Using a wheelchair can be your key to mobility and keeping life moving, but can also pose certain safety dangers. Before you set out, whether running errands or on a full day of adventure, make sure you are equipped with key things you may need to ensure your safety and comfort. You may want to consider attaching a bag or backpack to your chair so that you can have these essential items right at your fingertips.
- A cell phone is very important for security. You never know when you might get stuck, get a flat tire or need some kind of help. If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, make sure to download the Wheelmap App so you know what to expect in terms of accessibility.
- A small repair kit for your wheelchair will help you in the case of a flat tire. A portable kit with an air pump will allow you or someone else to repair your wheelchair so that you do not become stranded.
- Always have a list of emergency contact numbers. “Expecting the unexpected” may be cliche, but it is a wise approach no matter where you are going.
- It’s smart to carry a small amount of cash in addition to a credit card so that you can get home safely if one or the other is stolen or not accepted at the locations you are visiting.
- If your wheelchair is not equipped with a light, carry a portable light in case you get caught out after dark. Headlamps, reflective gear and small flashlights are inexpensive and easy to use.
- Always keep with you any essential medications in case you need them while you are out. Keeping these close with information about dosage can save time and complications caused by miscommunication.
- It is smart to have something for self defense, like a loud whistle or pepper spray.
If you are traveling alone, make sure someone else knows your plans and knows where to find you in the case of an emergency. When you put safety first, getting out and exploring with comes with peace of mind, and often maneuvering in a wheelchair becomes much easier.
We hope these tips are helpful – let us know what other tips you need and how we can help you keep moving!
What do you keep with you on your daily errands and longer term trips? What unexpected challenges have you been prepared for or wished you’d had one of these tools to take care of?