Wheelchair Safety And Fall Prevention

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All wheelchairs are made with safety in mind.

Good quality wheels and tires, good rims designed to be as ergonomic as possible to allow the user to propel themselves safely, good back support, etc.

Unfortunately, accidents can happen regardless of how careful the user or the caregiver is.

For this reason, several support devices for wheelchairs have been created to help increase the safety of the users.


I could research the information on 6 of them:

Cushion Alarm for Wheelchair Seats

Wheelchair positioning devices

Wheelchair Seat Belt with Alarm

Wheelchair Anti Rollback Device

Wheelchair Anti-tipper

Wheelchair Speed Restrictor

Wheelchair Brake Handle Extensions


These are great devices available in the market in a large variety of brands and prices.

They provide you the support you need to stay alert even when you relax a little bit as a wheelchair user or a caregiver.


Let’s learn a little more about these devices if you are not familiar.


Cushion Alarm for Wheelchair Seats

Cushion Alarms for seats are a great help for caregivers.

A sensor pad is installed inside the wheelchair seat and is pressure-sensitive, programmed to detect if the wheelchair user is attempting to leave the wheelchair or is somehow sliding away from the seat cushion.

It lets the caregiver know if the wheelchair user is out of position on the seat cushion.

The device consists of a flat sensor placed under the wheelchair pad.

The sensor is active the entire time while the wheelchair user is seated.

As soon as the user tries to stand up or even slides over to the right or left, front or back, the sensor will capture a loss and sound the alarm.

These devices are also known as fall prevention monitor alarms.

Some cushion alarms are wireless, making it easier to monitor the wheelchair user at a certain distance. This distance will vary depending on the manufacturer.

The great benefit is setting the alarm about the event in real-time. No delay at all.

Designed for wheelchair users with a high degree of disability that requires full-time caregivers’ attention, among other types of disabilities, not necessarily wheelchair-bound.


Wheelchair positioning devices

Some manufacturers offer devices that sound alarms for changing the wheelchair user’s position on the chair.

This is a great tool to help caregivers taking care of wheelchair users who face problems with pressure sores.

It pretty much works like the cushion alarm for seats, but it has an extra feature that is a reminder, a sound alarm for the caregiver to change or readjust the wheelchair positioning.

The frequency of the alarm/reminder is adjustable by the caregiver. Usually every 15, 30 or 60 minutes.

This feature is great for caregivers, especially when wheelchair users require intense attention due to pressure sores treatment.

Changing positions from time to time is an important part of the therapy.

You can also find “intelligent” cushions that help with pressure sores prevention with high-quality materials and a special feature that rotates the amount of air pressure in different cushion points in set intervals.

This feature provides the peace of mind that caregivers need for pressure sores prevention.

The constant checks for a new position in a wheelchair decrease considerably as the device help by cycling the points of pressure, as programmed.

There are models in the market that are designed with buttons that make it difficult for the wheelchair user to reset or change the programmed frequency of the alarms.


Wheelchair Seat Belt with Alarm

These are very useful if the wheelchair user frequently attempts to rise from the chair when not appropriate (when the caregiver is not near, for example) or when the user is at risk of falling from the chair.

This is a restraint-free belt, with the only goal of alerting the caregiver when the belt is separated, indicating potential falls.

It will sound an alarm indicating the exact time the event takes place, giving the caregiver the chance to take action to prevent any accident.

It is a good and quick option for caregivers that look for a more affordable piece of technology that helps them with daily care.


Wheelchair Anti Rollback Device

These are intelligent devices with a simple mechanism that “knows” when to be activated.

The wheelchair anti-rollback device was created to prevent falls by keeping the wheelchair stationary as soon as the user begins to stand.

It simply keeps the wheelchair from rolling backward.

The interesting part (and what makes it an intelligent but simple mechanism) is that it activates only when the user begins to stand up, and it will be fully active the entire time if nobody is sitting on the chair.

