Wheelchair Checklist for Seniors: Safety and Maintenance

As we all know, more than half of all wheelchair users will experience an accident due to the tips and falls. However, most wheelchair accidents are preventable if you take some time to learn about wheelchair checklist for seniors. Let’s look get closer at some wheelchair checklist for seniors that will significantly decrease their risk of injury.

Regular Wheelchair Maintenance Checklist

Daily Maintenance

  • Check Tires – Inspect tire pressure; inflate or deflate as needed; ensure there are no visible punctures or wear.
  • Check Brakes – Test the brakes to ensure they engage and release properly.
  • Check for Loose Bolts and Fasteners – Inspect the entire wheelchair for loose or missing bolts and fasteners, tighten or replace as needed.
  • Inspect Cushion and Backrest – Check for any tears, wear, or damage.
  • Inspect Armrests and Footrests – Ensure armrests and footrests are securely attached; check for any damage or loose components.
  • Clean Frame and Seating Area – Wipe down the wheelchair frame and seating area; remove any debris or spills.

Weekly Maintenance

  • Check Caster Wheels – Ensure caster wheels rotate freely and are not damaged.
  • Inspect Axles – Verify that axle nuts are properly secured.
  • Check Wheel Bearings – Spin each wheel to check for smooth rotation; grease wheel bearings if necessary.
  • Lubricate Moving Parts – Apply lubricant to pivot points, foldable joints, and moving parts.
  • Inspect Seat Belt (if applicable) – Ensure the seat belt is functional and secure.

Monthly Maintenance

  • Inspect Frame for Structural Integrity – Examine the frame for cracks, damage, or signs of stress. If you notice any issues, consult a professional.
  • Check Wheel Alignment – Verify that the wheels are aligned correctly for stable and straight movement.
  • Test Anti-Tip Bars – Ensure anti-tip bars are functioning and not damaged. Tighten or replace components if needed.
  • Inspect Brakes and Brake Cables – Ensure brake cables are intact and functioning correctly. Adjust or replace as necessary.

Note: If you are confident doing these things yourself, it would be great; If not, it is necessary to seek a professional wheelchair inspection.

Wheelchair Checklist for Seniors

Wheelchair Checklist for Seniors
  • Always lock the brakes before getting in and out of the wheelchair. On power wheelchairs, always turn the power off before transferring. This can prevent someone from bumping the joystick and it saves battery power.
  • Don’t pull backward on doors when sitting in a manual wheelchair. A door could suddenly release and you could tip over backwards.
  • Avoid putting heavy loads on the back of a wheelchair and removing the anti-tip wheels on any wheelchair. These could cause the chair to tip backwards.
  • For comfortable sitting – Ensure the seat height is comfortable, adjust the seat depth accordingly, check the cushion and back support.
  • Lift up or adjust the foot rests and arm rests if needed before transferring.
  • Be aware of caster flutter. Castor flutter occurs when they aren’t aligned correctly and cause the wheelchair to veer sideways at high speeds, potentially tipping you over.
  • Don’t ride at a fast speed. While most electric wheelchairs max out around eight mph, that’s often faster than what’s safe in many situations.
  • Pick bright colored wheelchair. Use a flag if you ride in the streets and headlights if you ride at night.
  • Avoid riding in the rain. Controls get wet on power chairs and wheels lose traction on wet ground.
  • Don’t allow a child onto your lap. It’s unsafe when you’re using a wheelchair. 

Wheelchair Checklist for Caregivers

Wheelchair Checklist for Caregivers
  • Check Wheelchair Brakes and Wheels – It’s important to inspect and regularly check wheelchair brakes. If the chair appears to move even while the brakes are on, this can indicate they are failing to work. Be sure to replace the brakes as soon as possible. Try to oil the wheels at least once a month to ensure they roll smoothly.
  • Ensure the Seniors Is Comfortable During Transfers – Check that all the wheelchair’s leg pedals are out of the way. Make sure the wheelchair brakes are engaged to avoid any unnecessary wheelchair movement, which helps to keep it stable during the transfer.
  • Listen to the Seniors Patiently – If they express discomfort while sitting in a wheelchair, it’s important to listen and do with the problems patiently. Listening and understanding allow them to trust you more and fix the problem quicker.
  • Check the Battery System – When the battery system becomes damaged, this can cause serious and potentially dangerous issues with the wheelchair. Check the battery system regularly and make sure the wheelchair stays dry.
  • Clean the Chair Frequently – Wheelchairs can easily become dirty and grimy. Making sure to regularly clean all parts of the wheelchair can avoid spreading germs and illnesses to a senior, including the wheels, seat, and arms.

Related: How to Choose Different Types of Wheelchairs for Elderly: The Ultimate Guide

Summary of Wheelchair Checklist for Seniors

It’s worth learning how to use a wheelchair safely. Making sure that you have a wheelchair checklist for seniors you perform regularly is the best way to care for your wheelchairs condition and safety. Taking times to understand these wheelchair checklist for seniors can reduce risk of suffering from fall-related injuries.


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