Power wheelchairs significantly improve the quality of life for people who have mobility issues. They allow people who otherwise would not be able to get around on their own to be more independent.
Some individuals become attached to their power wheelchair, almost like a friend, as it becomes such a vital part of their life. This makes it hard to give up the old chair and buy a new one. If you’ve had your power wheelchair for several years, you may be wondering how long power wheelchairs last.
While most power wheelchairs will last at least five years, knowing how to care for your power wheelchair will increase its lifespan. And, becoming aware of the signs that your wheelchair is nearing the end of its life will help you know when it is time for a replacement.
Caring for a Power Wheelchair
Power wheelchairs require maintenance to keep them working properly and to give them the longest lifespan possible. While they are built to be long-lasting and durable, how long power wheelchairs last depends on how they are used and cared for. You can get 5 years or more out of a power wheelchair with the proper upkeep.
There are many components to a power wheelchair, so making sure all of the parts are working properly and repaired or replaced when needed will contribute to the longevity of the device.
Tires need to be checked regularly on a power wheelchair. If they are showing signs of wear, they should be replaced immediately. Worn-out tires on a power wheelchair lead to improperly balancing the weight, which causes premature wear and tear on the machine itself.
When the weight on a power wheelchair is not correctly distributed it puts pressure on other components of the chair. The additional pressure damages other components and increases the need for more repairs and even early retirement of the entire unit.
Here are a few simple ways to make sure the tires on your power wheelchair are in good working order:
- Check the tire pressure
- Inspect the tread
- Look out for any defects or damage
Brakes are an incredibly important safety component of a power wheelchair. Any brake malfunction not only results in a shorter lifespan for the wheelchair but also puts the user at risk of serious injury.
Regular brake inspections will prevent unfortunate accidents and keep your power wheelchair working longer. If you suspect your brakes are working improperly, have a wheelchair maintenance professional check them for you.
The battery of a power wheelchair is its lifeforce. It is what keeps the chair running and working properly, so keeping the battery in good shape is crucial. If the battery is dying prematurely, that is a sign it is due for a tune-up.
There are also some things you can do on a daily basis to make sure the battery in your power wheelchair continues to last as long as possible. When you first get your power wheelchair, you’ll be tempted to use it right away, but letting it fully charge first will extend its lifespan.
Other battery maintenance tips include:
- Use the charging equipment that came with the wheelchair.
- Charge the vehicle to full capacity every night
- Avoid exposing your wheelchair to extreme temperatures for prolonged periods of time
Other General Maintenance
Giving your power wheelchair a visual inspection on a daily basis allows you to identify any issues early on. Check on the nuts and bolts to make sure nothing is loose. Also, keep an eye out for any damage to the frame itself that potentially leads to exposed electrical components. Listening for any abnormal motor sounds will also warn you if there is a problem brewing.
These very easy maintenance tasks only take a few moments of your time and will make your power wheelchair last longer. If you notice a problem as soon as it starts, you’ll be able to immediately contact a professional to do the necessary repairs and avoid a costly replacement.
Using Your Power Wheelchair
Along with regular inspections and repairs, you’ll also want to use your power wheelchair responsibly to avoid any incidents. This means recognizing when a situation is not suitable for the device.
Some situations that could potentially damage a power wheelchair include:
- Driving through deep puddles, which might put electrical components in contact with water
- Going over very uneven or rocky terrain because it poses the risk of puncturing a tire and throwing the wheelchair off balance.
- Leaving the wheelchair out in extreme heat or extreme cold for long periods of time, which damages the battery.
If you want your power wheelchair to last longer, you should avoid using it in these situations.
Trust Kelmedix with Your Power Wheelchair Needs
You rely on your power wheelchair to get around on a daily basis, so treating it with care makes sure it stays with you for the longest time possible. While the steps that you need to take to keep your wheelchair healthy are simple, you will need to consult a professional from time to time.
As a leading medical supply company, Kelmedix will help you find a reliable, heavy-duty power wheelchair that will last for years to come. Our team also works with you to help with any problems that might arise, so you know you can rely on Kelmedix to care for you and your power wheelchair.
Visit our online store or call us today to get started.