Wheelchair Washer / Multi-Purpose Washer Tips
Implementing a wheelchair washing system!
The Medco washing machine assures a uniform and high level of cleanliness and efficiency. This allows each facility to be creative about WHO washes the chairs.
Using volunteers. Sources of volunteers are
- Service organizations, such as VFWs, Legion Clubs, Girl and Boy Scouts - all have worked successfully in our facilities.
- Neighborhood church groups
- Local schools, many of which have community service requirements.
- Community Service hours mandated by the courts. Contact municipal, state and district courts.
If your facility brings in large numbers of volunteers for special events, like holiday parties, consider making that day also a wheelchair washing event with prizes, etc.
Hire handicapped workers. This usually provides wage subsidies, and in some states can also contribute to the purchase of the Medco machine. Call your state Human Services department.
Share the washing among departments. Consider a mix of personnel - e.g. housekeeping, nursing, maintenance, business office each do a few chairs. No single department is overburdened, builds team spirit.
Some residents may want to help!
Combine with other activities. For example, if the washing site is in or near the tub room, the chair can be washed while the resident is bathed.
Plan the shuttling of chairs. If those to be washed each day are delivered at the end of a shift and picked up at the start of the employee’s next shift, shuttle time is eliminated.
Integrate wheelchair washing with other programs of institutional excellence. Announce the acquisition to all employees, hold open house to celebrate your commitment to cleanliness.
Use the Medco machine as a marketing tool. We will provide you with a press release that describes your high standards of care. Consider photo opportunities for newsletters.
Routinize the process. Treat badly encrusted chairs with Medco Prewash (included), let stand while washing cleaner chairs. After a few washes, the accumulated residues will “melt” off. Check that there are no closed pockets in the wheelchair. If there are, create a drain hole (use a grommet gadget) or prepare to drain manually. After washing tip the chair just unloaded on its back while loading the next, thereby draining the tubular parts.
Systematize the washing with log sheets. These sheets provide documentation for inspections and can flag repair needs. They will also give feedback on durability and maintenance requirements of various brands of chair.
Wash small items. We have found that an old grocery cart (usually available for a small cost) is a perfect, easy-loading way to wash foot rests, bed pans and other small items without spending money on racks that will not adapt to all possible items.