A wheelchair can make providing elder care for your senior loved one so much easier. Wheelchairs facilitate greater freedom and independence for seniors who are coping with mobility issues. Even if your aging loved one just tires easily or has difficulty walking, a wheelchair can allow him to get out and enjoy life with you much more often. When utilizing a wheelchair as part of your elder care, however, it is important that you keep safety in mind. When not used properly, wheelchairs can post serious dangers to seniors and those around them.
Elderly health care services can connect you with a resource for wheelchairs that will allow you to choose the particular type of chair that is appropriate for your aging loved one. Whether you choose a simple manual chair that you will push around or an electric chair that allow your senior to transport himself more easily around his home and other locations, make sure that you select a wheelchair in which your aging loved one fits comfortably and that he is confident writing it.
Follow these guidelines for making sure that your senior uses his wheelchair safely:
- The wheels of the wheelchair should be checked regularly in order to ensure that they are not loose or damaged
- Except in specific situations such as going through a door, a wheelchair should always be moved in a forward direction
- Children should never be allowed to play on the wheelchair, or ride in it independently. Of course, many seniors enjoy giving their grandchildren right in their laps, but make sure that when this happens they are supervised very closely
- Electric wheelchairs should never be used in the rain because the moisture can short-circuit the controls and cause the chair to move suddenly, posing a fall risk
- Wheelchairs should never be left at the top of stairs or other inclines
- Children should be taught never to touch the controls of an electric wheelchair, and never to climb on the back or the battery box
- The brakes should always be engage when a wheelchair is stopped, even if someone is holding on to the handles
- Avoid heavy loads on the back of wheelchairs, as these can cause the chair to tip over
- If a senior is incapable of moving down the stairs independently, it is critical that more than one person help the chair it down the stairs. If possible, the chair and a senior should be lifted and carried down the stairs rather than attempting to roll the chair down the stairs.
Care Connection provides elder care in Bath, MI. For more information about our caregiver services, please call us today at (517) 489-2489.