Wheelchairs are useful devices that help improve the quality of life for many users. Unfortunately, injuries occur when wheelchairs are not properly maintained. This often happens when the user postpones repairs or regular maintenance on their wheelchair. This delay causes the user to expose themselves to a wide range of dangers such as the ones listed below.
All users understand the importance of the wheels on the wheelchair. Basically, if there are issues with the wheels, there is going to be an issue with maneuvering the wheelchair. Regular wheel check-ups are recommended for all wheelchairs. Sometimes certain situations such as bumping into things at high speed, running over rocks or debris and hitting curbs can cause the wheels to become damaged.
2. Wheel Locks
Wheel locks are responsible for keeping the wheelchair in place. Many wheelchair users depend on the wheel locks during the transferring process. If the wheel locks are broken they can cause the wheelchair to roll which could lead to the user falling.
3. Flat Tires
Low or flat tires are one of the most common issues wheelchair users postpone fixing. Some users fill flat tires up with air frequently until they get the chance to repair or replace them. This situation can cause the user to get stranded at home or in public places without any assistance. It can also cause the wheelchair to tilt or become unbalanced exposing the user to the risk of tipping over. If a flat tire is not fixed immediately it may also lead to other damages.
4. Loose Wheels
Power wheelchairs with loose wheels cause the wheelchair to work harder to function. This runs down the battery faster. Loose wheels on manual wheelchairs force the user to exert more energy to control the wheelchair. Wheel locks also do not work properly with loose wheels which can cause the user to become injured.
5. Damaged Wheel Spokes
Wheel spokes on manual wheelchairs are there for a purpose. Sometimes wheelchair users think it’s ok that some of the spokes are damaged or missing. Wheel spokes that are missing or damaged can interfere with the movement of the wheelchair and prevent the wheels from locking properly.
6. Battery Issues
Batteries are easy to maintain. Basically, batteries are recharged when the wheelchair is not in use. Some wheelchair users don’t charge batteries long enough which causes the energy to drain too quickly. Although this situation isn’t physically dangerous, it can cause the user stress when they get stranded in public places. Extra stress may aggravate other health issues such as high blood pressure, which could become dangerous
7. Broken Joystick
Power wheelchairs require a joystick for use. The joystick guides the wheelchair in all directions and controls the speed. If a joystick malfunctions, it can cause the wheelchair to go too fast or slow, jerk to the side, forward or backward which may cause neck injuries in users. Joysticks need to be in perfect working condition at all times to prevent injury.
8. Losing Control
Some wheelchair damages can cause the device to go out of control unexpectedly. Wheelchair users are often taken by surprise when their device doesn’t react properly. This situation often ends up injuring pedestrians more often than wheelchair users. Numerous damages can be responsible for the device losing control.
9. Damaged Seat
The seat is the most frequently used part of the wheelchair. If the seat is torn or damaged it can cause the user to sit in an uncomfortable position. This situation may lead to the user experiencing pain or poor circulation due to uncomfortable seating and lack of support.
10. Overused Motor
Power wheelchair users are aware of the importance of taking care of the motor. Sometimes users become familiar with their wheelchair and learn how far they can push it before repairs are necessary. This situation can cause the motor and other parts to become overused and damaged. Pushing the motor to the limit before conducting maintenance on it may cause the motor to suddenly stop working. This is dangerous for users who live alone or travel independently.
Call us over at Mobility City if you have any questions! We repair and clean wheelchairs and mobility scooters!