Adaptive seating solutions substantially enhance the lives of people with limited mobility. However, like any piece of equipment, regular maintenance is key to ensuring their longevity and reliability. In this comprehensive guide, we share essential tips for maintaining your mobility device and keeping it in top-notch condition.
7 Tips to Maintain Your Mobility Chair
1. Inspect the Chair Regularly
Regular maintenance and care are essential for keeping your wheelchair functioning optimally. Regular checks are important for identifying potential issues early on.
Here’s a quick checklist for power chair users:
- Inspect all the components of the chair, including the seat, backrest, armrests, and footrests.
- Examine the chair frame for any signs of wear or damage.
- Check for loose or missing bolts and screws.
- Inspect the wheel spokes, rear wheels, and caster wheels.
- Look for foreign objects stuck in the chair’s components.
- Monitor the battery charge levels and the charge indicator regularly.
- Ensure the battery is clean and free from corrosion.
- Check for any damaged battery cables.
- Test the brakes to ensure they are functioning correctly.
- Inspect brake pads for excessive wear.
2. Cleaning the Chair Frame
Cleaning the chair frame is an important part of its maintenance as it helps prevent the accumulation of grime and keeps the chair looking clean and presentable. Follow these cleaning rules:
Gather Your Supplies
- A damp cloth or cleaning wipe.
- Soapy water in a spray bottle.
- A cleaning brush.
- A microfiber towel.
- Wipe down the chair frame with a damp cloth or cleaning wipe regularly.
- Pay attention to areas that are prone to collecting dust and dirt such as joints and crevices.
- For deep cleaning, use soapy water and a brush to remove built-up dirt.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a microfiber towel. This step is crucial to prevent potential rust or damage caused by prolonged exposure to water.
3. Maintaining the Upholstery
Upholstery refers to the cloth covering your chair, including the cushion cover and seat sling. Here are tips to keep the upholstery in good condition:
- Start by removing any loose debris or crumbs by using a handheld vacuum or a brush attachment on a regular vacuum cleaner.
- Clean the upholstery with a damp cloth.
- Be sure to pay attention to crevices and hard-to-reach areas.
- If your chair has a detachable seat sling, remove it for cleaning.
- Regularly check for excessive wear or tears.
When dealing with stains, act quickly to prevent them from setting in. Blot the stain gently with a clean microfiber towel, starting from the edges towards the center. Avoid rubbing vigorously as this may spread the stain further. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the fabric.
4. Lubricating Moving Parts
Lubrication is crucial for smooth operation. Lubricating the moving parts of your mobility chair ensures good performance and prevents unnecessary wear and tear.
You should apply lubricant to the moving parts of your electric wheelchair, such as:
- Wheel bearings;
- Caster wheels;
- Wheelchair frame joints.
5. Checking and Replacing Tires
The condition of your power chair’s tires can greatly impact its safety and reliability. Checking the tires is important to ensure proper traction and stability. Proper tire maintenance ensures safe mobility. Consider the following:
Tire Types and Maintenance
- Know whether your chair has tubeless or pneumatic tires.
- Regularly check the tire pressure. Use a pressure gauge to check if the tires are inflated to the correct level.
- Inspect for damage to the tire wall or for flat tires.
- Examine tread depth. If you notice that the tread has worn down significantly, it may be time to replace your tires.
- Replace tires when they are worn out or damaged. To ensure safety, replace any damaged tires immediately.
- Different wheelchairs require different types of tires so make sure you get replacement wheels that are compatible with your chair model.
- If in doubt, make sure to ask power chair experts for advice.
6. Ensuring Proper Battery Care
Taking care of your mobility chair’s battery is crucial for maintaining its performance and longevity.
Follow these battery practices:
- Charge the battery regularly, even if you do not use the chair often. This helps prevent discharge, which can lead to a reduced battery life.
- Avoid overcharging the battery or using incompatible chargers.
- Keep the battery clean. Regular cleaning helps prevent corrosion and ensures optimal performance.
- Store the chair with a charged battery, especially in cold weather.
- Disconnect the battery cables during storage to prevent power drain.
7. Cleaning and Maintaining Control Panels
By following a few simple maintenance tips and cleaning rules, you can ensure that your control panels stay clean and hassle-free:
- Start by unplugging your mobility chair from any power source.
- Use a wet cloth or sponge dampened with soapy water.
- Gently wipe down the control panels, being careful not to use too much water as it may damage the electrical components.
- If there are any stubborn stains or dirt on the control panels, you can use a mild cleaning solution designed for electronic devices.
- Make sure to dry the control panels thoroughly with a soft, dry cloth to prevent any moisture buildup.
How To Properly Store Your Power Chair
When storing the chair, it’s important to keep it in a dry and secure location. You should avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or moisture as this can lead to corrosion or electrical issues. If possible, cover your mobility chair with a waterproof protective cover before storing it. This will provide an extra layer of protection against dust and potential water damage.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
If you experience any issues with your mobility chair, it’s important to consult with mobility device experts. However, there are some common issues that you can try to troubleshoot and repair yourself before seeking help.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Checking the battery capacity: If your mobility chair is not holding a charge or has reduced range, it could be due to a low battery capacity. Make sure the battery is properly connected and charged.
- Inspecting the brake pads: If you notice that your mobility chair is not stopping as effectively as before, check the brake pads for wear and tear. Replace them if necessary to ensure safe operation.
- Examining the tires: Whether your mobility chair has tube or tubeless tires, make sure they are properly inflated and free from punctures. For pneumatic tires, check for leaks and patch them up if needed.
- Identifying loose connections: Over time, vibrations and regular use can cause connections in your mobility chair to become loose. Check all wiring connections and tighten any loose ones to prevent electrical issues.
Stay Independent with a High-Performance Mobility Chair
At EMP Living, we are committed to empowering individuals with mobility restrictions to regain their independence. Crafted with precision by physical therapists, our REAL Mobility chairs represent the pinnacle of innovation and functionality. We understand that everyone’s mobility needs are unique, that’s why REAL chairs are custom-built for each user, with a wide range of accessories available. Choose the REAL Seating System and experience the best in mobility chair technology. Regain your independence, enjoy greater freedom, and live life without limitations.