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Reclining Power Chair/scooter


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I have a manual reclining W/C that my family pushes me in if I go out anywhere. I'd love to have something automatic that I could control myself. Anyone have one or know where to look for one. They aren't too common. I can sit up but not long enough to make it thru a whole church service or longer than is necessary to go anywhere of significance. I don't want to be stuck at home as much as I am. I'm small so I want something not too big. I need something that has potential to lay all the way down flat, not just a 45 tilt. I know that's asking alot but I figured if anyone would know, my forum friends would know. Where specifically do I look? I don't have Medicare yet but my insurance should cover 80%. From Smiles, who really would like more independence.

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Dear Smiles,

:o Hello! I have a like new fully reclining power wheelchair that I am looking to sell now that I have recovered my health. It is a Quantum 1100 power chair from Pride Mobility with a manual reclining back, manual elevating leg rests, and adjustable head rest. It is a very nice chair, and powerful. The control has been moved back so it can be reached while driving lying all the way down, and the security feature that prevents operation while reclined has been disabled. I live in Phoenix, Arizona.



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smiles~ hi~

Ok here is what i had to do to get my powerchair.. it was a lengthy process.. with alot burocratical??SP?? crud to jump hoops thru...

first thing is.. you have to talk to your pcp or your primairy who ever doc is.. and ask them for a prescription or something.. uh referral for a power chair or schooter..

and i want to recommend that you be very specific and up front with what you want in a power chair before the prescription is written out!!!

then either you or the doc contact a place that sells wheelchair powerchairs.. medical equipment...Uhm.. this is what took the longest for me.. was the time inbetween the script and the company processing the order!

depending on ur insurance it should *hopefully* pay for part if not all of your powerchiar...

Uh then you may have to go thru a pt eval for the insurance company.. and it helps if you have letter of support from your treating docs... explaining your need for a powerchair.

Uhm then they process thru insirance and hopefully it is approved and you get a chair...

Uh you do need to have/provide proof that you need a poewerchair verses a manual chair.. again that is why its important to have docs write stuff for you to back up your request...

and might a recommend a chair for you..

I have a jazzy 700?? i believe it is called...the guy who helped me with getting my chair told me that this is the cadillac of powerchairs..lol.... and i have a captains seat with a high back and head rest. and my seat reclines back.fully... i recommend a reclining chair.. that also has a foot thing that comes up.. b/c (i dont have a foot thing) I can recline but then have no where to put my feet really..

and i asked for my feet to be able to come up too.. and was told that would make the chair too big! so be firm with them.. and also there are powerchairs that has a button that you can push that will recline you and pop your feet up....verse flipping a lever,,,i inly suggest that b/c sometimes if you sudden loose your energy and strength.. you can just push a button..

also ask for cushions.. it will make the long time sitting more comfortable.. oh and a cup holder.. yes they have that!.. uh.. oh and you can buy a cervical collar pillow that you can put between the head rest and the chair to give your neck something to rest on if you lay back.. ive found this to be WONDEFUL!!

just a few pointers to make your wheelchair process specific and wahtive found to help me..

hope that you have success...

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hi smiles -

i've had a manual chair for years but actually just got my brand new reclining power chair two days ago so the process is very "fresh" for me so to speak! i had researched a lot though prior as we'd been considering the new chair since last fall but multiple hospitalizations pushed it to the back burner.

there are quite a few things to consider - some of which have already been mentioned - but i'll add my thoughts/ experience/ knowledge to the mix.

the process that dizzygirl details re: how she got her chair may or may not apply to you as it can vary depending on your insurance, the provider being used, etc. when i got my manual chair two years ago i needed the order from my doctor but then the dealer/provider pretty much took it from there (and the doctor just had to sign off on things they put together re: documentation). BUT i don't necessarily recommend this route, especially for a power chair b/c insurance will (and should) be more thorough in evaluating the submitted info as these chairs are quite expensive. so even if not required i would certainly encourage the involvement of a PT &/or OT OTHER than someone who works for the actual provider as it will likely make the process a lot smoother for all involved.

