Paralysis from spinal cord injuries can lead to travel issues

A person who has a spinal cord injury might suffer from paralysis that makes them dependent upon a wheelchair to get around. While a wheelchair gives the person more independence, it does mean that a bit more planning is necessary when the person wants to travel. That is one factor that can have a negative impact on the quality of life for a spinal cord injury patient.

There are a few things to consider if you are going to travel while you are in a wheelchair. One of these is to think about the mode of transportation. Generally, airlines are able to accommodate your needs if you let them know in advance that you are wheelchair dependent. Some bus lines and trains might be willing to try to do what they can, but the spaces are often more confined and might not be as comfortable as an airplane.

When you fly, you should know that most aircraft are required to have moveable arm rests that make it easy for you to transfer from your wheelchair to the seat. Additionally, many planes have accessible lavatories that you can get to by using the onboard wheelchair. Again, you will need to find out in advance if this is available when you make your reservations.

Even cruise ships can be wheelchair friendly. Asking questions ahead of time about the ship can help you to ensure that you will be able to enjoy the cruise. Many cruise ships, especially larger ones even have accessible cabins with accessible toilets and showers that will help improve your comfort level.

Source: Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, “Traveling with Your Wheelchair,” Janelle LoBello, accessed Feb. 19, 2016