Editor's note: Real Estate editor Richard Mize of The Oklahoman attended OSHBA's Aging in Place training and wrote the following story:
Copyright © 2014, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
Elizabeth Wazwalik lined up the chair carefully, back toward the door, its two big rear wheels just clearing each side of the frame: Bump!
She was trying to get from a standard corporate classroom through a standard glass door into a standard office foyer — and back — and she was struggling because she was in a manual wheelchair.
She had never tried to use a wheelchair: BUMP!
Home builder David Bryan tries to maneuver a wheelchair
through a door way during a Certified Aging-in-Place class
PHOTO BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN
PAUL HELLSTERN - Oklahoman
Kendra Orcutt, who was in charge of this teachable moment, watched her strain with the hand rims to pull the wheels backward, getting nowhere.
It didn't help that Wazwalik held a tennis ball and wore a sock on each hand. Bump!
Thirty seconds passed. Bump!
"You're probably not going to have enough strength, so you'll have to try a different approach," said Orcutt, an occupational therapist who prescribed the tennis balls and socks. They help people get a feel for arthritis.
Wazwalik pushed away from the door and took advantage of the openness of the classroom to get the chair turned around. Another 30 seconds ticked away.
"Do you see how much space you need to do that? If you're in a narrow hallway, you can't do that," Orcutt said.
Wazwalik, with her feet, finally pushed the door open and got the chair's front wheels over the room divider, a nothing of a thing to anyone not in the wheelchair — but the (read the entire article at newsok.com)