Rolling on... Modern Wheelchairs Provide More Freedom than Ever

Rolling on... Modern Wheelchairs Provide More Freedom than Ever

I recently had the opportunity to see Annie on Broadway in NYC. I've seen it several times and this last performance did not disappoint. However, this time I noticed something that I had not really paid any attention to in the past... FDR's wheel chair. It looked similar to the one in the picture on the right and didn't seem particularly comfortable. It cannot imaging being in something like this for any significant periods of time, let alone a lifetime.

Fortunately, technology has come a long way and there are more options than ever today. In fact, even the standard issue metal wheelchair that is ubiquitous at hospitals seems almost ancient compared to the options that are available today.

Wheelchairs, scooters, motorized chairs, and such offer the elderly and the disabled opportunities to enjoy getting out. We rented a beach wheelchair to take my grandmother to the shore one year. Sure she was able to get onto the beach and enjoy watching the children play, but, more importantly, she was WITH the family. Her physical condition did not force her to stay back at the hotel and be ostracized. Instead she was part of the vacation...exactly what a family vacation is all about.

Modern motorized chairs seem like engineering marvels built by NASA. They have multiple adjustments for comfort and position changes and some can operate anywhere from the mall to the beach. Some specialized models even "climb" stairs. (The jet pack chair is probably coming soon!)

Wheel or motorized "chair" are almost an outdated terms for many of these machines and there are more creative inventions every day. There are several floating mobility systems and Segways may also be an option. My father-in-law has MS and can't walk over uneven ground or for long periods of time. But, he can hike and get down to the river easily with the big, fat, knobby tires on his off-road Segway. He also arrives at the occasional softball or football field too!

The point is that with today's technology there is no need to leave anyone behind from family activities.

Category: Independent Living

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