How to use a manual wheelchair - Part 1 Parts of the wheelchair
How to Use a Manual Wheelchair
Preparing the hands.Especially if you are learning, keep your fingernails trimmed short so they are less likely to tear. You may want to wear fingerless gloves, such as weightlifting gloves, to protect your hands from both dirt and injury.
Gripping the wheels.A manual chair meant to be under the control of its occupant will have a metal rim intended for the hands, called a push rim. This rim does not touch the ground. It may be easier for you to grip the whole wheel (both the rim and the tire). Either way is fine.
Going forwards.To go forwards, reach backwards and grip the wheels as far back as you can. Push the wheels forward by keeping hold of the rims and moving them in a forwards direction.
Going backwards.Reach forwards and grip the wheels, and push them backwards. Be careful, as the little wheels at the front will need to swivel round. Don't forget to look behind you!
Turning right.Hold the right wheel still, and push the left wheel forwards.
Turning left.Hold the left wheel still, and push the right wheel forwards.
Spinning on the spot.If in a tight corner, you may need to spin on the spot. Push one wheel forwards and the other one backwardssimultaneously.
Stopping.Grip the rims and use friction to slow them down. Pinch the push rim between your thumb and the side of the first joint of your index finger. If the rims are wet, pinch the tire instead. Use caution, as this friction creates heat that can burn your hands if you are on a slope or stopping suddenly.
Staying still.If you will be staying still for some time - e.g. to sit at a table - or you will be using your hands for something - e.g. to take off your coat - then put the brakes on -- or else you might roll backwards!
Going over bumps.Avoid bumps where possible.
- Go slowly at first. Hitting a bump (even one as small as 1cm) at speed can catapult you out of your chair and across the floor.
- It is useful to practice popping a wheelie to lift front wheels off the ground long enough to go over a small bump.
- Back over the bump. Larger obstacles such as curbs can be traversed by backing up them slowly and safely. Do not back down a large obstacle or you will tip over.
Curb or step hopping.With good balance, some people can go down a curb or step. This takes practice.
- Stop before the curb and concentrate. Think with your wheels and your center of gravity. Be one with the chair.
- Lean slightly forward during takeoff.
- In mid air, you will need to correct by steadying yourself a little bit backwards, so that your back wheels hit very slightly before your front wheels. Be careful not to fall backwards.
- Best practiced with a helmet, and start with a small step.
QuestionWhy do I have to wear hand gear?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYour hands are your brakes and propulsion. I use my hands like rubber brakes on a bike tire. Before the gloves I was cautious when I moved because it really takes a lot of pressure on the rims to make the chair move and keep in control going down even a slight decline of a hallway or street or sidewalk. You want to be able to grip as hard as you need to and not have the pain be what dictates your safety and speed.Thanks!
QuestionWhat determines the left side of a wheelchair (facing it vs. sitting in it)?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis article is referring to people sitting in the wheelchair, so the left side is the side with their left hand.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I back up in a wheelchair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPush the wheels in the opposite direction from the direction to go forward.Thanks!
QuestionIs there something I can do to make my chair easier to maneuver, like lubricate the wheels?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPneumatic tires will make it easier to propel your wheelchair, as well as making the ride smoother.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I help someone out of a wheelchair?Top AnswererThis very much depends on the people's reasons for being in a wheelchair, as well as on your relationship to them. If they back injuries, the methods to help may differ from if they have leg injuries. Take special care that you yourself do not fall forward if you lift them up. Standing to their side, you can offer an arm. Or, standing in front of them, you can put your arms under theirs as in a hug and lift them to their feet that way. Obviously, you should always ask if your help is both appreciated and needed before you act.Thanks!
QuestionWill a self-propelled wheelchair be suitable for someone with arthritis?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, it is better than a manual wheelchair because gripping the wheels in a manual chair can be hard for someone with arthritis in their hands.Thanks!
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- Special push rims are available for people with low grip strength.
- Large, pneumatic-tire front wheels make it easier to go over bumps, but will slow you down. Hard, small front wheels mean you can go fast but have to pay lots of attention to bumps.
- Practice wheelies on soft carpet. It is easier to stay balanced than on hard surfaces. Consider wearing pads and a helmet until you get the hang of it.
- Spoke guards are inexpensive, decorative, and can protect your fingers from getting caught in spokes.
- Fingerless gloves help prevent blisters, wheel burn, and callouses.
- Consider wearing a seat belt until you get proficient at navigating slopes and bumps without losing your balance.
- Use caution in narrow doorways or close spaces or hand and arm injury can occur.
- A child in your lap, or a heavy backpack on your seat back, will change your center of gravity for doing wheelies.
- Be extremely careful going over bumps and doing wheelies - you can cause yourself serious injury if you are careless.
- Do not let yourself build up too much speed going downhill as you may not be able to stop!
- If you're new to this, expect that your arms will ache and your hands will become sore but that goes away in time.
- Braking causes friction on your hands, and therefore heat, so be careful not to burn your hands on downhill stretches.
- Try your best to avoid running over feet. This is painful and people can become angry. On the other hand, it is somewhat satisfying to do in crowds of rude people who are elbowing you in the face.
- Drive your wheelchair as you should drive a car: look before you go, particularly if turning or reversing.
- If going outdoors, watch out for animal poo, roadkill, etc.: if you get it on your wheels, you may well get it on your hands!
- If you have a child in your lap, and you hit even a tiny bump, the child will fly forwards catastrophically.
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Date: 07.12.2018, 13:44 / Views: 42175