How Do You Keep a Suit Jacket Clean While Pushing a Wheelchair?

Oct 08, 2018

heatstrokeyellowstrawberryblue asks, quote:

I have a nice suit jacket and I don’t want to get the forearms dirty from pushing. Do you have any advice for keeping it clean while in a wheelchair?

end quote.

Make Sure the Suit is Tailored For a Wheelchair User

Make sure the suit is tailored for how your body will look and move in the chair. When I bought my first suit, this is what I told the tailor I needed from my suit jacket:

quote: I need to be able to get into a fist fight in this thing and win. end quote

I’ve found this to be a great way of describing the range of motion you’ll need in the back and shoulders of the jacket. When you put the jacket on, scoot forward in your seat so your back isn’t touching your back rest. Once it’s on, slide back. Show the tailor how the fabric sits when you’re in your natural body position. What you want the tailor to do is make the fabric have a “standing look” while seated. Not only will this look more fashionable, but it will also help to keep the fabric close to your body and off of the chair.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure what you should tell the tailor. Describe the problems you are trying to avoid and let them come up with the right solution. That’s what they’re there for.

If you can’t get your jacket tailored, take any extra fabric and press it between your chair’s clothing guards. This will keep the suit from rubbing as you move and keep it taut so that your lapels don’t bunch up as much.

The same rule applies to your accessories as well. The rule for a tie is that it should end just above your belt buckle. For wheelchair users, the tie should end just above your belt buckle while seated.

Push Correctly

I know that I’m always telling people to push using the rim and the tire, but you should make an exception here. The rim is going to carry a lot less dirt than your tires and it’s going to be easier to stay clean.

When pushing, keep your thumbs parallel to the rim, and your elbows slightly perpendicular to the tire. You don’t want your forearms to touch the tires and angling your elbows a bit helps with this. When you start your push, start as far back on the rim as you can without causing the front to lift. This will further help to keep your elbows and forearms clear of the wheels.

Sit Correctly

When stationary, make sure you are properly positioned in your chair. There should be no room between your lower back and the back of your seat. When you rest your arms, place your hands on your thighs and angle your elbows outward. They should float above and off to the side of your wheels.