Personal mobility aids (PMAs) are exceptional devices for people experiencing movement restrictions due to old age, disability, or other reasons. By providing a platform on wheels that enables the elderly or disabled community to get from point A to B easily, these individuals are now better equipped than ever to get back on track with their lives and regain a semblance of normalcy.
However, it is essential to note that just like any other machine, these tools are susceptible to breakdowns if proper maintenance is neglected. When a malfunction happens, the owner of the device will have to send it back to the manufacturer for repair, which may take days or even weeks. During this period, the user will have to rent a temporary PMA device.
As such, it is crucial for every owner to take proper care of their mobility aids to minimise the risk of this occurring to them. If you or your loved ones are the owners of a PMA device, let us share the three everyday hazards you should steer clear of if you wish to keep your mobility aid in pristine condition.
Hazard #1: Never ride your PMA device in the rain
From a young age, we have been taught that water does not mix well with any electronic devices. This logic holds true even for your mobility aid. This is because most PMA devices are not waterproof. Even if you carry an umbrella, the raindrops may drip from the umbrella onto your mobility scooter or wheelchair before seeping into the device's circuitry, causing it to malfunction.
Of course, the weather can be unpredictable at times, and you might find yourself caught in the middle of a heavy downpour during one of your excursions. As such, we recommend carrying a scooter cape with you at all times when operating your device outdoors. This cape covers almost the entirety of your body and device, offering significant protection from the rain.
Hazard #2: Take note of uneven or slanted terrains
Not all PMA devices are equipped to travel on uneven or slanted terrains. In fact, most of them are better suited for level roads and pavements. Therefore, it is imperative for you to research and understand which terrain your mobility aid is equipped to handle before taking it out for a drive.
There is a high possibility of damaging an integral component if you are travelling on a terrain ill-suited for your PMA device. Moreover, you will likely experience plenty of bumps and hurdles during your journey. If you are not careful, you might end up falling over and hurting yourself.
Hazard #3: Avoid driving on damp grounds and slippery surfaces
Frequent usage of your PMA device can wear out the tires’ grip, making it dangerous for you to operate the mobility aid on damp or slippery surfaces. An accident may occur, which will endanger not only you but any nearby pedestrians as well. So if you noticed the tires of your device are losing their effectiveness, we recommend sending your assistive device for maintenance immediately, as this is a safety hazard.
Even if your tires are functioning normally, travelling across damp surfaces at increased speed can often cause a splash to occur. Worst case scenario, you might drive across a puddle of water, causing it to splash onto your mobility aid and damaging its battery or motor.
It is a major hassle when your PMA device breaks down. Not only do you have to wait a period of time for your mobility aid to be repaired, but you also have to rent a temporary device in the meantime.
So if you wish to avoid such a scenario, we suggest taking proper care of your assistive device and avoid riding it in the rain or on uneven terrains and wet surfaces. Additionally, it is essential for you to exercise caution whenever you are operating your mobility aid.