We would be willing to venture the following guess. If the “Family Feud” television game show were to ask contestants to “Name something that helps those with disabilities to get from one place to another”, “wheelchair” would be the number one answer. We all know what wheelchairs do for those who have mobility challenges. However, it’s important to point out that a wheelchair functions best when it is used as it was intended – with a “safety first” approach.
Be wary of your capabilities and limitations.
Your wheelchair is there to help you with the mobility challenges you face. However, it can only protect you so much. If your wish is to race down the street, pop wheelies or use the chair as a ladder, it’s not bound to keep you safe. Be honest with yourself about your capabilities. Use regular caution. Understand that, in some cases, you may need additional assistance with managing your wheelchair.
“Know your own capabilities and limitations in terms of strength and endurance before attempting to negotiate an incline or decline,” advises Las Vegas’ Preferred Health Choice, “Practice with an attendant or healthcare professional first before attempting any inclines, declines, curbs or ramps. Always inspect the ramp, incline, decline, or any pathway for hazards such as holes, obstacles, slippery or uneven surfaces, etc. before proceeding.”
Make use of the wheelchair safety locks.
Many drivers utilize their parking brakes when leaving their cars. Other drivers neglect it. We’re not sure why. At the end of the day, isn’t it simply a safer bet to ensure that the parking brake is in use? It doubles your assurance that your car won’t roll away. Consider your wheelchair locks just as vital as your car’s parking brake. They should be considered vital when transferring a wheelchair user out of and into the chair.
“It is also advisable to lock your wheelchair bending, leaning sideways or reaching out for picking up or putting down something,” stresses WeCapable.com, “The wheelchair locks are really helpful in maintaining the balance of the wheelchair during any disturbance to the equitable distribution of weight on the wheelchair. If you try to bend or reach out without applying the brakes the wheelchair might slip backward and you may fall off.”
Don’t use anything as a catapult.
For users of manual wheelchairs, it can seem useful to push off of walls, furniture and other objects to gain a little momentum. After all, it can certainly be tiring to use only your arms to turn the wheels of a wheelchair. Keep in mind that, no matter what you use to push yourself off of, it can create a significant shift in body weight. This makes the chair susceptible to tipping and falling over.
“Many people in manual wheelchairs like to push off on furniture or doorways with their arms to gain some momentum,” affirms Iora with One Medical, “However, this position isn’t stable because you’re shifting your body weight from the center of the chair, making you more likely to tip.”
Are you in need of a wheelchair?
To learn all 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!