Wheelchair Safety Tips and Guide You Should Know

As we grow old, our bones become brittle, and our muscles weaken. The result is that our mobility and agility are significantly reduced; at some point in time, we’ll be unable to take long walks and run our morning jogs. The good news is that there is mobility equipment that can help when we reach this point – for one, we can rely on wheelchairs. In this blog, we’ll talk about wheelchair safety tips and guides you should know to maximize the use of your wheelchair while ensuring your safety.

Buying the Right Wheelchair

Choosing the right wheelchair that fits the user’s needs is an essential part, which is sometimes overlooked by many. There is no point in ensuring the user’s safety when the wheelchair is a complete mismatch for the user’s needs from the very start.

For instance, a heavyweight user requires full bum support and can take on the weight, even for long periods of sitting. In such a case, you should only get a heavy-duty wheelchair; you don’t want to buy a lightweight wheelchair or a standard wheelchair for such needs. For convenience, you also want to buy one that can fit your doorways and the tight hallways of your home to avoid unnecessary lifting of the patient. Remember that buying a wheelchair that doesn’t address the user’s needs is just a recipe for disaster, and trust us, you wouldn’t want to risk that.

Preparing the Wheelchair

If you just got a new wheelchair, it’s essential to read the manual first. By thoroughly going through the manual, you’ll see detailed instructions on how to set it up, ensure the safety of the user, and maintain it properly.  In addition, it will also give you an idea of how you can solve specific issues as you use your wheelchair. By knowing everything there is to know about your unit, you’ll have peace of mind that your wheelchair will undoubtedly last long.

Using the Wheelchair

Always lock the brakes whenever getting in and out of the wheelchair – that’s the number one rule. But aside from that, here are some safety precautions that you should observe when using the wheelchair:

  • Always lift the foot pads before getting in and out of the wheelchair.
  • If you’re carrying your stuff, make sure not to overload the rear side of the wheelchair; doing so might cause the wheelchair to tip over.
  • Keep children away from the wheelchair; children tend to play with everything they touch, which might damage an essential component of your wheelchair if allowed.
  • To better ensure your safety, stay away from steep slopes. Otherwise, you might lose control over your wheelchair and tip over.
  • Aside from avoiding steep or downhill pathways, you should also avoid passing through slippery roads. Wheelchairs are not built to ride on wet surfaces, so that you might lose control over your wheelchair in such a case.
  • Always have a set of tools in emergency cases; this may be as simple as a screwdriver or wrench. These mini tools can easily be attached to the wheelchair itself.
  • Speaking of emergencies, it’s also nice to attach a laminated copy of your details, such as your name, contact person and number, and other necessary details.

Maintaining the Wheelchair

Making sure that the wheelchair is well-maintained is extremely important. By ensuring that each component is in its best shape, you’ll be saving yourself from future headaches and accidents. Besides, a wheelchair allows you to be mobile and active. Without it, you’ll be stuck in your chair or bed all day so it just makes sense that you should be proactive and take care of potential problems before they arise. When done correctly, you’ll have peace of mind that you can use your wheelchair smoothly at all times.

It would also be handy to get a list of the repair shops and contact persons you can turn to in case of an emergency and urgent needs.

Tips for Wheelchair Transfers

Most accidents happen in-between transfers since this usually involves manual labor wherein the caregiver assists or carries the patient in getting in and out of the wheelchair. It’s also when maximum safety protocols should be observed to prevent the patient from falling and the caregiver from tripping and losing balance. The most efficient and safest way for transferring a patient to and from a wheelchair is by investing in a patient transfer device or a patient lift. However, not everyone can afford it or has extra space for such a device.

But don’t worry, here are some tips that you should keep in mind when making wheelchair transfers:

  • Make sure the wheelchair’s brakes are locked – remember, this is a rule of thumb.
  • Do the transfer on a flat surface.
  • Do the transfer on a clear path so the wheelchair can be removed easily when lifting the patient and remove obstructions like rugs, wires, and other clutter.
  • Have someone to assist both the patient and the caregiver when making the transfer.
  • If there are leg rests, make sure to remove them or position them to the side before making the transfer. This can create a tripping hazard for the patient.

Conclusion

Safety is not something that you should take for granted. Safety should be your top consideration before making any purchase, especially when it comes to wheelchairs. However, if you already have an existing wheelchair that you feel safe with, it’s still important to know that there are still things that you should observe to ensure that your safety is guaranteed at all times.

Now that you have a complete understanding of ensuring the patient’s safety when using the wheelchair, start by shopping for the right wheelchair. You can check out the best selection of wheelchairs on Mobility Paradise, one of the most trusted brands for mobility equipment.

 

About the author:

 

Trevor Fenner is the founder and owner of Mobility Paradise, a one-stop shop for mobility scooters, electric scooters, electric wheelchairs, wheelchairs, oxygen concentrators, lift chairs, saunas, steam showers, massage tables, exercise equipment, electric bikes, massage chairs, and bathtubs. Years ago, Trevor’s grandma had an accident that made her dependent on a wheelchair; this forced Trevor and his family to put her into an elderly care facility. Since then, Trevor would visit her to take a walk around the neighborhood. Mobility Paradise was created because Trevor couldn’t find an online store that offers a wide selection of mobility equipment and educational resources. What started as a business focusing on mobility scooters grew to include all kinds of mobility products. You can shop for the most reliable mobility products at Mobility Paradise.