With May being National Mobility Awareness Month, its sponsor – the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) – offers advice for those who are experiencing a new disability and are learning how to cope with their new lifestyle and their new mobility concerns.

In a news release, the NMEDA offers the following tips:

1) Allow time to come to terms with your new situation. It is completely normal and natural to feel frustrated, angry, and resentful when presented with mobility challenges that were previously second nature. If you are having trouble coping, counseling is a great option. Many hospitals and social service agencies provide specialized channels for the newly disabled. Ask a caregiver, physician, or family member for assistance in locating one.

2) Sometimes frustration sets in, and it takes time to receive what you need from government institutions. When contacting government and disability agencies for help, make sure to document your interactions.

3) Do not allow the disability to define you. Allow time to adapt and the opportunity to move forward with a positive outlook ahead.

Also in the release, the NMEDA answers some common questions about selecting the appropriate mobility features and modifications:

Q) Can I drive from my scooter?
A) No, operating or riding a vehicle from a scooter is not recommended. In order to remain safe while traveling, passengers or drivers in scooters should always transfer into vehicle seating. Turning or swivel seats can make the transfer process easier and less demanding on those with limited mobility. Scooters should also be properly secured with a tie-down system to prevent movement in case of a sudden stop or turn.

Q) Are vehicle ramps difficult to operate?
A) Most vans equipped with side-entry mobility equipment are fully automatic with operations as simple to use as pushing a button. Vans can be converted to automatically open their doors, lower to the curb, and deploy or stow a ramp without the driver or passengers assistance. Manual options are also available. Built with springs that carry most of the ramp’s weight, manual ramp options are also quick and simple-to-use solutions.

Q) Can I drive from my wheelchair?
A) In many cases, it is possible for drivers with disabilities to operate a vehicle from a wheelchair. With the use of both a wheelchair tie-down system and occupant restraints, driving from a wheelchair can be a safe and convenient option.

Q) Side-entry versus rear-entry vehicles – which is best for me?
A) There are a few things to consider when deciding between a side-entry and a rear-entry vehicle. Side-entry vehicles work well for drivers and co-pilots getting into the front of the vehicle, as well as passengers. Rear entry is best if you are a caregiver transporting a person with a disability. Depending on the parking conditions of your regularly visited establishments, your vehicle’s entry points may need to be redefined. If you often need to parallel park or live in a region that experiences recurring inclement weather, a side-entry vehicle will prove to be a better option.

Q) Can someone else drive my vehicle if I install hand controls?
A) In most cases, both able-bodied drivers and those with disabilities can comfortably operate vehicles adapted with hand controls. Most hand controls do not interfere with the way a manufacturer intended the vehicle to be driven.

National Mobility Awareness Month occurs every May and encourages seniors, veterans, caregivers and people with disabilities to enjoy active, mobile lifestyles, the release explains. NMEDA supports this event with the assistance of the more than 600 mobility equipment dealers, manufacturers, and driver rehabilitation specialists located throughout the United States and Canada dedicated to expanding opportunities for people with disabilities, per the release.

For more information about NMEDA, visit www.nmeda.com

For more information about National Mobility Awareness Month, visit www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com

[Source(s): National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association, PRWeb]