Thursday, October 15, 2009

How I Made a Handicapped Scooter Work For Me

When I could still drive, my scooter allowed me to be independently out in the world. With my van and scooter lift, I could put my scooter in and out of the van in one piece. I could zip around town and only needed to be able to walk to the back of the van. The lift did all the work. One difficulty I had was closing the back lift gate but with the automated lift gate on some vans, this problem would be solved.

I was even able to grocery shop alone. The store scooters were too slow and more difficult to operate. My thumb, which operated the controls, would get tired and they are harder to turn.


 Using the following process, I was able to manage independent grocery shopping:  

    1.  When I enter a store, I would ask an employee to put a store cart at the end of the first aisle.
    2.  There was a small basket on my scooter. I would go up one aisle and down another filling my scooter basket.
    3.  At the end of the aisles, I would transfer things to the store cart.
    4.  I would then move the cart down two aisles and repeat the process.
    5.  The last aisle was close enough to a register for me to hold the side of the cart and get in line.
    6.  I could stand to empty the basket but usually a store clerk would help me.

One day an older, unknown gentleman came up to me and told me how proud he was of me.  (Take into account that he proceeded to tell the cashier that she could take the rest of the afternoon off after she finished his order and he did not work for the store.)

By making a few modifications to the way you go about a task, you can roll away barriers preventing independence.  Maybe you cannot do things the way you used to but, by changing your approach to the task, it is still achievable.  Start thinking, “I can do it.  I just need to figure out how.


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