Remember These Tips When You Need To Push A Loved One In A Wheelchair For The First Time

When one of your family members is in the hospital for an operation, you'll often find yourself renting medical equipment to help the person once he or she returns home. If your loved one has been through a lower-body operation, such as a knee or hip replacement, one of the pieces of equipment that will be integral to the recovery process is a wheelchair. On the surface, pushing someone around in a wheelchair might seem simple, but if you haven't previously played this role, there's more than meets the eye. It's important to brush up on the process of controlling a wheelchair so that your family member will be in for a smooth ride. Here are some tips to learn.

Be Cognizant Of Subtle Slopes

When you walk, you can successfully navigate a variety of slopes and other changes in grade without hardly noticing. When you're pushing someone in a wheelchair, however, you need to be extremely mindful of any subtle slopes. For example, traveling across a slope instead of up or down it might seem doable, but the person's high center of gravity can actually cause him or her to tip out of the wheelchair. It can be safer to travel straight up or down the slope or seek a different route altogether.

Don't Rule Out Going Backward

Although it might seem counter-intuitive, it can often be easier to move your family member around by pulling the wheelchair instead of pushing it forward. This can often be the case if you're needing to travel down a ramp; walking backward first and allowing the wheelchair to follow you in a controlled manner can often be easier than standing behind the wheelchair as you descend. In this position, the wheelchair could begin accelerating and unless you weigh enough, you could have a hard time stopping it. Traveling backward is also ideal on rough terrain, such as across a patch of grass.

Remember To Make Wide Turns

Cutting a turn too closely can result in the side of the wheelchair and possibly the person's arm, elbow or foot making contact with a desk, door frame or any other object. To avoid this collision, it's important to make wide turns as you push the person in the wheelchair. This is often a trial-and-error process and you'll get the hang of it soon enough. As you learn, however, make sure to make your turns slowly until you know exactly the best turning trajectory to take for your passenger. Talk to the rental company, like Medi-Rents & Sales Inc, for more help.