Maintenance Guide for Users of Manual and Power Wheelchairs

Wheelchair breakdowns can injure wheelchair users and limit mobility and social participation. Poor wheelchair maintenance increases the risk of wheelchair breakdowns and personal injury or death, and increases the costs of medical care. The number of users injured from wheelchair breakdowns doubled from 1991 to 2016. According to a 2016 study, up to 18% of wheelchair users experience a wheelchair-related injury each year. Furthermore, 44–57% reported at least one wheelchair breakdown in the past 6 months. Of these, 20–30% of users stated that because of the breakdown, they missed work and appointments, were stranded at home or away from home, or were injured.

The factsheet discusses the importance of maintaining a wheelchair to avoid breakdowns, which can injure users and limit mobility and social participation. It guides users about when to perform maintenance, parts and functions to inspect, and potential problems to look for in both manual and power wheelchairs.