For many elderly people, the use of a wheelchair is a necessity. These people can no longer walk on their own and need the assistance of other people and medical equipment. While wheelchairs are meant to help elderly people, they can present challenges. If used improperly, wheelchairs can cause accidents. Here, learn about proper wheelchair use to prevent injury.
Common Causes of Wheelchair Injuries
When a wheelchair injury occurs, it is usually because a medical professional was negligent. This is especially the case if your loved one lives in a nursing home or if a home health aide takes care of them. A medical institution or professional has a responsibility to keep patients safe. If an accident occurs, it might be their fault. A few common situations where an accident occurs include:
- Development of bedsores. If a person is left in a wheelchair for too long, a bedsore can develop. The medical professional should be sure to use proper padding and move an elderly person to prevent this.
- Forgetting to lock wheels. If a nursing home staff member or home health aide forgets to lock the wheelchair wheels, accidents can happen. This can happening when transferring a person to a vehicle or another room.
- Getting in and out of a wheelchair. When moving a patient, accidents can happen. The elderly person could be dropped or injured in another when when getting in and out of the wheelchair.
- Crushing limbs. Nursing home staff members or other people in charge of wheelchairs need to make sure that fingers and other body parts don’t get caught in the wheelchair.
Preventing Wheelchair Accidents
There are many ways that a nursing home or similar facility can prevent wheelchair accidents. First, the home should make sure that its staff members are properly trained. This will make sure that staff members know how to handle elderly people getting in and out of wheelchairs. It will also prevent bedsores. Training can prevent mistakes such as these. Another thing to do to prevent accidents is to keep up with wheelchair maintenance. Make sure that the equipment is not faulty or out of date. Make sure that seats are not off balance. Also check to make sure that there are no loose parts on the wheelchair. If any screws or nuts and bolts are loose, be sure to tighten them.
It is also important to check the breaks on the wheelchair consistency. Faulty breaks could cause issues for people who need to use the wheelchairs. Checking the safety of the wheelchair will prevent any malfunctions that could cause injury. It is also important to make sure that wheelchairs are used in a safe environment. Hallways and other areas should be cleared so that wheelchairs don’t get caught on anything. This could prevent wheelchair accidents.
While preventing all wheelchair accidents might not be possible, the number of accidents can be reduced. Following these tips can reduce wheelchair accidents. If an accident does occur, you should assess the situation and contact a lawyer.