August 31, 2015 | 10:54 am | By Pants Up Easy
Adapting to life in a wheelchair can be a bit of a challenge, and it can also lead to some safety risks that you may not have considered. It’s important that you be as prepared as possible for living your life in a wheelchair, and that includes investing in safety products to help protect you. Below you will find a list of four safety products that every wheelchair user should have.
Wheel locks are designed to hold your wheelchair in place when you are transferring to and from your chair or performing other daily tasks where you need your chair to remain stationary. There are several different types of wheel locks available, and your lifestyle and needs will determine which you should use. The push/pull to lock style are standard on most manual wheelchairs. By simply pulling or pushing the lever, you will lock wheels into place. This is good option for those who have the strength and coordination required to perform the task. If you have difficulty with the push/pull lock, wheel lock extensions can be purchased. Scissor locks are a sportier version that sits level with your chair and are a smaller and more streamlined design. This version can be a challenge for those with limited strength and weakened fine motor skills. Finally, wheel hub locks are a locking system that will lock the wheels through the hub and not the tire. This type of lock has a small lever that mounts flush against your wheelchair frame, and can be difficult to use for those individuals who also have a problem with the scissor locks.
As a wheelchair user, you will be faced with the task of moving to and from your wheelchair to the toilet, your bed, and other seats throughout each day. In order to do this safely, you may want to consider investing in a transfer aid. A sliding board is one of the easiest to use of all the transfer aids, and can be used by wheelchair users on their own to transfer from seat to seat. Sliding boards come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials, and which will work best for you will be determined by personal preference. Turning plates are another good solution for a manual transfer aid, depending on your specific needs.
While you may think of wheelchair cushions as being all about comfort, they can actually be incredibly vital for your health and safety. After sitting in the same position day in and day out, you may develop sores, skin breakdown, or ulcers from the constant pressure. Investing in a quality wheelchair cushion can keep you from dealing with any of these issues. There are of course comfort cushions and positioning cushions, but there are also prevention cushions specifically designed to keep you safe from skin issues. Cushions may be designed in foam, gel, sheepskin and more, so you can choose whichever material you prefer.
Although wheelchairs are designed with safety and security in mind, it is possible that a manual wheelchair can be thrown off balance. This can be incredibly dangerous for the user, greatly increasing the risk of a fall and a serious injury. Luckily, there are many fall prevention systems out there, the most popular being anti-tippers. Anti-tippers come in a variety of types and styles, including rear and front anti-tippers, fully adjustable, quick adjust, adjustable height, and so on. Your personal needs and the type of wheelchair you have will determine which anti-tippers are best for you.
The above suggestions are only the most basic of all wheelchair safety products. Depending on the issues that you may be facing, there are several other excellent options available for products to keep you safe. If you are facing specific issues that you feel are putting you in danger, speak with your doctor regarding products to help keep you safe from day to day.