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3 Ways To Gain Independence as a Wheelchair User

Updated: Jan 16

As humans, we crave independence and the opportunity to complete tasks on our own terms. If you use a wheelchair, it can be more difficult to experience true autonomy, but it’s not impossible. Continue reading to explore some ways to gain independence as a wheelchair user so that you can experience a renewed sense of freedom.

Exercise Regularly

An increased level of independence means you need to be physically strong enough to tackle a variety of situations. Since you’ll need to rely on yourself to make transfers and lift your wheelchair, you need to stay in shape and exercise regularly.

Fortunately, you have several exercise options. Many gyms have accessible programs and equipment designed to accommodate wheelchair users. You can also break a sweat at home with the guidance of app-based exercise programs created for wheelchair users. Lastly, consider joining a wheelchair sports league, such as basketball or baseball.

Maintaining your strength is beneficial for your mind, body, and spirit. Plus, with a strong upper body, you’ll be able to navigate a wide range of tasks and activities throughout your day.

Adapt Your Home

One of the main ways to gain independence as a wheelchair user is to adapt your home to fit your specific needs. To comfortably navigate your environment without the help of others, you’ll most likely need to make some adjustments. You’ll want to make sure you can easily reach items, so some cleaning and organizing may be in order. Depending on the current configuration of your house, you may need to install ramps and remove thresholds to navigate your wheelchair with ease.

You may need to lower the counters in your bathroom and kitchen so that you can easily access the sink and other surface areas. You can also adjust the height of kitchen appliances to make cooking independently easier. Once you take the time to identify and address potential pain points throughout your home, you can enjoy an increased level of freedom.

Upgrade Your Transportation

Access to reliable transportation can immediately expand your horizons. You need to know what equipment features a mobility van should have to take full advantage of your vehicle. Features such as a wheelchair lift ramp and swivel seats make independent car rides a reality for many wheelchair users.

If you don’t prefer to drive, taxis and rideshare companies offer wheelchair-accessible vehicles. You can still get around by yourself even if you don’t own a car. The ability to head somewhere on a whim is incredibly freeing.

With these tips and strategies in mind, you can confidently increase your independence as a wheelchair user. Regardless of your level of mobility, you can take control of your life and look forward to a bright, fulfilling future.

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