Wheelchair users all have their reasons for using one. Maybe they got injured in a car accident or a sports mishap, and they need a wheelchair until they can get back on their feet. Or they were born with a condition that caused substantial mobility limitations. Or old age has caught up with them, and they need round-the-clock assistance. One thing’s for sure, though: they would be worse off without a wheelchair.
Wheelchairs come in many designs, depending on the user’s level of need. They’re also used in conjunction with other mobility devices such a ceiling hoist for disabled people. If you want to go to the beach, you can use a specialized beech wheelchair. You can also retrofit wheelchairs for sports and dancing.
Just like any machine, you need to keep your wheelchair in good condition.
It’s important to have a nurse or attendant inspect your wheelchair on a regular basis. Everyday wear and tear is perfectly normal, but after a while, you’re going to start seeing signs of damage to your wheelchair. High-stress components such as the frame and wheels are susceptible to premature failure.
If you see a crack, stop using the wheelchair immediately. The application of weight could lead to the formation of more cracks, which puts your wheelchair out of commission. Never use a damaged wheelchair.
Even the most expensive wheelchairs aren’t immune to damage. They’re still susceptible to wear and tear, and exposure to stressful scenarios can shorten the wheelchair’s lifespan. Avoid things like deep puddles and rocky ground. The combination of dirt and moisture can damage the wheels and make it harder to maneuver. You’re also encouraging rust formation by exposing it to water. Make it a point to keep the wheelchair dry at all times.
Another thing you should look out for is sharp objects such as glass shards and tiny rocks. Certain parts of the wheelchair can be fragile, and sharp objects can puncture the wheel, scratch the frame, or worse.
Get to know your wheelchair better
Wheelchair users know more about wheelchairs than technicians. They know what it can and cannot do. After months or years of use, they become familiar with all its quirks and traits. Things like the way the wheels squeak, or the softness of the seat, or the firmness of the armrests are all embedded in the user’s memory. That’s why any deviations from the standard will be immediately detected. The wheelchair is more than a device, it’s an extension of the person.
Any new sound or squeak or vibration could be a sign that something has changed in the wheelchair. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, you might want to contact a skilled technician right away. A small issue could quickly snowball into a bigger, more expensive one, which is why you need to solve the problem while it’s small.
Keep the gears lubed
Most wheelchairs come with gears that ensure easy maneuverability and movement. If your attendant is having difficulty moving the wheelchair, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Wheelchairs give people a renewed lease on life. These maintenance methods will go a long way in keeping your wheelchair safe and in top condition for a long time.
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