The device is installed on the wheelchair frame with a lever in contact with the bottom of the wheelchair seat.

That’s the part that will activate the clamps that keeps the wheelchair from rolling backward when the user stands up.

As soon as the wheelchair user is back on the seat, the wheelchair can ride freely forward or backward.

The device will be there on standby, always activating when right.

Great tool.


Wheelchair Anti-tipper

A wheelchair anti-tippers is a device attached to manual or electric wheelchairs to reduce the risk of tipping backward or forward.

It works pretty much like the training wheels assisting children in learning how to properly ride a bicycle while, in this case, reducing the risk of falling to the sides.

Notice that the word “reduce” is present here.

The anti-tipper is certainly a tremendous help, but it cannot guarantee that the wheelchair tips over backward or forward, especially if the wheelchair user went over the limits taking unnecessary risks on curbs, stairs, and other dangerous obstacles.

Still, these are great devices.

New wheelchair users can see the benefit of anti-tippers while getting more familiarized with the wheelchair in their daily routines.


Wheelchair Speed Restrictor

A wheelchair speed restrictor is a device that is installed into the bottom part of the wheelchair structure, close to the rear wheels.

Wheelchair speed restrictors have been created to avoid accidents if the wheelchair user unexpectedly and unsafely gains momentum forward or backward when propelling their chair or in case of a short distraction by a caregiver.

It is very dangerous when a wheelchair user goes freewheeling into other people or any obstacles, getting injured themselves or injuring other people.

Unfortunately, these types of accidents can happen.

Wheelchair speed restrictors are certainly a good help to keep these events from happening.


How Does a Wheelchair Speed Restrictor Works?

A wheelchair speed restrictors consist of a metal bar attached to the chair’s structure that supports a resistance pad that applies drag to the large rear wheels.

The caregiver adjusts the pads to apply the necessary pressure against the rear wheel. The caregiver determines the amount of drag, who can adjust from minimum to substantial.

It will vary from person to person, the amount of drag they judge necessary to have, arm strength of the wheelchair user, amount of speed wanted as maximum, etc.

Some therapy departments may consider applying more drag for strength training.

Never too much to remind.

Would you please follow this tip after checking with your physician?

It fits most standard wheelchairs with no problems.


Wheelchair Hand Brake Extensions

All good standard manual wheelchairs come with hand brakes to lock the wheels to help the user get out of their chairs, get back in, or assist on transfers.

Wheelchair brakes, or wheelchair locks, are devices that contain levers that push pads against the rear wheels to lock them in place.

The wheelchair user of the caregiver activates this lever by manually moving it over to up or down to activate or release the lock.

Wheelchair hand Brake extensions have been created with the wheelchair user in mind, especially the users with limitations on strength or reach, assisting them by providing an easier way to use the lever with less strength and with less or no bending necessary to reach out to the lever.

It simply adds extra inches (usually an additional 6-9 inches) to the existing brake lever, making it very easy to reach and use.

Not only comfort is the target here. Hand brake extensions will help prevent accidents caused by a moving wheelchair that the user could not lock for lack of strength on the hand or difficulty bending to reach out to the lever.

Very simple concept.

Very convenient and efficient device.

Peace of mind, comfort, safety are never too much for a wheelchair user or a caregiver.

Any wheelchair, even the most expensive state-of-the-art chairs, could use affordable safety accessories to assist the day-to-day of people with disabilities.

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Mr. Vincent

International Market Director of TOUSDA, Rehabilitation Therapy Products Experts, Son, Husband, and Father.
Passionate about providing high-quality rehabilitation therapy products, especially wheelchair, electric wheelchair, commode wheelchair, commode chair, mobility aids, walking aids, crutch, walking stick, etc., and share the latest news, tips, blogs, advice, knowledge about the medical industry field.
Excited about TOUSDA's mission to become the premier online medical technology platform that empowers caregivers by spotlighting innovative devices and products to achieve optimal patient response and recovery.


Notes: This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care.
Always follow your health care professional’s instructions.

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