Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Comfortable Wheelchair Travel

Being in a wheelchair all day can become very uncomfortable. And discomfort is the last thing you need when coping with the challenges that wheelchair life places before you. Being uncomfortable affects your ability to focus, concentrate and to function to the best possible level. This is bad enough at home or work, but it can be much worse while traveling. Whatever be the distance you need to go or the reason for the trip, being comfortable and secure will enhance your ability to function at your destination. When compared to what was available a century ago, the modern wheelchair is very flexible and comfortable. That does not mean that it cannot be made more user-friendly. Every person’s physique is different so what suits one user may not work for another. That is why using the right accessories is so important in making your wheelchair more comfortable.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

  • Lumbar Support: Lower back pain is a very common problem for wheelchair users. The most common cause is the lack of proper lumbar support. If a small rolled-up towel placed at the bottom of the backrest does not help, you can buy special lumbar support attachments.
  • Adjust The Backrest: Sitting bolt upright for any length of time can result in a tendency to lean forward which could affect your balance and make the wheelchair unstable. Most chairs have adjustable backrests– try reclining the back a few degrees and see if that does not make you more comfortable.
  • Comfortable Armrests: Hard armrests can cause painful forearms and sore elbows. You can either fix some foam to them to create padding that will make them more comfortable or buy padded armrests.
  • A Cushioned Seat: A hard or otherwise uncomfortable seat not only makes using the wheelchair for any length of time painful, but it can also lead to back and other posture-related problems. Using a cushion to make the seating more comfortable will usually resolve this. Consider using a ROHO cushion that is made up of a number of inflated nodes which adapt to the way you sit in the chair.
  • Adjust The Footrests: Back pain could be caused by improperly adjusted footrests which keep your knees too high. This causes a downward force to be placed on the thighs which then transfers to the back, causing the pain. Adjust the footrests so that the knees are only marginally higher than your hips. That will keep the pressure off.
Check with a wheelchair users’ group for more tips on how to be comfortable when traveling.

No matter how comfortable you make your wheelchair, traveling can still be a major hassle if the right form of transportation is not used. If you are traveling long distance you can check with airlines about the facilities available to you. Short road trips are another matter. Getting in and out of regular taxis is a problem. Public transport is not a viable option. However, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) is the solution to your road travel needs. A NEMT service will have special vehicles for wheelchair users so entry and exit is hassle-free. The drivers are trained in transporting those with mobility issues. With doorstep pick and event standby, a good NEMT company will solve all your transportation problems.

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