5 Golden Rules for Power Wheelchair Users


power wheel chairs


Without power wheelchairs, older adults and handicapped people would be dependent on their own strength and the strength of others.  Because it's natural for people to want to maintain their autonomy, power wheelchairs have become a huge hit.  Today, you see everyone who's unable to walk with one, and they're getting from point A to point B stress-free.  No arm strength needed.  No need to call on an assistant to push them around.  This is why they've become so popular.



But just because they're popular doesn't mean everyone is using them the right way.  Here, we're going to give you some "golden rules" to be conscious of while riding your electric wheelchair.    


Rule #1: Get a Feel for Your Wheelchair Before You Use it


Not all wheelchairs are created equal. 


All brands of electric wheelchairs function differently.  For instance, a light touch on the steering knob of one wheelchair could amount to great acceleration while a light touch on a different wheelchair could amount to hardly any acceleration at all.  Because every wheelchair has unique operating characteristics, be sure to experiment with yours before riding it in public.


Rule #2: Charge Your Wheelchair When You're Not Using It


If you charge it overnight, you can unplug it in the morning.  But any other time, your power wheelchair should be charging.  There's nothing worse than being without a mode of transportation.  So if you rely on your wheelchair to get around, make sure it's always charged.


Rule #3: Don't Forget to Exercise


It's easy to forget to exercise when you have an electric wheelchair.  Even though you can't use your legs, maybe you can move your arms.  If so, do some arms workouts with small weights.  If you can walk with assistance, try building up your leg strength with beginner-level leg exercises.  However, only do this at your doctor's consent.  Whatever you do though, don't grow stale in your power wheelchair.  Stay lively and exercise any way you can, even if it means bringing your arms up over your head a few times a day.


Rule #4: Be Aware of Others Around You


Basically, this just relates to following the rules of the road, so to speak.  For instance, before reversing, check that no one is behind you.  Before crossing the road, make sure you have a green light or "WALK" signal.  Use your common sense and you'll be fine.


Rule #5:  Make it Yours – Customize it!


If you're bored with the look of your power wheelchair, spice it up a little.  Put your favorite blanket over the backside of the chair or add other attachments to it.  Really, there's no "right" way to decorate a wheelchair, so do anything you want that doesn't compromise the safety of it.


Follow these 5 golden rules and you'll achieve your mobile autonomy in the safest way possible.