Wheelchairs can be an immensely empowering tool and can give you or a loved one the ability to move around freely and be able to travel. One of the main choices that need to be made upon purchasing a wheelchair, is whether you want a transit or self-propelled wheelchair. Each has its benefits, but for independence a self-propelled lightweight wheelchair is one of the best options. If you are strong enough, then you may be able to use a self-propelled wheelchair.
Benefits Of A Self-Propelled Wheelchair
One of the main benefits to a self-propelled wheelchair is that you gain independence from the wheelchair, meaning that you can travel around on your own accord and do not have to rely on a carer or other person. It can also give you some much needed exercise every day, which can hugely benefit your health. Sports can also be played with practice from a self-propelled wheelchair, which can also benefit mental health too, this can be just as important as physical health.
Tips For Using A Self-Propelled Wheelchair
Using a self-propelled wheelchair can be trickier than it seems, but with practice and a few simple tips, it can be made easier. One of the main ways to ease use is to make sure you have a strong centre of gravity sitting in the wheelchair. If you are slightly lopsided or unbalanced, this can make controlling the wheelchair extremely difficult. Reaching for objects that are high or low may also takes practice and should always be attempted with wheel locks in place, to ensure that the wheelchair does not slip or move.
A wheelchair, like any vehicle or mode of transport, is not without risks. However, by following the correct safety tips, you should be able to minimise any potential risks.
The wheelchair tipping over and falling is the main concern for wheelchair use. Often if the wheelchair is travelling too fast, one of the wheels can be tipped upwards, causing the wheelchair to become unbalanced. The wheel lock should also always be used when stationary, so that there is no unexpected movement. Another thing to avoid should be placing heavy bags on the back of the wheelchair, as this can cause the wheelchair to tip. If something heavy must be transported, then it is far better to put the load on your lap, as this will mean your centre of gravity is still stable. You should also try to avoid any steep inclines or declines, as this can cause the wheelchair to act in uncontrollable ways.
Weather can be another factor, and it is always a good idea to avoid the rain when venturing out, as this can be slippery, and cause the wheelchair to lose control. A wheelchair cover can help in keeping your wheelchair and yourself dry, but it is still best to remain indoors if it is raining heavily, as a wet drain cover or a puddle can still prove problematic.