Shopping in a wheelchair is a challenge
If you find walking easy then I am going to issue a challenge, go shopping in a wheelchair. Before you leave don’t forget to tie your legs together. You must go out on your own and don’t forget a shopping list or shopping bag. You will need some cash, credit cards and your mobile phone.
Recognise these problems?
In my town too many shops have steps. Okay that is great because Daleks cannot go in and exterminate the staff but neither can I go in to browse around or buy anything. These shops include restaurants, coffee shops, charity shops, physiotherapists and opticians. Are you shocked? The NHS dentist in town also has steps but at least it has grab rails.
Some shops have heavy doors which need to be pulled open, impossible in a wheelchair. Why is there never a magic button that will automatically open the door. Instead, lets just hope the assistant inside the shop can rush out and help.
The supermarket looks like an easy option
There are no steps to get in and no heavy doors to open either. Its not until the very thing you want is tantalisingly out of reach on the top shelf. Maybe there is only one bag of frozen peas left and your arms are too short to reach them. In my experience a member of the general public will help overcome these awkward moments.
OK shopping complete now its time to pay. Unpack the shopping from the basket and then pack into your shopping bag. Inevitably the soft and squishy items are now at the bottom and heavy tins at the top. Where did you put your credit cards? While you pack and pay the queue of shoppers are tut-tutting and none of them offer to help.
All done, the shopping bag is only just big enough but how do you carry it?
Maybe online shopping for groceries is easier even with substitutions.
Crossing the road
Nipping over the road to browse around another shop is a definite no-no. Now you understand the reason for dropped kerbs and why people wait patiently for the green man at traffic lights.
Next your phone rings but it is in the back pocket of your jeans. No chance of answering, hope the caller leaves a message.
People are not the only obstacle in shops. Sometimes the aisles are too narrow or the corners too tight to navigate. Such a silly mistake going into that shop, there is not even space to turn around. OK, go out backwards but that is easier said than done. Of course, peoples’ ankles get in the way so now you are glowered at as you try to apologise. Whose idea was it to go shopping?
Shopping in a wheelchair
Yup, shopping in a wheelchair is not quite so straight forward. Too easy to have a major rant and even do a name and shame. I don’t think that will have any impact but I will use Twitter (@aid4disabled). Instead, I quietly take my money to shops where there are fewer problems.