Adjusting to Life With a Wheelchair

Beginning a new stage of life in a wheelchair can come with some emotional adjustment, but there are a variety of practical changes you’ll need to make, too. By modifying logistics around your house, your family’s house(s), and your car, everyday life will be exponentially easier and more navigable.

Losing the ability to drive may be a wearying prospect, but certain modifications can be made that can allow for wheelchair users to continue driving. These could include things like handrails to get in and out of the vehicle, extra door height or width, adjustable foot pedals, and more. In certain instances, you may even be able to look into handle controls to replace traditional pedals. If you keep your car in a garage or driveway, consider the necessary expansion or pavement to make sure you have room to get in and out of the car wherever you park it.

If a person’s mobility adjustment precludes from driving for long periods of time, this can at least help in the way of getting to and from appointments, errands, work, and social engagements — and it can go a long way for maintaining some of the independence that life in a wheelchair may seem to encroach on.

When evaluating your home updates, key investments are installing ramps or motorized stair chairs, widening doorways, adding handrails or seats to your shower or bathtub, and lowering countertops and shelves. With a standard chair, your doorways may need to be widened, but we offer a slim-line chair that fits through most doorways with no modifications needed!

While these large updates may seem obvious, there are more nuanced pieces to consider as well. For example, most home lights are designed for homes with individuals with the ability to stand and walk, and the glare at a lower level may be significant. You may need to lower the placement of lighting fixtures or install dimmer switches — which should all be lowered to an accessible level as well.

These modifications can be numerous and, of course, quite costly, but there are a variety of grants, loans, and beneficial agencies that can provide financial assistance for these renovations. For more information on financial aid, review the Americans with Disabilities Act, Social Security, Veterans Affairs, or Medicaid.

This adjustment can be challenging for anybody, and especially so for veterans, who are often overlooked in their needs when they return home after years of service and sacrifice. Everyone’s situation is different, and in some cases, some veterans may be more susceptible to injury or disability even after coming home. Bankrate has put together an incredible tool for helping veterans maintain their independence while adjusting to life as a civilian or newly disabled. We're proud to help raise awareness of the assistance they offer so we can take care of those that care for us.

Browse our Flux chairs now to get an easily adjustable, lightweight chair for your home now.