Looking good and feeling good – the wheelchairs of Beechwood NeuroRehab have undergone some spring cleaning.
Therapy Aide Shelby Tibbetts created and hosted a “Wheelchair Wash and Tune” where chairs were cleaned, repaired, and examined for further fixes and replacement.
“The same way we want to have a clean house or clean car, they want – and deserve – a clean wheelchair,” Tibbetts said. “But they may not necessarily have the ability to do this, so we do this so their wheelchairs can be squeaky clean… It hurts me when they’re unclean, so I’ve really taken an interest in giving them attention,” Tibbetts said.
Beechwood held its first Wash and Tune in September 2020 with her, the help of some clinicians over their lunch, and wheelchair vendor NuMotion. Isolated amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Tibbetts felt the event would engage staff, residents, and the vendor positively and fill some of the time lost from closed programming.
The effects of the event reach far beyond just a clean set of wheels.
In addition to basic wheelchair care, the group also took inventory of everyone’s wheelchairs. With serial numbers cleaned off, Tibbetts created a massive spreadsheet detailing when each wheelchair was due for maintenance or complete replacement. The result: the team placed 20 wheelchair orders.
The Wash and Tune also helps build relationships with the vendor. Hosting weekly repair clinics and these clinics allows Beechwood to stay top-of-mind when services are needed.
This year, the wash was on two separate days, March 23 and April 5. On March 23, Tibbetts sought the assistance of our recreation department.With this help in hand, nearly 30 wheelchairs were washed and repaired. April 5 yielded a similar result.
Tibbetts began in a field far different than Beechwood. Originally a hairstylist, she would cut hair for clients. Her interests grew; she joined the staff and is now studying to become a Physical Therapy Aide at Harcum College.