As most Canadians eagerly await the official start of summer on June 20th, most of our elderly population braces for what is sometimes their toughest season. The summertime, of course, is known for its hot temperatures. This is why it’s so important for seniors to follow certain steps in order to stay safe in the heat. We outlined a few important ones in our last blog.
In this week’s blog, we’d like to follow up on that topic by sharing some ideas about how to maintain your wheelchair in the summer. For the many elderly people and others who require these mobility solutions, it’s vital to practice summer maintenance and care.
Be sure to bring along an umbrella.
The heat can certainly wreak some havoc on the metal and fabrics used to construct your wheelchair. But so can precipitation. By bringing along an umbrella, you protect both yourself and your wheelchair from getting wet. If you can get your hands on an extra large umbrella, it will help to prevent rain from soaking the wheelchair and potentially causing damage to its electrical components.
In 2018, the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Engineering team designed a new automatic umbrella attachment for mechanical wheelchairs. It offers protection for the head, chest, knees and the electronic controls when it’s raining.
“The multiribbed canopy attaches to the headrest mount of the wheelchair,” explains Alicia Rohan, “Attachment brackets are packaged separately based on various wheelchair models. The canopy is clear, which allows full visibility for the user. When the canopy is fully deployed, it offers protection for the head, chest, knees and, most importantly, the electronic controls. The folded canopy can be stored behind the user’s head when not deployed.”
Insist upon a “no borrowing” policy.
Every now and then, wheelchair users allow others to use their wheelchairs. This is often the case when people are on vacation and are visiting from out of town. It’s easier, of course, to borrow a wheelchair than to lug one around. However, it’s important to remember one thing. No one can be expected to treat your personal property the way you do. If your wheelchair is returned to you in a worse condition than when you lent it, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Plan your trips well in advance.
Where are you going? How long will it take to get there? Who is going with you? Can you make it there safely in your wheelchair? Will your wheelchair need to be stored in a vehicle for transport? These are all questions you should have the answers to before heading out for an excursion this summer. Knowing what the weather is going to be like on any given day is also important. In addition, you’ll want to know if your desired destination is wheelchair accessible.
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we offer both manual and power wheelchairs of the highest quality. If you have any questions about them, 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!