Ensuring Your Safety While Sitting In A Wheelchair

Ensuring Your Safety While Sitting In A Wheelchair

We’re all well aware of the purpose of a wheelchair. For individuals with mobility issues, wheelchairs provide safe travel from one spot to another. Wheelchairs are especially useful for those who have diminished senses of balance and strength. If walking is painful or simply unsafe, it’s wise to utilize these excellent mobility solutions.

However, wheelchairs should never be taken for granted. It’s always important to practice wheelchair safety. How can you ensure your safety while sitting in a wheelchair?

Be Careful of How You Shift Your Weight

Of course, the use of a wheelchair can help to prevent slips and falls. The simple fact that users sit instead of the stand all but eliminates the threat of taking a tumble. Or does it? When seated in a wheelchair, it’s important to maintain your balance by not shifting your weight significantly in any one direction. Cedric Soh of HealthNetCafe.com highlights the need to use casters in order to maintain a proper position in a wheelchair.

“When reaching, leaning, bending sideways or forward, it is important to use the casters as a tool to maintain stability and balance,” he informs, “Finding your proper position is essential to your safety when using a wheelchair. In the beginning, you will want to use the casters to help maintain your balance and stability. Practice conducting a variety of activities such as bending, reaching and transferring in and out of your wheelchair. All of these movements will cause a change in the weight distribution of the wheelchair.”

Wheelchair

Keep All Pathways Clear

Yes, wheelchairs are known for helping seniors and individuals with mobility issues to avoid slips and falls. However, wheelchairs don’t work magic. They can’t miraculously hop over obstacles and debris. When indoors, be sure to have all pathways clear of clutter. When outdoors, be mindful of the terrain upon which the wheelchair user is traveling.

“Keep all pathways traveled by the individual in a wheelchair clear and accessible, and remove throw rugs, clutter, and loose electrical cords,” insists Elizz.com, “Arrange furniture to allow a clear path so the wheelchair can easily be moved.”

Mind the Curb

A wheelchair can certainly help you to avoid tripping over a curb. However, it can’t necessarily protect you from bumping into one. Soh advises caregivers of wheelchair users to mind the curb. He also encourages wheelchair users to accept the assistance of their caregivers when maneuvering their wheelchairs outdoors.

“You should only move through curbs with the assistance of another person,” he insists, “It is important for you to develop your own safe technique that is best suited for your abilities with the aid of your healthcare professional. Curbs, steps, and stairways are dangerous obstacles that confront the wheelchair user. When you encounter these obstacles, try to find a way around them by using curb cuts, ramps or designated disabled elevators now available in most areas.”

Also Read: How To Help Seniors Deal With Anxiety

At Forward Day, we’re very proud of the fact that our Shower Bay portable showers make the bathing experience so much easier for wheelchair users. For information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-877-593-4461 or email us at info@showerbay.com

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Avatar for Russell Simpkins

Russell Simpkins

2 Comments

  1. Avatar for James Peacock James Peacock on August 31, 2019 at 5:55 am

    Hi Russell, do you have any suggestions for the best wheechair brands for safety? I understand the tips here are useful to mitigate risk – but I think choosing a reliable chair in the first place is probably also a decent suggestion!

    • Avatar for Russell Simpkins Russell Simpkins on September 3, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      James,
      Thank you for your reply. A wheelchair is a very personal piece of equipment that needs to have the specific sizes and features for the user and their needs. There are shower wheelchairs, transport chairs, bariatric, self propelled, reclining chairs, etc. Usually there are a couple brands that excel in their specific niche. I would always recommend consulting your physician, Occupational therapist, or seating specialist to make sure you get the best wheelchair for the user and their needs.

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