Ahmet Cunmulaj, a T5 complete paraplegic, shares how-to videos on his Youtube channel (Wheelz AC) to show others how he accomplishes specific independent living tasks.
In a recent video, Ahmet demonstrates how he goes up and down his staircase (without his wheelchair) when his stairlift is not working.
“My weight, my size, my chair, everything matters,” says Ahmet as he sits at the top of his staircase getting ready to transfer out of his chair and maneuver his body down the stairs.
First, Ahmet positions his chair near the stairs and then takes his feet off the footrest of his wheelchair. He admits that he usually uses the railing of the staircase to lower himself on the ground. However, Ahmet shows how he would complete the transfer without the assistance of the railing. With his chair in the right position, Ahmet scoots on the edge of his cushion with his feet off the footrest. He allows his feet to rest on the next step down on the stairs. Ahmet then transfers his body to the floor by putting one hand on the floor with the other hand holding on to his wheelchair. He advises to keep one of the brakes on your wheelchair secure, so when you push it out of the way the chair does not roll away.
Ahmet is now sitting at the top of the staircase. He moves his feet off the stair below him, making his legs go straight out. His feet then reach two stairs below him. Ahmet using his arms to lift his bottom off the stairs and down to the next step. Ahmet moves his legs out by putting his hands underneath his knees and physically lifting them. Ahmet has to move his legs after he lifts his body down each step. He admits that he does use the railing on the staircase for this process because it would be difficult with no support. Ahmet continues the process until he is at the bottom of the stairs. He has to stop occasionally to let his spasms settle down.
Ahmet’s process to go up the stairs is essentially the same as going down the stairs -- just in reverse. Ahmet uses his arms to lift his bottom up each step. He stops to readjust his legs between each step. To get back in his wheelchair, Ahmet sits at the top staircase with his feet on the step below him. He then puts one hand on the ground, with the other hand holding the railing of the stairs, to lift himself back in his chair.
Ahmet says that being able to get up and down stairs by himself is beneficial when he is with friends who cannot assist him. His friends just have to carry his twenty five pound wheelchair up and down the stairs.
Do you have a different way you get up and down stairs? Share your story with us at AbleThrive.com!