My wheelchairs are like shoes. Depending on what I am doing, that determines which wheelchair I will use. Do I use my manual chair which is lightweight, but takes a huge amount of energy and effort for me if the ground is not perfectly level at all times, or do I use my power chair which is much heavier and bulkier yet preserves my very limited energy and spares me a ton of nerve pain each day?
Well, that depends! My manual chair fits in tight places and until my bathroom is finished being remodeled, it is easier to transfer into the shower from. My manual chair is also easier to transfer in and out of. So, if I will be working and sitting in a living room chair with my laptop, knowing I will transfer several times throughout the day, I will stick with the manual.
However, if I am having a skin breakdown issue (like I am for the second time this winter!), then I don’t sit in my living room chair to work all day. It doesn’t provide enough cushion and support and sits too hard on the skin are that has a problem. My manual chair is similar in that once I am in my manual chair, I can only sit in that exact position all day. My only relief from the continual shape my manual chair has me in, is to transfer into a living room chair or to lay on my bed.
My power chair has a LOT of cool features (future video I guess!) where it allows my body to change positions with the push of a button. The back will recline so I can stretch my back without transferring onto the bed. The legs will lift straight out stretching my legs out. It will lift up around 15 inches which allows me the freedom to reach into my cabinets or turn the fan on. It will tilt completely backwards which takes ALL the weight off of my butt and transfers my weight to my back giving my horrific back, butt and leg nerve pain a welcome rest. All of these position changes without ever transferring out of my chair. The downside is that transferring in and out of my power chair is SO much more taxing and hard for me. Why? I don’t know. But it just is.
Since I do switch chairs often during the week depending on my daily physical needs, I thought I would share a video of how I transfer independently from my manual chair to my power chair.
Click on the picture to play video!