You may already realize how significant being mobile is This may be especially true if you have already experienced breaking your leg or ankle. Surely, you did not like the feeling of being unable to move or at least go through your daily activities as you normally would. Lessening your ability to move around can not only lower your quality of life but also make certain medical conditions worse.
Although wheelchairs are often associated with the elderly, they certainly play bigger roles to many other people. The concept of wheelchairs may still be foreign to you if you or anyone close to you has not personally experienced using one.
Below are some questions many people who are unfamiliar with wheelchairs ask. Accompanying them are some answers that may help you realize how important wheelchairs have become in today's world.
Since when have wheelchairs existed?
Wheelchairs go as far back as 525CE among the Chinese craftsmen whose work was even depicted as being used by Spains King Phillip II. Although that device could not be propelled by its user, it did feature a chair on wheels.
The first folding wheelchair created using steel tubing, something more familiar to the modern day wheelchair, was created in the 1930s by a man named Henry Jennings.
Is there only one wheelchair size for all?
No. Wheelchairs are not one size fits all assistive devices. Although there are standard sizes, many have been created specifically for children. Wheelchairs come in multiple sizes to fit almost any user.
Wheelchairs can be custom built for those who do not find it comfortable using a standard sized wheelchair. Wheelchairs also come with different weight capacities to suit the needs of all kinds of users.
Will my insurance policy cover wheelchair costs?
This depends on your policy. Generally, if your doctor prescribes the use of a wheelchair, your insurance should cover all or some of the costs of buying it.
Those who do not have insurance opt to buy from medical supply outlets where good quality second hand wheelchairs can be purchased. Some foundations and other social groups also provide financial aid for mobility devices.
Can I make my home more suitable for wheelchairs?
Many find benefits in ensuring that each door's width is enough to allow wheelchair users in and out. Wheelchair ramps may also be placed where steps can be found. Sometimes, specific bathroom accommodations have to be in place. Very often, families with a wheelchair user opt for single-storey or bungalows.
This is no longer necessary because of so many wheelchair accessories have been developed. For those with limited or no knowledge about making home improvements to accommodate for wheelchair users, contractors are available to discuss and realise your requirements.
What can I do when I am using a manual wheelchair and my hands are becoming irritated by propelling the wheels myself?
Many manual wheelchair users have this problem. Most choose to use special gloves that can be worn for long periods of time without having any feeling of discomfort. These gloves are often made of leather.
Sometimes, they have padding in the palm area to really protect the hands of the wheelchair user. These often cover only the palms to allow its users to wear them and be able to still make full use of their hands and fingers. This way, they have no need to take the gloves off.