Power wheelchairs allow people who are disabled and those who’ve lost their mobility as a result of injuries to regain their independence. However, to keep your power wheelchair working effectively, it’s essential to maintain and take care of it properly to lower the need for costly repairs and ensure a longer lifespan.
Here are a few tips to care for your power wheelchair:
The battery of the wheelchair should be kept charged. You can charge it at night as you sleep. This not only ensures that you have plenty of power for the next day, but it also extends the life of the wheelchair battery. You should also remove the battery for long-term storage and keep it at room temperature (avoid freezing or very high temperatures). Besides, manufacturers recommend replacing batteries every three years.
Proper wheel inflation
You should keep the tires inflated at the pressure level stamped on the tire or indicated in the operating manual. Underinflated tires can cause the power wheelchair to wobble or veer off to one side. Besides underinflated or overinflated tires can wear unevenly and thus shorten their lifespan. You should also test drive the tires. Every drive tire should move or roll easily. You can clear away anything that could be preventing the wheel from turning.
Assess your brakes
Brake failures can result in serious injuries. Thus, they should be checked daily to ensure they are working properly. That can be done by turning down the speed, pushing the joystick forward until you hear the brakes click, and then immediately turn the wheelchair off.
Inspect the cables
Check for loose wires leading to the controller and ensure that all loose wires are tied down or clipped. You should ensure that all electrical components are secure and not corroded. Also, inspect wires to ensure they are safely away from the moving parts like gears, wheels, and belts to prevent them from being caught or tangled. This should be done on a monthly basis.
Take care of the shrouds
If the shrouds are dirty, damaged, or have moisture, they can affect the functionality of the power wheelchair. So, assess the shrouds (the plastic shield that covers the batteries and motors) for cracks or damage. You can also jiggle the shrouds daily to check if they are loose and they should be replaced if they are damaged.
The chair should be cleaned to make sure that it stays in good shape. Built-up dirt and food deposits can cause your device to wear out faster. So, each day after you are finished using the chair clean it with a spray cleaner or sponge with warm soapy water. You should dry everything off with a dry towel and check all the crevices for any moisture left. Furthermore, spills should be cleaned up immediately so that they do not end up becoming permanent stains or damage.
Keep the wheelchair dry
Corrosion might occur if you expose wheelchair to the elements. Hence, ensure your wheelchair is dry after every outing. Take extra precautions by drying the electrical components such as the wire well and controller. Besides, if you have to use your chair in the rain or snow, it is recommended to wrap a clear plastic over the power control panel to safeguard it from the elements.
Connections may loosen, wires may burn out, and parts can wear out and therefore cause degradation and make the device less efficient. Hence, it is essential to have your electric wheelchair inspected professionally every year. Regular servicing can extend the lifespan of the whole power chair. It can also help prevent any problems that might cause unsafe operation. Besides, if any problems are detected, they can be repaired so the chair is fully operational.
Bonus tip– listen for odd noises: if you hear unusual noises while operating the chair or while it sits idle, ensure you check to see what is wrong. Do not let the issue to fester until you are forced to take action. You can call for professional help whenever necessary.
A well-maintained power wheelchair is essential for problem-free mobility. By using these tips, you can keep the power wheelchair working properly so it offers safe and reliable services. It is also wise to refer to the owner’s manual or speak with the manufacturer for assistance.