How do people in wheelchairs typically come to require them?

What fraction of people that are in wheelchairs got there in what different ways?

For example, how many people in wheelchairs have always needed them, versus started needing a wheelchair at some point in life?

How many are in wheelchairs because of accident, versus disease?

Of the very elderly who are wheelchair bound, did the great majority spend their life walking normally?

How different are the abilities of typical wheelchair users? Do the great majority have normal movement and strength ability in their upper bodies? Are there many wheelchair users who can walk with some difficulty or pain, and just opt to use the wheelchair because it’s actually less difficult that way?

Are there one or two or three very typical ways people come to require wheelchairs, or is there such variety in people’s stories that there’s no such thing as an even somewhat typical wheelchair user?

I’m just curious because of a recent spinal injury that left me with some minor paralysis. I can still walk easily enough, but it has gotten me to wondering. Thanks for any info you have to share!

Based on my observation it’s generally disease, often some life-shattering illness. One of my grandmothers suddenly lost the ability to walk over a space of about three months and they never did come up with a suitable diagnosis. Perhaps now that wouldn’t happen because medical technology has advanced over the past 21 years. She was wheelchair bound for about three and a half years before she passed away.

My mother (daughter of above) is also wheelchairbound, and also due to disease, but in her case there is absolutely no doubt as to the cause. She had a massive stroke, mostly immobilizing her entire dominant size, and she’s been mostly unable to walk or talk ever since. However, she seems to be entirely lucid. The stroke happened six years ago. :frowning:

On the other hand, with younger people it’s obviously more likely to be an accident.