For most of us, walking is an easy enough task. We practically take for granted that our two legs can move one ahead of the other, back and forth, for about as long as we choose. As we age, this is a privilege that we can’t take for granted. Of course, aging isn’t the only reason that walking can become difficult. An injury or illness can impede a person’s ability to remain upright, let alone walk on his/her own.
With that said, it’s important to remember that there is help available. Wheelchairs are, arguably, the most popular of all mobility solutions. For those who are either unable to walk or have trouble walking, wheelchairs are hugely helpful. However, just because a wheelchair user is seated, it doesn’t mean he/she is 100% comfortable. It’s important to secure his/her comfort and safety by following a few basic steps.
Never neglect the brakes.
Make it a rule of thumb to always use the wheelchair’s brakes when it is not in motion. Naturally, you don’t want to have the wheelchair roll away all on its own. Heather Brown of PCALIC likens a wheelchair to a car and points out that both must have their brakes in use when they are to be kept stationary. This prevents accidents.
A wheelchair’s brakes, she explains, “are designed to keep you from moving around while you are trying to stay put. The brakes should also be put on when you are trying to go from the bed to the wheelchair safely or the chair the bed. If the breaks are not, on when you are trying to get into bed or out of bed, you could fall or the patient your helping could end up with an unnecessary injury, which could have been avoided.”
Make use of those back supports and seat cushions.
It goes without saying that sitting requires less effort than standing. However, health experts commonly recommend not doing either for long periods of time as it can wreak havoc on the back. Most wheelchair users don’t exactly have the option of standing. This is why it’s so vitally important to make them as comfortable as possible when seated in their wheelchairs. On HLSHealthcare.com, Melissa Stehr elaborates.
“The right cushioning on a wheelchair should help to manage things like pressure redistribution and posture when the patient is sitting in their chair for long periods of time,” she informs, “Make sure that the cushion is placed correctly before transferring the patient into the chair to reduce the risk of long-term discomfort.”
Keep the wheels in good shape.
As can be expected, a wheelchair’s wheels take quite a beating. If we go back to Brown’s comparison of a wheelchair to a car, we can also highlight the fact that a car’s tires require regular maintenance. This includes rotations, being filled with air and eventually being changed after enough wear and tear. Brown champions a similar type of maintenance for wheelchair wheels.
“If you notice the wheels on your wheelchair are broken or flat it is time to get them repaired,” she insists, “Trying to move around in a wheelchair with broken wheels could lead to an unwanted injury such as the wheelchair tipping over or clasping.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we have a wide variety of wheelchairs and power wheelchairs to choose from. For more information, 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!