Wheelchair for incidental use
A wheelchair for incidental use is fit for people who cant walk or stand as good anymore, but do not require to be in a wheelchair all the time.
They are used to unburden someone after surgery, or when someone is weakened for a different reason.
For these wheelchairs, a maximum use of three hours a day is recommended.
They do not offer enough comfort to be used for a prolonged period.
Operating a wheelchair requires some practice.
Turning the wheelchair, opening doors and getting in and out of the wheelchair can be tricky, but there are some tricks that help.
Every wheelchair has a certain maximum allowed burden.
The weight that a wheelchair can carry, can be found on a sticker on the frame of the wheelchair.
Types of wheelchairs and their parts
Because of the large rear wheels with hoops, the user can easily move the wheelchair.
The front wheels make it more maneuverable.
The rear wheels can be solid or filled with air.
Air tires are especially well suited for driving outside.
Here you see a couple of wheelchairs that can be borrowed from the home care.
These wheelchairs almost always have the same couple of characteristics.
There are breaks on both sides.
The rear wheel is usually large with a hoop, while the front has caster wheels.
In general the push handles are very standard.
In some cases the push handles are adjustable in height.
These usually operate with a turning system. The height can be adjusted by loosening the handle.
Every wheelchair has footplates that are attached to leg supports.
The footplates can be rotated upwards.
When the footplate is rotated upwards, a button can be pressed to the side, so that the leg support can be pushed to the side of the wheelchair.
When the leg support is pushed to the side, it can be pulled upwards, to remove it from the wheelchair.
With this wheelchair, the handle can be pulled up, to move it to the side.
For this wheelchair, pull the handle towards the wheelchair.
The armrests of the wheelchair can always be removed.
Usually this is done with a pin that you pull towards the wheelchair, which enables the armrest to be pulled up.
Usually the armrest can be removed from on the back of the wheelchair.
This is useful when putting the wheelchair in a car, because it is lighter this way.
It is also useful when you dont have a lot of power in your legs and you need to move from a bed to the wheelchair.
When borrowing a wheelchair from the home care, a cushion should always be provided
This provides more comfort, so that you do not have to sit on a weak sitting, which is not good for your tailbone.
There are a number of different cushion that can be used in a wheelchair.
The cushions are made of normal foam rubber and memory foam.
This is a special cushion that is available. You put it in the wheelchair with the high side in the back.
This helps with sitting up straight in the wheelchair.
This one is a back cushion, it can be attached to the wheelchair by wrapping the strings around the back of the wheelchair.
This cushion provides more comfort for when you have a slack back.
Besides these, special cushions are available that prevent chair sores.
It is best to consult your practitioner, before getting these cushions.
This is a tipper. By stepping on this, you can tilt the wheelchair.
This is not only useful when accessing pavements, but also when you need to change direction.
This is an anti-tipper. This prevents the wheelchair from tipping backwards.
I will demonstrate it now, I will just tip the wheelchair backwards.
This is a wheelchair without an anti-tipper.
If you tip over backwards too far, you will fall head-first onto the ground.
The hoops of the wheelchair can cause your hands to be irritated when used intensively.
Cycling gloves can prevent slipping of the hands and also blisters on the hands.
A tray on the back of the wheelchair, makes it easy to carry a walking stick.
This is a more luxurious wheelchair. It has straps on the back, which can be adjusted to fit your back.
In case your legs often fall off footplates, a wheelchair with calf plates can be the solution.
The plates can also be put horizontally.
Maintenance of the wheelchair
For safe and comfortable use, the wheelchair needs cleaning and checking regularly.
Keep the wheelchair clean by using a wet towel and do not use aggressive cleaning products.
Do not leave the wheelchair outside.
Check whether the breaks still work and keep an eye on the tire pressure.
When the tires are soft, driving is more exhausting and turning the wheelchair will be harder.
To pump up the tires with a bicycle pump you will need a reducer.
Flat tires are fixed in the same way as bicycle tires are.
Setting up and folding up of the wheelchair
It is important that the footplates are set up on the right height.
This is important because the backside of the upper legs need to rest comfortably in the seat, to prevent point load on the tailbone.
The upper leg does not rest on the seat, therefor I am now going to lower the footplates.
