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Wheelchairs 101

Deciding To Use A Wheelchair

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Deciding that the time has arrived to start using a wheelchair can bring all sorts of emotional reactions to the surface. It may come as a recommendation from your doctor or physical therapist, or it may be something you consider as you find walking and moving about becoming more difficult and limiting.

Avoid internalizing some of the messages you may associate with wheelchair usage:

  • You are NOT giving up or surrendering. A wheel chair can be an expansion of your capabilities, not a restriction. You will be able to do more and go further with the assistance of a chair. Most people find that a chair gives them more freedom, not less.
  • You are NOT deciding you will never walk again. You may initially use the chair intermittently or only under certain conditions where or when walking is particularly difficult or tiring.
  • Your muscles do NOT have to atrophy and become worse from lack of use. Exercise can still help you maintain what strength and muscle tone you have.

If you find yourself emotionally torn during this decision, ask your doctor or physical therapist to refer you to a mental health specialist to help deal with those issues.

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