Making Your Wheelchair Use An Always-Comfortable Experience
Health experts recommend that we don’t remain seated for long periods of time. It’s important to get up and get some exercise, they say. For many wheelchair users, such advice can’t be followed. Because of their mobility issues, they must exercise in other ways. Naturally, safety is a must. And, in addition, being comfortable is a major requirement.
It is true that we weren’t meant to sit all day long. Tiffiny Carlson admits as much on TheMobilityResource.com. A diving accident at age 14 has made her a lifelong wheelchair user. She realizes that maximizing comfort is an integral part of everyday living. Carlson believes that wheelchair use can be an always-comfortable experience.
Customize Your Seat
Luckily, not all wheelchairs are created equally. It’s important to have your wheelchair customized to your specifications. This is a vital component to living comfortably as a wheelchair user. Your height and weight most certainly need to be taken into consideration. Carlson highly recommends custom seating.
“It may seem like a drastic step, but I’ve been using custom seating for nearly nine years and would never have in any other way,” she reveals, “The clinicians use pressure mapping to create your seat and backrest to make it perfect for your body, widdling the foam away until it’s just right. Most clinics and hospitals in major cities offer this.”
Adjust the Footrests
We tend to forget that much of our back pain comes from our feet. This is why comfortable shoes with ample cushioning are so highly recommended. A wheelchair user must follow the same principle in order to remain comfortable in a seated position. While he/she may not be on his/her feet for most of the day, attention must still be paid to the feet. As Timothy Snyder of Rollx Vans points out, your footrest plays a big role in your level of comfort.
“The main thing to remember is to keep your knees slightly higher than your hips,” he advises, “If they are too high, however, your backside will be forced into the back corner of your seat, which causes tension and pain in your back. Look for a wheelchair that has adjustable footrests. If you already own a wheelchair that does not have adjustable footrests, consider taking it to a wheelchair repair shop to have the changes made.”
Install a Backrest
Like standard backrests, wheelchair backrests are designed to optimize function and comfort. Generally created to have contoured backshells and manufactured with soft foam, wheelchair backrests offer stability to reduce fatigue and maximize function. When using a lightweight and easy-to-use backrest, wheelchair users experience much better back comfort.
“Trying a different backrest is a great way to get more comfortable in your chair and one of the most popular backrests among wheelchair-users are Jay backrests,” says Carlson, “Made of a soft foam cushion, Jay backrests curve to your back. The longer you sit against a Jay backrest, the more it feels like it was custom-made.”
At Forward Day, we’re proud of the fact that our Shower Bay portable showers help wheelchair users to have comfortable bathing experiences. Shower Bay can be snapped together in any room of the home where there is a faucet nearby. It allows a wheelchair user to roll his/her shower wheelchair inside to enjoy an independent, comfortable shower with running water.