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Wheelchair Using Tips

Updated on October 22, 2011

The knowledge of using a wheel chair is very important for those who need to use it. The issue is to use a wheel chair in such a manner that the respective person feels comfortable in moving using a wheel chair as they remain on the wheel chair for about 15 hours a day.

In spite of knowing that comfort is a very big issue attention lacks in the usage of safety. In this article we will know about the measures to be taken to use the wheel chair comfortably. To transfer in and out of your wheel chair you will require daily activities and practice. Before attempting the following steps on your own, you have to practice them in the presence of someone.


The first and foremost safety measure is the brakes. Check the brakes of your wheel chair time to time for they get loosen over time.

Always use the chair locks or brakes before leaning or bending forward and be sure to maintain the seat balance. Don’t reach between your knees or try to move forward on your seat to pick up anything. Don’t lean more than the length of armrests.


Always use seat positioning strap if it is available.

Mind Your Directions

Do not put your weight towards the direction you want to reach as the wheel chair may tilt over.

Choose The Smooth Path

Do not try to ride over curbs or obstacles. It is always safer to find another way around the curb rather than climbing up on it.

Assistance Is Must

Do not try to tilt the wheel chair without assistance of any other person.

Do not move between floors using escalators without any assistance.

You need to practice well in someone’s assistance before attempting to ride over ramps, inclines and declines. Do not try to move on a steep slope alone.

Adjust It Accordingly

Always program your wheel chair on the speed which you can easily handle, if you have a power chair, mainly when you are moving it in the reverse.

Avoid Greasy Surface

If there is some oil, water or ice film on any incline, do not attempt to move on it.

Adjust Footrest

Turn the footrests in such a way that they face away from each other and are out of the way of person’s feet.

Power It Off On Ramp

If you are using a ramp or a lift be sure to switch the power of your chair off so that you may not bump into your joystick while the power is on. It can be very dangerous in case of a power wheel chair.

Moving From Wheelchair To Floor

Always Pick Transport Safe Wheel Chair

If you want to move in a vehicle while sitting on your wheel chair then it must have the label of “transport safe” for it may denote that the wheel chair has undergone several crash tests and is able to withstand collisions.

Tips For Wheelchair Assistant

  • To avoid sudden movements the assistant must always tell the wheel chair user what he/she is going to do.
  • Always place the wheel chair in front of the object on which the user is sitting or lying such as chair or bed.

  • Always lock the wheels of the chair.
  • To avoid fall or trip, remove obstacles that could hinder the movement of the wheel chair user.
  • Stand beside the wheel chair and secure the person under your arms.
  • Help the person lifting out of the wheel chair by bending your knees.
  • Move the wheel chair slight away from the person and place your hand on his back so that he/she can feel extra secure. Give him/her a moment to get balanced and then allow moving. While letting him/her move make sure that there are no obstacles on his/her way.

  • Along with the person you also take small steps and rotate him/her to let him/her sit on the bed or a chair.
  • Always guide the person slowly before letting him/her sit.
  • Always use a good posture for the person’s safety. Also keep his back straight.
  • Bend his/her knees slightly while you are tipping the wheel chair over curbs.
  • Tipping the wheel chair without using tipping bar may require two persons at a time. Each at either side.

Wheelchair Assistance Using Dogs


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