Congratulations on your new wheelchair! I’m sure by now you’ve already heard the entire speech about always locking your brakes before transferring and to avoid the stairs, so I’m not going to worry about that. I’m here to cover all the stuff that PTs, OTs, and PCPs often leave out.
Buying a house is daunting for everyone. But for wheelchair users, it can be extremely difficult. Here are a few tips specifically for wheelchair user that will hopefully make things easier.
No matter what you decide to do, I recommend you talk to your partner about what works or doesn’t work for both of you. Don’t be afraid to actually set aside time to practice physical closeness and intimacy while using your wheelchair. It never hurts to have a plan and be on the same page.
The hardest part about setting up a load of laundry isn’t getting the clothes in, it’s getting them out.
Before you get into the water, remove the cushion from your chair and drape a towel over it. The towel should be long enough to cover the back of the chair and complete drape over the seat.
How to pick up dog poop without it becoming a shitty situation.
International travel can be a serious challenge for wheelchair users. Here’s a few tips and tricks to make it easier.
Your front casters are what make it difficult to get over uneven surfaces.
When walking over ice, you want to keep the force you apply to your cane or crutch as perpendicular to the ground as possible. This will reduce the risk it slipping on ice and kicking out in front of you.
If you’re in a situation where you have to carry an open drink and push your chair, here are a few tips to make it a mess‐free event.
If you’ve been considering getting a massage for either pain management, as supplement to physical therapy, or simply for relaxation, this guide show you what to expect for your first massage and guide you through the process of choosing the right type of massage for your needs.
Unless you own the plane, flying is pretty terrible. For manual wheelchair users, flying really sucks. Here’s a guide about what to expect and how to pack, plan, and de‐plane so that your journey sucks less (it’s still gonna suck).
Clothing is complicated and you’ll need to spend time trying out different styles and fits to figure out what works best for you. Take your time and choose and wear pieces consciously. Learn what brands work best for your body and stick with them.
Sandals work well for wheelchair users: they’re easy to slip on and off and are fairly comfortable. But, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind if you want to wear them safely.
From broken glass and nails to damaged concrete and curb cuts, it takes a lot of focus and skill to safely get from one place to another. This guide will help you navigate the hazards (and humans) you’ll find on a busy city street.
Finding a job as a wheelchair user is difficult, but it’s not hopeless. Here are some things you can do as a wheelchair user to land a job.
Your best bet is going to be to not let your condition get in the way of doing your job. Again, I know it’s not fair and it’s not how things should be, but it is how things are.
I’ve done a 16+ hour flight to Australia, so I know what you’re up against here. My advice here is pretty straight forward: sleep, flex, and use the space.
Crowds are complicated when you’re a manual wheelchair user. This guide should help you navigate them more easily and help you enjoy whatever event you happen to be at.
One of the most important milestones of any wheelchair user is the ability to live independently. Granted, not all of us can safely reach this goal, but for those who can, it’s definitely something to strive for.
SSI/SSDI seems to be really geared towards folks whose financial situation is consistently bad and isn’t going to change in the long term. If that’s not you, I would stay away from it.
Get yourself a side‐release buckle and a flexilead.
It’s going to take time for you to get used to your new chair. You’re going to be sore for the first few weeks and it may be discouraging. Don’t give up, keep practicing, and keep using the chair.
It depends on a lot of factors, really. I live in one of the hilliest cities in the United States, so I’ll tell you the things that I do to get around.
The first thing you want to do is decide where your chair is going to be whenever you’re not it in. It should be a spot that doesn’t block any major walkways, but is within easy reach.
If you use two forearm crutches, your gait has four points: crutch‐foot‐crutch‐foot.
Despite ovens being less “active” than a stovetop—you’re not actively stirring boiling hot liquids inches from your face—there’s still several hazards you’ll need to be aware of.
The key is to slow down and take your time moving through your house. Not only will this help you navigate better, but it’ll give you a chance to spot small, temporary changes you can make to improve your situation.
Despite not having a lot of moving parts, manual wheelchairs need regular maintenance.
Despite the fact that my chair does not have handlebars, people still try to push me. And when that happens, my tactics for dissuading someone get much more…direct.
On paper, companies are not allowed to explicitly discriminate against disabled people: we’re what’s called a “protected class”.
Using your chair in snowy environments can be difficult and uncomfortable. Here’s a quick guide to help you navigate the white stuff.
wheelchair seat cushions come in three main styles: foam, gel / fluid, and air.
I’ve put together a brief and not‐at‐all comprehensive guide to help folks navigate the world of renting as a wheelchair user.
Take in the sun and white-noise of the park and try to enjoy yourself in whatever way you think is best.
It works every time and always gets me the reaction I’m looking for.
You need to learn to improvise and adapt to solve whatever problem is at hand.
When approaching a curb cut at speed, always lift the front of your chair. This accomplishes several things:
Using a stovetop can be tough if you’re in a wheelchair. The controls are hard to reach and all the really dangerous bits are right at face‐level.
