If you use a wheelchair, cold, wet, snowy, or icy weather conditions can bring more problems. Following are tips to help you use your wheelchair safely.
Tip No. 1
Be aware of the dangers, such as you or your wheelchair slipping during transfers, your wheelchair sliding, and getting stuck and stranded.
Tip No. 2
Before venturing out, consider your options. Is it safer to use your prostheses or your wheelchair? Or do conditions warrant staying home?
Tip No. 3
Make sure you have appropriate wheels on your wheelchair for the weather.
Tip No. 4
Wear appropriate clothing. Loose-fitting clothing can get snagged on or caught in something, such as your wheelchair spokes. Also, be prepared for weather changes by taking along extra clothing items you might need and dressing in layers; you may be sitting for a long time somewhere or experience changing temperatures in different places. Being able to add or remove clothing will help you stay comfortable.
Tip No. 5
Make sure to have good gloves, especially if you use a manual wheelchair. Gloves that resist water are best and having extra ones with you if yours get wet or torn could be invaluable.
Tip No. 6
Take along appropriate tools to help dislodge your wheelchair if it gets bogged down in mud or snow.
Tip No. 7
Be especially careful on ramps and inclines where your wheels can easily slide. Before using ramps or inclines, inspect them to make sure they are safe. If something looks dangerous, try to find a way around it.
Tip No. 8
Do a winter checkup of your wheelchair to make sure it’s in optimum working order.