Becoming A Power-Chair User: FAQs, One Year On [AD]

pippa in powerchair with back to camera, disneyland paris castle in background

[AD] Many thanks to CareCo for sponsoring this post: you can find links to items which may be helpful for new or prospective power-chair users throughout this piece. As always, opinions are all my own!

Last year, I became a power-chair user. Shortly after, I published my most-read blog post to date: Powerchairs Aren’t Just For Elderly People, discussing the marketing of mobility aids and how often this excludes and alienates the younger generation who also require these assistive devices. And whilst sadly there have been no major improvements in this area over the last 12 months, it’s safe to say that using Janice the power-chair has made a huge difference to my own quality of life.

It’s unsurprising, given this lack of inclusivity online, that many people have questions about being a power-chair user as a young adult. Over the last 18 months, I’ve received questions spanning from how to choose the right model of power-chair, to managing and taking care of it, to dealing with stigma and negotiating tricky situations when out and about.

I do my best to answer individual queries and at least signpost people to useful resources, but I felt it was time to write a summary post, featuring the most commonly asked questions over the last year. I also previously asked for any further questions over on Instagram, so many thanks if you submitted one of your own. I really hope you find the following answers about my own experience helpful!

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Blue Badges and Invisible Illness – My Experiences

pippa in powerchair with back to camera, looking at colourful flowers along side of path

This piece was previously commissioned by UNITE Magazine (April 2019).

Society knows that people with invisible illnesses exist, but how much do they know about people’s experiences? If others can’t see people’s symptoms with their own eyes, how do they know that they’re there? Taking our word for it apparently isn’t enough, as has been illustrated with my own Blue Badge journey.

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