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Tuesday, 5 October 2010

My invisible family member

I have been pushing wheelchairs for around 10 years. First my Mother, then my Stepfather and now my Aunt so I can speak with some knowledge on the subject of invisibility.
No one seems to see them. Cashiers at supermarket tills ask you, the pusher for the money or if you need help packing. People will stop and talk to you and completely ignore the person in the chair. Rarely does anyone hold a door open for you to manouver through. Its as if being pushed in a wheelchair is a sign that you are devoid of sensible thought or communication skills. My Aunt still lives alone, has no home help of any kind, still drives her automatic car, albeit not too far, thoroughly enjoys a good natter and dresses to kill. She is a very smart 85 yr old. No wonder she hates sitting in the wheelchair. What can we do to educate the masses then?

Our Invisible Friends

I can catagorically state with hand on heart that people in wheelchairs are invisible. Conversations are carried out over their heads as if they were not there. Cashiers always address the pusher when asking for money. It seems to be assumed that because someone is pushing them about they are not able to speak for themselves.
I have been pushing wheelchairs off and on for probably ten years. First my Mother, then my Stepfather and now my Aunt so I can speak with some knowledge. My Aunt, bless her, lives alone, does not have any home help at all, still drives her car, albeit not far, dresses to kill, a very smart lady of 85 and enjoys a good chat so I get just a little miffed when people direct their conversation to me pushing her chair rather than look down and speak directly to her. No wonder she hates going in it.