How Do You Push a Wheelchair in the Rain?

Sep 25, 2018

Anonymous asks, quote:

I was wondering how you manage out in the rain? I use a manual wheelchair and it’s more than a little difficult staying dry and pushing myself. Any tips would be much appreciated.

end quote.

As someone who lives in Seattle, I understand how you feel. Here are a few tips to help manage the wet stuff:

Invest in a Good Raincoat

Wheelchair umbrellas are more trouble than they’re worth. Instead, invest in a high‐quality raincoat. Look for something with an adjustable hood and straps at the wrists. You don’t want the hood blocking your peripheral vision or the sleeves covering your hands.

When you put the coat on, make sure that it isn’t bunched up underneath you. You want the coat to cover as much of your torso and legs as possible.

Wear Gloves

A good pair of gloves will help you maintain your grip when navigating in the rain. Also, they’ll keep your hands cleaner since rain tends to rehydrate all the grim trapped on your wheels.

Push Correctly

When pushing your wheelchair, push with both the rim and the tire. This will give you extra grip when dealing with wet conditions. With each push, keep your hands at your sides and parallel to your wheels so that your able to grab them quickly.

Master the Emergency Stop

If things go sideways and you need to stop suddenly, don’t just grip the wheels. Instead, lean forward, grab both and tire and rim, and pull backwards hard. You should feel the tire slide backward under the chair as you come to a stop. This maneuver will help you stop a lot faster and keep you from sliding out of your chair as you come to a sudden stop.