since we were already planning to pursue the new chair for me we actually embarked on the process while i was inpatient at an acute care facility (think shorter term nursing home) which made things SO much easier. obviously not worth having to be there, but one good thing that did come out of it. essentially though this was b/c the OT there was great in terms of facilitating the process, getting the paperwork done, etc. it was something he did all the time so was knowledgible & comfortable with the process. i guess what i'm getting at is that a bit of effort up front to find the right "team" to work with you will likely make things much easier in the long run.

the outline of my process was as follows:

1. my doctor was on board...b/c i was at the facility i never had an actual script as i think the OT just talked with her on the phone

2. met with rep from DME/WC provider re: options (with the OT also present, who had already evaluated me & had a good understanding of my health situation)

3. i made decisions re: what i wanted/ needed (with input from the others involved)

4. OT did paperwork for insurance pre-approval which doctor had to sign & was then submitted to insurance (most if not all require this for high ticket items)

5. after approval received (generally about 2 wks, though most insurances are allowed up to 30 days for decision) wheelchair can be ordered

6. wheelchair arrives (time from order to delivery depends on whether the chair is more standard vs. custom & various other things...mine took about 3 wks)

there are several things that are important to keep in mind when choosing your chair. and if you're not informed in advance chances are some decisions may be made for you that - however good intended - may not be what you really want or need. at the same time, though, you may need to make some compromises in regard to deciding what is most important b/c some features are mutually exclusive such that if you have one you can't have another.


TRANSPORTING THE CHAIR if your family has a large van that can be made accessible or you have the resources to acquire one or you live somewhere with great accessible public transport then this may not be a limitation for you, but it's something you need to be aware of up front. most reclining power chairs cannot be readily disassembled for transport. and none of the ones with power/autonomic recline/ elevating legs can be disassembled. so if you need something that will come apart to fit in vehicle your choices will be very limited. that doesn't mean you can't still get a good chair but it means there are some options that just aren't possible, i.e. the recline feature will have to be manual. and be aware that even then the chairs are MUCH more difficult/ cumbersome to disassemble than any manual chair or scooter. most likely you will be limited to one or two options if you need a power chair that reclines all the way (manually) & can come apart.

if you're not limited by the transportation issue you'll have a lot more choices to make, but for me it came down to the reality that if we couldn't get the chair anywhere it wouldn't do any good to have the more "ideal" power recline, etc.

in terms of cost, just be prepared that even paying your 20% will not be a small amount. i had already reached my out-of-pocket maximum for the year so didn't have to pay but my chair ran about $10,000 at the insurance contracted price (& i don't have autonomic recline/ legrests, which obviously add cost).

in regard to getting a new vs. used chair, if you can go the new route (i.e. have insurance coverage) i would certainly recommend doing so. for such a big investment it's better to have a chair that is fit to you in terms of measurements. and a new chair means you'll have warranty back up for problems later.

there are lots of other details that i read up on before getting my chair b/c i'm someone who likes to be able to ask lots of informed questions before a big investment (even if my insurance is footing the bill). there's a book entitled Choosing a wheelchair by: Gary Karp that was a good resource for me; i got a copy online for very little before i got my first chair several years ago.

another thing to keep in mind is that it is MUCH preferred to use a dealer/provider who specializes only in wheelchairs/ mobility products as they will generally be much more knowledgable (as opposed to a multi-purpose DME who does anything/everything).

my chair is a type of Quantum 1107 http://www.quantumrehab.com/powerbases/midwheel/q1107.html i haven't used it too much yet but so far so good.

hope this helps,

:) melissa

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Something that hasn't been mentioned yet.....

Many insurance carriers (including Medicare) will only pay for ONE mobility device and certainly only one wheelchair for a lifetime. There are exceptions but this is the "standard" and "typical".

That being said, the best advice I got from PT/OT was to "Pick the chair that fits your needs now and the one that will still accomodate you 15 years from now if you are worse off".

Read your insurance policy carefully before proceeding with this process. If your insurance has already paid for a walker or some other medical mobility device they may not pay for a wheelchair.

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