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Posted 10/25/2021 in Disabled Persons

What Are the Challenges That Wheelchair Users Face?

What Are the Challenges That Wheelchair Users Face?

Check out Some of the Challenges That Wheelchair Users Face

Wheelchair users face many challenges in their day-to-day activities. Small corridors in older buildings, movement during shopping or visiting loved ones, and getting a convenient parking space are the major challenges of being in a wheelchair.

Traveling on public transit is sometimes impossible, and in the best circumstance, it's very challenging and time-consuming. Not only do these challenges lead to independence and mobility challenges in a wheelchair, but also some health conditions. Pressure sores and muscle cramps are examples of I want to be in a wheelchair health problem for wheelchair users.

 Medical content reviewed by Dr Eric Jackson-Scott MD, Chief Medical Officer 

What Are the Challenges That Wheelchair Users FaceIn this guide, we'll discuss wheelchair problems and solutions for coping with life in a wheelchair.
Dairy life wheelchair users' difficulties

1. Dealing with airplanes

Advancement in technology has smoothened traveling by air for wheelchair users. However, there are few problems they may face. There are horror stories of careless baggage handlers breaking wheelchairs beyond repair. In such circumstances, you have to bear with poor quality wheelchairs that the airport can provide. You can imagine the pain of arriving at your destination and finding out your wheelchair is unusable.

Although you will be compensated later by the airline, you'll have to suffer when transiting.

Another challenge wheelchair users may face impatient passengers or flight attendants yelling to be excused to passing or cleaning. Luckily when most realize the situation at hand, they're quick to apologize.

2. Showering when away from home

There are many challenges wheelchair users encounter when visiting friends for a sleepover or when staying in a hotel. Most bathroom doors are very narrow for the shower chair to fit.

The built-in tub chairs in hotels are no better. They're located so far back that one can't access the shower controls easily.

3. Reaching for things high up

Whether in the supermarket, school, or home, reaching for things stored in high spots is impossible for wheelchair users. It's hard to reach for your favorite snack in the supermarket without having to request a stranger to help. Getting a book from an upper shelf in the library is difficult for wheelchair users, and they have to wait for a friend probably on the other side of the campus.

You can't reach anything high when alone at home, and you have to wait for someone else to get home for you to proceed with what you want.

4. Inability to feel pain

Although pain isn't a desirable thing, feeling it helps in several ways. Wheelchair users have affected sensation levels, and most don't feel their legs. This disadvantages them as they may bleed, have deep wounds, or have a sprained ankle, and they won't even notice.

5. Inclement weather

Wheelchair users can't transit easily when it's raining. You may be wondering why the struggle and an umbrella, or a raincoat are present to cover one from rain. The challenging part is the wheel; those coated with steel or titanium are very hard to push, making it impossible to move when it's raining. This struggle applies even when there is heavy snow.

The challenge of a strong wind is another thing as you have to worry not to get blown away by it in the middle of traffic.

6. Cardio workouts

The most cardio workout involves legs, and these aren't possible for wheelchair users. But worry not as there is a variety of activity cardio exercise one can do by hands. An example is swimming.

7. Random spasms

Random spasms are common among wheelchair users, and it often interferes with their everyday activities. These wild spasms can be embarrassing when holding liquids. Imagine spilling an entire glass of juice on yourself when in a restaurant.

8. Inaccessible roads

Being independent is every person with mobility challenges wish, and the independence a wheelchair provides is enjoyable. However, at the time, this was very difficult since some roads and streets ate inaccessible. Litter on the road, narrow footpaths, and potholes often make it difficult for wheelchair users.

9. Getting a partner

Wheelchair users experience several challenges when looking for partners. Sometimes rejection may lower their self-esteem as you may wonder whether your condition has contributed to this. You may also receive some creepy questions about your abilities. These challenges are even more for those who try online dating.

10. Putting on tight pants

It's challenging for wheelchair users to put on pants without assistance. Most of the time, wearing these pants throws them to the floor.

