Personal mobility equipment needs to be maintained properly. Special care is required for wheelchairs because this is the equipment you rely on the most. Knowing how to properly care for your wheelchair will not only allow you to use it for a long time, more importantly wheelchair maintenance ensures that it will not cause you injuries.
Because wheelchairs can be costly, it is wise for you to give it special care. Should any wheelchair problems arise, you will probably be the first person to notice it. For this reason, it is imperative for you to know what to do or at least who to ask for help when parts need to be fixed or replaced. Manual wheelchairs are easier to maintain and may be cared for using common tools whereas electric wheelchairs need professional attention.
You should have a regular routine for preventive wheelchair maintenance. Use a rag or some form of cloth to clean your wheelchair on a regular basis. Some wheelchair users use car wax to make the task of cleaning the frame easier. Inspecting your wheelchair for possible day to day damage should be part of your routine. For electric wheelchairs, it is important to test the brakes and anti-rollback functions from on a regular basis. Furthermore, it is important to regularly check parts that may need adjustments. For example, all nuts and bolts must be secure at all times so it is recommended that they are tightened at least once a month.
For those with limited upper-body functions, assistance from others to perform these regular maintenance tasks may be important.
Most wheelchairs come with wheelchair guides or manuals, it is important to read through these before performing maintenance tasks. The manual should inform its reader about warranty policies, wheelchair usage and wheelchair maintenance. The guide should also contain instructions on how to properly care for your wheelchair and which tools should be used when maintaining the wheelchair.
Having a set of tools specifically for your wheelchair will prove to be a worthwhile investment as they may lower your maintenance costs in the long run. Essentials include different wrenches, maybe a set of Allen wrenches, a spoke wrench, and an adjustable wrench. Screwdrivers and repair kits may also be practical. Having them in one place may also be essential in case an emergency arises.
Proper care and maintenance will surely make you feel more secure about using your wheelchair. Although inspecting and fixing it yourself may do the trick, it is still important to have an expert examine it from time to time.