How can two wheelchair users live together?
It’s not going to be easy, but it’s possible.
Living with another person with a disability means that you’ll need to make a few lifestyle changes and prepare your home for two wheelchairs.
This requires work and commitment, but it will be a little less complicated if you follow the tips below.
READ MORE: Best Wheelchairs Brands to Consider
How Can Two Wheelchair Users Live Together?
There are over2.7 million wheelchair users in the US. Some of those decide to live together and deserve an excellent quality of life.
These are some of the aids and home updates that you’ll find helpful:
Also Check: Can a Person in a Wheelchair Live Alone?
Mobility Equipment Needed
1. Shower Chair
A shower chair is the first thing on your list for the wheelchair accessible bathroom, and really a must-have for any wheelchair user in general. It will support you while you take a shower or a bath and help prevent accidental slips or falls.
2. Bed Lever
A bed lever is a must-have piece of equipment for independent living. It comes in many forms, but it has one major purpose: helping you get into and out of bed on your own.
Get two -one for each side of the bed.
3. Steering Aids
These are aids added to cars and mobility vehicles that allow part and full-time wheelchair travelers to drive. The type of steering aid you’ll opt for depends on the type or types of disability you’re dealing with.
4. Transfer Board
You will need to transfer from your wheelchair to your bed or the bathroom on a regular basis. If you live with another person with disabilities, you’ll both need a transfer board.
5. Adjustable Bed
Adjustable beds are great for people with limited mobility. These bed designs are even more suitable when two people with disabilities decide to live together.
You can adjust the height of the bed, so it will be easier to transfer from the wheelchair.
Check: Myths About Wheelchair Sex
Creating a wheelchair-friendly requires multiple changes, but the end result will be a simpler, hassle-free life. When renovating your place to fit your needs, check if your medical care covers any of the expenses.
1. Wheelchair Ramps
The first thing you need to make sure of is to create a home that is wheelchair accessible. It doesn’t matter if you use a manual or power model wheelchair; you will need to enter your home.
Ramps are the best addition that you can think of. Many brands make customizable ramps for wheelchair users, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one. Don’t forget that you’ll also need a ramp for your car.
2. Wheelchair Lift
Once you get into your home, you need to get to the second floor. Living with a disabled person means an installed wheelchair lift on the stairs.
These lifts are placed on the top edge of the stairs and will make your life much easier. Another way to go is a platform if that’s a better solution for the space.
Handrails are so helpful! Your daily living will be much easier if you add handrails all over the house to assist you with everything you need.
These grabs are especially important in the bathroom, where it gets slippery.
4. Low Storage
Reaching things located high up is not an option; that’s why you should opt for low storage ideas. Lower all the countertops in the kitchen and bathroom for easy reach.
5. Enough Turning Space
You should arrange the furniture well so that you have enough space to move with two wheelchairs.
Tight spaces are the worst nightmare of people with disabilities, so you’ll need to move around the furniture and create enough turning space.
6. Washer/Dryer, Fridge/Freezer
Investing in combined appliances will save you trips around the house. For example, if you get a washer and dryer in one, you won’t have to move the clothes from one machine to another.
7. Wide Doors
The doors in your home should be wide enough to fit your wheelchair. Since most doors are made using standard measurements, check if they will fit, or of you should think about making them wider.
8. No Rugs
Forget about rugs; they can only impair your movement and make your living harder.
9. Wheelchair Accessible Parking
Your garage or parking spot should be accessible, flat, and without large stones and bumps.
10. Low Light Switches
Reaching a light switch can be a nightmare for a person who’s in a wheelchair. That’s why you have to lower the light switches or find another innovative solution. Otherwise you’ll be left with the lights on.
Wheelchairs Skills that Can Help Two Wheelchair Users to Live Together
Incline And Decline
If you don’t have a power wheelchair, you’ll need to practice your incline and decline so that you can pass the ramp to your home. When going up-lean forward; when going down-lean backward.
Two wheelchair users living together means that you’ll have to perfect your wheelchair transfer. There are numerous techniques to choose from, but make sure to ask for help while practicing.
Turning in Place
Not all houses and rooms will be huge, so you’ll probably need to turn in place. People with disabilities often find this a challenging task, but with enough practice, you’ll nail it.
Also check: Can a Person in a Wheelchair Live Alone?
Wheelchair Users Living Together FAQs
Can wheelchair users live alone?
Living alone can be more challenging for people that use mobility devices, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do it. As long as they are physically and mentally ready and the home is adequately adapted, it shouldn’t be a problem.
What is the most difficult thing for wheelchair users?
People who use wheelchairs face numerous difficulties during their everyday life, including getting through narrow spaces, narrow doors, crossing the road, uneven floors or bumpy terrain, and more.
How can two wheelchair users live together? First of all, they have to think about all the changes they need to make at home.
Starting from enough space to move with the chair, installing rails and lifts, wide doors, low storage, create an accessible parking spot, move around the furniture, remove the rugs, and more.
When it comes to the equipment, there are so many aids these days that can be helpful. Some of the essentials include a bed lever, toilet chair, steering aids, transfer board, and an adjustable bed.
- Inc, Care com. 2019. “A Wheel-Chair Accessible Home: Tips for Making It Work.” Care.com. February 7, 2019. https://www.care.com/c/stories/15869/wheelchair-accessible-home-tips/.
- Koontz, Alicia M., Dan Ding, Yih-Kuen Jan, Sonja de Groot, and Andrew Hansen. 2015. “Wheeled Mobility.” BioMed Research International 2015: 1–2. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/138176.
- “Top 7 Devices & Apps for Wheelchair Users | Automobility.” n.d. Automobility.com.au. Accessed May 24, 2021. https://automobility.com.au/top-7-devices-apps-for-wheelchair-users/.
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