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Thread: New Chair through Medicare - What are my options, things to watch out for?

  1. #31
    thank you very much for the thorough explanation of your situation...

    i am located in the south bay area; city of torrance, and am willing to travel some distance to get the right results...

    i want to get the lightest chair possible, but that may be difficult, judging from what you have explained; since most [all] of them are k9 category... sure, i may be able to get it written up as a k5 like you have said, but that will most likely take some time and more work than i am willing to put up... even though it will mostly consist of playing the waiting game...

    i have discovered tonight that the TiLite Aero Z model is a k5 chair and it will be more than enough weight reduction compared to my current quickie gpv, so i may simply go with that... i am also willing to partially pay for the ZR model if the weight saving is worth it...

    please let me know if you have any other suggestions... i should be able to receive the Aero Z model without any issues, correct?

    as stated before, i am going in this friday to speak to my physician, so i will report back after that with more information, though i will most likely not have any solid information until i see a wheelchair assessor... thnx for your reply~

  2. #32
    Senior Member CurvySAT05's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Southern California
    Either Rancho Los Amigos or Casa Colina would be good for you, and both of them take Medi-Cal. I haven't used the seating clinic at Rancho, but the one at Casa Colina is really good, and the therapists are great.
    I currently have an AeroZ, and depending on what you add to it, the chair can weigh close to 40 lbs. My chair is between 35 and 37lbs and I have 25" Spinergy LX wheels with Marathon Plus EVO tires, Natural Fit handrims, a 13" J3 backrest, alum side guards, Stimulite Classic XS cushison, bolt on push handles (I have them removed 95% of the time), D's locks, a calf strap, 4" FLAHSR casters, and anti tips (removed 99% of the time).
    My next chair will be a Colours Zephyr, which (with wheels) starts around 16 or 17lbs. I will have the Spinergy LX wheels (25"), Marathon Plus EVO tires (will probably switch out for Right Runs), Natural Fit LT Handrims, 4" FLAHSR casters, D's Locks, rigid alum side guards, 10" ADI CF backrest and Stimulite Classic XS cushion coming in close to 22 or 23 lbs.
    The important thing is to do your homework about each chair you are interested in. Some companies list the weight of the chair WITH rear wheels included, but some list the frame weight WITHOUT the rear wheels. You will want to read the fine print to compare apples to apples and not apples to mangoes. Also think about what options you want on/with your new chair and how much those weigh also (and see if there is a similar alternative that weighs less).
    Good luck.
    SCI as a result of spinal surgery
    TiLite Aero Z!!!

  3. #33
    i may give rancho los amigos a go since it is a lot closer compared to casa colina...

    i will try to get the lightest parts possible without sacrificing too much functionality/reliability... aside from the basic setup, the only thing extra i may consider is the push handle option, but i may just skip that... though, it is better to get them now and end up removing it sometime down the road, since it is a simple bolt-on part... i can only find minimal information on the tilite line of wheelchairs, so hopefully the therapists/reps @ the rehab center has more documentations and shine some light on the various models...

    i am not sure exactly how much my quickie weighs total right now, but it is definitely too heavy... i am more interested in the weight of the main frame... i want to be able to disassemble it with relative ease and get in/out of a vehicle as seen in this video [no audio]:

    i will most likely visit the rancho los amigos rehab center for my next chair... i hope everything goes smoothly and i get a new chair in a decent amount of time... thank you for all the info Mandy, and i will update this thread with my experiences for future reference for others...

  4. #34
    Mandy thank you so much for all the extremely valuable information. I've been led around by the nose by greedy non-caring DME stores whose only interest is to make as much money as possible no matter what. I printed out your post and it goes in my w/c file for reference.

    I'm going to have my doc set up an appointment with a seating specialist and will let all know how it goes as well. I'm not mentioning anything about outside the house (I get it). Thanks again.

  5. #35
    went to see my physician yesterday, as well as a case manager for my insurance thru medical... they referred me to rancho los amigos and my physician will write me a ticket for a new chair... he did not know much about getting a new chair thru insurance and simply told me that my replacement chair "will not be as good as the one you are in now," when i inquired about wheelchair selection...

    from reading previous posts, it is my physician that ultimately decides what type of chair i will be able to get, correct?

    or should i speak to my case manager, since he should know more about it?

    either way, i will give a call to my case manager on monday to get some more details and i am going back to the clinic for a check up next week, so i will speak with my physician then... i just don't want to end up in anything lower than a k0005...

  6. #36
    [QUOTE= from reading previous posts, it is my physician that ultimately decides what type of chair i will be able to get, correct?

    No, actually, the seating specialist at the seating clinic helps you decide. They'll do a complete eval of you and write a medical necessity for the chair and for each item to be included on the chair. All the doc has to do is write a 'script to say "eval for an ultralite chair to include pressure reducing cushion to prevent pressure ulcers." You take THAT to the clinic with you, or the doc has sent it to them. Docs know NOTHING about this process. Seating specialists do. That's why going to a seating clinic is so important. At least at Shepherd THEY were my advocate. You SHOULD get at least an aluminum chair like the aero Z. Good luck with this!

    p.s. I guess I should qualify all of this by saying I know nothing about case managers.

  7. #37
    great, thanks for the info. and i will work towards that...

  8. #38
    Rancho is a great place. They have a dozen K5 sample chairs.
    Make sure you try the Invacare T7A and the Q7 by quickie. They are both made of T7000 series aluminum. Really light weight stuff.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by jakeyboy1 View Post
    Rancho is a great place. They have a dozen K5 sample chairs.
    Make sure you try the Invacare T7A and the Q7 by quickie. They are both made of T7000 series aluminum. Really light weight stuff.
    thnx for that info... i see that they both start @ ~17lbs... should be lighter than my current chair by a few pounds... i will ask for the TiLites if possible, but if not, i'll get one of those...

  10. #40
    just got back from a trip down to my case manager's office and after numerous phone calls to various reps, it looks like i am getting the run around... unless if i can settle for a standard chair...

    i have re-read this whole thread and printed out a hard copy... i will give my case manager a call to set up another appointment and see if he can set me up to go see a seating specialist...

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