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Wheelchair skills

LucyasmithLucyasmith Member Posts: 4
Hi there,
I hope you don't mind me posting on here. I am a first year Occupational Therapy student and we have been given the opportunity to help generate ideas for a rehabilitation garden at a spinal injury clinic. The idea of the garden is to allow patients to practice wheelchair skills before going out into 'real life situations' to help build their confidence and their abilities. I was just wondering if people wouldn't mind sharing with me some of the areas that you yourselves struggled with in regards to wheelchair skills and the environment ; for example curbs, pot-holes, different surfaces. and if you were given the chance to practice skills in this this sort of situation, what you would like to see in the rehabilitation garden?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Lucy

Replies

  • milomilo Member Posts: 165 Pioneering
    Hi Lucy. I'm a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy. As I've never been offered any form of training I've had to learn things by trial and error ( including a few embarrassing moments). What I found hard was learning to wheelie safely to navigate curbs and pushing one handed to counter cambers on pavement s. The other thing that is useful is being able to bump down the odd step or two when no ramp us available
  • LucyasmithLucyasmith Member Posts: 4
    Hi Milo,

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. It's such a shame you weren't given the opportunity to learn wheelchair skills  in a safe and embarrassment free environment.Hopefully this new project will ensure that others get the help that you unfortunately were not offered. :-(  

    So steps, curbs and areas to practice with one handed wheeling. What about any particular surfaces? ie: cobblestones, mud, slippery surfaces or gravel? Do you feel that any of these prove to be more troublesome than others that perhaps would be useful to practice on?

    Thank you again for your help.

    Lucy
  • milomilo Member Posts: 165 Pioneering
    I think the surfaces you mentioned all present difficulties and it would be fantastic to practice on them. I'd also add to that list grass and the textured paving used at pedestrian crossings to aid the visually impaired, it tends to send your castors in all directions if you hit it at any real speed if you've  crossed the road fairly quickly. In relation  to ramps, if you use a fairly steep one,  I tend to turn my chair sideways if I need to stop for any reason as it is nigh on impossible  to stop and lock your brakes otherwise. Wet ceramic tiles are something you find regularly in shopping centres etc. Hope this helps and feel free to ask any other questions .
  • LucyasmithLucyasmith Member Posts: 4
    Hi Milo,

    Thank you so much for your help- much appreciated. I will pass all this information on to the others I am working with. I will be sure to get back to you if we have any other questions! 

    Kind regards 

    Lucy
  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Member Posts: 155 Pioneering
    I also received no training and so its been interesting.
    The one thing I would like to master is balancing on rear wheels to get up kerbs, down steps and moving across terrain where the casters are a hindrance.
  • LucyasmithLucyasmith Member Posts: 4
    Hi Zec,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. It's really helpful in planning our ideas.

    Really grateful.

    Lucy
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