The longer, warmer days are embraced by most of us after the cold winter months. For wheelchair and mobility scooter users, however, the increase in temperature can make staying cool and comfortable a real challenge.
Everyone has different lifestyles and needs, so there is no ‘one size fits all approach’ to keeping cool in your wheelchair or scooter. But if you are out and about this summer, here are some of our top tips for coping with the heat:
1. Stay Hydrated
This might be an obvious suggestion but staying hydrated is key to regulating your internal body temperature! Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function properly. The general recommendation fluid intake for women is 2.1 litres (about 8 cups) a day and 2.6 litres (about 10 cups) a day for men.
To stay hydrated, keep a reusable water bottle with you and use a wheelchair drink bottle holder for easy access and to remind you to have regular drinks! For extra refreshing water, freeze your water bottle overnight.
2. Seek Shade
Along with sunscreen and a broad-rim hat, making use of shaded areas when outdoors can help you to stay cool and protect you from the harmful UV rays of the sun! Too much exposure to the sun on hot days can also raise your body’s temperature enough to cause heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
However, there’s no guarantee shade will be available, so it’s best to be prepared for hot weather with an umbrella or sun canopy for protection. These accessories can be easily attached and detached to your scooter or wheelchair whenever you need them.
3. Wear Loose Clothing
Opting for loose fitting clothing made of breathable fabric like cotton, will help keep you cool and reduce sweating.
If the seat of your wheelchair/scooter is black then it will retain heat and attract the sun, so clothing that covers your knees, a light shawl or throw will act as a barrier between you and the sun. Try placing some light coloured fabric over the seat for added protection and coolness.
4. Use a Handheld Fan
Handheld fans are a convenient accessory to take with you on hot days. They are fun, user-friendly and can provide relief from the heat while you’re on the go!
Misting fans are particularly good for keeping you hydrated and cool, especially if you haven’t had enough water to drink throughout the day!
5. Use Gel Seat Cushions
Seat cushions provide pressure relief and help prevent sores from developing – some also have effective cooling qualities. Our Funke Gel Seat Cushion features a hyper-elastic foam core, cooling gel technology top layer and contoured shape for postural support for optimum summertime comfort!
At Life Mobility, we aim to empower people living with limited mobility or disability to lead active and independent lives. If you need further information about our scooter and wheelchair accessories contact us today or come and talk to our friendly consultants at our Bayswater or Mornington showrooms.