Tips for first-time wheelchair pushers

  1. Communicate.  Ask if there’s anything you need to know first.  NEVER touch or move a wheelchair without permission.
  2. Don’t overshoot checkouts and reception desks.  If you are level, your passenger has gone too far past it.
  3. Don’t bump your passenger’s feet into people, objects or walls.  Particularly in lifts.
  4. Don’t follow anyone too closely. … … Your passenger is closer to them than you are, and seeing backsides that close gets tedious.
  5. Watch out for oddly sloping pavements, especially near dropped curbs.  The wheelchair WILL veer sideways into traffic if you are not careful.
  6. Look ahead for bumps.  Dropped curbs are often not dropped very much.  Be prepared to walk a long way around via the road.
  7. Always approach bumps straight on.  If you are not straight, stop and turn first.
  8. It can be easier to go backwards over bumps if the wheelchair has large wheels.
  9. Pay attention to the surface you travel over and take the smoother path.  Cobbles can be painful or tiring for someone in a wheelchair.
  10. Don’t let the wheelchair run out of control.  Consider taking slopes backwards so you can hold back the wheelchair.  CHECK FIRST!
  11. If your passenger says stop, STOP immediately. … …
  12. Try going through heavy doors backwards so you can push the door with your body.
  13. Some wheelchairs have brakes operated by the passenger.  Never assume that those brakes are on or off, always check.
  14. If someone speaks to you when they should speak to your passenger, tell them so.
  15. Be forgiving of your passenger.  They have no control and that may make them grumpy.  Wheelchair users: be aware that you might be shouting at your assistant more than you realise.
  16. If you’re pushing a wheelchair very far then you’ll probably want to get some gloves.

via A Latent Existence.

Hat tip to MARGINAL Revolution.


One Response to “Tips for first-time wheelchair pushers”

  1. tiffany267 Says:

    Good guidelines 🙂


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