Wheelchair maintenance is important for even the best motorized wheelchair, but if you have not yet upgraded to a motorized, portable wheelchair like the Intellichair, Path to Mobility recommends you follow certain steps to keep your manual wheelchair in top working order.
Keeping your wheelchair rolling smoother will reduce the strain on your wrists and shoulders, reduce the chances of a wheelchair breakdown.
The path to Mobility recommends the following steps:
- Keep your wheelchair clean and dry. Use regular household cleaning products once a month to make sure the wheelchair performs properly. Also use this as an opportunity to check for dents, cracks, scratches, loose nuts and bolts.
- Monitor tire pressure. The tires will roll with the least possible resistance if they are inflated to the recommended pressure indicated on the side of the tire. Check for punctures, cracks and worn-out treads that mean you should replace the tire
- Check that the brakes are tight, but are not restricting the wheels. Lubricate sticky brakes with silicon spray.
- Check the armrests for sharp edges, cracks or protruding screws that mean they should be replaced. Tighten loose arm assemblies.
- Check the back brace-post to make sure it isn’t bent or damaged. Check the back upholstery to make sure it’s tight from top to bottom. Check for rips or tears.
- Check that the wheels spin straight and are not wobbly and that the wheel spokes are equally tight.
- The caster wheel bearings shouldn’t wobble, the tires should be secure on the rim, and the wheels should have the proper amount of air pressure.
- Make sure the safety belt isn’t frayed and worn out. This could be dangerous, and you need to get it replaced fast.
Proper and frequent wheelchair maintenance will help protect the user from possible injury. A path to Mobility recommends that you refer to your user manual for specific maintenance suggestions on your own particular wheelchair.