There are many reasons you may be hesitant to switch to a wheelchair-accessible van. Maybe you’re worried about the cost, or perhaps you don’t want to give up your fun, sporty car. However, wheelchair-accessible vans offer many benefits to both wheelchair users and their caregivers. Keep reading to discover five benefits of switching to a wheelchair-accessible van.
#1. Ease of Access
Let’s face it: transferring from a wheelchair to a vehicle can be a hassle. Many wheelchair users are unable to make the transfer on their own, so they rely on help from family and friends to be able to get into and out of their vehicle. This can be a cumbersome, frustrating process.
Once the transfer is complete, there’s still the issue of getting the wheelchair itself into the vehicle. Depending on what type of wheelchair it is, this process can be complicated and take a lot of time.
Once both the wheelchair and its user are both safely inside the vehicle, they can finally drive to their destination, but when they arrive, they must do this whole process again.
With a wheelchair-accessible van, there is no need to perform these complicated transfers. The wheelchair user simply rolls up a ramp, secures their wheelchair so it doesn’t move around while driving, and can stay in their wheelchair for the duration of travel.
#2. Freedom and Independence
Whether you’ve had a disability your whole life or are a new wheelchair user, if you rely on a wheelchair to get around, you know a thing or two about the importance of independence. Whatever the reason you use a wheelchair, whether it be an injury, illness, or chronic condition, you deserve to have the freedom to go wherever you choose, whenever you choose.
With a wheelchair-accessible van, you don’t have to sacrifice your freedom. Depending on your level of mobility, you may not even need any help from a caregiver to get into and out of the vehicle. This provides you a way to get where you need to go without relying on outside assistance and gives you a newfound sense of freedom.
#3. Increased Safety
The process of transferring from a wheelchair to a vehicle can be unsafe, both for the wheelchair user and their caregiver. Depending on the wheelchair user’s needs and limitations, they could risk injury while being transferred. Additionally, the repetitive stress of lifting their loved one from their chair to transfer them to the car can cause injuries to the caregiver, rendering them unable to perform this process in the future.
This process can also be dangerous to the wheelchairs themselves. Wheelchairs are a vital part of their users’ lives and are often expensive. Any accidental damage to the wheelchair during transportation limits its user’s mobility and can cost a fortune to fix.
With a wheelchair-accessible van, wheelchair users remain safely in their chair, and their caregivers don’t need to worry about performing complicated transfers that may cause injury. Because the wheelchair is still in use, there’s no need to stress about it getting damaged in the trunk.
#4. Plenty of Room
Some wheelchair users also rely on other mobility devices and medical equipment. Depending on the type of equipment, it can take up a lot of room in the vehicle, leaving little space for other belongings and passengers.
Wheelchair-accessible vans have plenty of cargo space, although it does vary depending on the model. If you anticipate needing some extra space in your vehicle, make sure you research different models and consult with your dealer to find one that will meet your individual needs.
You may find it more comfortable to stay in your wheelchair instead of transferring to the car seat. The transfer process can be exhausting for both wheelchair users and their caregivers. For greater comfort for everyone involved, consider switching to a wheelchair-accessible van. Because you can stay in your wheelchair for the duration of the ride, your experience will be smoother and provide greater comfort.
Wheelchair-Accessible Vans from ParaQuad
At ParaQuad, we are proud to provide accessibility solutions for people all over northern Utah. In fact, we are the longest-running mobility dealer in the state! As a disabled veteran-owned company, we are familiar with all the challenges that come with wheelchair use and have the expertise to meet them. If you’re looking to make the switch to a wheelchair-accessible van, come visit us in North Salt Lake, Utah, where we keep a large selection of vans in stock, browse our resources online, or contact us for a mobility consultation.