A wheelchair is the best device for people with mobility issues. It’s only for people with decidability, but it is a common device for senior citizens and individuals with mobility issues. The main reason for wheelchair use is sitting position and reducing the chance of slipping and falling. According to Doctors wheelchair is the main prescription of many conditions and that’s one of the reasons you need a caregiver in many situations, and in this article, you will definitely know about wheelchair safety for caregivers.
Normally a wheelchair user can take care of himself but in many conditions like stroke, you will definitely need to have a caregiver. A wheelchair is not only limited to those who have mobility issues but normal people who can walk have a walking problem also use a wheelchair.
Despite your reason for using a wheelchair or a caregiver or Wheelchair attendant, you have to know the basic wheelchair safety training for caregivers tips or rules.
Because Accidents don’t send invitations to happen, That’s why don’t know any wheelchair guidelines to protect yourself and your patient (if you are a caregiver) from harsh(unwillingly) accidents. It would help if you used the wheelchair properly to assure maximum security.
People who use a wheelchair or caregivers of an individual who uses a wheelchair must follow some important rules to achieve maximum security.
Check Brakes means that whenever you are in an idle position. The brakes keep you from Rolling away or stopping you when you are rolling your wheelchair and help you to keep you safe at a stationary position. It’s the basic and main rule of caregiver’s safety, and it let them do other work and attend to other responsibilities.
If you don’t want your care recipients to get hurt or injured from rolling from the wheelchair, you must apply brakes when you are just stopped or don’t move the wheelchair.
The brakes don’t only need to be applied only when you are idle, but it’s advisable to apply brakes or locks your manual wheelchair when you are bending for something or reaching for doorknobs, or reaching for something else.
The Brakes are also very important when you transfer patients or care recipients. Brakes Must be applied when you transfer a patient from wheelchair to bed or from bed to wheelchair. Otherwise, there is a chance that your patient got injured in the process. The Brakes are very helpful because they put your Wheelchair in a stable position.
Brakes should be applied in the following situations.
When The Wheelchair is in the idle position, it means that you stop the Wheelchair.
When you are trying to reach or bend for something.
When the Nurse or the Caregiver transfers the care recipients (patient).
The Brakes are one of the main things in a wheelchair for different aspects, especially according to its safety. You need to check the brakes whenever you stoping or transfer patients.
2. Seat Cushion for Back Support, if Needed.
A wheelchair is the best solution for people facing problems with walking, and balance, or who don’t have the strength to stand for a long time. These are the people who use a Wheelchair for regular use.
That way is necessary to keep your patient or care recipient comfortable in the Wheelchair by using a Seat Cushion for back support.
Using a wheelchair for a long time can be led to issues. That way, place back support or seat cushion for the patient to maximize user comfort. Placed seat cushion or back support in the Wheelchair before transferring the patient, so it minimizes the risk of long-term discomfort. A wheelchair cushion is found very useful to prevent patients from falling out of the wheelchair.
The cushion can help the wheelchair user in many ways. it’s not only recommended by physicians but it can provide the proper support and comfort that a wheelchair patient needs in those rough times.
3. Understanding the Center of Gravity.
Whenever you are using the wheelchair for the first time, you need to know the center of gravity, but you already be familiar with it if you are using it for some time. If your patient regularly uses a wheelchair, he has to lean, bend, transfer, and Reach from a wheelchair.
All these Motions and movements change the default distribution of weight, and this is important for the wheelchair that’s the distribution of the wheelchair need to be the same otherwise the wheelchair might get unstable and tip over.
That’s why, you need to practice all of this with your patient or care recipients in a safe environment. This helps you reach out, bend, lean, and transfer without an individual’s help.
Knowing the center of gravity is really important for a wheelchair user because this is what all of your movement is based on. The caregiver needs to help the wheelchair user through movement.
4. Encourage Communication whenever needed
One of the main important rules of a Caregiver wheelchair is to make sure that the care recipient or patient is happy, safe, and comfortable, and it is possible just by communicating as frequently as possible.
Communication also means that the caregiver (caretaker) reminded the care recipient or patient of the medicine and changed its position regularly to minimize the risk of sores.
Good communication has many good impacts. One of them is that the patient feels more comfortable communicating with their caregiver or nurse. They are more likely to be willing to ask for your help if they have so problem reaching medicine, water, etc., or if something uncomfortable bothers them.
Good communication has another benefit: the patient or care recipients started to trust you and always come to you as their Nurse or Caregiver whenever something happens to them or they needed something.
Communication is the key to a Healthy relationship no matter it is between husband and wife or patient and caregiver. A caregiver needs to be in communication with the patient and also encourage him to do so but don’t disturb him/her.
5. Understanding your limitation and capabilities
While in a wheelchair, it’s important to know your current physical abilities. You have probably seen allots of people doing different stunts with their wheelchairs, but everyone has different physical abilities according to their body.
If your patient or care recipient wants an incline or decline, it must be in your presence. Because if your patient or care recipient tip over or fall off, you should be there to save him as your Caregiver’s duty.
As Caregiver, you must help your care recipient on ramps, curbs, and bumpy surfaces as his physical condition won’t allow him in such places.
As a caregiver, it’s your duty to keep eye on your patient and stop him to do stupid stuff. You also need to be present most of the time to keep him/her safe from falling by doing different stuff.
