Badan Latihan dan Hidup Berdikari Malaysia (ILTC) pada 23hb Mac 2016 menyerahkan memorandum kepada ahli-ahli parlimen mendesak supaya golongan orang kurang upaya (OKU) dikecualikan daripada cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan (GST).

Disabled Members Protest

Disabled Members Protest
Disabled Members Protest at JPJ Wangsa Maju

ILTC Malaysia members staged a protest outside JPJ Wangsamaju KL.

ILTC Malaysia members staged a protest outside JPJ Wangsamaju KL.
Disabled group’s protest disabled drivers required to produce doc's medical report.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The right fit

Thursday August 4, 2011

The right fit

Tips on getting a suitable wheelchair.

A READER wrote in to ask for advice on what would be the most suitable wheelchair for an amputee who lost both his legs to diabetes recently.

Well, I’ve been using a wheelchair for almost 40 years, so the reader certainly came to the right person to ask for advice. Here are some tips for anyone who is wheelchair-hunting:

Get it right: Do your homework first and look into the needs of the user before you rush out to buy a wheelchair.

> Do your homework first before you shop. Find out more about the user and his specific needs.

How old is the user? Is he totally dependent on a wheelchair to move around or does he need to use it occasionally? Is the user able to wheel himself or does he need a caregiver?

Whenever possible, take into consideration the wheelchair user’s living environment. Look at the space required for the wheelchair, and any adjustments that need to be done once the wheelchair arrives.

It is also helpful to get some input from a rehabilitation doctor who specialises in disability. I recall a couple of incidents when well-wishers ended up getting the wrong wheelchairs for disabled people. They relied on the advice of GPs without taking note of an important factor – those doctors are not users of the products themselves.

> Get the right wheelchair. Older persons with walking difficulties may require a wheelchair to help them get from the bed to the bathroom or to the garden, or for an outing with the family.

For this, a wheelchair which you can get for as little as RM300 from a pharmacy, would suffice. However, please note that such wheelchairs are not as durable as the more expensive ones. They may need to be replaced, depending on wear and tear. The more lasting ones can range from RM1,000 to RM5,000 or even more.

The second category is designed for those who are paralysed from the waist down. These wheelchairs are not only tougher but they are often lightweight, which makes transporting them in and out of a vehicle much easier.

They also come with detachable parts unlike the cheaper wheelchairs. Arm rests or foot rests which can be detached are important to users with more impaired body movements.

Removing a foot rest so that the wheelchair can inch nearer to another object like a bed or the toilet seat makes a world of difference to those who cannot use their legs when they are shifting from the wheelchair to say, the toilet seat.

The option to remove the arm rests is very helpful, especially when these pose an obstruction during transfers.

Care should be taken to ensure that wheelchairs and their parts do not have rough or sharp edges that can cause cuts or bruises to the user who has no feeling in the limbs.

> Custom-made wheelchairs: These are specialised wheelchairs for children and people with profound disabilities such as those who are paralysed from the neck down. For such cases, it is best to seek the advice of a professional such as a rehabilitation doctor who specialises in disability issues.

Wheelchairs come in really handy for the disabled. However, for the first-time user and their caregivers, it takes time getting used to one.

For the able-bodied who find themselves in a situation where they have to depend on a wheelchair to get around, they may feel “wheelchair-bound” by the experience. However, for the disabled who have been using it all our lives, wheelchairs are truly liberating. What would we do without them?

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