How To Ensure Your Wheelchair Survives The Summer Heat
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It’s not like the state of California doesn’t get its fair share of heat and sunshine all throughout the year. However, with the summer season now officially underway, we’re all bound to experience some of the hottest temperatures of the year in the months to come. The Forward Day team would like to remind you to seek shade as often as you can and drink plenty of water every day.
We’d also like to remind those who utilize wheelchairs as their mobility solutions to take extra special care of their devices. What can you do to ensure your wheelchair survives the summer heat?
Charge Your Batteries Every Day
If you’re the owner of a power wheelchair, you’ll want to ensure that it always has enough juice. You’d be surprised just how much the summer heat can help to suck the energy out of your wheelchair’s battery. Battery life is reduced at higher temperatures. In fact, studies have found that for every 15 degrees Fahrenheit over 77, battery life is cut in half. Play it safe by charging your wheelchair’s batteries every night while you’re in bed.
“Today’s power chairs have smart chargers that will shut off automatically when they are completely charged, so no need to babysit your charger,” reports Columbus, Ohio’s Spinlife, “If you will charge each night, your power chair will always be ready for a full days use with no worry…and don’t leave (your batteries) in a hot car for a long period of time in the summer. Extremes of temperature are not recommended.
Update the Armrests and Leg Rests
Naturally, you want to be comfortable in your wheelchair. During the summer, there are likely to be days when you experience extreme heat. This only serves to exacerbate fatigue. If you’re sitting in an uncomfortable wheelchair, your day isn’t bound to be too pleasant. By updating the armrests and leg rests of your wheelchair, you’ll ensure that your mobility solution always provides you with a comfortable seat.
According to the medical mobility experts at Virginia’s WSR, “damaged leg rests and armrests need to be replaced to ensure you are comfortable while enjoying summer activities.”
Check on Those Tires
Surely, we don’t have to explain the importance of a wheelchair’s tires. Those round objects that put the “wheel” in “wheelchair” need to be in excellent condition in order to ensure the safety of the wheelchair user. Proper functionality of your wheelchair is dependent on the condition of its wheels. Summertime use increases wear and tear. Make sure that if your tires look worn or damaged, you replace them right away.
“Keep your power wheelchair tires in good shape,” insists Spinlife, “Tires play an important role in a power wheelchair’s performance, just like they do on your car. If you have pneumatic (air) tires, check the tire pressure regularly. It’s best to keep a spare tire and inner tube handy just in case of a blowout. If you have solid tires, inspect them regularly for tread wear and replace them when they need it.”
It should probably go without saying that when Forward Day came up with the Shower Bay portable shower, we had wheelchair users in mind. Keeping wheelchair users comfortable is a big part of our mandate. Shower Bay enables them to enter with their shower wheelchairs for safe and comfortable shower experiences.