Wheelchair brakes are essential for safety while using a wheelchair. Manual and electric wheelchairs have breaks, granting users complete control over their movements and enabling them to safely stop quickly. Learn how to ensure your wheelchair brakes are working properly to feel confident in your wheelchair.
Understanding Wheelchair Brakes
The different types of wheelchair brakes include locking, attendant, and motorized brakes. Let’s explore these three brake types and the wheelchairs that have them.
Locking brakes keep the wheelchair stationary when parked. They are common on all types of wheelchairs.
Transport wheelchairs have attendant brakes; an assistant or caregiver usually operates these brakes.
Motorized brakes are common on electric wheelchairs and rely on the motor to slow down or stop the wheelchair.
It’s important to understand how your wheelchair’s brake systems work when performing inspections and maintenance.
Regular Inspection and Maintenance
Checking your wheelchair brakes should be a part of your regular wheelchair maintenance routine. Here are some steps to follow:
Look for any signs you might need to replace your wheelchair brakes. This could include cracks, loose bolts, or other issues with the brake pads and brake assembly. If you identify any problems, consult a professional technician as soon as possible to remedy them.
Ensure the brakes can lock the wheels when engaged and that they release easily. If you notice any issues with locking or releasing, it may be time to adjust or replace the brakes.
Keep the brake systems clean and free of dirt and debris, as grimy obstructions can interfere with brake functions.
The Importance of Professional Servicing
While regular maintenance and inspections are crucial for safe wheelchair use, it’s essential not to overlook the importance of professional servicing. A qualified technician has the knowledge and experience to detect issues you may miss. They can also advise you on addressing any concerns. Schedule a professional service for your wheelchair at least once a year or more frequently if you rely on your wheelchair daily.
Being aware of the condition of your wheelchair brakes and conducting regular inspections can guarantee their reliability. Remembering these tips for ensuring your wheelchair brakes are working properly will keep you safe when you’re out and about.