Why I Finally Gave In to a Power Wheelchair

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?  
http://www.bardcare.com/community/2017/march/leslie-stilettowheels/ 

A Smoother Road to Your Next Wheelchair 
http://www.bardcare.com/community/2018/july/amanda-smoother-ride-to-next-wheelchair/ 

Beach Access: An overview of the options to access the beach. 
http://www.bardcare.com/community/2016/july/contributors-beach-access/  

Push on, 

 Leslie

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