An electric wheelchair can help you to attain more independence and a greater sense of freedom. They are also easy to operate and as long as they are well taken care of, can last a long time. There are many different kinds of electric wheelchairs for sale, including indoor wheelchairs, and ones with rear and mid drives and even outdoor models that require a tax disc to use on the roads. Regardless of type and wheelchair prices, there are some basic principles concerning safety and maintenance that will help you to enjoy your powered wheelchair for many years to come.
Electric wheelchair safety
Make sure the power is off whenever you get into the wheelchair. Have the footplates swung so that they are out of the way and transfer into the chair in the way that has been recommended for you. When you are seated comfortably, fasten the lap belt or safety harness if required, and reposition the footplates. To get out of the chair, follow the same procedure in reverse. When you finish using the wheelchair for the day, or know that you won’t be needing it again for more than a few hours, make sure it is left on charge and not in a place where it could cause an obstruction and trip someone up.
If you are taking the wheelchair outdoors with you, make sure it is fully charged and that you know exactly how far, or how long, it will be able to travel on a single charge. When you are in the wheelchair, there are certain positions that could cause you to fall out of the chair and suffer an injury. Be careful not to lean forward beyond the armrests, or bed down to reach an object on the floor. It is also not advisable to reach behind you, if it can be at all avoided. Always apply the brakes when you want to stop (the brakes should come on automatically when the power is switched off), and never stand on the footrests, as they are not designed to carry or support weight.
Electric wheelchair maintenance
Always keep your battery fully charged, so that you will be able to rely on your powered wheelchair to take you where you need to go. There are other parts of the wheelchair that should be regularly checked for any damage or defects:
• The brakes should always feel secure, and operate smoothly.
• The tyres should be fully inflated and have sufficient tread depth.
• There should be no tears in the upholstery.
• All of the nuts and bolts should be firmly secure.
If you have any concerns about the safety of your electric wheelchair, or would like to know more about maintenance, please give us a call on 0800 458 4014.
Image Courtesy: 101mobility.com, convaid.com