Many senior citizens find themselves in need of a wheelchair due to illness or injury. If your parent has recently begun using a wheelchair, it may be your first experience with one, too. Though your parent’s senior care provider may be well-versed in wheelchairs, perhaps you could use a little information about maintaining the wheelchair so that it remains safe for your parent and some safety tips to ensure you use the chair properly.
Maintaining a Wheelchair
When a wheelchair is not maintained properly, there’s a greater chance that it will break and be unsafe or unusable. If this were to happen, your parent’s ability to get about would be compromised and you would be left scrambling to find a replacement chair quickly. Some things to check regularly are:
- Wheels: Inspect the tires to see if they are flat or loose. If a tire is flat or loose, the wheel locks may not work properly. Don’t forget to keep the wheels oiled as well.
- Spokes: Look for loose or damaged wheel spokes, which could interfere with the way the wheels move or cause the brakes not to work.
- Casters: If the caster wheels (the smaller wheels) start to flutter back and forth, replace them promptly.
- Power Wheelchairs: Power wheelchair batteries should be regularly charged to avoid being stranded somewhere. Also, avoid using a power wheelchair in the rain as water can cause them to work improperly.
- Seat and Arms: Keep the chair seat and arms clean to prevent spreading germs.
Using a wheelchair is actually more complicated than some people think. There are certain actions that can cause injury to the person in the chair or to the person pushing it. Here are some safety tips:
- Lock the brakes before getting your parent in or out of the chair to keep it from moving unexpectedly.
- Turn a power chair off before your parent gets into or out of it. If the chair is left on, the joystick may be bumped, causing the chair to move.
- Don’t hang heavy bags on the back of the chair; they may cause the chair to tip.
- Be conscious of the surface the chair is rolling over as large cracks or bumps may cause the chair to tip.
- Always lift the footplates before your parent gets in or out of the chair.
- Avoid steep inclines and slopes that could make you lose control of the chair.
If you have questions about using a wheelchair, your parent’s senior care provider may be a good resource. Experienced senior care providers have likely worked with other older adults who use wheelchairs and may have even more tips to help you.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Roseville, CA, please contact the caring staff at ApexCare®. Proudly Serving Sacramento, Yolo, Placer & El Dorado Counties. Call Today 916-924-9111.
Since then, I have had a strong interest in helping and supporting our senior community as they age and are unable to care for themselves.Coming from a family of physicians, I am excited to be involved in the medical community by providing the highest levels of non-clinical in-home care to our clients and their families.With my work experience, I firmly believe that ApexCare can touch many lives and have a great impact on our local senior community.
Prior to joining ApexCare, I worked in a wide variety of industries and have owned multiple businesses ranging from construction to mortgage banking.Outside of work, I am an active youth soccer and basketball coach, having coached recreational soccer for over 8 years and elementary school basketball for over 4 years.I graduated with a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and received a Masters of Management degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.My career has been focused on building great organizations that deliver the highest absolute levels of service to our clients.I look forward to continuing this passion with ApexCare.
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