Pushing a wheelchair may not seem like the most complicated order, but it comes with a lot of responsibilities. As a caregiver, the wheelchair user’s safety is in your hands as you push them around. This guide will help you take care of your patients while considering their personal mobility needs. Look below for three manual wheelchair safety tips caregivers should know.
Lock the Wheelchair in Place During Transfers
You may need to transfer patients from the wheelchair. In some cases, you’ll help them get into bed. This task is safe when done properly but requires a stable wheelchair and a trained caregiver. One essential safety tip to remember during this process is to lock the wheelchair in place. This is an easy step to overlook if you don’t make it a habit, so add it to your routine to avoid unwanted motion.
When the wheelchair is locked in place, you’ll have the stability you need to move the patient to and from the chair. Keep an eye on the performance of wheelchair locks and brakes so you can fix or replace them when necessary. At DME Hub, our wheelchair store has locks you can use to keep the wheelchair secure while stationary.
Avoid Putting Too Much Weight on the Chair’s Back
If you’re used to storing items in the back seat of a grocery cart or placing your child in that seat, then you may think the same idea works with a wheelchair. You can put special storage baskets on the back of a wheelchair, so the space is suitable for storage. However, be mindful of how much weight you put on the patient’s back.
Maintaining clear communication with patients is always important, and it certainly applies to this instance. Make sure that your patient is comfortable with any storage on their wheelchair. That way, you can prioritize comfort and convenience for the patient.
Encourage the Patient To Request Assistance
Speaking of communication, you should always encourage your patient to ask for help. This is one of the most important manual wheelchair safety tips caregivers should know because accidents can happen when patients try to push themselves too far. For instance, if you see the patient reaching for an item that is too high, encourage them to ask you for help. You can prevent an accident or injury from occurring during what should be a straightforward task. Remember these tips with your next patient to ensure you create the best experience possible.