How to Adjust to Life in a Wheelchair

Facing life in a wheelchair is a dramatic change and presents many challenges. Learning to accept the reality of the situation and to move on isn’t always easy, but meeting the challenge with a positive attitude is key to a successful transition. Learn more about how to adjust to life in a wheelchair in this guide from Freedom Motors USA.

How to Deal With Loss

Feelings of grief and anger are common, and rather than fight them, allow yourself to experience them. Changing your self-image won’t be easy, which is why a support system is vital. A counselor, doctor, and friends and family can be a big help, and organizations like the National Association of American Veterans can provide useful resources. It is very important that you don’t isolate yourself. Discussing your concerns regarding financial questions, such as whether you’ll be eligible for disability insurance and medical care, will help help you make the right decisions.

Try to focus on the things that you can do to start adjusting to your new life. Some of these may be:

  • Selecting the type of wheelchair you want
  • Having access ramps installed
  • Shopping for a wheelchair accessible van
  • Looking into the types of assistive devices available

All of these are steps that will help you regain a sense of independence.

Life on Wheels

Another important consideration is whether your home is accessible and safe. For example, standard doorways are not wide enough for a wheelchair. Installing door hinges that are specially designed for wheelchairs can help, but ultimately you may want to talk to a contractor to make your doorways ADA compliant. Some other things to look at in your home include:

  • Door knobs – Switch standard door knobs to levers.
  • Steps or Stairs – Ramps are essential if there are steps and stairways that you’ll need to negotiate.
  • Flooring – A thick carpet is difficult for a wheelchair to roll across, so you should consider wood, tile, or laminate flooring.
  • Shower – A walk-in shower is best, but if that isn’t possible, installing a shower chair will work.
  • Toilet – It is recommended that you replace standard toilets with handicap toilets.

Explore Mobility Solutions at Freedom Motors USA

It may seem overwhelming at first, but with the right approach you’ll adapt to your new life. You may even want to look into some wheelchair sports and explore some handicap vacation ideas. If you’ve recently completed a driver evaluation and are searching for a suitable vehicle, we carry a wide selection of wheelchair-accessible SUVs and wheelchair vans that can provide you with the independence and freedom you want. We also provide helpful guides to help you or your companion learn how to do things like secure a wheelchair in a van with tie-downs. Check out our wheelchair-accessible vehicle specials, and if you’d like more information, please feel free to contact us online, or give us a call at 800-625-6335.