I just turned 65 and applied for Medicare. Fortunately, I have been in excellent health and have never spent a night in the hospital or needed surgery. Most of my friends are also active and healthy. I grew up adjacent to a large retirement community where the “active adults” played shuﬄeboard and bingo instead of the biking, hiking and skiing that we do. Our Baby Boomer generation, along with the Greatest Generation, has created exponential growth in the “65 and over” age bracket, 55 million Americans, and nearly two billion seniors worldwide.
Our elders are living longer and their sheer numbers will create a much greater demand for mobility assistance devices like wheelchairs. Many who need one, will not be able to aﬀord one. In addition to neurological conditions like strokes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and post-polio syndrome, they will be heavily impacted by orthopedic ailments such as arthritis and diabetes amputations. Knees and hips will also be wearing out – even for people that were superb athletes in their youth – as was the case with my father who needed a walker and cart the last 7 years of his life.
Of the almost 40,000 wheelchairs we have given out to people in the United States, over two-thirds were given to people in this age category. The Wheelchair Foundation has worked with all types of veteran groups including hospitals, Veteran Centers, Honor Flights, and outpatient clinics. One of my greatest honors was to accompany 25 WWII Veterans in our red wheelchairs back to Washington, DC. We have also distributed thousands of wheelchairs to Independent Living Centers across the country and replaced the wheelchairs for many of the elderly who lost their wheelchairs during Hurricane Katrina.
The provision of the wheelchair is a very eﬀective way to alleviate the impact of any mobility limitations for my “new” group. Let’s work together this holiday season to increase their independence, improve their daily living, and lower their probability of placement into a long-term care facility.
Choose the gift of mobility this holiday season by dedicating gifts to your friends and family and sponsoring wheelchairs in the name, honor, or memory of someone you love. For your donation of $150, you will receive a beautiful presentation folder with a photo of a recipient, and a personalized certiﬁcate thanking or honoring that special person in your life.
Donations in any dollar amount help change the lives of those who are less fortunate and in need of mobility.
With your gift of $100 or more, we will send you a candy apple red triple-function pen with ﬂashlight and stylus along with our 3-Ply cotton, reusable face mask to remind you throughout the year of your generous donation.
As an additional token of our appreciation, with your donation of $500 or more, we will include our multi-functional aromatherapy UVC sterilizing box.
No shopping, wrapping, or shipping! Simply call us directly at 877.378.3839, donate online through our website (WheelchairFoundation.org), or use the enclosed envelope to donate by mail. Please make your donations by December 10th to allow suﬃcient time for us to prepare and mail your customized presentation folders.
We at the Wheelchair Foundation are exceedingly grateful for your decision to provide the gift of mobility and allow us to continue the mission of reaching those in need of mobility around the world. Thank you for your generous support of those who are less fortunate than we are.
David E. Behring