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Safe handling leaflet for manual wheelchairs

Thu, 15 Sep 2016

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The National Back Exchange (NBE) has produced a new advisory leaflet on safe handling of a manual wheelchair. The author is Penny Townsend, MCSP, a NBE registered member and has been produced in conjunction with the Yorkshire Back Exchange local group

Many carers use wheelchairs on a daily basis to assist in moving their clients, but have little training in their use. Knowing how to handle a wheelchair safely is therefore important for reducing the risks of injury to both the carer and the wheelchair user. This leaflet summaries the important information that needs to be considered. In particular it looks at:

• Do’s and Don’ts of using a wheelchair
• How to open and close a wheelchair
• Getting in and out of a wheelchair
• Pushing a wheelchair on the level, uphill and downhill
• Negotiating steps, kerbs and doorways
• Loading a wheelchair into a vehicle
• How to push a wheelchair from the user’s perspective

The leaflet is a straightforward guide to the safe use of a manual wheelchair and will be a valuable resource for carers, both formal and informal, as well as student/junior occupational therapist, physiotherapist and nurses.

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