Karen Best Wright, B.S., M.A., Health Educator & Wellness Coach
Depending on the situation, losing one’s lack of mobility can be a devastating life changing event, as in the case of an unexpected accident, whether it is a grandparent or the
grandchild they are raising. Or it could be a slow, gradual decline in the health of an aging individual. Either way, losing one’s independence - the ability to just get up and go - can be very stressful and depressing.
Taking a positive approach to a difficult situation will include determining what you can still do, rather than what you can no longer do. Of course being smart about what you can safely continue doing is very important. You must be very aware of what is simply dangerous and what is merely difficult.
When needed, using an electric wheelchair to get around and enjoy life sure beats staying at home 24/7, looking at the same scenery from your front room or bedroom windows, let alone not being able to accompany your grandchildren to their school events. Staying active and engaged is vital to one’s mental health, even if confined to an electric scooter.
My one and only personal experience with a motorized wheelchair was embarrassing and awkward. I was only 59 years old and had just gotten out of the hospital with a broken pelvis and my left arm in a cast. Right from the hospital my friend took me to a large store that had an in store pharmacy to get my pain medication. She could not pick it up for me, since it was a controlled substance. Of course since I couldn’t walk, I had to use the store’s motorized scooter. I had one hand that could function. That was all I really needed. Other people made it look so easy. Fortunately, this was a one-time experience for me because I bumped into people, product shelves, and made that loud awful back-up sound continually. I am sure I was actually a funny sight, but it wasn’t very funny at the time. Finally I just stayed put and let my friend do all the running around. I just signed for the medication.
This experience brings much admiration when I see someone else managing an electric wheelchair with ease and determination (I do realize they had to learn to maneuver it though). They have my greatest respect. Many physically challenged individuals (both adults and children) learn to develop amazing talents in other areas of life. They often even learn the most efficient way to do housework, garden work and especially computer work, of course depending on their abilities.
When a person is truly in need of an electric wheelchair or scooter, they may find assistance through Medicare or Medicaid if they are participants in those programs. Qualifying can be a bit tricky so be certain to communicate with a specialist in the area. As an industry leader in mobility products, Pride Mobility offers resources to help people learn about their funding options based on coverage. Visit PrideMobility.com to learn more.