Don’t be frightened if you have an injury that makes it difficult to walk and need to use a wheelchair to assist you move more effortlessly.
There is an appropriate technique to use a wheelchair.
If it is used improperly, the wheelchair user will be unable to fully utilize all of the capabilities or features, which frequently leads to complications, resulting in an unexpected accident.
It may take some time to become used to your wheelchair, but you will soon be able to maneuver around like an expert!
There are some universal safety tips that you should be aware of and follow.
These hints are the focus of today’s subject.
You’ll find some great suggestions to remember, follow, and use down below.
Types of Wheelchairs
Most patients and families will be satisfied with a manual wheelchair.
Manual wheelchairs are less expensive and require less upkeep.
They are pushed or wheeled by a caregiver or the patient (self-propelled).
A power wheelchair is beneficial to persons who lack the upper body strength to drive the chair themselves.
An electric wheelchair may be costly, hence they are normally not used on a short-term basis.
The following are some examples of manual wheelchairs that are typically suggested for use.
Standard or Basic Wheelchairs
Standard wheelchairs are pre-built with set features.
It normally has a comfortable seat, back support, and adjustable arm and leg rests.
For easy transit and storage, the wheelchair can be folded.
Standard wheelchairs are often less in weight than reclining or specialized wheelchairs.
A caregiver can steer the wheel chair using the handles on the back.
Large rear wheels with hand rims allow the patient to propel the chair using his or her upper body.
A wheelchair designed solely for transportation (transport chair) may have four small wheels and is intended to be pushed by a caregiver.
A reclining wheelchair is similar to a standard chair, except that the seat back can be reclined as needed.
It is usually equipped with a comfortable seat, elevating leg rests, and a head pillow.
A reclining wheelchair may be folded for transport and storage, although it is typically heavier and bigger than a standard chair.
Tips on how to use a Manual Wheelchair
Manual wheelchairs can be driven by the user or pushed by a caregiver using the hand rims of the back wheels.
To learn to self-propel a wheelchair, practice is required.
Even younger children, though, can learn to use a wheelchair.
The following pointers can help you get started with using a wheelchair.
Your care team, on the other hand, can provide specialized information and training based on your wheelchair type and mobility requirements.
Grip the wheelchair hand rims near the rear of the chair to move yourself forward.
Push down and forward on the hand rims, then let go. Return your hands to the beginning position and repeat the action.
Turning a wheelchair
Push forward on the left hand rim to advance the left wheel ahead while slowing or stopping the right wheel.
To turn left, move the right wheel forward while holding the left wheel steady or slowing it down.
Grip the hand rims near the front of the chair to travel rearward.
To move the wheels rearward, push back and down.
To prevent backward tipping, anti-tip bars can be installed on the back of the wheelchair at the back wheels.
Stopping a wheelchair
Grip the hand rims and apply friction to slow the wheelchair down.
Pinch the tire instead of the rims if the rims are wet.
Be cautious, as this friction generates heat that can burn the hands, especially if you’re on a hill or coming to a sudden stop.
Going up and down curbs or small steps
Caregiver help is the safest way to navigate up and down curbs.
If the user needs to approach a curb on their own, they will require extra instruction and experience under the supervision of a skilled healthcare professional.
To go up a curb:
The wheelchair should be positioned directly facing (perpendicular to) the curb or small step, with the front wheels close to the edge of the curb.
The caregiver should use the grips to lean the wheelchair backward just enough to clear the curb or step, and then.
Push forward until the front wheels are on the curb.
Push forward while pulling up on the handles until the rear wheels roll up the curb or short step.
It may be necessary to use more force to overcome the step’s resistance.
To go down a curb:
It is best to descend backward.
The wheelchair should be positioned perpendicular to the curb or short step, with the rear wheels close to the curb.
Slowly lower the wheelchair’s rear wheels down the curb while leaning slightly backwards to allow the front wheels to clear the curb.
Lower the front wheels to the ground gently.
Going up and down in a wheelchair ramp
Maintain control when ascending or descending ramps or hills.
When climbing a ramp on their own, the user should lean slightly forward and utilize fast, short pushes to gain momentum.
Maintain friction on the hand rims when riding downhill to control speed.
On steep slopes, a caregiver should always assist.
When travelling up or down a slope, keep the wheelchair straight so that it does not tip over.
Locking the wheelchair
Each rear wheel on all wheelchairs have locks.
Locks ensure safety when changing to and from the wheelchair, as well as during transit. Wheelchair brakes are another name for these locks.
The locks, however, do not function in the same way as brakes and are intended to lock the wheelchair for safety rather than slow it down.
Custom wheelchairs, especially adaptable stroller wheelchairs, may include locks on the rear that are more practical for caregivers to use.
Using public transportation in a wheelchair
If wheelchair anchors and lap belts are required for public transportation, these can be installed to the wheelchair.
Kindly talk with your therapist, Assistive Technology Professional (ATP), or Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) about this (SMS).
Remember to keep all of these wheelchair safety rules in mind.
Also, keep in mind that all of these suggestions are simply generic and fundamental.
You will encounter more challenges to your smooth riding as time passes; but, they should not discourage you.
We also urge that you ask your questions about safe wheelchair usage when you buy your wheelchair because the manufacturer will always have the finest tips to provide you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a weight limit for pushing a wheelchair?
Pushing against a heavy object compresses the spine, and the national institute for occupational safety and health sets a compression limit at a little over 760 pounds of force (3,400 newton) to prevent injury.
When maneuvering a wheelchair, what should you avoid?
Everyday obstacles if you are using the wheelchair without help, you must: avoid obstacles higher than 30mm (e.g. a low kerb), unless you have special anti tippers fitted to the wheelchair.
Avoid going up or coming down gradients (slopes) greater than 1 in 11 (9%) which is a drop of more than 1 foot over 11 feet.
How long should a resident be in a wheelchair for?
We would recommend that a resident spends no longer than 3-4 hours at any one time in the wheelchair before being transferred to another position.
How does a wheelchair lift works?
Wheelchair lifts operate using constant pressure controls.
The user or attendant must press a button to move the lift, and release the pressure to stop it.
Inclined platform lift fold-up platform.
Vertical platform lifts may be installed as an “open” system, meaning that they feature a platform that is not enclosed.
How do you train a dog to walk with a wheelchair?
Start off very slowly and tell him to walk on. By going slowly, you will force him to slow down.
This will also help you to control him and the dog wheelchair simultaneously.
If he starts to pull and move anywhere, stop your wheelchair and give him a gentle pull on the leash.