Wheelchair Maintenance — The Ultimate Guide

Accidents involving wheelchairs can cause users to sustain injuries and restrict their maneuverability and participation in social activities. The risk of physical injury or death, as well as an increase in the cost of medical care, is increased when wheelchairs are not properly maintained, which also raises that risk. Since 1991, the number of wheelchair users harmed due to malfunctions has more than doubled.

Types

Wheelchairs come in a wide variety of styles to accommodate the varying requirements of their users.

According to one's needs, one can invest in an aisle wheelchair or buy a power stand-up wheelchair or buy Karman or Bariatric wheelchairs which are readily available online. The K5 wheelchair is another excellent option for the ones who need it. Reclining wheelchairs have their provision of comfort. Vive electric wheelchairs are one of the best ones available on the market.

Importance

If you use a wheelchair yourself or know someone else who does, you must acquire the information and abilities necessary to undertake essential wheelchair maintenance. Maintenance of wheelchairs can lessen the likelihood of malfunctions and the associated repercussions, as well as the expenses incurred for repairs and replacements.

If you can, you should make it a habit to perform routine checks on every part of the wheelchair to ensure that it is in proper working order. If you require assistance, you may request a nurse, a friend, or a member of your family for aid with inspecting your wheelchair. If there is an issue, you need to either fix it yourself or take the wheelchair to someone trained in maintenance.

Items Required

To be able to do even the most basic maintenance on your wheelchair, you will need the appropriate tools. Tools that could be helpful in this situation. Always ensure that you are seated on a secure and shielded surface before attempting to exit the wheelchair to perform maintenance.

Maintaining a Wheelchair

The following sections contain specific information regarding the upkeep of manual and powered wheelchairs. The sections explain when particular components and functions should be inspected and what warning indicators to look for.

Maintenance is highly recommended to ensure that your wheelchair continues to operate effectively. Today, we will concentrate on the upkeep of electric and manual wheelchairs.

 

Components Of a Wheelchair

Manual Wheelchair

A manual wheelchair's areas of maintainability involve the following components:

  • Cushion
  • Supports
  • Wheels in the back
  • Caster wheels
  • Frame

Examine each component of the wheelchair. Check that all nuts and bolts are snugs, but ensure they aren't overly so.

Electric Wheelchair

An electric wheelchair will be inclusive of the following elements that may require maintenance:

  • Support
  • Rear Wheels
  • Wheels with casters
  • Cushion
  • The electrical configuration of the frame

Instructions on how to properly maintain an electric wheelchair:

  • Regular cleaning of powered wheelchairs is required.
  • Check for signs of wear and tear.
  • Adjust any hardware that needs it, such as the headrest and seat components.
  • Examine the sitting components, such as the cushions and the back supports.

Woman in Pink Sweater in a Wheelchair

Adjust as needed

Take preventative measures regarding the replacement of components, such as batteries.

  • The power switch must be turned off before any repair can be performed, and the charging cables must be removed.
  • Examine each component of the wheelchair.
  • Check to see that the nuts and bolts are snugs, but ensure they are not overly so.

General Maintenance of Wheelchairs

A monthly inspection of the tires' pressure and overall condition should be performed.

  • Make sure that the brakes are in good working order and that they have been calibrated correctly, paying particular attention to the attachments.
  • Check the tightness of each screw once every three to four months. Verify that all of the joints that are significant for the user's safety are equipped with self-locking bolts of the appropriate type.
  • Use a gentle cleaning solution to wipe down the chair’s frame. Simply using soap and water to clean the backrest and cushion is the only method recommended. When in doubt, refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  • Use only the genuine parts or those authorized by the company that made your wheelchair.

If the seat becomes wet while being used, try to dry it off afterward, and avoid putting it away while it is still wet. If the wheelchair has been in the presence of sand or salt, it needs to be cleaned thoroughly because either substance might ruin the wheel bearings.

Applying a very modest amount of oil to the axes will make disassembly easier. This will be done on a usage-based schedule, although once every two months is the frequency that is typically recommended. If the chair becomes hard to transport or if it starts to creak, the mechanical parts must also be oiled.

If you want to keep your wheelchair in good condition for an extended period, you should protect it from the elements by covering it and storing it in a dry area, shaded from the sun, and at ambient temperature. Comprehensive wheelchair maintenance must be performed before the device may be used again.

Precaution

If you do not feel confident in repairing or replacing a wheelchair component, do not attempt to do so. Put a strategy in place to have a specialist in wheelchair repair perform comprehensive servicing on the wheelchair yearly. A specialist in wheelchair management might be your wheelchair's vendor or maker, a vocational or physical therapist, another staff at a wheelchair seating clinic, or even just a regular member of the public.

Bottomline

If you do not feel confident in your ability to perform the task, do not attempt to mend or replace any component of the wheelchair. It is strongly recommended to get in touch with a wheelchair maintenance specialist to have full maintenance performed on your chair instead.

To find the best wheelchair, head on to Fatima Mobility. You can find a collection of wheelchairs that are catered to your needs. Be it an aisle wheelchair, a K5 wheelchair, or if you need to buy bariatric wheelchair.