It is vital that you take good care of your wheelchair. Keeping it well maintained will extend the life of your wheelchair and minimize breakdowns, which can leave you stranded. How often should you service your wheelchair? The owner’s manual will give you a good idea about the maintenance schedule of your wheelchair, plus it will also include warranty details.
A suggestion is to have it fully serviced once annually. Contact your wheelchair provider to book appointments and find out if you have to take it to their shop or will a service tech come to your house.
If Mainly Outdoor, More Maintenance
Will your wheelchair require service more often? You will need to answer the following questions: Do you use it outdoors frequently? What kind of climate do you live in? Do you drive your wheelchair fairly hard or are you gentle with it?
If you operate your wheelchair in snow or rain, be sure to wipe it down when you get home. This will keep the bolts and screws from rusting.
Hair and dust will frequently collect around the rear tires and front casters, which could negatively impact the ride of the wheelchair. Do a weekly check of these areas. Check the air pressure before heading out if you have pneumatic (air tires). Replace worn or cracked tires immediately.
Look for loose bolts and check the operation of the brakes monthly. Bad brakes could result in a fall that can cause an injury.
Properly position cushions and brakes to maintain comfort and good posture. Cushions do compress and wear out with time and this can make them very uncomfortable. Ask your seat tech or physiotherapist if it is time for a new cushion.
For those who have air-filled cushions, be sure that the air pressure is correct for your body type and weight. Do a monthly check on the cushions to avoid discomfort or even pressure sores. The usual life span of a foam cushion or seat back is around 2 years. When the foam is compressed too much, it loses its effectiveness and you aren’t getting full pressure relief and it could even breakdown the skin.
If there is any doubt about how often you need to service your wheelchair, contact your wheelchair provider. They should have a record of the date it was last serviced and what work was done.
Your wheelchair will take good care of you it you take good care of it.
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