Taking out the trash can be tough for wheelchair users and, if not done correctly, can be messy business. Here’s some tips that can make it easier.
When I first tried to solve this problem, I did some research online for things like “seated cardio” or “wheelchair cardio” and the results either involved a lot of precise and repetitive leg movements or were so mild there was no way they were going to be effective.
Make sure the suit is tailored for how your body will look and move in the chair. When I bought my first suit, this is what I told the tailor I needed from my suit jacket
I only recommend using a cart when you’re going to be loading your groceries into a vehicle. Otherwise, you run the risk of buying more than you can carry with you when you leave.
As someone who lives in Seattle, I understand how you feel. Here are a few tips to help manage the wet stuff.
One of the tougher aspects of having cerebral palsy is the lack of flexibility. The tightness it creates in the hamstrings makes it really difficult to lean forward and reach your feet. Here’s here’s a couple of ways you can cut your toenails without asking for help.
There’s really no good way to keep your chair clean while you’re using it. When you’re outside, the ground is touching your wheels and the wheels are touching your hands. But, there are ways to keep yourself clean while you are in the chair.
Ideally, you’re chair should be fitted to meet your needs, but it sounds like that’s not an option for you right now. In the meantime, I would practice two things: pushing with the heel of your hands, and letting the chair do the work.
Having a disability or chronic illness can make eating healthy an insurmountable challenge. Weekly meal prep let’s you spend the rest of your week focusing on your health instead of on what’s for dinner.
The key here is to always have your arms moving in opposite directions from one another so that your wheels never stop moving and your speed remains constant.
I’ve only been using my wheelchair for about a month or so, and it works well inside my house and around stores, but outside on sidewalks/crossing roads etc., it is exhausting
For those of you who are able to transfer: do everything in your power to keep this ability. Being able to transfer yourself in and out of your chair not only opens up areas that may otherwise be inaccessible
Keeping your EDC items manageable and within easy reach is super important when it comes to moving about the world safely.
If you’re wondering how to go about buying a wheelchair, here’s a (mostly) complete guide to buying a chair. Please note that this guide assumes you’re working within the American healthcare system and have some form of insurance.
I was worried about ordering an Uber that was listed as smaller than the usual SUV I take. The last thing I want to happen is for an Uber to show up only to have my chair not fit.
On flat surfaces, start the push from where your hips are seated in the chair and on steep surfaces start the push as far back as you can without causing the front of the chair to lift.
Sometimes darkness or stuff like leaves can conceal the concrete to the point that it makes it hard to see if the concrete is safe enough to navigate.
Analyzing a sidewalk for hazards before your chair hits them is an important skill for any wheelchair user.
When moving about any kind of urban environment, take the time to glance at your reflection in shop windows or any other reflective surface to make sure no one is trying to come up behind you and touch you, your chair, or your service animal.
The first step in being able to lift the front of your chair is to lift the front of your chair in a safe and controlled environment. Feel free to grab a friend who’s willing to spot you if it makes you feel safer.
Many of us have a superpower: an often small but significant thing that we’re not supposed be able to do given the extent of our disability but can somehow still pull off. Maybe you’re a quadriplegic who can juggle (I know a guy) or your a paraplegic who has greater access to their core muscles than is deemed possible.
At a bar? Wanna order a cocktail but hate the idea of having to deal with a stemmed glass filled to the top with booze while trying to push your chair? Order your drink and ask for it in an old-fashioned glass.
If you can manage to get in and out of your vehicle without moving the steering column, opt to have it locked in place when your hand controls are installed. This gives you a lot more flexibility when choosing the positioning of the hand controls and steering knob.
When people see that I have an Apple Watch, the first thing they ask me is “Is it worth it?” and my answer is “Yes, if you’re in a wheelchair”
Let’s talk about to get from 1st to 2nd without dying.
Self‐care has been talked about a lot lately. While there are a lot of posts out there that can help you discover ways to manage your mental and physical health in times of crisis, I wanted to create something that was geared towards folks with limited mobility.
Improving the accessibility / wheelchair friendliness of our lives can be tough. Every little thing can be a struggle: doing the laundry, getting in and out of the car, shopping for groceries, purchasing something large and figuring out just how the fuck you’re going to get it into your car with your wheelchair.
A while back, the footplate on my chair came lose and fell to the ground as I was heading home from work. While it was still attached to my chair, it was giving me literally no ground clearance and was making the loudest and most horrific noises as it ground against the concrete. There may have been sparks.
City streets can be hell on your chair. I’ve had screws rattle loose, foot plates drop, and tires pop. The last thing you want to do is be caught unprepared when something on your chair fails.
We’ve all been in this situation: you’re out with a friend when they suggest you get coffee (or some other to-go beverage). “Great idea!” you say, not realizing that “let’s get coffee” means “How about I carry a beverage for you and you awkwardly ask me to hand it you every few minutes lest you seer your crotch with scolding hot coffee?”