Wheelchair users appreciate the independent living they have when they can go to different places on their terms. However, this quality of life can be altered quickly if the wheelchair becomes damaged and not identified early enough. An older study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that tipping and falling accounted for up to 80% of injuries among wheelchair users. By maintaining wheelchairs on a regular basis, many injuries could be prevented. Here are five common dangers caused by damaged wheelchairs.
Damage to Wheels and Locks
Wheels and wheel locks are some of the most important components of any wheelchair. If any issue is present with the wheels, it will significantly limit the user’s ability to navigate safely. Identifying a flat tire is simple, but it’s a good habit to do a quick check of the wheels after extended use. This is especially true if you bumped into an object or rode over rough terrain. Evaluate the wheel locks frequently. By not doing so, serious injuries could occur.
Wheelchair Mechanical Issues
Mechanical issues in a power wheelchair can arise periodically. Everything from a weak battery to an overused motor and anything in between can happen depending on various factors. The problem with mechanical issues is they can arise when you least expect it and leave you stranded in the process. However, with a regular maintenance checkup, an expert technician can identify potential issues before they become a problem, giving you a peace of mind.
Worn or Damaged Seat
A worn or damaged seat won’t necessarily create a safety hazard when riding the wheelchair, but it can lead to other issues. Depending on how often and for how long of durations you use the wheelchair, a damaged seat can become uncomfortable to the point where it can create pain. It is essential to replace or repair the seat when it becomes uncomfortable.
Slow Leaks on Wheelchair Tires
Do not delay replacing your wheelchair tire professionally if you notice a slow leak. Slow leaks on tires can be detrimental to independent living efforts since you could become stranded somewhere. Plus, it’s not safe to have one tire less inflated than the other since it can make the wheelchair off balance and possibly tip over.
Loss of Control of the Wheelchair
Some issues can occur with a wheelchair that makes the user lose control of it. When this happens, you put your safety and the safety of others at risk. We encourage wheelchair users to have a routine maintenance checkup. Many times losing control seems unexpected, but typically it is an existing issue that caused the problem. By having your wheelchair maintained regularly, you are getting ahead of the curve.
Next Day Access wants to help seniors achieve independent living as safely as possible. Whether you’re in the market for a new wheelchair or need assistance in maintaining yours, contact us at any time.