Are you using your mobility aid properly? If not, mobility aids may be a detriment or contribute to accidents, incidents, and injuries. Use tips from industry professionals to prevent these situations through proper use and safety surrounding mobility aids of all kinds.
Are you using your mobility aid properly? The industry professionals at Pacific Mobility want to remind you that using these devices incorrectly can be detrimental, even contribute to a nasty fall or potential injury.
Use care and basic safety when using your mobility aids to avoid problems:
The best way to perfect your form and learn proper use is through practice.
Try your equipment and watch demonstrations of proper usage. The proper way to use these devices is also going to be the method that is most comfortable and convenient so don’t shortchange yourself by using it incorrectly.
Keep children off
A good rule of thumb for any of your mobility aids is to not allow kids on them; these are not toys. Accidents happen and it is easy for someone to become hurt or for your investment to become damaged incidentally. Prevent this risk by keeping kids off.
Take care of your lift
A big part of stairlift safety is related to the maintenance; a well-maintained lift is a safer lift. A couple of caveats to this is to have the device inspected regularly by your qualified mobility aid vendor and to keep the track or rails clean of dust and debris.
Also, it is not generally recommended that you buy second-hand equipment from private parties; there is really no way to know how safe and functional these devices are until they have been inspected by a professional.
Learn to walk with a walker
Slow down when walking with a walker; also use rubber tips or tennis balls to prevent slippage for two-wheeled walker models. Gently push the walker with both hands and follow with steps.
Use your cane correctly
Do you know how to use a cane correctly? It starts by holding it in the hand opposite of the side that you are injured or disabled. For example, if you have an injured left knee, hold the cane in your right hand for use on the right side.
Sit and stand properly
Don’t use your walker or cane to support you when sitting and standing from a seated position. Use the arms of the chair or sofa and use the cane or walker to stabilize yourself once you have risen. Canes and walker wheels can slip or slide, which could put you on the floor!
Don’t carry passengers
There are weight limits on equipment for a reason; avoid riding others on lifts, scooters, or on electric chairs. Furthermore, there are dangers for carrying passengers on lifts; talk to your mobility retailer for more information.
When using scooters, always wear a helmet and dress for outdoor conditions. If it is cool, dress warmly in case your battery life falters and you become stuck. Wear bright, bold colors to be seen. When using indoor equipment, avoid wearing loose-fitting clothes and always wear shoes.
Wet or watery conditions can be hazardous to anyone in a chair, scooter, or using a lift. Avoid water and always maintain a dry environment around your mobility equipment, either with a cover or shelter. Never carry drinks or open containers on lifts or scooters; this can be disastrous in the event of a spill.
Read the manual
It is important to follow manufacturer guidelines for usage so hang on to your owner’s manual and refer to it regularly. There are all kinds of useful information in these resources; make sure that you keep it nearby. Don’t have the manual? Ask your mobility vendor or print out a copy from online pdfs.
Stay off the street
When venturing out on scooters or chairs, stay on the sidewalks and only cross the streets at crosswalks. Treat the situation as though you are a pedestrian, which you are, and not that you are operating a bike or other motorized vehicle.
Stick with the professionals
Finally, don’t allow others to repair or work on your equipment; it is dangerous for anyone besides a qualified mobility aid technician to modify or install your device. Also, this may exempt you from any warranty or guarantee advantages, as it is required that the equipment is only serviced by specific industry professionals.
Learn safe ways of operating your distinct mobility aid and use them. This not only protects you from potential injury or accident but also helps to preserve the life of your equipment which can save money over the long run.
Want to learn more about using mobility aids safely? Talk to a representative at a reputable mobility aids retailer; in this region, that is Pacific Mobility. Call today for your comprehensive needs assessment.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)