When it comes to safety and convenience in a wheelchair, seat brakes are hard to beat. Seat brakes are simple devices that provide a safe way to move a manual chair, offering users the extra layer of protection they need when negotiating stairs or navigating tight spaces. For wheelchair users with limited hand and arm strength, the benefit of seat brakes is especially substantial.
Seat brakes work by enabling the friction of the seat surface against a stationary surface to create a secure hold during forward motion. This friction stops the seat from sliding out from beneath the user, thus providing added safety and control. For those managing any type of physical disability, the added security a seat brake provides can prove invaluable.
The benefits of using seat brakes don’t stop at safety. Depending on the type of wheelchair and its configuration, seat brakes can also serve as an emergency brake for individuals in need of an extra stop. For example, a deep seat cushion could be used to transfer users to and from a bed or car seat. In this situation, a seat brake can be used to ease the transfer into the manual wheelchair and reduce the potential of dropping or sliding.
Though primarily designed for use with manual wheelchairs, seat brakes can also be used with electric wheelchairs as well. For users who need an extra degree of assistance in controlling the chair both up and down steps and long slopes, seat brakes can provide that bit of extra assistance needed to make navigating these surfaces easier.
The benefits of seat brakes are numerous; yet despite the outpouring of positive reviews, seat brakes have to be used in the proper and appropriate way to ensure optimal safety and performance from the device. It’s important to make sure that the brakes are properly secured and fitted, and to adjust the fit for the size and shape of the user. When using the brakes, make sure that the user is seated in a position that allows for a good foothold on the brake lever and for a firm, secure grip.
Overall, seat brakes offer a great way to increase both safety and control when managing a manual wheelchair. Used correctly, the benefits of using a seat brake can provide wheelchair users the added level of protection and convenience they are looking for when navigating stairs or tight spaces.