At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we stand firmly behind all of our mobility solutions and accessibility devices, knowing they are among the best in the business. However, it’s important that all caregivers and mobility device users take the necessary safety measures when using those mobility solutions.
Wheelchairs, for example, are designed to prevent people from falling down, given that they keep users in seated positions. Here are three ways to ensure the safe use of your wheelchair:
1. Conduct regular inspections.
It’s wise to treat your wheelchair no different than you would your car. Your automobile requires maintenance that involves oil changes, brake inspections and tire rotations. Your wheelchair requires similar attention. As Karman Healthcare advises, it’s important to maintain your wheelchair for optimal safety.
“Check the brakes often to ensure that they are not lax and are able to keep the chair in position on an incline,” their site implores, “If the wheel locks don’t move easily on a manual wheelchair, lubricate them until they can easily lock and unlock. Check the front and back wheels of a manual wheelchair to make sure they turn without sticking and that the bearings are not making any noises.”
2. Stay away from the stairs!
This should probably go without saying, but we’re going to go ahead and say it anyways. Wheelchairs are not meant for stairs. There’s a reason ramps were created. They ensure the safe travel up to and down from elevated levels of buildings. Never attempt to manoeuvre your wheelchair up or down a flight of stairs.
“Staircases are a huge no, no!” warns Heather Brown on PCALIC.com, “Never try going down a flight of stairs in a wheelchair. This could cause severe injury or even death. Instead, get assistance getting down the staircase or use an elevator to get to the floor you need to be on. After, all elevators where designed to help wheelchair riders to get from one floor to the next with ease and safety.”
3. Keep the wheels on the ground.
Experienced wheelchair users tend to have no trouble traversing their wheelchairs from one position to the next. In fact, many even pride themselves on their unique abilities to manoeuvre their wheelchairs in ways they weren’t designed for. Take the “pop a wheelie”, for example. It is the act of raising the front wheels while the wheelchair is in motion. As you can imagine, our advice is to avoid such actions.
Karman Healthcare feels the same way. On their website, they warn against independently lifting the front tires of a wheelchair to get over curbs. “DO NOT try going up a curb or tipping your wheelchair without the aid of an attendant,” the site insists, “It is usually safer to go around a curb rather than try to go up it. Seek out a close by ramp, curb cut or elevator.”
Brown strongly agrees. “When using your wheelchair outside on sidewalks or near roads it is important to stay about from curbs,” she writes, “Getting to close to a curb could cause you or patient using the chair to become stuck, or worse have the wheelchair tip over causing serious injury.”
Let’s work together on keeping you safe in your wheelchair! For more information about the wheelchairs offered by Advantage Home Health Solutions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!