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How To Properly Maintain Your Wheelchair

The wheelchair is a mobility solution that dates back to the 1600s. Today, wheelchairs come in a wide variety of models. Both the manual and electric types are hugely popular mechanisms used to help those with mobility issues to get around. If you’re a wheelchair user, you’re undoubtedly aware of how important it is to keep your wheelchair in good condition.

Allow us to remind you about the importance of wheelchair upkeep. And let us provide you with a few tips on how to properly maintain your wheelchair.

Inspect the casters.

The importance of wheelchair casters should not be ignored. The smaller front wheels of a wheelchair play important roles in the device’s operation. Unlike the back wheels, casters can swivel and spin in any direction. They are needed to turn and manoeuvre the wheelchair from one place to the next. It’s wise to check on the condition of your wheelchair’s casters at least once a month to ensure they aren’t damaged or worn out. Simply lift your wheelchair off the ground and rotate the casters to complete a full inspection.

“Ensure that they spin freely and smoothly,” advises Jackie of Best Mobility Aids, “If this is not the case, check that the casters have not picked up any dirt or debris. It is not uncommon for lint or hair to get caught in the axle of the caster. If this is the case, remove any debris. You may need to remove the casters to properly clean them which can be done using an Allen wrench and a can of compressed air.”

Ensure proper tire pressure.

You never want to drive a car with flat tires, right? The same goes for your wheelchair. To ensure the device properly performs its function, it needs to have adequately inflated tires. As Physiopedia notes, the wheelchair will be hard to manoeuvre and its propulsion will require more energy if the tires aren’t completely filled with air. In addition, the tire and its wheel will endure substantially more wear and tear if not properly inflated.

You can check a wheelchair’s tire pressure by pressing down firmly on it with your thumb. According to Physiopedia, if the tire presses down more than five millimetres, the tire needs to be inflated.

Check the condition of the frame.

A safe and secure wheelchair is one that has no stress fractures, cracks or breaks in its frame. A damaged frame can create a dangerous situation. Not checking on the condition of your wheelchair’s frame can result in the wheelchair breaking and becoming no longer useful. Make sure there are no visible signs of damage or rust in the frame. Minor damage can usually be fixed by having it welded by your wheelchair dealer, notes Jackie.

“If you use a foldable frame wheelchair, you should check the condition of the cross-brace folding mechanism as well,” she recommends, “Verify that the frame folds and opens easily. If you notice that it sticks or it doesn’t seem to open or close as easily as it once did, spray a silicone lubricant on the frame connections.”

At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we proudly offer both manual and power wheelchairs from a number of manufacturers. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at info@lifecaremobility.ca. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!

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