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Which is more effective?? Wheelchair or walker?


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Hi all...

well I cant remeber if I have mentioned this or not.. but I believe ti was friday..i got a call from the rehabiliation store downtown.. asking me what exactly i thought would be more useful.. scooter.. walker..or and electric wheelchair..

I said that I would preferr and electric wheelchair.. something that offers some support in regards to back.. neck suport... and he said Ok.. we can look into that..

well we started discussing other options.. I also said that I would like a walker or something to use with in the house.. and use the wheelchair when i go out.. I will be able to transport this chair by bus or by using the LIFt program... and where i live isnt real big.. (door ways small.. and staris..) so I need something to use inside the house too..

well here is where we hit a road block.. he said that with having Medicaid and Medicare.. Medicare being my primary insurance.. that they are going to only pay for one peice of equipment.. and that our best bet is to go with the more exspensive piece... and that medicaid "might" pay for a walker..but that is a big might..

see the thing is I really could use both of them wheelchiar and walker..But chances are.. I'll only be able to get one.. and I am more apt to go with the wheelchair.. and just stumble along inside the house.. and pray that I dont take an tumble on the stairs..or pass out in the hall between the bed room and the bathroom.. :(

So I am curious.. what do you guys preferr to use?? I know that this is an idividual thing.. but still am wondering.. :)

It (as I am sure that you guys can relate too) has taken alot for me to "get over myself" and resign to the fact that hey I need some help here!!

Oh, yeah i aslo have to go through an evaluation through a PT place..did you guys have to do that before you could get you wheelchair and stuff?

OH!!!!!! I almost forgot to tell you.. after being on that Lunesta since last wednesday..Boy I feel alseep last nigth at about 2 am nd slept all the way till 9:30 this morning!! Wahoo!! that is the most sleep I have had at one time in like allmost a month! i felt SOOO good when i woke up this morning..I felt half way human till about 11am.. then that potsy feeling hit and I had to take a nap.. then another nap this evening.. But I am sleeping!!! THANK GOD!!!..

LOL.. thought I would share that tid bit with you..

thanks guys

linda :)^_^:)

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Electric wheelchair, definitely. I was told I needed one last week on the NHs, but then the person added words to the effect of "hame you can't have one"--the wait is too long for me to get one in tme for university. Solution: I have to be wheeled about everywhere by someone else as I get too weak to wheel myself on off days. ^_^

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good idea about a second hand walker!!.. I will have to save up and look for one..

a wheelchair.. is my first guess too.. now I just have to play the waiting game with insurance company's!! Oh joy!!

thanks guys!

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I've been in the midst of this process lately as well. I also have Medicare and there is currently a LOT of confusion. Medicare has recently changed their criteria for who meets the definition of needing medical assistive devices.

Definately go for the higher priced item for Medicare to pay. I personally am trying to go for getting an electric chair because it's power assistive (I don't have the stamina always for a manual one), it's smaller (not as wide) as a manual one so even if you aren't in a handicap accesible place it's easier to manuever around. They have electric ones that will fold up similar to a wheelchair so they are much easier to transport.

In terms of the walker. I was told (in my case) not to get one. Because I pass out so much they said a walker could actually be dangerous (it won't stop me from passing out but it would possibly be "in my way" as I fall and cause further injury). Plus, I agree with others on this....look around..you can find a used one reasonably priced I bet.

The other thing, from what I've read is for Medicare to pay for a wheelchair (under the new guidelines) you MUST need assistiance with the main activities of daily living, which Medicare defines as grooming, bathing, toiletry and feeding.

I too am going through a physical therapy seating evaluation.

Good luck!!

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I would recommend the electric wheelchair. I started with the walker and used it twice. The problem I have is that when I feel I am going to faint I don't have time to do anything so the walker is useless. I don't have the muscle strenght to use a manual wheelchair and I am totally dependent on someone pushing me around.

