Post # 1
I have a guest attending who is in a wheelchair. At family events, he usually sits on the couch or the floor, but uses the chair to get around for the most part.
Should I have a chair for him at the table in case he would rather sit somewhere other than his wheelchair? I’m not sure how comfortable wheelchairs are, or how the height will be with the table. I also don’t want to assume that he will be sitting in his chair. Is it weird if I leave the chair at his spot? Then he can move it if he decides he wants to sit in his chair? Or do I just leave his spot without a chair?
I could ask him I suppose. But I feel like it’s such a weird question to ask, maybe?
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@MrsGatito: If he normally sits in a regular chair or on the couch rather than in his chair at functions, I would provide him with a chair and let him decide whether he wants to use it or not.
Post # 4
@beachbride1216: Yeah, he usually does… But a lot of the time they’re in a basement so maybe that’s why.
Post # 5
Yes leave the chair, give him the option.
Post # 6
@MrsGatito: I don’t think it’s a weird question to ask – it shows you care about him and are taking his comfort into consideration. Especially since he’s been to family events, you must know him fairly well?
If you’re really uncomfortable asking, I would set up the tables so that he has a lot of space behind his setting to manouvre in and out. If possible, have it backing onto a wall (otherwise guests at adjacent tables might move their chairs out and compromise his space). Then I would leave his chair up against the wall behind his place setting – so he can choose to grab it if he wants it, or leave it there if not. This will most likely make him comfortable too because he won’t have to be either (a) asking someone for a chair or (b) asking someone where to put his chair if he doesn’t want it.
Post # 7
@MrsGatito: I would ask him “Do you prefer we leave the dining chair in place for you or would you rather us leave a space for the wheelchair?
Post # 8
@MrsGatito: i would leave the chair in his spot and that way it gives him the opportunity to decide if he wants the chair or his wheelchair. the chair can be easily moved if necessary.
i would also make sure that he is seated at an outside table with easy access. that way he doesn’t have to maneuver between the tables.
Post # 9
Have a chair for him. If he doesn’t want to sit in the chair I am sure he will ask the waiter to remove it. Leave the decision up to him on the day.
I think it is important however to think about where he will be sitting. Is there easy access for him and the wheelchair, is there space for him to keep his wheelchair by his seat.
Post # 10
Thanks everyone. I decided to ask him. It’s just easier that way! I don’t know him REALLY well, but I know him kinda well haha.
Post # 11
I’ve spent enough time in a wheelchair (thankfully, for me, a temporary necessity) to tell you they are not comfortable. There’s just no support or cushion, and eventually your bum hurts. Fer realz. I think having an option would be great.
Post # 12
@dirtlawyer: Really? That’s interesting to know. I was under the impression that they must be comfortable. I’m sorry to hear that they aren’t.
Post # 13
@MrsGatito: My grandma uses a wheelchair and we had a separate chair for her at our wedding, just in case she didn’t want to stay in the wheelchair. She did end up using the other chair for a short period of time, because as others have said, the wheelchair isn’t that comfortable.
Post # 14
Definitely ask him. I have both a cousin and an uncle who use/used wheelchairs. Neither of them get/got out at public/family functions. My uncle passed from ALS, getting in and out of his chair was a difficult ordeal and required at least one other person who’s trained in lifts and assists. My cousin (who has a completely unrelated degenerative muscle disease) rarely gets out for a similar reason – its too difficult and cumbersome to do it. And it definitely attracts a lot of unwanted attention and fuss.
But if he’s in a wheelchair for a different reason (perhaps where transfers from the chair are easier or his upper body isn’t affected) he might like the opportunity to get out of the chair.
Post # 15
Thanks everyone! I asked him and he told me he preferred the dining chair. He told me it was a silly thing to be worrying about. I’m glad I asked.