Wheelchair seat belt: What device will keep my client secure in their wheelchair while on a HandyDART?

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What device will keep my client secure in their wheelchair while on a HandyDART?

Question

My client uses a wheelchair and often uses HandyDART to get around the community. I want to ensure that she is secure in her wheelchair when riding the bus - is there such a thing as a seat belt or security bar for a wheelchair?

Our answer

It is extremely important for your client to be secure in their wheelchair, especially when in a vehicle, such as a HandyDART.

There are a number of wheelchair seat belts available commercially; however, there are several documented physical, cognitive and emotional risks to using restraints. Before purchasing and implementing any form of restraint for an individual in a wheelchair, it is important to seek consent from the client or their designated decision maker. If you choose to purchase a wheelchair seat belt, make sure that the one you select is compatible with your client's wheelchair make. Below are some direct links to a few examples of wheelchair restraints:

  • AutoStyle Wheelchair Seat Belt, by Drive MedicalAutoStyle Wheelchair Seat Belt by Drive Medical (at Healthcare Solutions) can be used with all Drive Medical and other leading manufacturers' wheelchairs. The seat belt, which has a waist size of up to 48 inches and looks like your average car seat belt, attaches at the front. This device costs about $40 to $60 (Cdn).
  • Padded Wheelchair Chest Strap (at Performance Health) is made out of neoprene, allowing for a comfortable stretch even when secured. This device, which secures the patient across their chest, as opposed to at their hips, is secured at the side, using a buckle or a hook and loop closure. This product costs about $80 to $120 (Cdn), plus a shipping fee.
  •  Extra Secure Wheelchair Belt by North Coast (at RehabMart.com) is used to comfortably secure a patient to a wheelchair. This product, which crisscrosses in the back of the wheelchair and loops around the tilt levers, makes it difficult for patients to easily remove the belt or to accidentally fall out of the wheelchair. This seat belt is available from a U.S. retailer and costs about $30 to $60 (U.S.), plus an additional shipping fee.

 

Some technologies and devices may require an in-person assessment. Speak with your health care provider for additional information and support. 

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