The Powered Wheelchair Training Guide
Written by Axelson P, Minkel J, Perr A, & Yamada D.
Illustrated by Clay Butler
Published by: PAX Press, a division of Beneficial Designs, Inc., Santa Cruz, California
Setting Limits and Offering Help
It can be hard to admit you have reached your limits. However, you should safeguard your own health and well-being.You need to know your limits and how to say no when you have reached them.
How to Say No
It is important to understand that you should not assist a wheelchair rider if it presents a physical hazard to your own health or you are not confident in the outcome. This could result in injury to the wheelchair rider and/or yourself. For example, pushing a wheelchair up a curb with an injured back could be painful and may cause further injury to your back. Do not be afraid to say No. The following are several ways to decline to help:
Sometimes watching a wheelchair rider do something is difficult because you can see that whatever the rider is doing is not easy. Remember that the person may not want assistance; it may be important for the person to accomplish the activity independently. It might be easier for the wheelchair rider to do the activity alone than to explain to others how they can help. The wheelchair rider might have had bad experiences or even injuries in the past when people tried to help. It may be difficult to watch, but you do not necessarily need to help the person.
Only assist a wheelchair rider when you are asked and/or have been given permission. If you think a wheelchair rider might need assistance, offer. The wheelchair rider may be in a position that looks precarious, but have the situation under control. Unexpected assistance might throw him or her off balance.
If your offer to assist has been accepted, let the wheelchair rider be in charge. Ask the wheelchair rider how you can help and follow the riders instructions. Ask the wheelchair rider to talk you
Last Updated: February 20, 2003
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© Copyright 2006 University of Pittsburgh. All rights reserved.
Please note: This information is provided a archival information from the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheeled Mobility from 1993 to 2002.