About 3.6 million people in the United States aged 15 and older depend on a wheelchair for mobility, so it's imperative for safety to make sure one's wheelchair brakes are in proper working order. Anyone that depends on a wheelchair should check their wheelchair brakes once a week as well as look to the following tips.
Get Familiar with Your Owner's Manual
Anyone that depends on a wheelchair should read their owner's manual from cover to cover. There is important information contained in the owner's manual about your brakes and other parts of your wheelchair.
The owner's manual will tell you what type of wheelchair brakes are on the chair and provide information about replacement parts. If you need to make repairs or replace parts, it is important that you use the recommended parts noted in your owner's manual.
Obtain Regular Maintenance
You should check the brakes on your wheelchair every week or if you have been moving on rough terrain. Brakes can loosen up with use. Check your brakes to ensure that they are torqued down to a proper level.
Be sure not to over-tighten the brakes. It may take a couple of attempts to set them to the right torque level. Tighten them one turn at a time, move the chair to ensure movement is not impeded, tighten them another turn, and repeat.
Replace the Pads
The small pads on your wheelchair brakes will need to be replaced as they become worn. You can do this yourself by simply removing the old pads and replacing them with new ones. Depending on what type of brakes you have, you may need a screwdriver or other small hand tools.
Your owner's manual should tell you what to look for to determine if it is time to replace your brake pads. Typically, a visual inspection is enough to determine when to replace pads.
Use The Tool Kit That Came With Your Wheelchair
Most wheelchairs come with a toolkit that can be used to make simple repairs. Keep the toolkit handy and use it to make simple brake repairs. The toolkit is designed to specifically work with your wheelchair parts.
Wheelchair brakes should always be in good working condition. They are tasked with keeping the chair steady while you are not in motion. Check your brakes frequently to ensure safety. To learn more about your wheelchair and its parts, contact DME Hub today.