Dreading this winter season? Winter weather wheelchair tips can be helpful in dealing with snowy, and windy conditions for wheelchair users which can be a huge challenge during winter, and you might be tempted to go into hibernation mode for the next few months. Although it’s safe to stay inside, you don’t have to let the not-so-ideal conditions keep you at home for the entire season.
Here is the list of things to do to prepare yourself for the harsh weather outside.
KNOW YOUR BATTERY
Review your Wheelchair’s manual for detailed maintenance instructions and any warnings on how your battery may react in extreme temperatures. Powered wheelchairs are either powered by Seal Acid Lead, GEL, or in the case of our Travel GO, Lithium Ion. All batteries lose charge in below zero temperatures and if left outside empty for an extended period of time they can be permanently damaged.
If you’re storing your power wheelchair in a non heated area (garage or trunk of your car), you will either need to bring the battery inside to a heated room or leave it plugged in charging. If you leave it plugged in throughout the winter it will shorten the lifespan of the battery due to the increase of charge cycles. Always check the battery charge levels before going out and it’s not a bad idea to keep an extra battery.
TUNE UP & MAINTAIN
Give your wheelchair a thorough tune-up. Check your frame for potential weaknesses due to wear-and-tear, tighten all the nuts and bolts, and make sure your tires are in good shape. As well to keep your power wheelchair in good shape once you get out of the snow.Once you bring your power wheelchair into a heated environment to allow the snow to dry off and to wipe away snow from all electronic components before it melts.
TRAVEL SMART & WELL SUPPLIED
Get a travel bag for your wheelchair. You never know when you might need some extra protection if you get stuck somewhere. If you get stranded waiting for a bus, or get stuck in a gutter, or if your power-chair battery dies or a sudden snow flurry makes your first layer wet, it’s great to have extra supplies. Bring extra socks, gloves, even an extra layer or thermals or a throw-over blanket or wheelchair poncho.
Bring extra medication for the day, snacks, and always have water on you. You can become dehydrated more quickly in dry climates and indoor heating systems can also cause you to become dehydrated. Cold sets in more easily when you are dehydrated. Carry an insulated water bottle (insulated so it doesn’t freeze in low temps) with you at all times, and don’t forget about possibly supplementing your electrolytes as well.
Pack everything in a bag that’s easily accessible to you.
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