January 13, 2016 | 5:00 am | By Pants Up Easy
Of all the weird and wacky trends to arise from the internet, the concept of “lifehacks” might be the most beneficial. Basically, a lifehack is an unconventional or “secret” way of using an item, or just a trick to make your life easier in some way. For instance, did you know that you can eliminate odor and moisture from shoes by sticking bunched-up newspaper in them? Talk about news you can use!
When you’re a wheelchair user, taking steps to make your life easier can really save you a lot of time, stress and frustration. Whether they’re lifehacks or merely sensible tips, there are plenty of ways to improve your new situation:
Start doing some light weightlifting
Your arms are now vitally important to your mobility and stability, so it behooves you to make them a little stronger. You don’t have to become a bodybuilder, but investing in a small set of dumbbells is a good move. Just perform some light lifts with them 2-3 times per week.
Look into accessories
There are actually several accessories that can be useful to wheelchair users, such as “wheelie” bars. Also called anti-tip bars, these extensions will prevent your chair from toppling backwards. And since you’ll be spending plenty of time in the chair, you should check out some seat cushion options. Nobody wants a sore tush! Finally, if you want to be safer at night, purchase some light-up casters or spoke lights. They’re fun and a good way to make your presence known.
Start calling ahead when making plans
If you’re headed to the nearest Chipotle, then you’re probably going to be fine. But despite the fact it’s the law, many places still don’t have reasonable accommodations for wheelchair users. So if you’re going somewhere special or unique, definitely call ahead to ensure you’ll be able to get around. Nothing is worse than arriving at a concert and then realizing you can’t access your seat.
Take advantage of it at theme parks
Hey, if you’re going to be in the chair, you might as well get some benefits from it, right? Well, if you’re a thrill seeker, you should definitely head over to your nearest theme park and check out their accessibility program. For the big boys, like Disneyland, that means much easier (and often quicker) access to rides and attractions. Keep in mind that these passes only guarantee an equivalent experience, not a brief wait – but don’t be surprised if your wait times are considerably shorter.