Here are a few tips to help you get through your first winter as a wheelchair user.
Even if you only plan on going from your house to your medical van or bus and straight to your destination, it is still important to dress warmly. Dress in multiple layers so you can remove them if you get too warm. Make sure you wear a hat, scarf and gloves. You may want to bring an extra pair or two of gloves just in case your gloves get wet as you are navigating around in your wheelchair.
You may also want to bring a blanket with you to place in your lap to stay warm as well.
Stick To Cleared Sidewalks
Most wheelchairs are not designed to work well in icy and snowy conditions, which is why you should stick to cleared sidewalks, or wait until the sidewalks have been cleared before you venture outside. Additionally, pushing and navigating your wheelchair through the snow can be very strenuous.
You don't want to stress out your body or hurt yourself trying to make your way down a snowy sidewalk. If at all possible, wait for the sidewalks to be cleared before going outside.
Don't Go Out In The Street
If the sidewalks are not cleared of snow, it can be very tempting to want to roll your wheelchair in the plowed streets. However, it will be difficult for drivers to spot you on the road. You could easily get injured by a vehicle while trying to get around via the street instead of the sidewalk.
Additionally, just because the road looks clear does not mean that it is actually clear. Even plowed roads still get ice and snow build-ups, which can be very slippery and difficult to navigate.
Wipe Down Your Wheelchair
After you have been outside in the ice and snow, be sure to clean-up your wheelchair. Ice and snow can carry a lot of dirt and grime in it that can clog up the moving parts of your wheelchair, which is why it is important to clean your chair after you go outside in the winter. Additionally, prolonged exposure to water can cause your wheelchair parts to become rusted.
All you need to do is take a cloth or rag and wipe down all the moving parts of your wheelchair when you come inside.
By following the four steps above, you should be able to make it through your first winter in a wheelchair without any major issues.
To learn more, contact a company like Southwest Medical & Rehab.
I was badly injured a year ago, and it took a long time to get back to my normal level of ability. One of the things that helped more than anything was the time that I spent in physical therapy. I didn’t always love going to physical therapy – in fact, sometimes, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. But ultimately, the therapists and other patients I worked with helped inspire me to get better, and the exercises facilitated my healing process. I started this blog to talk about all of the things I learned about physical therapy and healing during my recovery time. I hope my blog reaches other accident victims. I want to offer encouragement, hope, and information for people who are in the same boat that I was in.