How Can I Feel More Independent as a Wheelchair User?

October 2, 2015 | 1:58 pm | By Pants Up Easy

Independence is a major factor in feeling as if you are leading a fulfilling life. Most people prefer not to rely on others to accomplish their basic everyday tasks, and as a wheelchair user, this can be a great source of frustration. However, there are several things that you can do to maintain a sense of independence, even if you do occasionally require assistance from others. 

The first step is to make your home as easy to maneuver as you possibly can. If your home is easier to get around in, then you will naturally require less assistance. Make sure your flooring is something that you can easily wheel around on, and move any and all obstacles out of your way. Create a clear path throughout your home so that you have no issues getting to where you need to go. Make sure your basic necessities are within arms reach so that you don’t constantly need someone to get your things for you.

You should also make your home handicap friendly. Have a ramp installed if needed so that you can easily get inside from outdoors. There are many portable ramps that can easily be placed in doorframes and over steps wherever you may need them. You may want to remove the doors from the cabinets underneath sinks, so that you can easily access the sink as you need to. In the bathroom, have grab bars installed in the shower and surrounding the toilet. If you have a hard time pulling your pants up after visiting the restroom, consider investing in the Pants Up Easy product. This will take much of the hassle out of restroom visits and allow you to easily pull your pants up in three very simple steps.

Aside from things you can do to make yourself feel more independent around the house, pursuing your own interests is a great thing to try. Whether it be joining a book club, doing volunteer work, or simply getting outdoors for a stroll around the neighborhood each morning, staying active will allow you to regain a bit of independence. You may even be able to take up gardening and other outdoor interests with the right chair and accessories.

If you enjoy being physically active, there are many ways to get out and stay fit and healthy. Wheelchair sports are more popular than ever, and there is a good chance you will be able to find groups in your area that you can join. Wheelchair basketball is very popular, and many wheelchair users also enjoy playing tennis, badminton, table tennis, bowling, and so much more. There are also the more adventurous wheelchair users who get into skiing, surfing, rock climbing, scuba diving, and beyond. No matter your interest, there is likely someone who has already tried it out. Do a bit of research into whatever you are considering and you may be surprised at how easy it is to get started!

Finally, to feel more independent as a wheelchair user, only accept help when you truly need it. While you may constantly have offers of help, and you may feel rude if you don’t accept, it’s important to let those around you know what you are capable of doing. This will also help push you to try things that you may otherwise let your friends or family members handle for you. There’s a good chance you are able to do more than you even realize.

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