When a wheelchair-bound person is in your care, you may face situations when you need to act quickly to prevent accidents or injuries.
Protecting Wheelchair-Bound Relatives from Injury
If you are the caregiver of a person in a wheelchair or just occasionally helping a family member, it’s good to understand a few techniques for the prevention of injuries for the wheelchair-bound person. Just as with any accidental injury, a wheelchair accident may require the help of a personal injury attorney if someone else is at fault. Here are some tips for safe wheelchair handling.
Getting In and Out of the Wheelchair
Make sure the front casters are pointing forward and both brakes are on, then fold the footplates and put them in the side position.
Ask the person to stand and position the wheelchair so he or she can sit to get in or stand to get out. Otherwise, lift the person and place them in the seat.
Moving Around Curbs When Wheelchair-Bound
As far as possible try to avoid curbs, but if going over a curb is essential, it’s safer to pull the wheelchair down the curb backward. Make sure it’s safe to step back into the road. Two people make this maneuver safer than one person does.
It’s recommended to try it without a passenger once or twice before you try it with someone in the chair.
When going up a curb, it’s safer and gentler to go forward. Again, try it without a passenger to get the feel of going up a curb.
Some wheelchairs are made for outdoor use, but you can still go outdoors with a regular wheelchair if you take a few precautions.
Avoid sand because even a sandy sidewalk can be dangerous and cause the chair to slip and turn over. Avoid puddles and damp ground as it is likely your wheels will sink in the mud.
Inspect outdoor ramps to see rough patches or holes and always push the wheelchair slowly up or down a ramp.
Preventing Common Wheelchair-Bound Accidents
Most wheelchair accidents are tipping and falling. By using the tipping lever and regulating speed when going around corners, most accidents can be prevented.