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Thread: question regarding push handles and unwanted help

  1. #1

    question regarding push handles and unwanted help

    I have been wheeling for 8 months now. My AeroZ1 has integral push handles, which I like because (they were cheap,) I can walk a bit, and sometimes use the handles myself to move my chair. BUT, several times well meaning strangers have “helped” me by pushing me without asking (twice without my even knowing they were there!!). I have seriously thought about removing the push handles to thwart unwanted “help,” but occasionally I need help, and need handles to be available. Any comments or suggestions? Would fold-down handles thwart the unwanted “help”?
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  2. #2
    I grab my wheels and lock up my chair. I inform the people I don't want any help. As politely as possible.
    I have been dumped out of my chair on a number of occasions by these people. They just shove. The front wheels dig in and you're gone. I even had a guy shove my back when I had a chair with no handles and of course dumped me on the ground.

  3. #3
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    "No, thanks, I've got it!" said politely.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by baldfatdad View Post
    I grab my wheels and lock up my chair. I inform the people I don't want any help. As politely as possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    "No, thanks, I've got it!" said politely.
    Another issue I forgot to mention - I have significant dysarthria (difficulty speaking), so not only am I slow to speak, but I speak very slowly, am difficult to understand, and have inhibited breath control, so I often shout or whisper depending on the moment. So, for me, the ability to provide an audible, polite response is difficult and unpredictable. I have thought about putting a sign on my backrest, but that in itself seems rude.
    Last edited by chasmengr; 06-30-2011 at 08:39 PM.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  5. #5
    Senior Member TheAbleChef's Avatar
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    I too hate unwanted help. Sometimes I'm polite and others it bothers me to the point I have to yell for them to stop. I have fold-down handles and people still want to help.
    Never Give Up!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jonna's Avatar
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    I too have this happen and seem to be becoming less tolerant about it as it continues. Have also been dumped out of my chair and bashed into things as people misjudge turns and corners. Hope this will help Chas - I struggle with aphasia as a result of a TBI and carry a wallet card that I show to people before I tell them that it's more helpful and safer for me to push, transfer, etc. myself. Here's a link to a sample card; perhaps you could adapt it for dysarthria.

    www.aphasia.org.nz/aphasia/services-section/aphasia-wallet/
    Do not confuse silence with consent or fatigue for indifference.

  7. #7
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    I too have this problem I have been taught by my parents that part of my job here on earth is to educate people about disabilities, but this type of "help" sends me over the edge into rudeness more often then not. I try to say it nicely the first time but people start insisting and then I just have to say "I said no thank you. You may not push me!" very sternly.

    I would maybe suggest a sign on the back of the chair or carry business cards that say please do not push my chair unnless i ask). A sign may or may not make you feel more akward, but if you had a card to hand out with a smille that might help if speech is difficult at that moment.
    Liza R. McCollum

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmengr View Post
    Another issue I forgot to mention - I have significant dysarthria (difficulty speaking), so not only am I slow to speak, but I speak very slowly, am difficult to understand, and have inhibited breath control, so I often shout or whisper depending on the moment. So, for me, the ability to provide an audible, polite response is difficult and unpredictable. I have thought about putting a sign on my backrest, but that in itself seems rude.
    I think that would be of great help in your situation and I wouldn't think people would think you were being rude, anyway who really cares what they think as they shouldn't be putting their hands anywhere on your chair with out your permission.

    People who are wanting to help should ask and then wait for a response before giving help. Only once have I had someone push me without asking and I found it startling and incredibly rude. It happened to me when I first started using my chair and I was pushing myself away from my vehicle when an older man just walked up behind me and started pushing and said "Here let me help you." I quickly grabbed a hold of my wheels/push rims to stop and politely told him no thank you, I don't need any help.

    After that uncomfortable incident, I decided to remove my push handles. I have quick release handles on my chair, so I just pulled the pin to release them and I decided to store them in my vehicle, just in case there's an emergency and I'm unable to push myself. I think when most people don't notice push handles on your wheelchair they assume that you don't need help getting around.

    If I'm out with friends, or family and I need a little help I'll ask them to give me a push from the middle of my back, or shoulders. I also remind them not to push/help me unless I ask. Usually the only time I need a push is on ridiculously steep ramps, or parking lots with huge inclines.

  9. #9
    Yep, if you take the handles off people won't be as inclined to push you. My first chair had handles and I took them off for that reason and it was quite effective.

  10. #10
    Senior Member novanoin's Avatar
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    I was helping myself at the airport a few weeks ago and a airport employee took it upon himself to help me and very nearly dumped me out of my chair bringing me up the tarmac ramp (regional prop jet at denver).

    I didn't know I cut my leg (on what I wasn't sure) until I got to my aunts house in Albuquerque, NM.

    (My aunt being a criminal justice system social worker and licensed therapist called a Dr. friend of hers to come and look at it to be on the safe side.)

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