How to Fold a Wheelchair

How to Fold a Wheelchair

Wheelchairs are an essential tool that provides mobility and access to millions of people every day. As much as they are designed for comfort and durability, the true convenience of a wheelchair comes in the quick and easy way they can be dismantled for travel and storage.

Wheelchairs feature a simple design that accommodates all of these purposes. This simplicity is easy to learn and to execute; learn it once, and you’ll never forget.

To help you understand the different folding modes of a wheelchair, we’ve provided this guide to explain how to fold, and unfold, a wheelchair. This will tell you what to do once you’ve arrived at your destination or are taking the wheelchair out of storage. We’ve also added an extra explanation that will let you get an extra benefit from certain wheelchair models.

Here’s our quick primer on how to fold and unfold your wheelchair:

How To Fold A Wheelchair

  1. Lock the wheels of the wheelchair into place. For many wheelchair models, this means sliding the brake lever that can be found on the outside of the chair at seat level; this is the wheelchair’s primary safety device that prevents the wheels from moving.
  2. Swing the from the front of the wheelchair to the back. The right legrest will swing to the right and line up flush with the right side, and the left legrest will swing to the left and line up flush with the left side. Some models will require you to unclick them from a locked position that will allow them to swing freely.
  3. Using both hands, grip the front and the back of the wheelchair seat and lift up. The seat of the wheelchair is soft and malleable, and will rise easily. This action will cause the wheelchair to fold, collapsing together similar to folding a book or a canopy.
  4. Put the wheelchair into the car or the storage space.


Folding Wheelchair Reminders

Be sure to only begin folding a wheelchair when it is empty. Do not take any of these steps if someone is still sitting in it. As well, be sure to remove any seat cushions or wheelchair accessories that can become lost or displaced during the moving or storage process.


How To Unfold A Wheelchair

  1. Put the wheelchair on a flat surface with room to maneuver around it. This is especially important if someone will immediately be using the wheelchair after you unfold it.
  2. Grab both armrests and separate them. This will open up the wheelchair slightly, but the process is only half complete.
  3. Using both hands, push down on the folded wheelchair seat. This will cause the seat to become fully taut and put the wheelchair into a usable position. The wheelchair is ready to use if the wheelchair seat is flat and the side seat poles are locked into place.
  4. Swing both legrests into the front of the wheelchair from their respective sides (optional). If required by the wheelchair user, be sure to provide them with the right support by putting the legrests into use.
  5. Seat the wheelchair user into the wheelchair (optional). If the wheelchair is to be used at this point, be sure the previous steps have been taken before moving on to the next step.
  6. Unlock the wheels to allow the wheels to freely move. With this step, the wheelchair is ready to be moved. As well, if someone is going to be immediately using the wheelchair, don’t unlock the wheels before they sit down.


Unfolding Wheelchair Reminders

Once again, we emphasize that it’s very important to unfold the wheelchair on a flat surface with extra room to move. Wheelchairs are safe to use, but you need to maintain healthy habits in order to ensure this remains true.

Don’t get in the habit of unfolding a wheelchair in an unsafe place; as well, don’t regularly unlock the wheels before a user sits down. By being careful, you can avoid any unnecessary incidents.


How to Fold The Back Of A Wheelchair Seat

Certain wheelchairs and transport chairs are equipped with an extra feature. This will allow the back of the wheelchair seat to be folded down for easy travel and storage.

  1. Find the levers on the back of the chair, and press down. This will cause the back of the wheelchair seat to be folded.
  2. To put the back of the wheelchair seat into a sitting position, put it back into place and pull the levers up.

By following these simple steps, you can help the durability of your wheelchair and provide a safe and comfortable experience for its users!

Factory Direct Medical offers a wide lineup of wheelchairs to suit a variety of purposes! We offer transport chairs, standard chairs, and lightweight manual chairs. We also offer a variety of accessories that include power add-on devices! Browse through our lineup of mobility products here!

FDM website uses both "legrest" and "leg rest"