In a world of young and able-bodied people, elderly disabled adults may have a negative view of themselves that seriously affects their self-esteem.
When their health takes a turn for the worse and they need home care providers and family caregivers to get by, they can start to feel useless. Perhaps the final straw is when their physical disabilities become so great that they need a wheelchair.
National Wheelchair Beautification Month is an excellent way for elderly adults in wheelchairs to see themselves in a more positive way by expressing their personality and creativity in a way that everyone can see. Making a wheelchair more beautiful and attractive can have a big impact on an elderly person’s self-esteem and help them accept themselves for who they really are.
National Wheelchair Beautification Month can also be something as simple as working with family caregivers and home care providers to make a wheelchair attractive, comfortable and pleasing to look at. It’s even better if the aging adult has the chance to decorate their wheelchair in a way that showcases their hobbies, interests, and personality.
There are plenty of commercially available accessories that can change a wheelchair from drab to dramatic.
Wheelchair spoke covers, seat cushions, cup holders, pouches and even the wheels themselves come in a range of colors, patterns, and textures. Because basic wheelchair models generally all look alike, some fun accessories can make a senior’s wheelchair look like a one-of-a-kind model.
It doesn’t take much to take the beautification of a wheelchair beyond what is commercially available.
There are numerous craft products and supplies that seniors can use if their family caregiver or home care provider will help. Colored craft tape comes in a range of patterns, designs and widths. The tape can be wrapped around the metal and hard plastic parts of a wheelchair to create a real statement. Other things that can make a wheelchair pop are faux flowers, faux gems, stickers, patches, glitter paint, and ribbon. The internet has many different resources that family caregivers, home care providers, and seniors can draw inspiration from.
National Wheelchair Beautification Month is often celebrated in different communities with a parade or contest hosted by interested organizations like libraries, hospitals, or senior services.
Both young and old are encouraged to go all out and decorate their wheelchairs. Many of the entries center on a theme like a superhero or storybook character. It’s a fun way for the community to get involved, make disabled individuals feel special and spread awareness about wheelchair-related issues. Family caregivers and home care providers can get information on any local events and see if the aging adult wants to participate.
The bottom line is that seniors often suffer from low self-esteem because of their disability. With something as simple beautifying their wheelchair, they can open up to be more accepting of their disability and see the positive aspects of their life. When they see their wheelchair as an asset instead of a hindrance, they’ll be more likely to feel better about themselves.