Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Need referrals for motorized wheelchair

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Gingergrrl, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I was not sure where to put this so am putting it in the general treatment section. I am looking for referrals for a motorized wheelchair (in the United States) and at this point I want to learn about different brands and features that would be best for me before worrying about cost and insurance issues.

    I want something that I can use inside the home from room to room so no one has to push me in my regular wheelchair so it needs to be small and flexible enough to go through a doorway. But I also need it to be lightweight and foldable so it can go in the trunk of a car. I no longer drive but something that my husband or a family member/friends could fold and assemble without it being too heavy.

    I also need something where my arms are basically at my sides (versus held out in front of me like you would on a bike or scooter.) I cannot hold my arms up that way due to autonomic reasons and prior injury to right arm.

    Thank you in advance for any info!
     
  2. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    This website has many options to choose from.

    I recommend posting on a forum for people with spinal cord injuries. They are likely to have a lot of experience with power chairs and will be able to provide recommendations of what to look for and avoid. Any large distributor will also be able to recommend a good quality chair with a decent warranty.

    A good warranty and a dealer with a good reputation is very important in case you run into problems. My Mom's most recent chair had repeat problems that took months to sort out. The dealer and company were good about fixing the problems and now her chair is very reliable.

    My Mom's power wheelchair has:
    * Center mounted drive wheels so it can rotate in place to maneuver in small spaces
    * Removable seat so that the base could (with difficulty) be placed in the trunk of a car (the base contains the batteries which are extremely heavy)
    * Solid tires - these provide a bouncier ride due to lack of air, but she won't get stuck (again) with a flat tire.
    * Gel cushioned seat for greater comfort. She's gone through several chairs and this seat is the most comfortable she's ever had. It was worth the extra money considering how much time she spends in her wheelchair.

    Measuring:
    * Doors: If the doors in your home are 32" wide then you'll need to make sure the chair is narrow enough to fit through.
    * Counters: Also consider the height of any counters or tables because you'll need to be sure the arms of the chair will fit underneath. Some chairs have a swing-away controller/joystick arm to get closer without needing the arm to fit under whatever surface is in front of you.
    * Foot plate(s): a new chair may have longer or wider footplate(s) than your current chair which might make it more difficult to reach forward to reach items if the footplates hit the edge of a counter, table, etc.

    Good luck Gingergrrl. I hope you find an ideal chair to give you some physical and mental freedom.
     
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  3. Purple

    Purple Bundle of purpliness

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    There is a kind of lightweight foldable wheelchair: http://kdsmartchair.com/

    There could be similar models by other manufacturers. I haven't seen this one in real life or tried it out - but it looks interesting: folds into a small piece, much lighter than most wheelchairs I have come across.

    I hope these kinds of wheelchairs will become more common in future - the lightweight technology (batteries, materials) are similar to those used in electric bicycles... so a lot lighter than for the usual electric wheelchairs. Hopefully companies pick up on the need of lightweight, easily foldable wheelchairs which healthy people can lift into a car, and more lightweight electric wheelchairs will come onto the market. Preferably ones that can recline too and offer more support for the upper back/neck.

    ETA: there is also this one which is similar: http://www.ezlitecruiser.com/
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
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  4. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @PatJ and @Purple Thank you so much for all of the info and links and am going to look at them tonight when I am hopefully feeling better. I know I will be able to find a motorized wheelchair somehow that fits what I need and am prepared to do the research, thank you again.
     
    PatJ likes this.

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