Lightweight Wheelchair


When To Order:

Wheelchairs improve individual’s mobility and independence.

Transitioning an individual from a walker to a wheelchair should be considered when:

  • The individual’s low level of endurance makes walking the distance required to accomplish daily goals too taxing.
  • The individual has limited lower extremity strength.
  • The individual can no longer walk frequently or at all.
  • The individual has significant light headedness, seizures, dizziness and other conditions creating a fall risk.

Medical Documentation:

The clinical care team needs to document in the individual’s medical record the following:

  • The individual has a mobility limitation that impairs performance of mobility related activities of daily living (MRADL).
  • The individual has not expressed an unwillingness to use the wheelchair.
  • The individual can not use a cane or walker to resolve the mobility limitation.
  • The individual has sufficient upper extremity strength to self-propel in a lightweight wheelchair but not in a standard wheelchair.
  • The individual can safely use the wheelchair in the home to accomplish their activities of daily living (ADL).
  • The individual’s provider (MD, DO, NP or PA) must complete a written order.

Selecting Equipment:

The following considerations impact the selection of equipment:

  • Lightweight wheel chairs come in seat widths of 16, 18 and 20 inches.  Measure the individual’s seated width at the widest point while the individual is seated.
  • Wheelchairs need to provide the individual access to different parts of the home, such as the bathroom and kitchen.  Measure the doors to determine the size of the wheelchair that will fit through the door.  The overall width of a wheelchair is the seat width plus 8 inches.
  • Ensure individuals have seat cushions and back cushions to ensure proper seating, positioning and pressure ulcer prevention.

Select the correct accessories for the individual’s safety, seating and clinical needs:

  • Height adjustable desk arm
  • Full arm
  • Anti-tippers
  • Wheel lock extensions
  • Swing away foot rest
  • Elevating foot rest
  • Articulating foot rest
  • Limb support
  • Arm trough
  • Oxygen tank holder