If someone in your family needs a wheelchair, whether it is on a long-term or permanent basis, there is no denying that it can be a difficult time for everyone involved. There is no denying that your loved one will be feeling upset about the turn their life has taken.
Moreover, you will need to make changes with regards to the way that your family travels from place-to-place. This includes making changes to your vehicle and around your home. With that in mind, read on to discover some tips that can assist.
We are assuming that you or your loved one has already purchased the wheelchair that is going to be used (or been given it). However, you need to maintain your wheelchair to ensure it keeps operating as it should. Here are some tips for doing so…
- Know your equipment – You need to get to grips with the features of the wheelchair if you are to look after it properly.
- Clean up any spills or moisture immediately – If you spill something on the wheelchair, or it has been exposed to rain, you need to clean it immediately.
- Devise a weekly checklist – It is a good idea to put together a checklist, so you never overlook any important aspects. This should include checking all components, i.e. the brakes, drive tyres, caster wheels, electrical connectors, armrests, seats and the joystick.
- Keep things tight – Ensure all bolts, nuts and electrical connections are fastened securely at all times. If any of these start to loosen up, and you cannot tighten them yourself, you need to sort out a repair as soon as possible so the problem does not get worse.
- Tyre maintenance – You need to check the tyres regular for any wear and tear while you will also need to monitor the tyre pressure to ensure it is right.
- Replace corroded electrical parts – Every month or so, you should inspect the wheelchair to make sure no damage has occurred. A key part of this includes looking for signs of corrosion, which happens as a result of exposure to fluids, such as bodily fluids and rainwater. If you noticed that any electrical parts have corroded, you will need to replace them immediately.
- Refer to the Owner’s Manual – All wheelchairs are made differently, and thus there may be specific maintenance advice for your wheelchair in the owner’s manual that you will have received when you bought it.
- Battery maintenance – A power wheelchair is nothing without its batteries, and so you need to look after them properly too. You should never use any other wheelchair charger other than the one you received with your wheelchair. Moreover, avoid depleting your batteries over 80 per cent, and only drain new batteries by 30 per cent within the first ten days.
Choosing a WAV
You are also going to need to purchase a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle to ensure that your loved one can travel with ease. When you buy any vehicle there are lots of different factors you need to take into account in order to ensure you buy the right car for you. Nevertheless, when it comes to buying a vehicle for Motability, there is much greater emphasis placed on the decisions that need to be made.
Unfortunately, a lot of people state that they would make a different choice if they had the opportunity to select a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle again. To ensure you don’t feel this way several years down the line, read on to discover the main points you need to consider when trying to find the ideal Motability vehicle for you…
One of the main things you need to take into account is how the person using the wheelchair is going to get in and out of the vehicle. When buying a WAV, you will see that there are many different options in relation to this aspect.
Firstly, you have to choose between entering the vehicle from the side or the back. Secondly, you will also have the choice of either a ramp or a lift. You will know which option is going to be the easiest for you. Nevertheless, don’t forget to consider parking around your home, as this will influence how you get in and out of the vehicle as well.
In addition to this, you should also take into account how much room you are going to need. The most obvious way to determine this is to factor in the dimensions of the wheelchair.
However, don’t forget to consider whether you are likely to change your wheelchair during the lease of the vehicle. After all, if you are purchasing a Motability vehicle to accommodate a child, it is likely that their wheelchair will change. In addition to this, consider the position of the wheelchair and how the user is going to move around.
Peugeot minibuses come with a range of different layout options, so they give a good indication of the solutions available. They are especially beneficial if you have a large family. The best solution is to try out the vehicle.
Another important factor to take into account is how many people are likely to be travelling in the vehicle with you. Moreover, you should also consider how they are going to be seated as well. The main factor that influences your selection is whether the wheelchair user is going to be the driver or not.
If so, you can have seats fitted in the back of the car. However, it is worth noting that this can easily be a costly expense. Consider your options carefully. There are a whole host of seat layouts for you to choose from, and therefore you are assured to find one you are happy with and everyone is comfortable with.
Consider a wetroom
A wetroom is a stylish and practical bathroom solution, whereby the shower is open plan, and so there is no shower enclosure. Essentially, the room itself acts as the enclosure. There are many reasons why a wet room may be the perfect solution.
Wetrooms not only look great, but they boast easy access too. You don’t have to worry about a glass shower door, nor is there a curb to step over in order to get into the shower. The openness of this bathroom design makes it ideal for anyone that is using a wheelchair as well as elderly people who don’t want to experience difficulty every time they need a shower.
Despite this, wetrooms look exceptionally stylish, as they boast a contemporary appearance that is highly sought after nowadays. So, you get all of the ease and convenience without having to compromise on the appearance of your bathroom.
The reduced mobility and anti-slip features that are associated with wetrooms allow wheelchair users to maintain independence and dignity. They won’t need someone to help them get into the shower, as they may have done previously, and this can be a great feeling to say the least.
Aside from this, another added benefit associated with wetrooms is the fact that they are a lot easier to clean. If you are struggling to keep your shower looking pristine, with the glass doors being notoriously difficult to clean in any case, then a wetroom could be just the thing you need.
So there you have it: some tips if you are adjusting to life with a wheelchair. We hope the advice above has been helpful to you.