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What to Expect at Your First Clinic Appointment

Our physical therapists and partner assistive technology professionals will speak with you about your medical history and whether your current equipment meets your needs. We’ll also discuss your future health needs, such as major surgeries planned that would affect how your wheelchair fits. 

During your first visit at the Wheelchair Seating and Mobility Clinic, we’ll ask questions to help identify all the factors that affect your equipment needs, including your:

  • current nutrition and risks,
  • home accessibility,
  • pain levels,
  • postural alignment and musculoskeletal function,
  • skin integrity, and 
  • transportation needs.

We may ask questions such as:

  • How long have you been using the chair?
  • Do you deal with skin breakdown or pressure ulcers?
  • What do you do to manage pressure on your legs while in the chair?
  • How many hours of the day do you sit in the chair?
  • Do you use other pieces of equipment regularly, such as a shower chair?

Therapy Mat Evaluation

We will assist you in transferring to a therapy mat where we will perform examinations while you're in a seated position and lying down. We’ll evaluate your:

  • balance;
  • head, neck, and trunk position;
  • muscle tone;
  • pelvic and musculoskeletal alignment;
  • range of motion;
  • reflexes; and
  • strength.

Home Assessment

Before or after your first Wheelchair Seating and Mobility Clinic visit, an assistive technology professional (ATP) will schedule an at-home visit. This is done to evaluate how you function with your wheelchair at home. The ATP will be from a company that University of Utah Health professionals have selected carefully.

The ATP will share recommendations with you based on the home assessment, which may include living space adjustments to help you move more freely or safely. Home assessments also ensure that you will be able to use any new equipment in your home.

Equipment Testing & Recommendations

After the clinic assessment, you’ll have a chance to sit in and use different power wheelchairs or ultralight manual chairs in our office. You may also test accessories such as back supports or seat cushions to increase comfort or mobility. The equipment trial may occur during your first or follow-up visit, depending on the time available and whether we need to order a piece of demo equipment that interests you.

We will provide recommendations to help you find the option that best meets your needs. When you’ve chosen what device works best for you, our specialists will go through the order form with you.

Fit and Delivery Appointment

When your new equipment arrives, you will come back to the clinic for a follow-up appointment, where we will ensure that your new wheelchair fits appropriately. We also provide training to ensure you know how to use and maintain your equipment properly. We’ll teach you and your family to:

  • assemble and disassemble the equipment,
  • facilitate transfers, and
  • maintain or make minor adjustments to the equipment.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Wheelchair?

It takes around two to three months to get a new wheelchair or piece of equipment. This timeline may vary based on your insurance and the complexity of the equipment you’re ordering.

How Much Does a Wheelchair Cost?

The amount you pay for a wheelchair can vary significantly based on your insurance. Some people may get mobility equipment at no cost. However, many insurance plans require a copay, where you pay a portion out-of-pocket. If your insurance doesn’t cover the full cost, our specialists can direct you to organizations that can help you find alternate funding.

How to Get a Wheelchair Through Insurance

The assistive technology professional (ATP) will work directly with your insurance provider to understand your benefits and out-of-pocket costs. They will help you navigate your insurance coverage and determine your eligibility.

Clinic Location

The Wheelchair Seating and Mobility Clinic is on the second floor of the Craig H. Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital. When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll check in at the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation desk on the first floor. A greeter will direct you to the check-in desk or escort you to the clinic if needed.

Our Wheelchair Seating & Mobility Clinic Providers

How to Make an Appointment

You will need a physician referral to make an appointment with the Wheelchair Seating and Mobility Clinic. For appointments or questions, please call 801-581-2267.

Please have your provider fax the following referral information to 801-585-3498.

  • Medical diagnoses related to your mobility impairment
  • Referral for physical therapy/occupational therapy evaluation

Our scheduling coordinator will contact you to make an appointment after we've received your referral.

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