There is no question that wheelchairs provide individuals with mobility issues much safer modes of transportation than walking. When unstable on your feet, the risk of slipping and falling is great. And, unfortunately, far too many slips and falls lead to major injuries that require hospitalizations.
However, it’s important to note that just because one is comfortably seated in a wheelchair, there is no reason to disregard safety measures. Practicing wheelchair safety – if the title of this blog hasn’t already given it away – is a must! This is especially true because tipping and falling can still occur for wheelchair users.
Always Secure the Tipping Lever.
According to Dr. M. Zakirul Karim, tipping and falling is the most common accident for wheelchair users. “Tipping can be caused by a variety of reasons which include making your wheelchair go to fast, unlocked brakes, slippery surfaces, the sitting stability of the user and hitting a large bump with one wheel causing the wheelchair to become unbalanced,” he writes for The Independent , “To avoid tipping and falling, the tipping lever should be secure when needed and you should beware of your speed around tight corners and on rough terrain.”
Stay Comfortably in Your Seat.
Another one of the top culprits for the tipping of wheelchairs is the shifting of the user’s weight. This often occurs when he/she moves forward in the seat, placing more weight on the front portion of the wheelchair. An attempt to pick something up from the floor is a common reason this will happen.
Dr. Karim firmly warns against that. “You will always want to keep in mind that you will never want to attempt to reach for an object if you have to position yourself forward on the seat of your wheelchair,” he writes, “This can be dangerous. Instead, you will want to position the casters and extend them away from the drive wheels, then engage the wheel locks before reaching forward towards the object.”
Practice Wheelchair Maintenance.
Especially for motorized wheelchairs, it’s wise to treat them no differently than you would any other motor vehicles. Naturally, they need to be taken care of in order to function at their best. Regularly check the wheels and other mechanical components to ensure that there are no faulty parts. And do your best to protect the wheelchair from poor weather conditions.
According to Comfort Keepers, wheelchair users should keep their wheelchairs out of the rain. “Most wheelchairs are not waterproof,” their website notes, “Therefore, older adults should avoid riding in the rain whenever possible. Wheels will likely lose traction on wet surfaces and prompt many serious injuries.”
At Forward Day, We Strongly Advocate Wheelchair Safety.
The vast majority of our clients require wheelchairs for mobility. That’s because our Shower Bay portable showers were designed specifically for wheelchair users. Seated on shower wheelchairs, users of Shower Bay are able to take full and thorough showers with running water anywhere in their homes.
Shower Bay can be snapped together in any room of the home where there is a faucet nearby. That way, there is no risk of slipping and falling either in the shower or during transfers to the bathtub. If you have any questions about our Shower Bay portable showers, please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask them. Give us a call at 1-877-223-8999 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org