11. Dirty hands

Any person living in a wheelchair who has ever used a manual wheelchair can attest to this. Their hands often get dirty by propelling the wheels of the wheelchair, and even sometimes, they suffer from blisters on the palms. However, they'll choose to use a wheelchair over home confinement. When possible, wheelchair gloves are used to mitigate this problem.

12. Inaccessible ramps

There is nothing more irritating than inaccessible ramps. This is among part-time wheelchair users' common problems with a wheelchair. In most cases, wheelchair users always gather prior information about building accessibility. If there are no ramps available, they immediately determine the areas are inaccessible and bring some for extra help.

Immediately wheelchair users determine ramps are available; they think the building is accessible and thus no need to get extra help. But on arriving at the place, they find that the ramp is inaccessible, and they must deal with situations they weren't prepared for.

In some cases, they find the ramp starts after two to three stairs, others are narrower than the normal-sized wheelchair, and sometimes the ramp's gradient is too steep for users with a self-propelled wheelchair.

This is very annoying because the ramps can't serve their intended use to make movement more convenient for wheelchair users.

13. Attention both positive and negative

Wheelchair users have to deal with dirty looks people through their way, especially when driving to a wheelchair parking space. Social stigmas are very evident as you'll see frequent glares, discrimination in public transportation, public lampooning, and pinpointing as one drives to disabled parking spots.

Even positive attention isn't necessary as even well intended comments can get overwhelming.

14. Irritating horns from restless drivers

Wheelchair users spend more time getting on and off their cars, which is very understandable. But as they take their time to do this, they must deal with the impatience of restless drivers who keep blowing a thousand horns behind their vehicles.

Blowing horns can't and will never make the wheelchair users settle faster to give you the way. So, relax and be more patient to allow wheelchair users to peacefully get on or off a car.

15. Straightening your legs

Wheelchair users rarely stretch, which makes their legs rigid and after some time, straightening them becomes a problem. This is avoided by getting proactive and engaging in outdoor hobbies you enjoy.

16. The race for getting into the elevator

Wheelchair users find themselves competing with the rest to get to the elevator first. This is never fair since other people can climb the stairs fast and get into the elevator first.

Some people are confident to ask wheelchair users to wait and go last as the wheelchair will take more space in the elevator. This is very hurtful.

17. "Fake-out" handicapped bathrooms

The annoying bit is that even some lavatories made for wheelchairs users have narrow doors, which are hard for any wheelchair to pass through. The wheelchair users can't use them at all, and when they try, they risk getting stuck.

The worst scenario is when the doors are made using springs since one can't get in or out without assistance.

18. The struggle for parking the vehicle

Nowadays, most places, especially public areas, have parking for the disabled. These parking spots are near the entrance/exits and are bigger than standard park spaces. This hurts some non-disabled people, and they think it's a privilege that wheelchair users don't deserve; sometimes, you'll find them discussing this.

Parking in accessible parking areas isn't that easy as it sounds. Non-disabled people often park their vehicles in these spaces. Whereas they may find it enjoyable, it greatly inconveniences actual wheelchair users.

The other challenge is people parking too close to cars parked in the accessible parking spaces. This limits the use of the wheelchair ramp, which is very inconvenient.

19. Beach trips

Wheeling through the sand to get to the beach requires a lot of energy. It's impossible to stroll on the sand and water. But you can still enjoy the ocean view while seated in your wheelchair.

20. Self-acceptance

Low esteem is the main challenge affecting wheelchair users since they believe they don't belong in most circumstances. Feeling unworthy isn't okay as there are other attractive things about you that aren't attached to your condition. If this makes you feel better, even non-disabled sometimes feel worthless. The solution is to cheer yourself up as you carry out your activities.

Most of these challenges facing wheelchair users can be solved quickly if society starts thinking rationally. Avoid any circumstance that can inconvenience wheelchair users, such as pushing them off the elevator or parking in their reserved spots. As a wheelchair user, you should find creative ways to deal with the challenges that you encounter.

 There are great things in store for you when you go boldly for what you want, regardless of these negative effects of being in a wheelchair.


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