Wheelchair access is a challenge, especially over the festive period, when a wheelchair user suddenly realize as they navigate through the homes of family and friends, how inaccessible they are.
Apart from that headache, the occasional occupational hazard such as icy footpaths or snowstorms might decide to rear its ugly head just around that time.
Snow at Christmas: Nightmare for Wheelchair Users
Snow is a definite nightmare for wheelchair users. The wheels of a wheelchair tend to get stuck in the snow and rendering the wheelchair completely frozen and unable to move.
To overcome this obstacle, make sure that there is someone around who can grit the pathways leading to your home ahead of any approaching snowstorms.
In the same way you can reach out to local authorities to remind them to clear snowfall from public areas such as entrances to hospitals, high streets and such. You could tell them that local authorities have a responsibility towards citizens, especially regarding their safety.
They must make sure that public services are accessible to all, no matter the weather front.
Christmas Decorations and The Wheelchair User
Christmas itself can be a major obstacle for wheelchair users, even within their own homes. Around this time there are more fixtures and fittings applied to the home, such as Christmas trees, tons of presents and ornamental decorations.
This can create major havoc for walking frames, wheelchairs and any other form of walking aid. Make sure that you plan where you will put everything this year and that there is enough space left to safely maneuver around your home.
Emphasize these same practices to anyone whom you will visit, especially if there is a wheelchair user in the crowd.
There is nothing worse for a wheelchair user than suddenly not being able to access a home they were in a couple of months ago without all the newly added decorations.
How to Prepare for a Christmas Party as a Wheelchair User
What would happen if family members decided to go to a restaurant for a Christmas meal? Although it might seem like the most obvious thing to do by calling ahead of time and enquire about access, many completely forget to do so.
Christmas time is quite busy, therefore it is important to ensure that there are no surprises for you and your family around this time, as there might not be any other facilities available to book, especially on Christmas Day.
The same applies for Christmas parties. Whether it is a night out with friends or a party at work, be double sure by contacting the venues ahead of time to ensure that they are accessible to a wheelchair user.
It absolutely pays to be assertive and efficient in this regard. This makes it fairly easy to enjoy a worry-free festive time and have a time you will remember for years to come.