Cold weather seasons can also bring with it dangerous situations – from icy roadways and walkways to power outages, and more. These conditions are sometimes made worse for those who have physical disabilities as mobility and access to immediate help may be reduced.
Winter Safety Tips for Wheelchair Users
The following are some quick safety tips to keep in mind to help wheelchair users stay safer this winter.
#1 – Have a ‘Survival Kit’
Whether you use a wheelchair or not, it is always a good idea to have a survival/safety kit. Consider the following for your homemade survival kit:
- batteries (for flashlight)
- battery backup (if your wheelchair uses a battery pack)
#2 – Use the Buddy System
If you live alone, consider letting a close friend, neighbor, or family member know. If your local meteorologist has predicted a snow storm or other winter weather event and you feel uncomfortable being alone, let a friend, family member or neighbor know. Another alternative is to have a friend check on you with a phone call or vice versa.
#3 – Keep Prescriptions Filled
During the winter time especially, you should always make sure that the gas in your car is topped off, and your prescriptions are filled. This is critical if you’re on medications for serious medical conditions.
#4 – Give Your Wheelchair a ‘Tune-Up’!
If you use a wheelchair all of the time, make sure you have it checked out to be safe. Just like a car, you always want to play it safe and make sure that everything is in working order. Don’t wait for something to break or wear down. Additionally, if you travel a lot outdoors with your wheelchair, you may want to consider getting a different set of tires/wheels to accommodate your outdoor travels in snow or other wintery terrain.
#5 – Keep walkways around your home clear
Prepare ahead of time. Pay attention to the weather forecast, and make sure that you do what you can (or have someone help) to make sure that the walkways around your home are clear and accessible.
What other tips can you think of? How else can people with wheelchairs stay safe during winter weather? We’d love to hear your thoughts!