Great Winter Weather Tips for Power Chair Users

For many of us, the winter season is quickly approaching, which means colder temperatures, ice, and snow. While snow is pretty to look at, snow and other elements of winter can add more barriers to the daily life for manual wheelchair and power chair users. Below are several tips for wheelchair users to help them navigate the winter weather.

Take the Busiest Route in Your Power Chair

Izzie in her Quantum Rehab power chair

When out in the community after a snowfall, take the busiest route, even if it’s the longest. It can seem appealing to want to take the shortcut to get out of the cold faster. The pathways that see the most traffic, however, are the ones to receive priority snow removal to prevent injuries. I know it can be frustrating to navigate around crowds of people, but these areas are going to have less snow and get the most salt. And, if you do get stuck, there are likely people around to help you.

In case you do get stuck in the snow, enable hands-free voice control on your cell phone. This allows you to call for help or contact emergency services with your voice, which can helpful if you drop your phone and/or are in freezing temperatures.

Use Hand Warmers

bicycle on snow covered street
Photo by Dave Haas on

Whether you are someone who uses a manual wheelchair or power wheelchair, often you are required to use your hands to mobilize your wheelchair. This means your hands are exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time. Putting hand warmers in your gloves or hands during a long stroll can keep your hands warm.

Keep Your Power Chair Clean

If you commutes outside a lot for school or work in snowy conditions, it‘s helpful to clean your power wheelchair on a regular basis. If is consistently and excessively remains on the caster wheels, it can wear them down faster. Cleaning the chair more often can prevent wear and tear.

Getting Warm Once You Are Indoors

It is not uncommon for the colder weather to cause many wheelchair users pain and discomfort. Having a heated blanket available when you come in from the cold can help with the discomfort and warm you up faster. Of course, a cup of hot chocolate does not hurt either.

About Isabella Bullock: Isabella, or Izzie for short, is an employment specialist for the Center of Independent Living. She is an iced coffee enthusiast who enjoys getting lost in a good book. Click here to learn more about Isabella.

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