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First Wheelchair Experience - How to Help Your Seniors Handle Stress

February 18, 2021

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For seniors with limited mobility, transitioning to a wheelchair can be a daunting experience. Not only do they have to learn how to use the new piece of equipment. But they also have to deal with the added stress of adapting to a new lifestyle. Here are some tips on how to help your aging parents handle stress when starting out in their new wheelchair.

Choose the Right Wheelchair for Seniors

The first step is to find out what kind of wheelchair your seniors will need. You can do this by consulting with their doctor or physical therapist. In most cases, seniors who are unable to walk due to illness or injury will require a lightweight foldable mobility scooter. While seniors who have some mobility might be able to use a manual one instead. If you're not sure which category your seniors fall into, ask them directly. They'll know better about your aging parents' needs.

There are two different types of wheelchairs: those with wheels and those without wheels (power chairs). Manual wheelchairs are great for seniors who have some mobility and they can push themselves around. Mobility scooters are perfect for seniors who are unable to walk at all.


Once you've determined which wheelchair is best for your seniors, then help them adjust to it. This includes physical and emotional acceptance of this new addition to their lives.

How to Handle Stress When Transitioning to a Wheelchair

When seniors are first introduced to their wheelchair, it's important that they don't feel rushed. This new experience can be daunting for some. It's our job as caregivers to make sure their transition is as smooth as possible. Here are a few tips on how to help seniors handle stress when starting out in their wheelchair:

  • Give them time to get used to the idea of using a wheelchair. It will take some time for seniors to get comfortable with this new way of getting around. Let them explore the features of the chair. Ask questions about how it works. The more information they have, the less stressful this process will be.
  • Help them adjust to their new surroundings. Make sure all of their surroundings are wheelchair-friendly. This means removing any obstacles that may prevent seniors from getting around easily. Throw rugs or furniture that is not at the proper height for seniors sitting in wheelchairs.
  • Be patient with seniors who are learning how to use a new piece of equipment. It will take some time before they master all its features and functions. This is especially true for seniors who have never used a wheelchair before.
  • Help seniors feel comfortable in their new wheelchairs. Make sure they are properly seated and secured. Give them plenty of time to adjust themselves to the way they sit when using the equipment.
  • Show seniors how easy it is to use the equipment and how simple it will be for them to operate on their own. If seniors know that you can help, they will not be as frightened by this process. Or afraid of what might happen if things go wrong while using a wheelchair properly.
  • Stay positive when seniors use a wheelchair for the first time. Give seniors positive feedback. Let them know that they are doing well in their new position.
  • Provide seniors with tips on what to expect while using a wheelchair. Like how long it takes to get used to sitting down or standing up properly. Parents may need assistance getting dressed after leaving home for extended periods of time.
  • Allow seniors some freedom when using wheelchairs. so that they can feel comfortable without being forced into any situation. This will make seniors more relaxed about living independently.

Conclusion

Transitioning to a wheelchair might be stressful for seniors at first. But with the right support, they can quickly adapt and enjoy their life. By providing positive feedback, helpful tips, and a little freedom, seniors will be able to handle stress. While using wheelchairs like pros.


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