Leading an active and independent lifestyle in my manual chair has never been an issue, but lately I have experienced twinges of pain in my joints (shoulders, elbows, wrist and fingers) after a long day. The onset of fatigue has set in earlier than usual. I did not want to use a power wheelchair because I thought it would limit my activity. I was at my barn when I began to consider finding a power wheelchair.
The terrain outside was difficult for me to maneuver in a manual wheelchair. I wanted to retrieve my horse independently. My manual chair was a barrier to achieving this. I decided I would search locally for a used power chair to help with affordability.
There were a few factors I had to consider in my search.
The power chair had to have the capability to maneuver outdoor surface conditions.
- It needed to have durability for outdoor use.
- The power chair needed to negotiate thresholds/curbs, and clearance widths in standard door frames.
- The power chair needed to be affordable. I had a small budget.
After I looked at several local used power chairs, I was surprised when a family gifted me with a power chair. The chair had been used only a few times and had sat in storage for months. They gave me the wheelchair. They were thrilled when I explained the wheelchair would be used at my barn to help train my horses (they were animal lovers, like me.) I promised to send them pictures of me using the power chair.
The power chair, literally, changed my outdoor experience! For the first time, I was capable of haltering my horse independently and maneuver the entire pasture! Eventually, I will purchase a power wheelchair that fits me better (most insurance companies cover a power chair with the correct documentation from a physician.) This thoughtful gift is providing me an experience I had only dreamed of. It also has shown me how a power chair is an asset; especially in my outdoor adventures.
It seems that just being out in nature does my body, mind and soul good. My power wheelchair makes outdoor activities easier and therefore I am more apt to go outside. My power wheelchair gives me the freedom to enjoy the great outdoors. If you have ever considered buying a power chair or an all-terrain wheelchair I would encourage you to begin your search. A power chair is a tool that will provide anyone more ability in many different ways.
Here are a few tips to consider:
- There are many types of power wheelchairs. Define your specific needs and ask questions during your search.
- A power wheelchair can provide greater independence and self-reliance.
- A power wheelchair does not require assistance from a third person for its mobility.
- Never call a power wheelchair an electric chair (this is not an execution chair ‘electric chair’) Correct terminology matters.
- Make a spreadsheet for comparison of each power chair you are considering.
If you enjoyed this story, you may also like these:
My “Stiletto” Wheels: What does my wheelchair say about me?
A Smoother Road to Your Next Wheelchair
Beach Access: An overview of the options to access the beach.
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The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. BMD/BMDA/0319/0791