buildings and places as easily as able-bodied people.

Businesses have to change their premises to make them accessible to all. Some install lifts. Others put in ramps. However, some places are exempt, so if you are about to visit an old or listed building, it is worth checking how accessible it is. Have a look on the business’s website or give them a ring.


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