Archives for June 2014

Finding a Power Wheelchair For Your Height & Weight

By Bryant Belin

Determining what type chair is right for you; especially if it’s your first one, can be a challenging experience. However, working closely with your primary care physician and an occupational therapist is a good idea when deciding what power wheelchair is best for your mobility needs. There are a few important specifications, which must be considered in order to fit you with the most comfortable and efficient power wheelchair. Getting the correct seat height, width and depth are crucial and will largely decide if the individual will be able to complete mobility related activities of daily living (ADLs).

Seat Width

Making sure the chair is wide enough is probably the most important measuring to consider when purchasing a power wheelchair. Width is determined by measuring the widest point between the hips and knees while the individual is sitting comfortable. An additional 1” should be added to ensure comfortability. Wheelchairs are usually referred to as 16”, 18” or 20” sizes (additional sizes available depending on weight).

Seat Depth

Seat depth is the second most important measurement to obtain when someone is being fitted for a power wheelchair. To calculate this, while the individual is seated comfortably with legs bent at the knee at a 90 degree angle, measure from the back of the pelvis to the back of the shins. You will then subtract 1” from that number to determine the seat depth.

In cases where one leg is longer than the other, the shorter leg should be used to determine seat depth.

Seat Height

The correct seat height important for adequately functionality during mobility related activities. The measurements should place the individual in a comfortable position with completing activities such as washing dishes, working at a table or desk, transferring to and from a toilet, bed, other chairs, etc. The thickness of the cushion should be subtracted from the height needed.

Our mobility experts here at Aeroflow Healthcare are able to assist in determining what power wheelchair is best for your mobility needs. Contact us today at 888-345-1780 to find out more.

Taking Care of your Power Wheelchair During Summer Weather

If you have a power wheelchair it is suggested that you read or have someone read for you the owner’s manual. This way you will be reminded of the available features and also become introduced to precautions to consider during use. Be sure upon setup and delivery of your power wheelchair these things are explained to you.

Your wheelchair becomes a tool of convenience and also independence; allowing you to complete daily tasks as normal. However, if the chair breaks or becomes inoperative the opposite can occur. It can become a hassle to operate properly, an inconvenience to your daily living and at worst put you in danger. The best way to keep it operating properly is to educate yourself on how it should operate and how to take care of minor issues before they escalate into larger ones.

This chair is yours. You operate it and you own it and you will often be the first person to recognize when something is wrong with it. Knowing how to keep your equipment running during the more active summer months is another way of doing that. This blog will briefly list a few things you can do to keep your chair running smoothly.

  1. Read the owner’s manual. This is extremely important. There is lots of information available in the owner’s manual to help you understand your chair much better.
  2. Keep your chair clean. This will help prevent infections from dirt, mildew, bacteria and other debris but will also make it easier for a repair or maintenance technician to identify a problem when or if one occurs.
  3. Keep moving parts free of anything that could parts to become entangled (wires, cords, ropes, string, etc).
  4. This concerns more cleaning but make sure any electrical connections are free of debris and are not corroded.
  5. Keep your battery charged. It will last longer if it stays charged.
  6. Know what type batter your chair has. If it is a wet battery you must be sure to add distilled water to it about every two months. Keep track on the water level in the battery. If the water level falls below the level of the battery plates you can cause permanent damage to it. A gel battery never needs water however, only last about 10 – 20% as long as the water batteries.
  7. Be to avoid as much dirt, sand and gravel as possible while in your power wheelchair. This will cause additional wear and tear on your tires, which can cause the warranty to be at risk of defaulting.
  8. Avoid riding your power wheelchair in or through water. Your chair is an electric piece of equipment. Water can damage how your chair operates if it seeps inside any outlets or controls.
  9. Avoid direct sunlight in your chair. Your chair is made of metal and plastic. It will not take long for your chair to become extremely hot fairly fast while in direct sunlight. It may also be a good idea to wear gloves and cover any part of your body that is in contact with the chair. This will help prevent burns.
  10. If you are on the go and in direct sunlight make sure and take water with you. Hydration is a must during these summer months.
  11. Take sunscreen. It’s not as easy to just find a shady area while in a power wheelchair. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your skin is protected while in the heat.
  12. Do not stay in the heat too long. Prolonged exposure to the heat can cause sunstroke and heatstroke.

For more information concerning your mobility needs feel free to contact us at 888-345-1780.