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Power Wheelchair Safety

Making your Home Power Wheelchair Friendly

If you have reached the point in your life where you are requiring assistance to get around, then you might be considering a power wheelchair.  When you get to this point in life there are some things that you might need to consider for preparations to your home before bringing a mobility device home.

Your Home

First consider the fact that you will need a way to get safely in and out of your home.  If you live in an upper floor home you need to consider the possibility of an emergency when you need to need to get out of the home in a hurry.  The elevator might not be working during an emergency so consider moving into a first floor apartment.  If you live in a home that has a porch or steps a ramp is going to be something you will need to help you get in and out of the home.  Most providers do have them as an option to purchase at an out of pocket cost, or possibly see about having someone build you a ramp.  If you choose to have it built, think about the estimated weight of a power wheelchair along with your own personal weight.

Pathways

You also want to consider pathways to your front door.  If your pathway is anything but a flat surface it could be difficult for you to move your chair around.  Make sure you are taking extra care of your mobility device if you take it outside.  Watch for puddles because this can cause damage to your chair. Gravel and dirt are not the best ground for your chair either, so think about clear pathways to your home.

Problem areas

Next look around your home.  Items such as rugs, carpets, end tables, and large furniture can cause obstacles for you to maneuver around your home.  Power wheel chairs work better on smoother surfaces.  Hardwood, tile and laminate are better options for your home with a power wheelchair, but if that is not an option, make sure you arrange furniture to where you will have the most open area for turns and taking corners.

Doorways

Doorways may become a problem too.  Measure your doorways so you have an estimated width so that you don’t have to worry about a chair not fitting through the doorways once it is delivered to your home.  Sometimes slight alternations may need to be made if you live in an older home.  Generally for a standard power wheelchair you will need a minimum width clearance of about 32” wide to best accommodate the chair.

Adjusting to life with a mobility device can take some time but it is the best decision you might ever make. See if you qualify for a power mobility device at no cost to you.

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