14 Important Tips for Using and Maintaining an Electric Wheelchair

Proper operation and regular maintenance of your electric wheelchair will keep it running at its best for years.

Below are a series of tips that will make using a power wheelchair easier and will help keep it in its best condition.

14 Tips:

  • Charge the battery nightly to ensure a full day of normal use and try not to drain it by more than 80 percent. Since you can’t overcharge your chair, keep it plugged in whenever it’s not in use. The charger will turn on and off as needed.
  • Keep the tires fully inflated so that the chair rolls more smoothly and easily.
  • Be careful on slippery surfaces in case the brakes respond slowly or don’t achieve sufficient traction.
  • Also be careful when moving in sand or snow. Electric chairs can get stuck on these surfaces fairly easily.
  • Attach a bright colored flag on the back of your chair to make it more visible in traffic or in parking lots.
  • Be aware of inclines since chairs can tip over if the incline isn’t properly navigated.
  • Regularly clean your chair to remove dirt and grime that, if left to build up, will wear out your chair’s mechanisms. Dry it completely after cleaning.
  • Check that the seat and back are secure and adjusted to a position that you find most comfortable. Similarly, look at the footplates to ensure that they are positioned to adequately support your feet.
  • Always dry off your chair if it was used in the rain or snow, and take special care to dry all of the electrical components.
  • When you get out of your wheelchair, always turn the power off. Also, don’t use the footplates or armrests to support your weight as you transfer out of the chair. They are not designed to be weight-bearing.
  • Store your wheelchair in a dry environment away from extreme heat or cold, which will damage the chair’s electronic components and battery.
  • Learn how to use the wheelchair joystick. The farther you push the joystick, the faster the chair will go, but do not try to force it to go faster than its maximum or you will break the joystick mechanism.
  • Check that your wheelchair is in good condition at all times. Your top priority should be your brakes, making sure that they aren’t loose or broken. Also pay attention to the sounds that your chair makes so that you can recognize noises that might indicate that a repair is needed.
  • Label all of your chair’s removable parts with your name and address if you plan on travelling, and if you’re flying, notify the airline that you will be travelling with a wheelchair. Always check your chair for damage upon arrival at your destination.