Learning how to safely push a wheelchair up and down ramps, curbs, landings, and other changes in elevation is important for the safety of the person sitting in the wheelchair and for the safety of the caregiver. Here are a few tips on how to navigate ramps and curbs.
When going up a ramp, push the wheelchair front-first. When going down a ramp, guide the wheelchair backwards down the ramp, keeping your body between the wheelchair and the bottom of the ramp.
As you are rolling the wheelchair down the ramp, face your body in the direction of the wheelchair and walk backwards while looking behind you in the direction you are moving. Keep a firm grip on the wheelchair at all times to keep it from rolling down the incline.
When going up or down a curb, line up the wheelchair so that it is in a straight line with the curb. Both wheels should contact the curb at the same time. The wheelchair could tip or roll if only one wheel hits the curb first.
To go up a curb, face the front of the wheelchair to the curb and tilt the wheelchair back just enough to allow the front casters to clear the curb. Push the wheelchair forward and set the casters down on the curb. Then push the rear wheels up and over the curb.
To go down a curb, turn the wheelchair around so that the rear wheels are facing the curb. Gently lower the rear wheels down the curb, followed by the front casters.
Transferring from a wheelchair to a walker or vice versa should be done carefully in order to prevent falls and ensure the safety of the individual involved in the transfer. These instructions are meant for active transfers, where the individual needs little to no assistance.
Since each individual is unique, varying levels of assistance or adaptation may be required, depending on physical limitations. The individual and caregiver should be aware of the individual’s limitations and be willing to adapt the method of transfer as needed. Consult a physical therapist or healthcare professional for individualized advice on transfer methods.
(Note: NEVER grab hold of the walker to help you stand up from the wheelchair. The walker can easily tip over backwards. Only transfer your hands to the walker after you are in a standing position and well balanced.)
Please consult a health care professional or physical therapist for any questions or concerns about the suitability of any mobility aid prior to use.
Since transport wheelchairs are designed to be pushed manually by a caregiver or assistant, it’s important for the assistant to be comfortable with how to operate the chair. The safety of the patient should always remain the top priority while using a transport chair.
The information below provides step-by-step instructions on how to safely use and operate a transport chair from Roll Mobility. We also recommend that you consult a physical therapist or healthcare professional for further instructions and a demonstration on how to use your wheelchair.
While folded, tilt the chair to one side and push down on the outer seat frame rails.
Grab the seat handles located on the outer seat frame rails and lift upwards.
Lift up on the back support of the chair until the locks engage and secure the back support into place. (optional equipment)
Apply pressure to the backrest locks while pulling downward on the back support. (optional equipment)
Align the holes on the rigging arm with the pegs on the frame of the chair and swing the rigging forward into position.
Release the locking device located at the top of the rigging, swing the rigging outward, and gently pull up to remove.
Loosen the adjustment mechanism (bolt or lever) located on the rigging arm shaft. Push in the adjustment button, if included on your model. Then pull down on the footrest to make the rigging longer or push in to make it shorter. When the length is adjusted to the desired length, tighten the adjustment mechanism. The lowest part of the footrest should not be closer than 2 1/2 inches to the ground for proper clearance. Make sure the adjustment button (if equipped) fully pops through the desired adjustment hole.
Learning how to get around in a wheelchair takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, using a wheelchair can give you back your sense of freedom and independence. In order to safely use your wheelchair, you should learn and practice the following skills, including how to navigate ramps and how to maintain your center of balance.
Although you may be able to easily navigate moderate inclines, assistance is strongly encouraged and recommended when going up or down inclines greater than 10 degrees. If you must stop on an incline, you should avoid sudden and abrupt movements when you begin to roll the wheelchair again. Because of the angle of the wheelchair, sudden movements or shifting of weight can cause instability.
Avoid changing direction when going down an incline and avoid turning the wheels parallel to the downward side of an incline, as this could result in instability and cause the wheelchair to tip. Also, avoid attempting to engage the wheel lock brakes while in motion, as it could cause the wheelchair to tip or bring the chair to a sudden, abrupt stop.
Roll Mobility wheelchairs are designed to be very stable and safe for the user as long as your center of gravity remains balanced while in the wheelchair. Take extreme care while participating in any activity that may shift the center of gravity in the chair. You should never attempt to reach so far that it requires you to shift in the seat or lean over out of the chair. When an object is out of reach, you should reposition the wheelchair so that you are able to maintain a firm center of gravity. Also, make sure the front casters are pointing in a forward position, which will extend the wheel base and will naturally stabilize the chair.