Winter Tips for Wheelchair Users

For those living in the northern parts of the US (like us here at Rollx Vans), you might have seen a few flurries falling recently.  You know what that means.

Whether we’re ready for it or not, the winter season is upon us.

That means cold temps, snow, and ice.  While you can’t control the weather, you can better prepare for it.  Many already are, buying new batteries or tires for their car, making sure they have a good coat and some boots, and making sure the heater at their house is working properly.

For people using a wheelchair, there are a number of things you can do to better prepare for the winter so that you stay safe and warm.  Here are just a few tips:

Keep Your Hands and Feet Warm

Making sure appendages stay warm is important for everyone in the winter.   Fingers and toes are often the most vulnerable to the cold.  If you don’t have full sensation in your hands and/or feet, it’s especially crucial that you have them bundled beforehand.

Get yourself some properly lined gloves and boots.

Look into Snow Tires

Snow tires aren’t just for handicap accessible vans.  Ice and snow are everywhere in the winter, including ramps and sidewalks.

You can swap out the tires on your wheelchair with ones that have deeper grooves.  Just like snow tires on a vehicle, the deeper grooves allow for snow and water to pass through, enabling the tire to connect with the surfact of the ground.

You can also make it a DIY project, and winterize your tires at home.

All you need are some plastic or nylon ties.  Wrap them around your tires, placing the clips on the backside of the tires so they don’t poke your hands.  Once clipped tightly, cut the excess material off and you’re good to go.  It’s not different from putting chains on your tires.

Buy a Wheelchair Pancho

Wheelchair ponchos area popular item that cover you from head to toe while allowing you to still maneuver your chair.  Not only to they keep your warm, but they keep you try thanks to waterproof material.

If you’re going to be outside a lot, wheelchair ponchos are the perfect thing to keep you warm.

Seat Warmers and Wool Coverings

If you’re going to be sitting outside for a while, bring a seat warmer along isn’t a bad idea.  You can purchase portable, reusable seat warmers that can provide an hour or two of heat at a time.

For a more long term solution, we’d recommend getting a warm, wool covering for your wheelchair.

Have Some Fun with Wheel Blades

Wheel Blades and similar products are like a combo of skis and ice skates for your wheelchair.  The consist of a small ski that can attach to the front wheels of a standard wheelchair, allowing you to glide through light snow and across ice.

While they may not transition very smoothly to indoor settings, they’re great for traveling outside or taking a trip to the ice rink.

Stay Warm. Stay Safe.

Remember, when it comes to winter conditions, it’s better to over prepare than to get caught out in the elements.  Whatever you do, wherever you go, plan ahead.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share for staying warm in the winter?  Comment below!

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