Wheelchair Maintenance 101 Here’s How To Protect Your Chair!
Wheelchair maintenance is crucial to how your wheelchair performs and how well it lasts overtime.
Neglecting consistent wheelchair maintenance can cause your device to break down and reduces your safety.
Wheelchairs are great devices that allows people to be mobile and active, but only if they work properly. Wheelchairs are an integral part of some people’s lives and should be treated as such.
Break downs can bring up many inconveniences and can even possibly put the user in a dangerous situation. Taking care of a wheelchair starts on the very first day it is purchased. Get familiar with this checklist and set up a consistent maintenance schedule.
Check out this article if you’re wondering how to buy a wheelchair.
If possible develop a relationship with the people you purchased the wheelchair from. This allows for easier resolution of problems in the future.
Make sure you have the following 3 items on hand at all times:
A set of tools – Sometimes wheelchairs need repairs which can be simply done yourself. Assemble a collection of tools and useful items to have on hand for maintenance and emergencies.
Your kit should include a Phillips & flat head screw driver, an Allen wrench set, crescent wrench, spoke wrench and a tire repair kit.
Consider keeping these items in a small pouch attached somewhere on the wheelchair for easy access.
Owner’s manual – All owner manuals contain valuable information about your device. There is information regarding maintenance, the warranty and also gives you a more clear idea of the tools needed on hand. Keep the manual close by to use as a reference.
Pertinent contact information – Prepare a card with important names & contact information to be used in emergency situations. This can help protect children or other vulnerable individuals and safe you a headache in a crisis situation.
Include the following on the card:
- Your name (and spouse, any relatives, other contact person)
- Include your address
- Phone number
- Your doctor’s name and phone number;
- Wheelchair make, model and manufacturer’s toll free number
- Name and number of the service dealer
- Or local provider who services your chair
- Phone number of the public para‐transit service
- Or private wheelchair transport service.
Always maintain cleanliness
Keeping your wheelchair clean will help keep the user healthy and reduce the risk of any infections from bacteria. On top of this, if you keep your wheelchair clean regularly, you will be able to spot defects and issues faster and easier.
To keep your chair clean use a damp cloth to wipe down the surfaces. You can try a mild detergent or cleaner to remove stains or problem spots. Keep the user in mind while trying new cleaning products or techniques.
Another tip is to keep a sharp tool on hand to pick and clean the caster bearings or wheel axels of any debris. Hair, string and other small items are likely to get caught in these areas and can interfere with the rotation of the wheels.
You should also check the frame regularly for cracks, dents or any unusual defects. Depending on your warranty situation you should make your service provider aware as soon as you notice anything.
Most manufactures recommend using a car wax on the frame to make regular cleaning easier. Maintaining your frame is an important part of wheelchair maintenance that a lot of people overlook. You should also pay the same attention to any wheelchair ramps you buy.
It’s also important to monitor all the upholstery for any defects. Check for any tears or defects where the fabric folds or where there are screws through the fabric. If the chair uses a seat cushion make sure it is providing the necessary comfort and support needed.
Wheelchair maintenance is an integral part of owning a wheelchair that works at a high level. Always perform checks on a regular basis. Make sure to have the user of the wheelchair report any abnormalities they cant fix themselves.
Making a wheelchair safety checklist will help make your maintenance routine more simple!