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Taking Measures To Stay Safe In Your Wheelchair

It should probably go without saying that wheelchairs were designed to help individuals with mobility issues traverse around their homes and the places they visit with little to no risk of falling down. A wheelchair, for all intents and purposes, is the ultimate solution to the more-dangerous-than-you-may-assume predicament of a slip or fall. However, while a wheelchair allows its user to get from one place to another, it must be used with caution.

If you’re a wheelchair user, it’s important to be mindful of some measures that will keep you safe.

Sit comfortably against the back support.

It may sound like a silly recommendation to tell someone to sit up straight, however, good posture is especially important for wheelchair users. To offer you the most comfortable wheelchair-using experiences, you should take advantage of the seat cushions and back supports. They each help to redistribute pressure and ease pain. Be sure to have the seat cushion placed correctly on the wheelchair. If you’re using a pommel cushion, ensure that the rounded end is facing the front of the wheelchair.

Practice being aware of your centre-of-gravity.

“Many activities require the wheelchair user to reach, bend and transfer in and out of the wheelchair,” HealthNetCafe.com reminds us, “These movements will cause a change to your balance, centre-of-gravity, and weight distribution of the wheelchair. When reaching, leaning, bending sideways or forward, it is important to use the casters as a tool to maintain stability and balance.”

“Practice conducting a variety of activities such as bending, reaching and transferring in and out of your wheelchair,” the website continues, “All of these movements will cause a change in weight distribution of the wheelchair.”

Be careful of tipping over when picking things up from the floor.

Naturally, there will be times when you’ll need to pick something up off the floor. If you have little to no issue with upper body mobility, your ability to grab items from the floor shouldn’t be a problem. However, it’s important to remember that a significant shift in your weight may cause your wheelchair to tilt. To avoid this otherwise unlikely occurrence, be sure to position your wheelchair as close to the object you wish to pick up as possible.

If you’re bending backward, see how far you can reach back with your arm without having to change your seated position. Have the wheelchair casters (front wheels) extend away from the drive wheels (back wheels) to create a long wheelbase. Engage the wheel locks to be on the safe side. This is also recommended when reaching forward although a forward-reaching motion is considered more dangerous because you are more likely to fall out of your wheelchair.

Select the wheelchair that best meets your needs.

At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we offer a selection of electric and manual (lightweight and foldable) wheelchairs. Each of them can be customized to meet your specific needs. Keep in mind that, in Ontario, wheelchairs are partially funded by the Assistive Devices Program.

If you have any questions about obtaining this funding and/or the various wheelchairs we offer, please don’t hesitate to call LifeCare Mobility Solutions at 647-350-4488 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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