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The Importance Of Helping Seniors Practice Wheelchair Safety

For the elderly loved ones in our lives who use wheelchairs as mobility solutions, special attention to safety is needed. It can be easy to take for granted that because a senior is in a wheelchair he/she runs little to no risk of slipping and falling. While seated in the wheelchair, this is most likely to be true. But it doesn’t mean that wheelchair safety doesn’t need to be practiced.

As Amanda Green points out on ComfortKeepers.com, “senior citizens who use wheelchairs to assist with mobility challenges must pay special attention to wheelchair safety. Caring for and using the wheelchair in the proper way will reduce the risk of injuries and ensure optimal protection.”

Respect the wheelchair.

In order to provide optimum safety to wheelchair users, the wheelchair itself must be shown care and courtesy. In other words, think of the wheelchair as you would your car. For it to properly function, it requires regular maintenance, right? Taking proper care of a wheelchair is the first step to ensuring that the wheelchair takes proper care of its user.

“A senior’s wheelchair should be inspected on a regular basis,” insists Green, “Loose brakes that cannot hold the wheelchair in place on a slope may need to be replaced. In the event that wheel locks fail to function properly, they may need to be lubricated. Additionally, new wheels or bearings may be necessary if the wheels are out of alignment.”

Exercise is still necessary.

Of course, wheelchair users also require a little maintenance of their own. Even though they may be seated for long periods of time, it doesn’t mean that they can’t still get some exercise. Remaining active in our elder years – even when in wheelchairs – is important in order to better our overall health and well-being.

According to Mary Tolley Rhodes on Livestrong.com, endurance training, strength training, flexibility and balance exercises can all be effectively executed from a wheelchair. Especially since the majority of wheelchair users have strength and balance issues, it’s important to encourage them to participate in exercises that will improve those conditions.

“If you are unable to safely stand, you can still focus on sitting balance exercises,” encourages Rhodes, “If you have difficulty sitting, have someone assist with these exercises to prevent falls. Scoot to the edge of the chair and place your feet flat on the floor. Straighten your back and sit tall. Depending on your level of control, you can challenge your balance by placing your hands in your lap or out to the side.”

Select the right wheelchair for the user’s needs.

As you’re likely aware, there are many different types of wheelchairs to choose from. This is why, at LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we work closely with our clients to get good handles on the specific needs and requirements of each unique wheelchair user. We offer both the manual and electric variety of wheelchairs and can ensure that they are customized for optimum safety and usability.

If you have any questions about the wheelchairs offered by LifeCare Mobility Solutions, please don’t hesitate to call us 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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