Tips to Consider if Your Loved One is in a Wheelchair

As you grow older, your body, unfortunately, doesn’t always keep up. Luckily, the simple but ingenious invention of the wheelchair has given people of all sorts access to mobility. As of right now, it’s estimated that upwards of 2.2 million  people utilize wheelchairs to get around to some degree. While wheelchairs make moving and travelling possible for millions of people, they could also be inhibiting, especially if they’re not maintained or the person using one isn’t properly cared for. Oftentimes, if someone is wheelchair bound, then they may have difficulty moving from the wheelchair and having it updated, especially if they’re an older individual. Here are some necessary upkeep tasks and comfort tips to consider if your loved one is in a wheelchair:

Make Sure the Wheelchair is Regularly Updated

Power wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs both require regular maintenance and updates to ensure that the wheelchair is both safe and mobile. Two important wheelchair parts that need to be inspected and updated often are the brakes and wheels, and for obvious reasons. Brakes that aren’t properly functioning can lead to safety risks. Further, wheels that are short on air, aren’t properly pivoting, or aren’t correctly fastened can be not only dangerous, but can also make mobility difficult. Most medical and wheelchair suppliers provide wheelchair repairs and inspections if you call.

Movement

Sitting in a wheelchair for extended periods of time could cause pain and health issues. If your loved one is in a wheelchair, make sure that either you or their home health care provider is regularly getting them up and around. While some people might be able to walk around for a few minutes, others aren’t as fortunate. Transferring them to a bed or a more comfortable recliner every few hours can alleviate pain and prevent certain health risks including blood clots. Another suggestion is, if possible, implement range of motion activities like moving legs up and down to help promote better circulation!

Comfort

Unfortunately, many wheelchairs aren’t always the most comfortable, especially if you’re sitting in one for hours on end. Make efforts to ensure that your loved one’s wheelchair is as comfortable as possible. Some suggestions include adding a cushion, such as the ROHO cushion, which is popular amongst wheelchair users. Additionally, make additions to the back of the chair for back support. Contact your wheelchair supplier to inquire if they provide these additions.

Hygiene

A seat that’s been sat on all day isn’t going to be clean at the end of the day. While some wheelchairs are easier to clean than others, it’s still necessary to put the time and energy into cleaning the seat of the wheelchair to prevent odors and bacteria. Fortunately, with the help of some disinfectant and cleaning spray, the job could be done in no time. When it comes to wheelchair hygiene, regular cleanings are key to preventing a long and arduous job later on!

We at Wilson Care pride ourselves in putting the health and happiness of your loved ones first. Call today for home health care assistance or for career opportunities!