Reclining Wheelchair

Reclining Wheelchair

When To Order:

  • Reclining wheelchairs should be considered when a individual requires a wheelchair but is unable to maintain an upright seated posture.

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 cannot use a cane or walker to resolve the mobility limitation.
  • The individual has sufficient upper extremity strength to self-propel in the wheelchair or has a caregiver to assist.
  • The individual can safely use the wheelchair in the home to accomplish their activities of daily living (ADL).
  • The individual is at risk for developing pressure ulcers and is unable to perform a functional weight shift.
  • The individual’s provider (MD, DO, NP or PA) must complete a written order.

Selecting Equipment:

The following considerations impact the selection of equipment:

  • Reclining wheelchairs 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 to ensure proper seating and pressure sore prevention.
  • Tilt-in-space wheelchairs may give the individual more independence and should be considered as a substitution for reclining wheelchairs.
  • Back cushions should not be used with a reclining wheelchair.

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

  • Anti-tippers
  • Wheel lock extensions
  • Elevating foot rest
  • Articulating foot rest
  • Limb support
  • Arm trough