Read your Wheelchair’s Manual



As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Why bother?

Manuals can be so boring. A manual is full of multiple languages, legal jargon, and dry technical writing. There’s always one set of variable instructions for different products models. So you’ll have to determine which product you have before you can use the manual.

Do we really need this?  I mean, there’s a picture on the box. What else do we really need?

Ok, I’ll admit. Sometimes I might come up with a spare piece that’s leftover, and I need a little help trying to figure out where it goes. Wheelchair Manuals come in real handy for that.

If they would write the things with a little more common sense and a fewer warnings from lawyers, they might be more user-friendly.  But, whatever.

I’m still a guy.

As man of the house, I like to be in control of all the mechanical devices around the house, and I am. So I don’t want to pick up a page and realize, “This thang doesn’t make any sense – oh wait –that’s- Portuguese?” Keep looking my friend; turn it over, look in the back.  English is in there somewhere.

Once, I needed a transport wheelchair for my mother in-law.  My wife, who was her primary caregiver found that the standard wheelchair we normally used was just too hard for her to load in the trunk of our car.

So I did some shopping online and ended up with a transport chair that was the wrong size for the person expected to use it.

I should have read the details in the wheelchair’s manual before purchasing. In my experience it’s best to read first – then act.

OK, maybe I’ll try.

So I have to admit that reading the wheelchair manual is not about me. It’s about someone I care about and their needs. I want to help them, and to do that I need to use the right chair, right size, right weight and it needs to be set-up right.

Specific people have specific needs.  Wheelchairs come with options and accessories:  different arms, seats, leg supports, etc.  Most manufacturers’ manuals come with a lot more than directions for assembly.

They will probably include warranty information and product registration forms.

 There might be a parts list, which would be helpful in ordering replacement parts or additional accessories. The address and phone number of the customer service department of the manufacturer will be included. Probably the most important feature in a manual will be the maintenance and safety advice found there.

Let me ask you:

  • Are you opening and closing the wheelchair correctly?
  • Do you know how the wheels lock? You can find out how to use the wheel locks safely and how to tighten the nut and bolt to secure them before use.
  • Did you know that the front wheels, the casters, should be cleaned and lubricated periodically?
  • Do you know how to put on and take off the removable arms?
  • Do you know how to adjust the length of a footrest/leg-rest on your wheelchair?

The Wheelchair’s Manual will have this information. If you need help to do these things, ask your physical therapist, occupational therapist, or home health care nurse to help you with these adjustments. 

A wheelchair is designed to be comfortable, safe and reliable. Making the effort to maintain and use it properly is reasonable.

Manufacturers’ manuals for wheelchairs are a valuable resource.  Take a few moments to find your manual  and review it.