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10+ Tips To Take Care Of Your Wheelchair

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By Author: Essentialaids
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A wheelchair is one of the essential mobility aids that helps people with temporary or permanent mobility restrictions stay mobile and upkeep their quality of life. However, as the wheelchair takes care of you, you should also reciprocate the care with care.

Before proceeding, you need to understand that as a general rule of thumb, the care and maintenance of your wheelchair depends primarily on the roughness or gradient of the pathways you use it on.
Here are several tips for care and maintenance that you can use after you buy a wheelchair to ensure its longevity.

General Care Tips for Your Wheelchair
From the day you buy a wheelchair, its maintenance becomes your responsibility.

Clean off the dirt and grime from your wheelchair frame daily.
A brush or damp cloth would be a good choice for this cleaning job.
Check the tires for air pressure to avoid possible punctures in case they don't have proper air pressure. They may feel hard when pressing them with your fingers if they have increased air pressure. If they don't, pump some air into them using a bicycle pump.
Keep the wheelchair secured in a dry place when idle. Take special care of wheel bearings and see to it that no moisture or dirt collects in them.
Check and ensure that rear wheels spin properly as they ensure stability and easy manual propulsion. Similarly, check and ensure that front wheels properly turn sideways as they help change the direction of the wheelchair. If you find them wobbly or making abrupt sounds, repairing or replacing ball bearings is highly recommendable.
Check for any loose parts of the wheels once a week. If you find any, tighten it using a wrench. If it is beyond your ability, sending it to a service shop would be better.
Check every tire for any puncture(s) or anything stuck in it every week. If you find any sharp thing like a pin or a needle, pull it out. Before you take the chair to a service shop to get the puncture(s) fixed, abstaining from using it is the best idea.
Wash the frame and seat with water and mild detergent, wipe off the moisture with a clean towel, and leave it to dry. However, before washing the seat with water, using a vacuum cleaner to take out the maximum dirt would be more suitable.
Rough or sharp spots on armrests, hand rims, or leg rests may cause injury to you or your attendant. Check for any signs of roughness on these parts every month and file them down (if any).
Examine the frame thoroughly for any signs of cracks. The presence of cracks may speed up the possible breakage of the frame over time. Welding such cracks after assessing their severity in time can save your frame for longer.
Lubricate the moving parts of the wheelchairs like ball bearings, brakes, and spokes to ensure that they don't cause friction and are working smoothly. Waxing the frame to facilitate its easy opening and closing is also a workable idea if you have a folding variant.
Every 4 or 6 months, check the seat fabric for any cuts, rips, or sags. If you find the fabric worn out or torn, replacing them immediately is important. This is because such rips or sags may lead to the development of pressure ulcers.
Oil and lubricate all the parts of your wheelchair - even the immobile ones on a quarterly basis.
When going out for a long period of time if you are leaving behind your wheelchair, make sure you cover it properly with a plastic cover and keep it in a dry place to prevent it from dirt and rusting. When you return, ensure that all its parts are in a proper working condition and are not worn out or rusted before using it.

Besides buying a wheelchair, you might need to buy a wheelchair ramp too. So, it goes without saying that you need to take proper care of your wheelchair ramp with a few tips that follow:

Adhere to the weight-bearing limit of your variant strictly to avoid any accident.
If portable, store it in a dry place when idle.
Check for any rough edges and file them down.
Use the ramp strictly for the wheelchair and not for other items.

Taking care of your wheelchair and the wheelchair ramp by following the above-mentioned steps can help you ensure their safe use for a long time.

More About the Author

Essential Aids provides disability aids, mobility equipment and rehabilitation products to people in the UK.

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