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How to move a manual wheelchair upstairs

Updated April 17, 2017

Wheelchairs allow users with limited abilities more access to the world around them; however, they still have to overcome the problem of getting up and down the stairs. Not all places wheelchair users go are accessible and sometimes the wheelchair user and his caregivers have to improvise ways to accommodate the wheelchair user. With a little foresight and some ingenuity, a person in a wheelchair can successfully get up the stairs.

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  1. Turn the wheelchair so the back is facing the stairs and place the brakes on by pressing down on the handle on each side of the wheelchair.

  2. Check the wheelchair to make sure the handles do not come apart. If the handles at the top of the wheelchair come apart, the person behind the wheelchair should find another non-moving bar to hold onto.

  3. Place one caregiver behind the wheelchair and the other caregiver in front of the wheelchair.

  4. Use a tight grip to hold on to the handles or a bar behind the wheelchair so you can lift the chair.

  5. The caregiver in front should use a tight grip to hold an unmoving bar at the bottom of the wheelchair to lift the chair.

  6. Instruct the person in the wheelchair to place his hands and arms in his lap and not to let any body parts move around. This helps prevent any injuries while moving the chair.

  7. Lift the wheelchair into the air. Both caregivers should lift at the same time, while keeping backs straight and knees bent. Tilt the wheelchair slightly back when it is in the air to give the caregivers better leverage.

  8. Working together the two caregivers climb the steps, taking one at a time. The caregivers should communicate to each other when there is a potential problem.

  9. The caregiver in front should warn the caregiver at the back when they reach the top step.

  10. Place the wheelchair on the ground once you have reached the top step. Adjust the individual in the wheelchair to make sure he is comfortable. Unlock the wheelchair brakes by pressing up on the brakes on both sides and continue on your way.

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 caregivers or assistants

About the Author

Angela Reinholz is a full-time freelance writer. Reinholz started writing professionally in 2007, specializing in animals and social work with some branching off into legal matters. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern New Hampshire University and an associate degree in network administration from McIntosh College, located in Dover, N.H.

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