Wheelchair Safety Tips

Author: Nicholas Sutedja   Date Posted:19 February 2019 

Wheelchair Safety Tips main image Wheelchair Safety Tips image

The popular manual and electric mobility wheelchairs is meant to provide users with the means to become independent and comfortable despite living with disability. People tend to think that using wheelchairs is easy and for the most part it is.

However even the simplest things can go wrong and therefore it’s important to make sure that you do everything you could to ensure your safety.Centre of Gravity

Familiarise with your wheelchair’s centre of gravity. Find the position that suits you and the wheelchair; you may need to use the casters in the beginning to help maintain that balance.

Once you’re found your centre, practice various activities such as bending, reaching and transferring from and to your wheelchair. This is so you can practice how to distribute your weight safely so that you’ll be able to do these activities without any complications.

It is also advisable that you have objects that you want to reach within distance so that you don’t have to strain yourself to get them, which could result in you falling off your wheelchair.

Fall Prevention

Avoid leaning forward as that will cause you to fall out of your wheelchair, instead go nearer to the object or ask someone to help you out.

To avoid tripping on the footrests move them out of the way during transfer and lock the brakes before getting out of the wheelchair.

Another way to prevent falls for those that use manual wheelchairs is to use Anti-Tip Bars, which are a pair of small plastic rollers that assist in the prevention of tipping backwards.

Outdoor Use

These days there are some wheelchairs that are designed for outdoor use. However even then you will need to be careful so that you don’t tip your wheelchair over. Certain surfaces and weather conditions can result in unfortunate situations and your wheelchair can even be damaged because of it.

Sandy surfaces, even a small amount, can cause your wheelchair to become unbalanced, spin around and tip over. So beaches aren’t the ideal place to use wheelchairs, especially power types.

During rainy days or when encountering wet surfaces it’s best to avoid it if possible. It can cause the wheelchair to slide which could result in an accident. If you’re unable to avoid it for some reason then go around it if it’s possible and go at a slower pace than normal.

Travelling

When travelling make sure that you have your wheelchair inspected and serviced before going anywhere. This will ensure that it’s at top condition and any minor problems are fixed before it becomes a major problem.

Take pictures of your wheelchair before you start your trip with a smartphone or camera with a date/time logged to capture the condition of your wheelchair. This is useful in case you need to dispute damages with travel companies.

If you follow these safety tips then you’ll be able to use your wheelchair effectively. Always make sure to maintain your wheelchair and if you think that something isn’t right then contact our service department or give us a call on 02 9649 2111 and we’ll see what the problem is.

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