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Elder in Home Care Aides Share Wheelchair Safety Tips for Seniors

Jun 23, 2016 by Amanda Green

Elder in home care professionals work with many senior adults who count on wheelchairs to help them get from point A to point B. Senior citizens who use wheelchairs to assist with mobility challenges must pay special attention to wheelchair safety. Caring for and using the wheelchair in the proper way will reduce the risk of injuries and ensure optimal protection. Here are a few wheelchair safety tips for older adults:


Wheelchair Maintenance

A senior's wheelchair should be inspected on a regular basis. Loose brakes that cannot hold the wheelchair in place on a slope may need to be replaced. In the event that wheel locks fail to function properly, they may need to be lubricated. Additionally, new wheels or bearings may be necessary if the wheels are out of alignment.


Understand Limitations

Senior citizens must be aware of their own limitations and capabilities before trying to use the wheelchair on an incline or decline. An elder in home care aide can work with an aging adult to practice before attempting ramps, inclines, curbs or declines. Ramps, inclines, curbs and declines should all be examined for hazards such as slippery surfaces and holes prior to proceeding.


Proper Transferring

Transferring can be risky when it is done incorrectly. Seniors with power wheelchairs need to turn off the power prior to transferring or when using a wheelchair lift. It's a good idea for aging adults to practice turning the power on and off. Those with manual wheelchairs must always set the wheel locks before transferring.


Avoid the Rain

Most wheelchairs are not waterproof. Therefore, older adults should avoid riding in the rain whenever possible. Wheels will likely lose traction on wet surfaces and prompt many serious injuries.


Over the past few years, there have been thousands of wheelchair related injuries in emergency rooms throughout the United States. An elder in home care aide can help your senior citizen understand wheelchair safety to make sure he or she stays safe while using one.


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