wheelchair user's guide to handling cold weather, Phoenix, ArizonaEven in Arizona, it can get cold and snowy, and that can put a crimp on any sun lover’s lifestyle.

Who wants to be outside when it’s so much easier to stay inside and be comfy? But eventually, everyone has to go out. If you’re a wheelchair user, you’re no exception. Like everyone else, you need to dress for the weather, but extra precautions are in order. Here’s a guide to handling cool weather.

What to wear
Before you go out, dress in layers and apply sunscreen liberally. If you leave home in the morning, when it’s very cold, you might become too warm by afternoon, when the sun is at its highest point. You may not need all those layers. Make sure each layer is easy to take off and put on again. Choose moisture-wicking fabrics, especially for your inner layers. Avoid cotton, which can hold moisture and invite hypothermia. Your outer layer is crucial, so take care when you’re choosing your coat.

Have two pairs of gloves with you, in case one pair gets wet. Use mittens if finger control is an issue. Wear a cap at all times, and consider leggings and a boot warmer. Continually check your hands. If they’re white, you could be asking for frostbite. Go inside. If you can’t do that, fold your arms and tuck your hands into your armpits to warm them up.

Driving your wheelchair or car 
If you live in a higher elevation, you might want to consider snow tires — for both your car and your wheelchair. Keep a safety kit in your car. Water is a must, along with petroleum jelly for the spots on your face that aren’t covered, a flashlight, food, flares and a blanket. Remember that batteries tend to lose power when it’s cold. Keep your battery warm. And don’t forget your cell phone.

Power Mobility & Lifts knows that you need to get around in all weather conditions. We’re here to help you find and maintain the equipment that will facilitate your active lifestyle, regardless of the season. Give us a call. We serve clients throughout Arizona, and we’re happy to answer all of your questions.

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