I really enjoy having my electric wheelchair.


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Just to let you know, till the insurance kicks in and you get your wheelchair, if you need one in the mean time try your local VFW hall(If there is one around you). Our VFW hall locally lends out medical equiment such as wheel chairs, walkers, and such. I have borrowed one to go to our local fair. Just a suggestion. Hope it will help


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just another echo to add for the chorus...

if medicare will approve it, go for the wheelchair.

along the lines of what has been said already, a walker would likely do me little good or perhaps even be a bit dangerous at times. one with a seat might be a bit helpful but all in all i don't have issues with balance or weakness that aren't directly related to being upright. for me when i walk i actually go quite speedily b/c that means i can get from point A to point B faster...much needed since i have limited upright time. the more time i'm upright, the more time i need to recover too, so having a walker with a seat would still be a lot less effective for me than a wheelchair.

i can actually see that the walker would be more helpful for me around my house as a "portable stool" but in fact use just that - a stool - instead. i carry it around for use in the kitchen, bathroom, etc. but really should just buy another. when i'm really at "pass out" point i lay on the ground, so sitting on a stool/walker seat wouldn't do much for me. when i'm already crashing sitting won't necessarily stop the decline, but if i'm seated to begin with i'm not likely to faint these days (thus why the wheelchair has been so helpful for me).

i have a manual chair that i've written of in other posts...for me that was a better option at the moment than electric...or perhaps one that i was more willing to go for. and i still haven't gotten my insurance mess straightened out with it. currently the appeal for the denial is pending, but in the meantime it's allowing me to do school....2 days of orientation & one of classes & so far so good.

congrats on pursuing this step. i hope medicare is better to work with than my insurance company has been & that whatever you gives you some more independence as it has for me.

:) me

p.s. the used walker idea is great...they even have them on ebay sometimes! even a new walker can be pretty reasonable, and you don't have to worry about fitting as much for a walker. an incorrectly fitted wheelchair can cause more problems so the fitting/eval is important.

p.p.s congrats on the sleep! the lunesta is helping me a bit but i haven't been as lucky as you in this regard. i'm a bit jealous:-)

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hey guys thanks for the tips!! and input..

melissa.. on Lunesta ground.. I just called the doc today about increasing my dose of Lunesta.. I had that one good night of sleep.. and insomnia is back full force!! :) I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO freakin' tired!!

But I am reamining hopeful that a higher dose of Lunesta will help me sleep! I am on the 3mg now.. will they go higher then that? Hmmm??? :(

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ggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrr...i seem to be having waning lunesta effects. it's still better than with nothing but not as good as the first night. still no more than 3 hrs of sleep at once for me although my wake-ups aren't as wakeful....

i went down to 2 from 3 b/c 3mg was keeping me groggy for too long but not helping sleep. generally the dosages are 1, 2, or 3mg but as you know there are lots of meds used in ways other than the original "typical" dosages, so i'd say it was good that you called your doc to ask. i hope you're sleeping soundly soon!

:) melissa

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OH!! NO!!

Oh that makes me feel so sad.. I was so hoping that Lunesta could be taken in a higher dose!! it does help when I am able to fall alseep that is.. and doesnt make me feel like I am in the land of druggies in the morning.. or my case whenever.. when I wake up!

I am afraid to try something more potent.. due to the bad reaction I had with remeron.. but will talk to the doc and figure something out!

:) from one dizzygirl to another.. or potsy girl.. LOL

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Hi Dizzy,

I'm sorry I'm so late with this but I thought of writing anyway. I would definately advise you to take the wheelchair because IT CAN GET YOU OUT OF THE HOUSE. It is sooo important not to be stuck in your house all the time. You do need to have the opportunity to go out and do some shopping or just get some fresh air!!!

The walker maybe is available second hand (which would save you money), but also it will be easier to buy a walker yourself than an electrict wheelchair because of the lower costs. Hope this helped you,


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