Anonymous
Anonymous asked in HealthGeneral Health CareOther - General Health Care · 1 decade ago

How can I help my husband adjust to life in a wheelchair and help "chair- proof our home"?

My husband was recently paralyzied from the waist down, we have an 8 month old daughter and a 3 year old son. I know it will be especially hard for my son because he and his dad used to go play outside every night. How can i help my hubby adjust and "chair proof" the house?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've been paralyzed waist down for 14 years. A suggestion from me would be to first make sure the couches, beds, etc. are arranged so that no important doors or appliances are blocked. Make wide, clear paths as best you can. Also remove any clutter in the way, keep things clean. Make sure all your stuff is clear out of his way, especially in hallways. I know from experience that excessive junk is annoying. You may have to make your doors wider and/or provide ramps. Provide a detatchable shower head and shower chair until the guy learns to transfer in and out of the bathtub. Get a one story house that he can get through easily--two stories are not practical as it will be incredibly hard if not impossible for the guy to make it up to the second floor even with help. Finally, tell him to WATCH WHERE HE'S GOING. If he's not careful those wheels will cause serious damage to walls, surfaces, pets, and human feet. Good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    One thing to do is to rearrange furniture so that the chair can easily fir from one room to another. Change the drawers around so that things your husband will need in the kitchen are accessible to him. If you have the money, you might want to remodel a little so he can reach the sink, etc. As for the adjusting, it depends on what your husband was like. If he was very athletic, encourage him to join a wheelchair sports team. If he worked a lot, find odd jobs that he can still do or a hobby, so he doesn't feel useless. Sit down with your kids and explain that daddy might not be able to do everything he used to, but he's still the same old Dad. As for the playing, fun can still be had. They could play catch, or basketball.

  • 1 decade ago

    You have a lot on your plate. Don't let yourself get rundown and discouraged. Find a support group or start one yourself.

    Your husband will be developing a new identity. He is no longer the first baseman. But he can go to little league games with the family and cheer the neighbor's kids on. Whatever means the most to him can be adapted to give him pleasure even if only a spectator. He may not be rolling on the ground with his son however I'm sure he could invent new rough and tumble stuff to do while in the chair.

    Be careful to maintain a balance of respect in your relationship. Don't allow him to take his anger out on you. Expect him to carry his share of the load. Be sure to notice when he is taking initiative or doing something to better himself. "I see you are rewiring that lamp." "I see you are checking out occupational rehabilitation." DON'T say I'm glad, that's nice, or anything else that even though positive, shows evaluation of his behavior. Noticing it will reinforce it and let him know you appreciate his efforts.

    Sincerely ask his opinion. Talk over with him something that is on your mind. Encourage him to do whatever will extend his freedom like learning to drive an especially equipped van and manage a portable wheel chair.

    I spent the weekend with a family who had a bed and breakfast. The husband was paralyzed from the waist down. The accident happened before they were married. He works out of his home office. Their 2 kids are teenagers now very mature, happy and well adjusted.

    Get some help say from a church group to modify the doors and think about building a home in the future. It will give you both something to look forward to.

    Source(s): Purdue University is closing in on a cure for spinal cord injuries. http://www.vet.purdue.edu/cpr/
  • 1 decade ago

    This is the hardest thing to have to go threw i have been down that road,but with my kids grandfather.build ramps and make sure the house has plenty of space so it doesnt cause him to get upset when he is trying to move around.Your hubby will need to try to be the same man for your son,If his hands work then take him out to throw the ball,when he gets use to it he will be able to move that chair as he is running.Take walks with your hubby and put your son on his lapp.Getting your hubby to face it and move on will be hard,but if you think positive and dont treat him any diffrent then the day you met him,this will all work out,never let him get away with saying he cant do things.He is still the hubby still the dad,just some things will be harder to do.There are people out there with no legs and arms and they can do some emazing things,try researching on the computer about this stuff and you should find lots of help.God bless you all,stand strong

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  • 1 decade ago

    They should still go out and play every night. They can go for walks, toss a ball, play basketball, etc. Your husband is still his Dad and he can teach him a whole lot. Get a kid-sized wheelchair and they can have races. He can even join a wheelchair sports league if he's into that. Do a Yahoo search for "wheelchair sports" and you'll find a bunch.

    Let him do as much for himself as he can. Don't be too helpful or overprotective. Let him know you're always willing to help, but don't take away his independence. If he wants to get a hand-operated vehicle so he can drive himself, be supportive.

    Don't take it personally if he sometimes lashes out at you - anger and frustration is normal. Join a support group to deal with your own emotional issues.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    im in a wheelchair myself.my family and i adjusted faster then you think is possible.just dont act like hes different now or anything.let him be as self-sufficient as he wants to try to be but be there when he does need your help.the children adapt faster to new situations than older people do.to chair proof your house just imagine yourself being stuck in a chair and make sure everything is as accessable as possible for him.sometimes our chairs tend to scrape up against things or damage doors.its impossible to avoid if your house wasnt handicap accessable to begin with.make him feel as comfortable as is possible with his new challenge in life.let him know hes not handi-capped, just temporarily unable to do certain little things.ive been in a chair now for 2 years and ive never felt sorry for myself.and i dont let others feel sorry for me either.make sure the furniture is arranged in such a way as that he doesnt feel like hes in the way.we tend to feel that our chairs are in other peoples way.

  • 1 decade ago

    My only advice is to get ramps built for any stairs (minus upstairs) and just treat him like normal. It'll be weird, but there isn't much you have to do to "chair proof" the house. It's wonderful how supportive you're already being, kudos to you.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hopefully he still has feeling in his penis.....I bet a lot of guys will tell you if they couldn't feel their penis, they would pretty damn bitter. I know i would.. I really think it will takes years for your husband to adjust to something like that... All i can really think of is to get rid of rugs, and to give him enough space in between furniture to move freely. Also you need to install some of those bathroom bars that will give him support if he independently wants to take a bath/shower/use the restroom..

  • 1 decade ago

    u can ask da doctor bout dat but u can try 2 get him adjusted 2 da wheelchair

  • 1 decade ago

    i think that maybe you should get some counseling to help out with this....this can be devastating , and very hard to adjust to for both of you, maybe you can find some groups at your local hospital or counseling center that can help you both adjust to this.

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