Electric wheelchairs are amazing inventions, especially for the thousands of individuals who have had their lives made better by their advent. Even though all wheelchairs are a godsend, powerized models give those who have previously been unable to get around under their own power the ability to do some of the things they want to do without assistance. You can only imagine what a boost that added independence is to their self esteem. Although it may sound nice to just be able to sit back and let others take care of you, full-time pampering isn’t what these people are after. They want to get back a measure of their freedom and be able to take themselves where they want to go.
For many years I lived near the a federally-run veteran’s facility where many who had served in the military were living out their golden years. On nice days, it wasn’t uncommon to see many of those who were wheelchair bound going for long “walks” in their wheelchairs. They were feeling the sun on their heads and the breeze on their faces, and they were seeing territory they couldn’t see from their residence. You could just see the joy they were experiencing. Electric wheelchairs were empowering them to travel to places they never could have reached in standard wheelchairs.
There was an article in the Wall Street Journal not long ago that told of a thief stealing a motorized chair from the yard in front of a stroke-sufferer’s home. While this was a totally deplorable act, it’s easy to see why the thief was motivated. Power wheelchairs are expensive. The value placed on the stolen chair was $5,000. Of course, tempting as it may be, one of the reasons that the chairs cost what they do is because they are customized for the needs of a particular individual, and it’s highly-unlikely that a stolen chair is going to be an exact fit for anyone else. Besides, what kind of a thief does it take to be willing to steal another person’s freedom?
It’s hard for most of us to understand the need for such personalized chairs. After all, we can plop down in a chair almost anywhere and be at least fairly comfortable. Not so with the handicapped. For one thing, if there are uncomfortable pressure points, many of them are unable to move so as to relieve the problem. They need special back support and leg rests which are often devised just for their special needs. Electric wheelchairs are known for their adaptability to any needs as well as their ability to give their riders the freedom that they need to feel alive.