Last week I had my first extended outings in my wheelchair, while I’ve used them inside at museums etc. this was the first trip out, and I didn’t realise how much work it’d be, both for me, and for anyone pushing me.
I’m so grateful to anyone who takes the time to push me around, and although I much prefer to do it myself, sometimes that’s not practical. However, using a wheelchair is a massive hit to my independence, and being pushed around does even more to that. This has the habit of making me very grumpy, and snappy, with whoever is pushing me, so here are a few of the things which irritate me:
- Never start (or stop) pushing without warning. If I have my hands on the wheels it will hurt, and if you stop, I will end up stopping in the middle of a crowd
- Furthermore, don’t drag me away from something without warning, you wouldn’t push a standing person away while they’re talking
- The chair is not for you to lean on/hang things on etc without permission, you wouldn’t lean on a person stood up, don’t lean on me
- A wheelchair is bigger than you think, especially length-ways, a person’s feet go much further forward than you expect
- Please don’t push my into people’s bums, that is not a view I want!
- Please please please, do not joke about losing control going down a hill, all it’s gonna do is make me grab the wheels and cause a crash
Do you have any more tips for people pushing a wheelchair?