Best Practices For Wheelchair Safety And Selection
There are many things to consider before you purchase a
wheelchair. Regardless of whether you want a manual or powered
chair, consider the following:
1. Folding or rigid frames?
On manual chairs, folding frames are the usual conventional type
having an X brace in the center allowing the frame to be folded
sideways. Folding is simple, but a chair of this type tends to
be bulky as well as quite heavy. New versions of lighter
materials are now available, but regardless of this point
because folding frames involve many parts, it is heavy compared
to a rigid frame. Rigid frame joints are welded and a
lightweight aluminum material is used, enabling one to transfer
the wheelchair into the car without help.
2. It's all about comfort: get the footrest angled perfectly
An angle footrest is measured from the horizontal or is regarded
from the side, whereas tapered footrests are regarded from the
front, and joins both feet at the bottom, providing more
clearance when turning. However, if you have limited hip and
knee joint flexibility, this can be uncomfortable.
3. Don't overlook the handrim
Note that the overall diameter of a handrim will affect its
propulsion. This means that having a large diameter climbs will
be easier and with a diameter that is much smaller, it brings
about a lot of speed on a flat surface.
4. It's all about the wheels
While spoked wheels are lighter, they require extra maintenance
with continued use. Composite wheels on the other hand usually
wear out at the bearing escalations. Then, the zero camber gives
a slender wheelchair measurement. When the camber is increased,
the measurement at the wheel's botton is also increased and the
measurement at the top is decreased, providing steadiness and
turning can be done with ease.
5. Wheel locks
These are of two types namely the under-seat and the side
mounted. The side mounted type provides easy operation, though
one has to be careful when pushing as thumbs can easily be
caught in the wheel lock. Whereas the under-seat type can pas up
to this problem, it is much difficult to use since it calls for
reaching under the seat.
6. Front and back balance
Check the balance well - as if the rear wheels are very much far
forward to the frame, the user can tip backwards. Also, the
chair will be hard to push if the wheels are put too far
Wheelchair safety measures:
- Always make sure that your wheelchair is in good condition all
the time. - When using a power wheelchair, be certain to turn
the power off when leaving it at a slope or inclined place. -
When pushing a patient, inform her first before you move the
wheelchair. - When not moving, use brakes. - Do not attempt to
go up or to go down on steep slopes. - When pushing a patient on
a manual wheelchair, be sure that your speed should not exceed
that of brisk walking. - When transferring a patient to a
wheelchair, be sure to raise the footplates before doing so.
Then lower the footplates after and place the patient's feet
onto the footplates. - Avoid passing through grassy or pebbled
plains. - When crossing the street, be sure to stop, look and
Safety on power wheelchairs:
- Choose a type with mechanical brakes that can be released or
set by the user. - For outdoor use, a power wheelchair must have
power large wheels at the front and never free swinging casters.
- For the user with an impaired hand or arm, install an orthotic
elbow or arm support so as to aid the hand when operating the
controls. - Shut off breaking sensors can detect when a
wheelchair is moving out of control and quickly shut off the
power. - Mechanical brakes can bet set by the user with normal
hand functions. - Check the batteries before you go out that
they are fully charged, every time. - Always keep a cell phone
handy. You'll never know emergencies might happen. - A power
wheelchair has many of the same parts as a car. Have it checked
by a professional every three months for safety, and check it
Are you at risk?
1. Paraplegics Fit & active individuals are on the average the
safest users of a manual, power-assisted, and fully powered
wheelchair. They are at very low risk.
2. Amputees Individuals with missing arms or legs, having active
upper bodies are generally safe power wheelchair users. Although
it depends on the type of control device that is used, but when
used and executed properly, they are at low risk.
3. People having weak upper bodies like people with Cerebral
Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson Disease, and many other
conditions A standard joystick is used to maneuver power
wheelchairs. These disorders cause slowed reflexes, impaired
eyesight, or impaired judgment. All must be carefully screened
for their functional insufficiency. They are at moderate risk.
4. Individuals with little or no upper body movement Individuals
who uses a mouth a puff & sip breathe control, mouth joystick,
or gyroscopic (inertial) wheelchair controls. They are at high
5. Paralyzed individuals and children. Children as well as very
small adults that are using special seats need a power
wheelchair, mostly with significantly paralyzed bodies.
Depending on the mechanical operation, the individual's ailment,
and personalized progress and safety instruction, these
individuals are at high risk.