A wheelchair is the primary form of transport for a physically disabled person. The wheelchair needs to have all the correct parts to ensure that it runs smoothly and effectively. The maintenance of your wheelchair is imperative to making sure you have a smooth and safe ride.
Here we take a look at some of the major parts of any standard wheelchair and customised wheelchairs. Each section will inform you how to make sure you have the right part on your wheelchair and why it is important to have it.
The major or most important part that can be found on or in an electric wheelchair is the battery or in some cases a power pack. If you are out in your wheelchair and far away from a source to charge the battery then you have to ensure that the battery has been charged correctly. If the wheelchair battery goes flat when you are underway it is not only inconvenient it can also be dangerous.
There are three main battery chargers available:
For Wet Batteries:
You will need a charger that is specifically designed to cause a reaction between sulphuric acid and lead to create the charge
For Gel Batteries:
The gel contains sulphuric acid, pure water, fumed silica and phosphoric acid
For AGM Batteries:
The battery that has a glass mat between the plates, it is absorbent and becomes saturated with acid electrolyte
Ensure that you use the correct battery charger for the different battery types, it can be dangerous when this precaution is not looked in to.
Having the correct wheels under you is another important part of your wheelchair. The casters on your wheelchair are the smaller wheels on the front of the wheelchair, which give support for the base. These wheelchair casters come in a variety of sizes and shapes. It is important that you use the correct size for your particular wheelchair. The size can be determined by checking the wheelchairs turning function and its capability of handling bumps.
For wheelchairs that are primarily used at home, wall guards should be taken in to consideration. These wheelchair accessories are important to help prevent you from bumping into the wall with your wheelchair and causing both injuries to yourself and damaging the wheelchair or the walls. The different sizes will protect the wall from different parts of your wheelchair. For example if you install three inch rails the bottom of the wall will be protected from your wheelchair, while larger wall guards protect the wall up to the level of the arms of the chair.
It is a good idea to do a little research on the parts that are on your wheelchair. Get the information from your wheelchairs manufacturer. Once you know what is available for your wheelchair you can begin to shop around for different styles and brands for your personal preferences and requirements and to modify your wheelchair.