The good old wheelchair, it can be argued, is the most popular mobility solution known to man. Various versions of wheelchairs have been in existence for centuries. Today, they continue to be recognized as safe solutions for individuals who are impaired and unable to walk without assistance. However, wheelchairs can only be so safe. It is imperative that their users practice specific safety measures to ensure that their wheelchairs perform at their best.
Avoid standing on the footrests.
As their name denotes, footrests are installed on wheelchairs to give users places to rest their feet. Their name should also be regarded as instructions. Resting your feet is fine. However, using footrests for standing on your feet is not. Footrests are often removable and swing-able to allow wheelchair users to get into and out of their chairs without obstacles. Standing on a footrest can cause the wheelchair to tip over, potentially causing an injury.
“The footplates or the footrest given in your wheelchair are meant just to give you a comfortable sitting position,” informs WeCapable.com, “You can and should rest your feet on the footrest while sitting on the wheelchair. Never try to stand or give extra weight on your footrest or your wheelchair will tip forward. It is also advisable to fold the footplates while transferring in and out of the wheelchair to avoid any accident.”
Be careful not to tip the chair.
It’s understandable if you want to be independent. We all like the feeling of being able to do things on our own. However, when using your wheelchair, you want to be sure to not reach for things that are either too high above you or too far in front of you. Shifting your body weight to reach for something, while in the chair, can cause it to tip. Needless to say, falling over in your wheelchair can result in a significant injury.
“When tipping the wheelchair, an assistant should grasp the back of the wheelchair on a non-removable part,” recommends Las Vegas’ Preferred Health Choice, “Inform the wheelchair occupant before tipping the wheelchair and remind them to lean back. Be sure the occupant’s feet and hands are clear of all wheels and/or any other pinch points.”
Keep bags off the handles.
By their very nature, wheelchair handles seem like great places to hang coats, jackets, umbrellas and bags. Here is some simple advice: don’t. Wheelchair handles are designed for – you guessed it – people to grip and push the wheelchair along. Adding any weight to the handles of your wheelchair will cause tipping.
“As convenient as they seem, your wheelchair handles aren’t a safe spot for your purse, backpack, or other bags, as they will affect the weight of the wheelchair and may make you tip,” warns Iora with One Medical.
Do you require a wheelchair as your mobility solution?
If you have any questions about the wheelchairs offered by LifeCare Mobility Solutions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!