Winter has really arrived and all over the UK wheelchair and mobility scooter users are experiencing snow or ice or a combination of both!
For many it will be a new experience and they need to be doubly careful and make sure that before they venture out that their mode of transport is in it’s best possible condition. For wheelchair users that means making sure that all wheels are clean tyres have plenty of tread and that this tread is not filled with either snow or ice before they start out otherwise they can be slipping all over the place as soon as they start out.
As well as making sure that your wheels are in good condition you should also check out your footrests and make sure they are clean and dry, next you need to check out your clothing and make sure that those coveralls, capes and hand muffs are all still in a good state from the last time you used them.
Those in attendant controlled and pushed wheelchairs of course can wrap up better than the people who have chosen self propelled chairs as they need obviously to have their arms and hand free to push themselves along, can get very strong arms doing that but also unfortunately means they get cold hands or fingers as they need to be able to grab the wheel rims to propel themselves! Those being pushed can of course wrap up really well and instead of gloves can wear a very warm hand muff!
If you are using a mobility scooter or power chair you need to be even more careful through the winter period. Firstly you will need to keep on top of charging your batteries make sure that they are fully charged every time you go out however short your journey might be there is no point in taking a chance as you are just ‘nipping’ down the road. If you get stuck halfway back because the battery is drained you will be frustrated and need help!
The next thing is once the battery is in place is to check that all the connections are in good condition and clean so that they make good contact. Then if you are using a road going mobility scooter make sure that all of your lights are working properly and that your horn works any of these items not working will give that nice policeman a reason to stop you and check everything including the tax disc you need to display on that size of scooter. They are free from the DVLA but are required to be displayed on this class of scooter (Class 3).
If you can be sensible and not go out in the current conditions it would be better, but if you do then make sure that your relatives or friends or neighbours know that you have decided to stay inside so that they are not worried by not seeing you about. The reverse of this of course is that if you have a relative with mobility problems or you you are a neighbour of someone like that then be sensible and check every now and again that they are alright, it is good that they are independent but it takes nothing to pop in or phone and even if they need nothing a word or a face can cheer them up!
Be careful in these conditions whether you are a wheelchair or mobility scooter user or just a person it can be dangerous outside!