Mobility Device Maintenance – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Senior Mobility and Accessibility Glossary

What are Mobility Devices?

Mobility devices are aids that assist individuals with mobility impairments in moving around and performing daily activities. These devices can include wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, and crutches. Mobility devices come in various shapes, sizes, and functionalities to cater to the specific needs of the user.

How to Properly Maintain Mobility Devices?

Proper maintenance of mobility devices is essential to ensure their longevity and optimal performance. Here are some tips on how to maintain mobility devices:
1. Regular cleaning: Clean the mobility device regularly to prevent dirt and debris from accumulating. Use a mild detergent and water to clean the surfaces of the device.
2. Check for wear and tear: Inspect the device for any signs of wear and tear, such as loose screws, worn-out tires, or damaged parts. Replace or repair any damaged components promptly.
3. Lubricate moving parts: Lubricate the moving parts of the mobility device, such as wheels and hinges, to ensure smooth operation. Use a silicone-based lubricant for best results.
4. Check the battery: If your mobility device is battery-operated, check the battery regularly to ensure it is fully charged and functioning correctly. Replace the battery if it shows signs of deterioration.
5. Adjustments: Periodically check and adjust the settings of the mobility device, such as seat height, armrests, and footrests, to ensure a comfortable and safe fit for the user.

When Should Mobility Devices be Serviced?

Mobility devices should be serviced regularly to maintain their functionality and safety. It is recommended to have your mobility device serviced at least once a year by a qualified technician. Additionally, if you notice any issues with the device, such as unusual noises, difficulty in maneuvering, or decreased battery life, it is essential to have it serviced promptly. Regular servicing can help prevent potential breakdowns and ensure the longevity of the mobility device.

What are Common Issues with Mobility Devices?

Some common issues that may arise with mobility devices include:
1. Battery problems: Battery-operated mobility devices may experience issues with charging, holding a charge, or battery life. This can be due to a faulty battery or charging system.
2. Wheel problems: Wheels may become worn out, lose traction, or develop flat spots over time. This can affect the maneuverability and stability of the mobility device.
3. Brake issues: Brake systems on mobility devices may become loose or ineffective, leading to safety concerns for the user.
4. Electrical problems: Electrical components of mobility devices, such as motors and controllers, may malfunction, causing the device to operate erratically or not at all.
5. Structural damage: Mobility devices may experience structural damage from accidents, rough handling, or prolonged use, leading to instability and safety risks for the user.

How to Extend the Lifespan of Mobility Devices?

To extend the lifespan of mobility devices, follow these tips:
1. Proper maintenance: Regularly clean and maintain the mobility device as outlined above to prevent premature wear and tear.
2. Avoid overloading: Do not exceed the weight capacity of the mobility device to prevent strain on the components.
3. Use on appropriate surfaces: Use the mobility device on smooth, flat surfaces to prevent excessive wear on the wheels and other moving parts.
4. Store properly: Store the mobility device in a dry, secure location when not in use to prevent damage from environmental factors.
5. Follow manufacturer guidelines: Adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use, maintenance, and servicing of the mobility device to ensure its longevity.

How to Properly Store Mobility Devices?

Proper storage of mobility devices is essential to prevent damage and ensure their longevity. Here are some tips on how to store mobility devices:
1. Clean before storing: Clean the mobility device thoroughly before storing it to remove any dirt, debris, or moisture that may cause damage.
2. Store in a dry location: Store the mobility device in a dry, climate-controlled environment to prevent rust, corrosion, or mold growth.
3. Securely store: Ensure the mobility device is securely stored to prevent it from tipping over or falling, which can cause damage.
4. Cover when not in use: Use a protective cover to shield the mobility device from dust, sunlight, and other environmental factors when not in use.
5. Follow manufacturer guidelines: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for storing the mobility device, such as disassembling certain parts or removing the battery, to prevent damage during storage.