If someone you love is in a wheelchair, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, it is important to provide them with the care and assistance they need. If your loved one has only recently been confined to a wheelchair, it can be difficult for them to adjust and it is important to be sensitive to the situation. With that being said, read on to discover some of the ways that you can help to care for someone in a wheelchair.
Position yourself correctly
If your loved one is still mobile, i.e. does not need a wheelchair 24/7, it is imperative to help them to walk around every couple of hours or so. They don’t need to walk far; this is to aid with their blood circulation and to reduce the chances of pressure ulcers developing. They may, however, be quite unsteady on their feet. This is why it is imperative to walk either alongside or behind your loved one so that falls can be prevented. The only exception to this advice is when descending stairs. In this case, being in front of the wheelchair user helps them; they can hold onto you while declining to make sure that they do not lose balance.
Helping your loved one to get in and out of their wheelchair
It can take a little bit of practice to help your loved one get used to their wheelchair. Make sure the wheelchair is placed as close to the individual as possible. Engage the brakes and tuck the footrests away. If your loved one is currently lying on the bed, help her or him to use their upper body strength to roll to the side. Then, they can push their body up at the same time as their legs swing down to the side of the bed. Once they are sitting upright, have them lean forward, as this aids with weight distribution. Then, help them to pivot on their good foot to face away from the wheelchair. You can then slowly ease your loved one into the chair. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go quite to plan at first. It takes some getting used to from both of you.
Consider whether extra care is required
The final thing that you can do to care for someone who is in a wheelchair is to consider whether or not they require any extra assistance. Live-in care is available for those who are wheelchair-bound, and this can help them to keep their independence while getting the help and assistance they require.
So there you have it: some of the different things that you can do to care for someone who is in a wheelchair. If you’re struggling on your own, it is important to remember that there are other options available in the form of domiciliary care services. This will enable you to get assistance from an experienced healthcare professional who can aid your loved one and help them to adjust to life in a wheelchair.