Life with Your New Equipment
As you embark on this journey, there are important things to know about your mobility from a functional and emotional level. It’s important to understand your wheelchair, but it’s also important to learn from others. We want to be able to provide you with as many resources as possible to help you navigate your world.
Learning How to Function in Your New Chair
It’s important for you and/or your caregiver to understand your equipment inside and out. Upon delivery, your technician will review safety and maintenance needs for your device. Because your wheelchair will provide your mobility, it’s important to not only understand how to use your device, but know what it will take to keep it operating in its best shape.
After you receive your chair, be sure to follow up with your medical team if you have any issues or questions. You’ll also need to be sure to schedule regular touch points with your team to make sure the chair you or your child is using is still appropriate and meeting all of your mobility needs.
Service and Repair
If you have a problem or concern at any time and believe you need a repair or replacement part, you can contact your local Numotion location or call us at 800-500-9150.
Your wheelchair should get a full maintenance inspection at least once a year. We call this a Comprehensive Safety and Performance Inspection and it’s done at every service appointment. Our service technicians can perform this service in your home or at one of our locations. During this appointment, we will do a thorough inspection of every part including:
- Motor assemblies
- Wheel assemblies
- Positioning devices
- Arm and foot rests
Wheelchair and Scooter Safety, Maintenance and Cleaning
As with any equipment you own, your wheelchair requires some basic safety checks to keep it working safely. Here are a few tips that you can do to maintain your wheelchair:
- Keep your chair free of excess dirt, mud, moisture, and road salt. Once a month or as needed, wipe your wheelchair with a damp cloth and general purpose cleaner.
- Inspect your wheelchair to ensure that all nuts, bolts, and attaching hardware are properly tightened.
- Ensure that your wheel locks are properly adjusted and confirm that they lock the drive wheels securely.
- During transfers make sure Power Wheelchairs are turned off and wheel locks are engaged on wheeled products.
- If you have pneumatic tires, check for proper tire pressure weekly.
- If you have a power chair or scooter, be sure that you plug the battery charger into a grounded outlet.
- Do not use or turn on other communication devices such as cellular phones, walkie-talkies or CBs while your power wheelchair or scooter is on.
- Use only batteries approved for use with scooters and power wheelchairs.
- Do not go up or down stairs or on steep inclines - doing so may result in some chairs tipping over.
These are just some basic guidelines and you should refer to your owners' manual for specific safety precautions and maintenance for your wheelchair or scooter.
Important Points to Remember
- The user or caregiver should perform frequent safety checks on the wheelchair. Review Owner's Manuals thoroughly for any additional manufacturer's warnings.
- Check handgrips and the rubber tips on the tipping levers to ensure that they are tight and secure.
- Check the locks for proper adjustment to confirm that they lock the large wheels securely when engaged.
- Look over all nuts, bolts and attaching hardware for proper tightness
- Check for proper footrest length adjustment.
- If the user's physical condition or body weight changes significantly, check with your physician or therapist to confirm that the present wheelchair is still appropriate.
- Avoid developing pressure injuries from prolonged sitting by frequently practicing some type of weight shift. Do "push-ups" by pressing down on the armrests to lift the buttocks off the seat, or shift weight by leaning first to one side then the other.
- Do not lean forward in the wheelchair unless both feet are flat on the floor. This is particularly important for users with heavy leg casts using elevating leg rests.
- If any unsafe conditions are found, please discontinue use of the wheelchair and call our office immediately.
- Becoming familiar with the wheelchair and following the above guidelines should increase the user's mobility, comfort and functional independence. Please call our office if we can be of further service.
Understanding Your World Through Those Who Have Lived It
Getting to understand your wheelchair is one thing. Understanding your disability is another. Depending on your condition, there are a number of resources that can help connect you to people who can help provide real-world advice.
You can also follow along with several of our employees as well as guest bloggers through our Numotion blog. We will cover topics including:
NuDigest: Tips for Flying with a Wheelchair
A Nu You: Scott Chesney Vlog Series
NuDigest: Managing Upper Extremity Pain with the Right Wheelchair Configuration
NuDigest: Benefits of Standing
NuDigest: Training Methods for Pediatric Powered Mobility
NuDigest: Addressing Parent’s Perception of Powered Mobility
NuDigest: Powered Mobility and Play
NuDigest: Benefits of a Single-Source Provider for CRT and Urological Needs
NuDigest: The Importance of Properly Programming Powered Wheelchairs