It is estimated that in America, 3.6 million people over the age of 15, use a wheelchair. Many of them experience bouts of chronic pain. It is necessary for them to have a chair that limits vibration, is easy to maneuver, and provides optimum comfort. Certain features, such as control and speed, can enhance your sense of independence.
When choosing components, you need to reflect on the nature of your day-to-day activities. Do you love outdoors, do you have an active lifestyle, or do you travel frequently? The answers will help you determine the ideal components when looking for parts such as casters and wheelchair bearings.
Importance of Maintaining Tire Components
The tire and its components are significant factors that impact the smoothness of the ride. Worn out tires, loose casters, and wheelchair bearings are some of the parts that need servicing regularly. When the wheel system is not functioning properly, pushing the chair can feel like going through mud.
You should regularly check the following parts for a high-performance wheelchair:
- Wheelchair Casters’ Movement: The front steering wheels may seem like an insignificant part of the system, but they play a critical role in control and maneuverability. They swivel and let you make sharp turns on the spot. Spin the casters to test whether they are moving properly. Also, look for cracks as well as signs for wear and tear. As soon as you notice faults have the wheel taken for repair or replacement.
- Oiling and Replacing the Wheelchair Bearings: The front steering wheels may seem like an insignificant part of the system, but they play a critical role in control and maneuverability. They swivel and let you make sharp turns on the spot. Spin the casters to test whether they are moving properly. Also, look for cracks as well as signs for wear and tear. As soon as you notice faults have the wheel taken for repair or replacement.
- Checking the Tightness of the Spokes:Spokes distributes the tension evenly around the tire. When some are loose, the wheel will wobble, and the chair becomes uncomfortable to use. Squeeze two of them between your hands gently. If it moves or bends, you should adjust it. It is advisable to get an expert to fix the problem. Spokes require exact tightness to keep the wheelchair tire close to its torque range.
- Wheelchair Locks: The brake prevents unnecessary shifting and makes getting out of the chair more convenient. Effective locks also facilitate lifting of objects, halting fast movement, and allowing you to sit still. You should check monthly whether the locking mechanism can keep the chair in place. Test to ensure the braking mechanism doesn’t interfere with the movements of the wheel.
Enhance Comfort through Wheelchair Cushions Maintenance
If the wheelchair cushion is working properly, it can prevent body sores. The padding on the seat determines the comfort, safety, and usability of the chair. You ought to perform the following tasks at least once a month.
- Cleaning: Dirt and grime can break your skin and leave you prone to infections. Use a damp cloth with soap to wipe out the wheelchair comfort cushion. You can use the washing machine for the cover, but avoid using the dryer as it is prone to shrinking.
- Inspection:You should regularly check the air cushions for leaks and ensure they have adequate pressure. You can isolate the area leaking by using the common soap bubbles technique. It may be possible to patch it up, but there are times you will require a replacement. If it is a gel cushion, make a point of massaging it and ascertain the fluid distribution is even.
- Testing other Parts: You may also check if the other components of the cushion are in good shape. The zipper should be moving swiftly up and down without jerking. If the zipper is not closing, it can create contours on the surface. Look for any signs of crack and tears on the cover and have them fixed.
Poor wheelchair maintenance can cause injuries and often leads to lost opportunities and limits mobility and comfort. You can reduce the risk of injury by performing routine checks on the wheelchair bearings, casters, and covers. Some parts may require an expert to fix to reduce the risk of errors and ensure optimum performance.