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Thread: Para wants power chair info

  1. #1

    Para wants power chair info

    I am a T6 paraplegic since 1990 and always used a manual chair. I have developed syringomyelia and sever scoliosis over the years and have a lot of fatugur and shoulder pain now as well. I still plan to use my manual chair around the house but have decided to go with a power chiar for long rolling and bad days. I dont really want a scooter but a power wheelchair. I have a equipment guy and a pt coming monday. Any advise about what kind of chair I should consider. Thanks

  2. #2
    Make sure it will do what you want. If it ever has to be used inside to restroom etc. Make sure its narrow enough for regular doors and the turning radius is small enough.
    "What has happened, has happened; What I am going through, I shall rise above; And what will come, I will meet with courage"~Hazrat Inayat Kahn

  3. #3
    If you are paying for it yourself, buy one of Pattherats XZ-1 power assist. I'm T6/7 with shoulder problems. I attach the power assist, go where I want to go, release the XZ and I use my manual as a manual.

    It weighs approx 75lbs vs 350t for a p/c. Is very unobstrucive and I haven't found any terrain I can't go over yet.

    I couldn't believe how trapped I felt in a p/c while with the XZ, it was liberating.

    So far I haven't heard of any insurance that will pay for one. Mine wouldn't and they have been extremmely good too me. It was worth my paying for it by far. They are around 5 grand vs. 10's of thousands of dollars for a p/c.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by gingerlee View Post
    I am a T6 paraplegic since 1990 and always used a manual chair. I have developed syringomyelia and sever scoliosis over the years and have a lot of fatugur and shoulder pain now as well. I still plan to use my manual chair around the house but have decided to go with a power chiar for long rolling and bad days. I dont really want a scooter but a power wheelchair. I have a equipment guy and a pt coming monday. Any advise about what kind of chair I should consider. Thanks
    You might as well go ahead a get a good chair. I use an Invacare TDX-SP for two years and have absolutely no problem with it. I use the power lift seat several times a day and top speed is about 7 mph. (Mine was made for me with larger motors.) You can go to their website or to YouTube and see a video. The chair will perform as in the video.

    I hope this helps.
    Millard
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne


  5. #5
    Senior Member Zaphod's Avatar
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    I'm a para that uses a powerchair too (broke an arm about a year post injury and it has never healed strong enough to support full time manual chair). I use a TDX too, they're heavy as hell so don't expect to carry it in a vehicle without it being purpose built for it, or installing a very strong lift. BUT they handle very well indoor and are not too shabby offroad, also, tough as nails.

    2 weak spots.........3 times I've fried electronics going to school in deep snow, fine till you get there but when it melts something gets smoked........ and the swing away footrests are constantly bending in because they are the first thing to contact doors, curbs, children who don't move quickly enough etc.

    For what it's worth my insurance just bought me a new chair this spring and after testing everything that was available (except permobile) I chose another TDX exactly like the one I had.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Zaphod's Avatar
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    PS..... after you get a powerchair you're not going to beleive the freedom and ease it offers, honestly, if and when my powerchair breaks down I feel like it's a prison sentence. Confined back to a manual chair where going any distance is painful and slow...... and I drop shit non-stop...... and I'm pretty much confined to paved areas or sidewalks.... and, and, and.

    I know the arguements for keeping paras in manual chairs but frankly, it's BS. I'm 50lbs lighter now than I was when I started using a powerchair (been that way for years too) and anyone who thinks they are getting a cardio workout rolling around at a walking pace is wrong.

  7. #7
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    Also transitioning from manual to power. Will it go in your bathroom and around your house? Can you use it in your vehicle? How will it be used? If the use is house, vehicle, shopping then a 4 mph chair might be OK. This allows a smaller chair. If you want to get out and about the neighborhood on your own, you may want 7 mph. This usually means a bigger chair that is less suited for indoors.

    This is a huge decision, that affects many other aspects of your life. Try to insist that you get to try whatever they propose for at least a few days in your native space at your own pace.

    I became very dissatisfied with what my DME was offering me, and offended by the $20K total cost for two batteries, two motor gearboxes, a controller, and a seat. So I purchased a used chair from Craig's List for $300. It does not meet all of my needs, but it got me out and about and I have a much better idea of what I want next.

    If you can use it, the ZX-1 might be a good solution. Pat seems to have a good reputation. I have never seen a negative statement about the ZX-1.

    As to the quality of today's power chairs I would say they are all pretty bad. But my standards are perhaps too high. Having the controller fail just because you go out in the snow is not acceptable in my book.
    T4 complete, 150 ft fall, 1966. Completely fused hips, partially fused knees and spine, heterotopic ossification. Unsuccessful DREZ surgery about 1990. Successful bladder augmentation using small intestine about 1992. Normal SCI IC UTI problems culminating in a hospital stay in 2001. No antibiotics or doctor visits for UTI since 2001: d-mannose. Your mileage may vary.

  8. #8
    You may like to read this: http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/powe...wheelchair.htm

    My take on manual or electric wheelchairs, as a T4 complete very active user who has tried both for 14 years.

    >>> from gac3rd's sig... T4 para, 45 years in a chair. Retired electrical engineering professor. Charge early. Charge often. Charge fully through the night.

    And I say throw them away, fit lithiums!

    They should last the life of the chair, half the weight, 3x the Watt Hours, much faster charging, dont die if left discharged, and are much cheaper long term. Scroll down! http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/BM-M...powerchair.htm As fitted to my new BM3 chair.

    Burgerman Ignore my user name, I cant type!

  9. #9
    I kove my ZX-1. I didn't have to do any alteration to my house, van or workshop to accommodate it. They were talking thousands of dollars plus the abhorent price of the power chair. It really is the best of both worlds. Adding the Freewheel just adds to the enjoyment of going offroad easily where before I could'nt go on.

    Considering the money we have to pay out of pocket for a p/c; even with Medicare or other insurance, the ZX , in many cases, is cheaper.

    Yeah, Pat is really great ensuring that it's right for you. He sent some adapters for my added cog and another actuator when the first one seemed too light to lift myself with the chair. I am so glad I didn't buy that p/c I was looking at.

  10. #10
    Senior Member forestranger52's Avatar
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    Powerchairs are very susceptible to precipitation. Any controller with raised buttons are the worst. Fortunately my Omegatrac Premier controller is sealed and except for a few rusty screws has handled multiple showers excellently.

    My Frontier X-5 has raised buttons and was built in Australia. It is a sitting duck for failure if I get caught outside in the rain or snow and that includes the entire chair.
    C 5/6 Comp.
    No Tri's or hand function.

    Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

    Teddy Roosevelt

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