We all know how important wheelchairs are for people with limited mobility. They keep such individuals safe from slipping and falling. However, wheelchairs must be used correctly in order to provide maximum safety. One mustn’t assume that just because he/she is sitting in a wheelchair that no mishap can take place.
Don’t take wheelchairs for granted. They need to be cared for in much the same way they need to take care of their users. Let’s uncover some myths associated with wheelchair use, shall we?
Your wheelchair seat doesn’t provide enough padding.
Naturally, it’s important for wheelchair users to be comfortable in their seats. This is why the many wheelchairs that exist come with different seating options. Settling on a comfortable wheelchair seat is important so that it doesn’t become necessary to add an additional cushion. Adding some padding may seem like an innocent enough thing to do. However, as Elizz.com points out, it can make the wheelchair a little less safe.
“Minimize the use of incontinence pads on top of the wheelchair cushion,” the website advises, “They can decrease the pressure redistribution properties of some cushions and they may also cause the care recipient to slide, which can lead to increase the need for more frequent repositioning being required. If incontinence is a concern, most wheelchair seat cushions have an incontinence cover and /or a second wheelchair cover may be needed.”
Wheelchairs can handle any terrain.
Yes, wheelchairs are designed to help their users get around both indoors and outdoors. That doesn’t mean they are necessarily built to handle all types of terrain. In the winter, for example, outdoors surfaces are very slippery. As Cedric Soh of HealthNetCafe.com explains, slippery surfaces can cause wheelchairs to slip and become unbalanced.
“To avoid tipping and falling, the tipping lever should be secure when needed and you should be mindful of your speed around tight corners and on tough surface,” he writes.
You don’t always need to use the brakes.
One of the last things a wheelchair user wants to experience is an involuntary rolling off while seated in the wheelchair. When stationary, make it point to use the wheelchair brakes so that it is kept in place. This is vital for those who may dose off in their chairs from time to time. Without the brakes being set, a wheelchair user can end up sliding away into a potentially dangerous accident.
Elizz.com stresses to caregivers the need to always use wheelchair brakes when their care recipients are sitting in their wheelchairs and when transferring them to or from the wheelchairs.
“If it is difficult for the individual in your care to lock and unlock the wheelchair brakes, then look into consider using brake extensions or PVC pipe as a lever,” advises the site, “If the wheels of the wheelchair move after the brakes have been applied, then it is important to have the wheelchair brakes assessed and repaired as needed.”
Let’s not forget that using a top-quality wheelchair is also of paramount importance. If you have any questions about the manual and power 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!