When you rely on a powerchair for work, little details can ...Read More
Need a lift?
When it comes to enjoying social occasions, many users name the lift function as the most important feature of their Magic Mobility powerchair. If you haven’t got one yet, maybe it’s time to consider it on your next chair.
Why is lift so important in a social context?
Luke explains how he felt when he first got his Extreme X8 fitted with a lift function: “The seat raising function made me feel so much more comfortable and confident in a social setting. I enjoyed being at the same level of people who were standing”.
“Being at eye level with someone to chat was a game changer for me. I hated always looking up at people when I was talking.”
It’s not just about getting a sore neck from having to look up. In most social contexts, standing while engaging someone who is sitting is often seen as disrespectful. In body language terms, it’s a signal of social dominance.
The problem is, if no other seating is available, wheelchair users without a lift function are unavoidably placed in a position of implied social inferiority, which may feel emotionally and socially uncomfortable for many wheelchair users.
Having elevated seating is socially beneficial for a variety of other reasons:
- Being able to reach high shelves without having to ask someone else for help
- Being able to see over obstacles or other people in crowded social situations, such as sporting or music events
- Being able to reach over the counter to order drinks or food at a café or restaurant
How can I get funding?
Getting funding for a lift and tilt function may be difficult solely on the basis of social disadvantage. So, you should know that apart from the social benefits, lifts are also important for a range of medically necessary reasons.
- Transferring (independence, safety) – by adjusting the height of the powerchair to match that of a bed or chair, lift and tilt functions make transfers much easier and safer for users
- Access (independence) – a lift enables manual access to most places typically within reach. Life becomes more of a level playing field
- Comfort (pain avoidance, pressure care, safety) – a lift and tilt unit enables easy adjustment of the body position to relieve pressure-related pain, as well as angling the body appropriately for going up or down slopes or climbing obstacles (stability and footplate clearance)
We’d love to hear more from you about how your lift and/or tilt function has assisted your social life, or made you feel more comfortable or included in a social setting or otherwise.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to share your story.