Getting used to using lightweight wheelchairs is often a case of understanding that most of the issues you will face are relatively common and that there are solutions. If you find you are having serious difficulties with anything, reach out online or to your GP or wheelchair supplier. The answer is probably out there and, once you find it, you can begin to enjoy a life that is well supported by your mobility aid.
Lightweight wheelchairs from Karma Mobility are available from stockists throughout the UK and Eire. This means that you can visit and try before you buy. You end up with a local, experienced contact that you can turn to if you need further support or adaptations to your mobility aid.
With many lightweight wheelchairs, you have the option of propelling yourself or having someone else do it for you. When you first start manoeuvring around, you will have a period of adaptation while you figure out where your boundaries are. You will get a sense of your turning circle, what kind of incline you can tackle and the kind of terrain that is suitable for your chair. You’ll also be building up a bit of muscle memory so that your propulsion becomes second nature.
During this timeframe of getting used to your wheelchair, it’s important to be patient with yourself. It’s normal to have a few tricky points while you are learning to do something, and you will get better at it to the point where you no longer think about it.
Think of the maintenance of lightweight wheelchairs like you would a car – mechanics, tyres and comfort. Every month, ensure that all bolts are tight and check your tyre pressures according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t get used to a problem with your cushioning or support – change it instead. If you feel uncomfortable, the chances are that there is some kind of accessory that will change that for good.
Perhaps the most useful tip when it comes to maintenance is that you can get a professional to do it for you. You can return your chair to a local supplier for a service.