Just as you would with your car, truck or van, your wheelchair requires regular maintenance. And just like when a motor vehicle is being driven, safety measures must always be taken when operating a wheelchair. Whether it is of the manual or power variety, a wheelchair is a mobility solution that requires your attention and respect. By properly using and maintaining your wheelchair, you can enjoy long-term, safe use.
So what steps should be taken to practice wheelchair safety?
Make use of those brakes.
Wheelchairs come equipped with brakes for a reason. Whenever you are entering or exiting the chair, it is imperative that the brakes are properly locked in place. That way, you can minimize the potential of having the wheelchair roll away and potentially causing an accident that can bring harm to you, your caregiver and your loved ones. According to Essential Medical Products, using a wheelchair’s brakes is a vital part of practicing wheelchair safety.
“It’s always important to ensure the patient is locking the wheels when on or near an incline, or when getting in and out of the chair,” they insist on their website, “It’s easy for the chair to slip and cause the patient to fall.”
Regularly check the wheels.
Quite obviously, you can’t have a wheelchair without wheels. So, it should probably go without saying that it’s important to consistently check in on the condition of the wheels of your wheelchair. Needless to say, they go through a lot of wear and tear. This is especially true if you use your wheelchair outdoors on a regular basis. SeniorCareCorner.com points out some important things to look for during your wheel inspections.
“Ensure the wheels aren’t loose or have flat tires, which may impact its braking ability,” instructs the site, “Don’t forget the spokes, as broken spokes can keep the chair from moving freely. In addition, keep the spokes clear of obstructions, such as lap blankets.”
Refrain from carrying heavy loads.
A wheelchair is designed to safely transport a person from one point to another. It shouldn’t be used as a shopping cart, luggage trolley or any other storage-moving device. This is especially true for heavy loads. A wheelchair may seem like a convenient way to transport the television from one bedroom to another. But it’s wise to avoid such an activity.
“Most manual wheelchairs are not equipped or balanced to carry heavy loads beyond a small purse or backpack as it can affect the chair’s center of gravity making it more susceptible to tipping,” warns Essential Medical Products, “Have a caregiver or aid assist in carrying extra loads.”
Both manual and power wheelchairs are ideal mobility solutions for people who have little or no ability to walk. Power wheelchairs are great choices for outdoor use. At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we can help you to determine which type of power wheelchair would fit your unique needs.
For more information about the power 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!