6. Practical maneuvering your wheelchair backward too
Most of the time, when you’re entering a building, lift, or someplace else, it’s suitable to propel your wheelchair backward. While crossing a platform or some obstacle, whether it’s inches high or half, it’s good, safe, and easier to propel backward rather than forward.
But it’s your duty as Caregiver to practice this on your care recipient in a safe environment letting him or them do it on their own.
You need to practice some maneuvering of the wheelchair on your wheelchair patient so if you are not around him/her so he can able to do it on their own like a toilet.
7. Know that footplates are not for standing on them
The footplates or footrests of a wheelchair are not for standing; it’s meant just for set comfortably in a wheelchair. Your foot is needed to rest on the footrest and should be while you (patient) sitting in a wheelchair. The footrest can’t bear the load, so please don’t put extra weight on it; otherwise, it will break or tip over.
It’s also important to fold up the footplates while transferring the patient into the wheelchair or transferring out of the wheelchair.
Keep in mind that footrests are not for standing, it’s only for the patient to keep their feets on. You also need to make sure the user’s feet are on the floor whenever you transfer them.
8. Pay attention to your Casters.
The small front wheel of wheelchairs is called a Caster, which is also rotated in all directions. It is also good to position your casters (small front wheel) away from the big back wheels of the wheelchair. Position your wheelchair that way can provide a good and long wheelbase.
This is the perfect position for transferring a patient into a wheelchair or out of the wheelchair. It would be best to lock your wheelchair in this position while bending, reaching, or doing some wheelchair exercise.
Whenever you push the wheelchair you need to check the front caster means the front wheels as well as the back wheel.
9. Use Seat belts whenever required
As seat belts can provide safety while used in cars, it does the same in a wheelchair. So if your body doesn’t fit (balance) in a wheelchair, you should use seat belts, especially when you are going outside because it is one of the best wheelchair safety techniques.
Seat belts are very important; that’s why every patient must use them, especially crossing a ramp or bumpy surface. However, prevention is better than cure.
When you using a wheelchair then you make sure to use a seat belt which increases the safety of the wheelchair user. Because prevention is better than cure.
10. Wheelchair Safety Checklist for the caregiver in Summer
In Summertime, practically everyone knows outside is not for chilling because of the heat and hot wind. But, don’t forget that the wheelchair is made of Metal and plastic and gets hot while exposed to direct sunlight for some time. Its Metal usually doesn’t take long for the Metal to burn your skin in the environment.
If you plan to go outside, seek shade or take something with you for shade to keep yourself and your wheelchair cold. Another thing for summer is to use sunscreen in the areas that are exposed to the sun. Mostly on the face, hands, and feet. There are allots other situations that you should prepare yourself for that in summer.
For example, taking water with you whenever going out. This also helps you from overheating, and you can pour water on a wheelchair if it gets hot.
Wearing summer gloves is also important when you get out in the heat. A pair of gloves can save your hand from cutting down from blisters and burning from touching hot surface wheelchairs.
Using a wheelchair in summer is really hard because of the hot weather. The caregiver needs to follow some basic tips like keeping the wheelchair in shade or using an umbrella. You also need to use sun cream when you walk in sun.
11. Keeps your Wheelchair Maintained.
There are a lot of ways you maintained your wheelchair; some of them are given below.
Check Wheelchairs wheel regularly. Make sure that the wheelchair’s wheels don’t have flat tires.
Lubed wheelchair wheel regularly. The lubricated wheels of the wheelchair can move with minimum effect. It’s recommended to get oil to the wheels every month regularly. It’s also good for avoiding rust.
Overload. It might sound that much important, but this is important. Putting a heavy load on a wheelchair, especially hanging heavy bags on the back, can cause the wheelchair to tip over.
Keep the Wheelchair Clean. Cleaning a wheelchair is also important. Also, Cleaning a wheelchair includes its seat, arms rest, footrest, and wheels. Cleaning the wheelchair also prevents the spreading of germs.
You need to keep the wheelchair maintained after some time like lubing them and washing them properly. All of them are really important to maintain your wheelchair for some time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the First Safety Precaution in Using a wheelchair?
Some of the basic safety precautions of using a wheelchair are swinging or lifting the footplates when you get out of the wheelchair. Apply Brakes whenever you stop the wheelchair and always use the safety belt with a wheelchair.
What are the Problems Faced by Wheelchair Users?
The basic problem wheelchair users faces are given below. Accessibility to different things. Different attitudes towards disabilities. Hard to reach different places.
What are Some Safety Points to Consider When Using Positive Caregiver Techniques?
There are some safety techniques for wheelchair caregivers. Cleaning the Hazards as soon as possible. Trust your instincts in different situations. Keep conversate with your Patient. Keep your eyes and mind open all the time.
If you are here, then you definitely learn about wheelchair safety for caregivers. The overall purpose of this article is to get you familiar with the basic rules and regulations for the caregiver whenever he needs to take care of his patient.
This article is not only about the caregiver you need to take care of the patient in the wheelchair; you can use these tips for other patients too. You can apply this rule to elders, males, females, and even children too.
In conclusion, we just want to say that all of the above rules and tips are for wheelchair safety guidelines for caregivers, and we are hoping that it will help you and get a hundred percent out of it. So best luck, keep your city Clean, and keep Planet EARTH Clean.
John Maverik is an expert in Medical health and mobility devices, especially wheelchairs. He has worked in this field for the past five and a half years. He knows the wheelchair from every aspect and can guide every visitor with accurate information. He helps those with wheelchair-related problems and walks through them to get the best wheelchair.