Adjusting to Life in a Wheelchair – 7 Useful Tips

June 21, 2023

Getting used to an aid vehicle can be a challenging experience, both physically and emotionally. For many people, becoming wheelchair-bound can mean adjusting to a new way of life with new routines, limitations, and challenges. But with the right mindset and support, adjusting to life in a wheelchair can be easier. Let’s discuss 7 useful tips that can help you maintain a fulfilling lifestyle while in a wheelchair.

7 Ways To Adjust To Life In A Wheelchair

1. Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

Once you started using a wheelchair, it’s time to make your home wheelchair-friendly. This means making modifications to your living space to accommodate your mobility needs. Some modifications may include installing ramps, widening doorways, and installing grab bars in the bathroom. By making your home more accessible, you’ll be able to move around with greater ease and independence. Consider a new or used wheelchair for indoor use to ensure the vehicle goes well with indoor flooring.

2. Embrace a Positive Mindset

It’s crucial to focus on what you can do in a chair rather than what you can’t do. This means accepting your new reality and making the most of your abilities. By adopting a positive mindset, you’ll be better able to tackle the challenges that come with living in a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

3. Seek Out Support

Adjusting to life in a chair can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. There are many support groups and organizations that can help you navigate this new chapter in life. Consider reaching out to local disability organizations, support groups, or online communities. You may also want to reach a counselor or therapist to help you process your emotions and adjust to your new lifestyle.

4. Get Active

Just because you’re in a wheelchair or mobility scooter doesn’t mean you can’t stay active. In fact, regular exercise is important for maintaining good health and mobility. Consider joining a wheelchair sports team or taking adaptive yoga or dance classes. Work with a personal trainer to make up an exercise routine that’s tailored to your abilities.

5. Stay Connected With Friends and Family

Make an effort to maintain your social connections by scheduling regular visits, phone calls, or video chats with your dearest. You may also want to consider joining a social club or group that’s tailored to your interests. Don’t get isolated during these challenging times. The friend’s helping hand will help you get it off your chest.

6. Explore Accessible Transportation Options

One of the biggest challenges of using an aid vehicle is transportation. However, there are many accessible transportation options available, such as paratransit, accessible taxis, and ride-sharing services. Research your options and find a transportation method that works for you in your area.

7. Advocate for Your Rights

Don’t neglect your rights as a person with a disability. This may include advocating for accessible infrastructure in your community and fighting for equal access to education and employment opportunities. As well as advocating for policy changes that benefit people with disabilities. By standing up for your rights, you can help create a more inclusive and accessible society for all.

How to Choose Your First Mobility Aid

The first step in choosing a wheelchair or mobility scooter is to consider your mobility needs. Do you need a wheelchair for full-time use or just for occasional mobility assistance? Do you need a scooter for outdoor use or for navigating long distances? Consider your daily routine and the activities you need your wheelchair or scooter for, as well as any physical limitations you may have.

There are many different types of wheelchairs and mobility scooters on the market, each designed for specific needs and activities. Some popular options include manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, and electric mobility scooters. Manual wheelchairs are ideal for those with good upper body strength. They can be self-propelled or pushed by the senior’s caregiver. Power wheelchairs and electric mobility scooters are better suited for those with limited upper body strength or mobility.

Consider your lifestyle and preferences regarding the mobility vehicle. Think about the activities you enjoy and the places you like to go. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, an all-terrain mobility scooter may be the right choice for you. If you prefer a more compact design, a lightweight manual wheelchair may be a better fit. Consider the size as well as the weight of your chair and whether it’s easy to transport and store.

Before making a purchase, it’s important to test-drive various options. Many mobility equipment stores offer trial periods, where you can test out different wheelchairs and mobility scooters to see which one meets your needs. During your trial period, consider factors such as maneuverability, comfort, and ease of use.

Wheelchairs and mobility scooters can be a significant investment, so it’s important to consider the cost before making a purchase. Research your options and compare prices from different vendors. Additionally, consider whether your insurance or Medicare may cover some or all of the cost.

Seek professional guidance when choosing a wheelchair or mobility scooter. Consider working with an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or mobility equipment specialist. They can help you navigate your options and choose the best vehicle for disability for your needs.

Should You Live Alone When Adjusting to a Wheelchair?

Here are some major pros and cons to consider when living independently after just starting to use a wheelchair.


  • Increased independence. Living alone can provide a sense of autonomy and control over your daily routine and activities, which can be empowering.
  • Privacy and personal space. Living independently or with a partner in a private residence can provide a sense of privacy, which can be difficult to achieve in a shared living environment.
  • Ability to customize living space. You’re able to customize your living space to meet individual needs, such as installing wheelchair ramps, modifying bathroom facilities, or adjusting countertop heights.
  • Flexibility in scheduling. You have more freedom to participate in activities and events outside of the home at the desired time.


  • Increased responsibility. Living independently requires taking on additional responsibilities, such as managing personal care, household chores, and managing finances.
  • Limited social interaction. Living alone can lead to a sense of isolation, which can impact mental and emotional health.
  • Financial strain. Independent living can be expensive, especially when it comes to modifications and adaptations to living space to accommodate a wheelchair.
  • Difficulty with daily tasks. Depending on the level of mobility and support needed, living alone can present challenges with daily tasks. These may include cooking, cleaning, and running errands.


By embracing a positive mindset, staying active and connected with friends, you can make this new chapter in life less stressful. Follow the handy tips above to get used to your new vehicle faster.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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