Wheelchair – Family & Caregiver OT Training Checklist

Wheelchair Checklist Featured


This post contains a list of topics to cover when providing wheelchair education to family and caregivers. This checklist is intended to be comprehensive and not every item applies to the client’s specific situation.


As always, follow manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions for use to prevent injury and harm. Do not modify a wheelchair and its parts as this void the manufacturer’s warranty and cause potential harm.

Wheelchair Family Caregiver OT Training Checklist
A therapist provides caregiver training to a client.

The OT Wheelchair Checklist

  1. Education about wheelchair types (weight, width, material, etc.)
  2. Size and fit
  3. Wheelchair Safety (hills, inclines, curb cuts)
  4. Precautions and Contraindications (if any)
  5. Not a toy or for play (children)
  6. Weight capacity
  7. Deploying and collapsing
  8. Body mechanics loading/unloading into vehicles
  9. Propulsion technique (hemi-technique, etc.)
  10. Cushion type provided and available ones on market
  11. Armrests (L vs. R, front facing vs. rear facing (reversed)
  12. Armrest placement
  13. Legrests (regular, elevating, residual limb)
  14. Brakes
  15. Casters (fall hazard)
  16. Arm troughs (CVA)
  17. Anti-tippers
  18. Wheelies
  19. Accessories (propulsion gloves)
  20. Maintenance (pumping air)
  21. Pressure relief (Depression, weight shifting)
  22. Wheelchair positioning and placement
  23. Transfers between surfaces
  24. Sitting times
  25. Reclining (if tilt-in-space)
  26. Charging battery (if electric)
  27. Address psychosocial factors
Wheelchair Pushing Technique
Educate clients about wheelchair pushing and the use of accessories.

Wheelchair Transfers

Transport Wheelchairs

  • A convenient alternative to regular wheelchairs if client cannot self-propel.
  • More affordable.
  • Lighter weight than a regular wheelchair.
  • Can fit through doorways easier (more narrow than regular wheelchairs).
  • Easier to load/unload from vehicles.
  • Not usually covered by insurance due to client being unable to push (more passive DME than a regular wheelchair).
  • Less comfortable to sit, rougher ride due to smaller wheels.
  • Lessor no removable parts compared to a wheelchair.
  • Variable weight capacities (check before ordering).

International Wheelchair Day

Don’t forget to educate caregivers about International Wheelchair Day!


Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, sociology, and philosophy. Buy me a Coffee on Venmo.