A wheelchair evaluation is used to determine each individual’s needs for a manual or power mobility device, better known as a wheelchair. A thorough evaluation consists of, but is not limited to assessment components including medical history, strength, range of motion, sensation and skin integrity, postural alignment, and measurements for a wheelchair seating system. Your physical therapist will also work with you to complete a thorough assessment of your goals, abilities, and physical limitations in conjunction with your environmental needs to develop the optimal seating and positioning device to maximize your independence and safety within the home and community. A thorough evaluation in necessary to provide the best system to optimize your independence, reduce potential secondary conditions from improper positioning, and provide you the highest level of independence within your home and community.
Wheelchair evaluations can be completed based off of a need for new equipment, replacement equipment, or modifications to current equipment. Insurance providers require significant documentation explaining the reasoning for the chair and the other components of the seating system that are required for the optimum positioning system. The Physical Therapist will work with your referring physician and a wheelchair vendor to provide the needed information to your insurance company to justify the recommended equipment.
Once your equipment is delivered further appointments may be scheduled, if needed, for fittings, adjustments, and education on the use of your new wheelchair. The overall goal at the end of this evaluation is to recommend the optimum device to meet your mobility needs.