For the setting up of the footplates a wrench is sometimes required.
Can you please put your foot on it?
Now I am going to set it up on the right height, so that the upper leg will rest on the seat.
Does it feel comfortable like this? Yes.
Other wheelchairs are adjustable by using an Allen key.
This way it rests on the seat of the wheelchair.
That means this is the correct height.
This is yet another system, the screw has been removed to adjust the height.
Now we just screw it back in, and put it back on the wheelchair.
The handles of this wheelchair are adjustable in height.
There is a turning lever, which we now turn loose.
This is the right height, on latitude.
Now you turn the lever back tightly, so that it doesnt shake loose while driving.
If you want to fold up the wheelchair, first fold up the footplates.
Turn on the breaks of the wheelchair on one side.
Set up your feet in step stance, rest your arm on the armrest and pull the wheelchair up by the seat.
Sometimes home-care can give you a wheelchair with a fixed seat.
To fold up the wheelchair, you first remove the seat.
Then before you can fold it up, you must fold up the footplates.
When folding out the wheelchair, you press the shaft of the seat, until it is all the way down.
Some wheelchair have a click-system, when you hear a click the seat is down. This is not the case with this wheelchair.
The rear wheels are often detachable.
This is called click-release. Often there is a button in the middle of the wheel.
Press this button to detach the wheel from the chair.
This considerably lowers the weight of the wheelchair when putting the chair in a car.
I now attached the wheel again. Always check if it is attached correctly.
Driving a wheelchair by yourself.
I will now explain the best way to drive a wheelchair to you.
To move the wheelchair, it is best to grab hoop on the wheel as high as possible.
Now push the hoops forward using long motions.
Grabbing the hoop on a high point and pushing them forward.
Now we will attempt to drive the wheelchair backwards.
This can be a bit tricky, because the front wheels are going to turn.
Try it, pull the hoops backwards using long motions, until you reach the door.
I will now show you the best way to turn the wheelchair when you are situated in a small room.
The most convenient way is to have your hands each face the opposite direction.
One hand pulls and the other pulls the hoop.
To turn towards you I push the hoop forward with my left arm, while simultaneously pulling the right hoop.
What can make it a bit rough is that the front wheels will have to change direction.
So sometimes you need to use a bit more force, until the front wheels are in the right position.
One arm pulls and the other pushes.
I will now show you how to maneuver a little bit with the wheelchair.
When you use as much force on both hoops, you will go straight forward.
When using more force on with right arm than the left one you will drive to the left.
If you want to turn right, you do the opposite. Use more force on your left arm.
Could you show this to me please?
It can sometimes be a little hefty to only use your arms, so it can be handy to also use your feet.
To reach the floor with your feet, you might have to sprawl a little bit.
Now we are going to attempt to use our feet while driving the wheelchair. So using both our arms and legs.
It can be handy to remove the foot plates if you move a lot inside your house, using your wheelchair.
This way you will not knock your ankles and it will make it easier to turn the wheelchair.
Maneuvering the wheelchair
Going through a door, moving in a small room or driving over a doorstep,
All sorts of places in and around the house do not seem very wheelchair-friendly.
However, by using some tricks and practice most obstacles can be overcome without any damage.
For example, setting yourself at the table is a matter of driving on properly.
I will now show you how to drive to set yourself at the table in a straight way.
To do this, drive to the height of the table.
Then make a sharp turn and drive straight towards the table.
This way the footplates are not in the way of the table.
Reaching for something in the kitchen can be tricky, let me show you how it can be done.
Drive towards the kitchen and put the footplates to the side.
Drive as far forward as possible and turn on the breaks
This is very important, because if you do not do this, the wheelchair will roll away.
Grab the counter with your hands and pull yourself up.
This way you can reach something from the cupboard.
Can you try now, please?
At a doorstep or a small door, there is only a small amount of maneuvering space.
Your hands can get stuck and the wheels can be stuck behind the doorpost.
We just saw that it was hard to get over the doorpost.
It can even be dangerous, because there is a chance of you falling backwards.
It is better to drive backwards when driving over a doorpost.
Because the rear wheels are much larger, it is easier to get them over the doorpost.
It is also important to hit the doorpost perpendicular, this makes it easier to get over the doorpost.
