Wheelchairs have the potential to provide users greater mobility independence and ease the burden on caregivers when utilized properly. However, if you don’t operate wheelchairs appropriately, they can become a safety hazard.
To assist you in understanding the dos and don’ts of using a wheelchair and preventing accidents, we have compiled a list of wheelchair safety tips for users and caregivers below.
- Caregivers and wheelchair users must exercise a set of precaution while operating the wheelchair to avoid any mishaps
Wheelchair Safety Tips For Caregivers
Here are a few safety tips you can follow if you are a caregiver or share with your caregiver to ensure maximum safety.
- While the care receiver is seated in the chair and transferring them from one location to the other, always use the wheelchair brakes. If the person in your supervision has trouble locking and unlocking the wheelchair brake, think about adding a PVC pipe or brake extensions as levers to make their life easier. You can explore alternative solutions for modifying the brakes with assistance from a health care expert, like a physiotherapist
- You must have the brakes inspected and fixed as necessary if the chair tires continue to move even after engaging the brakes
- Encourage the care receiver to always ask for your assistance in getting in and out of the wheelchair
- Encourage the care receiver to always ask for assistance in reaching and picking up items that may be at a distance
- Do not store heavy items at the back of the wheelchair since that may put the wheelchair at the risk of tipping backwards
- Make sure you remove the leg rests out of the way when helping the care receiver out of the wheelchair
- Encourage the care receiver to follow the healthcare specialists instructions and change their position every once in a while
Wheelchair Safety Tips For Users
Here are a few safety tips you can follow or share with others you know who might use wheelchairs.
- Regular wheelchair maintenance is essential to avoid any accidents. Therefore, get your wheelchair inspected every few months and monthly maintenance to keep the wheelchair from malfunctioning
- Always pick a wheelchair with safety features such as locking rear wheels or a break in the Nova Transport Chair with 12″ Rear Wheelsand Removable Arms or Karman LT-980 Ultralight K4 Wheelchair, which comes with a seatbelt and push-to-lock wheel brakes
- Do not try to use your wheelchair on rough terrain if it is not meant to serve that purpose. If you want to use your wheelchair on uneven terrain, you may want to consider outdoor wheelchairs such as Pride Jazzy Elite 14or All-New Move Lite Folding Power Chair
- Do not lift heavy wheelchairs on your own. If you want to carry wheelchairs easily, look into the featherweight wheelchair, which only weighs 13.5 lbs.
- Ensure your wheelchair is comfortable. If your wheelchair does not provide you comfort, you must change it since sitting in uncomfortable wheelchairs for a lengthy time may result in certain health conditions and discomfort