When you hit it curved the wheelchair tilts, so try to hit it perpendicular.
You can push yourself off the door if you like.
Now try to drive backwards in a perpendicular way.
Always make sure you have enough space in between your hands and the doorpost,
so that you do not hurt them on the doorpost.
You can wait a little and make sure you face the doorpost perfectly perpendicular.
You are standing correctly now, so reach the hoops on a low point and pull yourself over the doorpost in one go.
I will now show you how we are going to go through this door right here.
Lets drive towards the door.
Now I will make a perpendicular turn.
Look, this way I can just about reach the door handle.
Now grab the door handle and open the door, it just about opens next to the wheelchair.
I am now going through the door in a backwards manner.
Always check whether you have enough space between your hands and the doorpost, so that you do not hurt them.
Slowly maneuver yourself through the door with small movements.
You can also grab the doorpost and push yourself through the door.
Now you just need to close the door this way.
okay, let's go!
You can now reach for the doorpost to push yourself out.
Now you can close the door.
In a small room like this, in between two doors, it is advisable to remove the footplates.
This it is a little bit easier to turn the wheelchair.
This often takes quite some practice.
We will now practice getting in and out of an elevator.
This can make you a little insecure at first.
Can you first try to do it by yourself?
It can be compared to going through the door of your apartment.
That means we get in the lift backwards.
In advance you can set yourself up sideways when the elevator has not arrived yet.
Most elevator doors do not stay open for very long, so you might have to try twice.
These doors close quite fast.
Now try to drive in front of the laser, that keeps the door open.
Pushing a wheelchair
Try to keep some speed when pushing a wheelchair so that you do not have to stop and start pushing again.
This is very taxing for your arms.
Always try to find a pavement that is somewhat horizontal.
If not you will have to make adjustments steering all the time, which is very taxing.
Pushing a wheelchair is least taxing when you bend yours arms slightly.
Steering goes the same way as riding a bicycle.
By pushing the right side forward the wheelchair turns left and by pushing more to the left, the wheelchair goes right.
We are now exiting the pavement, so I will face you away from it.
Position yourself behind the wheelchair and slowly exit the pavement.
To enter the pavement, drive close to the threshold.
Put your foot on the tipper and tip the wheelchair slightly backwards.
Lower the front wheel onto the pavement and with some speed, using your body weight, push the wheelchair up.
Sometimes the footplates can be stuck on the pavement when trying to enter it.
If this is the case, you can adjust the footplates on a higher level when walking outside.
It is important to not distort your back when turning the wheelchair.
To prevent this, reach for the handle on the side you are trying to turn, with both hands.
Then pull the chair towards you without using your back too much.
If a pavement has a driveway, exit the pavement backwards and enter it forwards.
Using the tipper makes it a bit easier.
Driving a ramp with a wheelchair
Going down a ramp is done backwards.
I do this because I can apply more power when I walk backwards, because I push the wheelchair.
Pushing is easier on the arms than pulling.
Moreover, you do not look into the deep.
The ramp is a little steep, can you brake just a bit?
This way I do not have to push so much.
Alright, let the brake go now, there is a horizontal part of the ramp.
You can release the brake.
This last part of the ramp is less steep, so you dont have to use the brakes here.
Now we walk backwards this way.
When pushing a wheelchair, I always first put some pressure on the handles and count to three.
At one point you will feel the wheelchair starting to roll.
Now I put my legs in stride position, put weight on the wheelchair and then start pushing.
Keep your arms almost stretched.
Getting up and down in a wheelchair
I will now show you how to get from the wheelchair to a chair.
Drive towards the chair perpendicular.
Turn the footplates away.
This can be done using your feet or hands.
Now, it is very important to always first hit the brakes before getting up.
Now get up by putting your feet slightly backwards and your torso forward.
Meanwhile reach for the armrest opposite from your position.
Take a few steps and sit down.
Lets see you try it.
Turn the chair a little bit.
It would be better to position yourself perpendicular.
Let me help you a little bit, approach the chair this way, with the footplate hitting the chair.
If the footplate is obstructing your movement you can remove it first.
For now we will do it this way.
Stand up and reach for the armchair opposite from you.
Hold on to the chair and sit down slowly.
Do not forget to hit the brakes before getting up or sitting down.