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Thread: help...choosing first custom chair?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by voxina View Post
    I demod an ultralight today...a couple, a quickie GT was the best-feeling one I've tried...they only had quickies, although I'm kind of leaning towards a tilite. Thanks, that's good to know, they're not necessarily too tippy...b/c that was a concerno f mine...I have jerking movements that could tip a chair, espec if I'm carrying a backpack, but at the same time I need to be albe to do wheelies for thresholds and stuff...and besides, wheelies are awesome to show off and have fun too. (Wheelies in my current chair are next to impossible...think depot chair.)
    What questions do you have for us after your demo?
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  2. #12
    Uh, like differences btw Quickie and Tilites and Invacares (all int he ultralight line, presuming the PT thinks I need one...if not I'm back to square one with boxy, uncomfortable, heavy, untransportable chairs...) Like, I want to be able to have a stable chair but one that's not ugly....if that makes sense. I love Tilite's Aero Z aerodynamic and streamlined look, but I'm not sure if the DMES I'm working with deal with Tilites or not....I didn't see any in their shop, but they said they have a lto of reps and ocne I get my eval done they'll contact their reps and see if they can get some relatively properly sized chairs in for me to demo different models I guess. My biggest things are 1) comfort (of course!) 2) portability (me, teenage girl, even when not physically debilitated by spasms I have coordination and proprioception problems...so clumsy is my middle name!) 3) lighweight (bad joints due to connective tissue problems...and besides who wants to lug a super-heavy chair around in and out of your car when youre in a hurry?) And lastly but prefferably the open frame design, cuz it's lighter i presume and it looks a heckuva lot cooler. I think insurance will cover at least part of it after I rent for 13 months...so I'm not sure if price is going to be an issue (course insurnace covering seems like it's more up to the whims of fate and exactly how your doctor/PT spins the specs of a chair to fit a diagnosis, from what the mobility person said.) So...any kind of insights as to the time it takes, things to look fo riin a chair before you really buy one, etc..and like, unloading/loadinghow tos would be very appreciated!
    Tourette's Syndrome - motor tics of the legs, feet and back, which can make it difficult or impossible to walk

  3. #13
    Quickie, TiLite and Invacare all make some good chairs (IMO Quickie and Invacare also make some not so good chairs, but all TiLite chairs are good - again my opnion.)

    When I was looking for an ultralight chair, I assessed my needs and researched what options were available (not all manufacturers offer the same options). For example, 1) I stand, so I wanted a flipback footrest to be able to place my feet close in while doing so, and 2) my body's configuration requires my RSH (Rear Seat Height) to be 14.5" with 24" wheels, and that requirement eliminated some choices.

    Then I also had some preferences. For example, I wanted 1) a chair that could be retrofitted to power assist wheels (note: Quickie Q7 cannot), 2) a frame with minimum holes for perceived durability, 3) a certain color, 4) a full axle, again for perceived durability, 5) hub locks, 6) a rigid seat pan, 7) fold-down side guards, etc.

    I studied up on what was available from different manufacturers, and made a list (spreadsheet) of many, many chairs and their available options. Based on my needs and preferences, I ended up choosing among only three chairs. When I had it narrowed that far, I went with manufacture's reputation on CCC, and ended up with TiLite.

    This learning process took a couple months (but my MS makes me slow). Then it took six more months after choosing which chair I wanted to order, approve, manufacture, ship, assemble (minimal), and deliver my chair. I am exceptionally happy with it.

    BTW TiLite's TR (box frame) and ZR (Z frame - open) have the same transport weight. Some users who have owned both really prefer the TR, saying it is more responsive. (Both chairs are titanium, though.)

    Youtube has some good loading/unloading videos. I stand to load mine so I haven't saved the links, but I've seen some. Search CCC for threads by toto1; he made at least one such video (in Spanish).
    Last edited by chasmengr; 08-15-2012 at 07:03 PM.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  4. #14
    Also I prefer a rigid chair over a folding one. Apples-to-apples, rigids are lighter and more efficient/responsive than folders. IMO folders are needed only when your vehicle prevents loading a rigid (and the majority of CCC users load their rigids just fine - whole threads exist about it).
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  5. #15
    I got my scrip and info into the DMEs systme yesterday, they said they're gonna call either today or Monday to talk about getting an eval done. If its OK to ask, why do you need such a low seat-floor height? Will the PT doing my measurements be able to help me determine things like that for me? The DME I use seems to be good--they use outside contracted PTs to do the evals and measurements, they don't do it themselves. I've heard some stories of folks being screwed over with improperly fit chairs that were way too big or way too small due to DMEs measuring wrong/ordering wrong. Any red flags for when the DMEs are being sleazy or anything?

    Thanks!
    Tourette's Syndrome - motor tics of the legs, feet and back, which can make it difficult or impossible to walk

  6. #16
    A big warning sign is when they add two inches to the width of your hips to get the seat width.

    Here's a great article about fitting a chair written by an OT (who is a frequent poster here on CCC) to other OTs. It's a bit technical, but full of great info.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by voxina View Post
    . . . If its OK to ask, why do you need such a low seat-floor height? Will the PT doing my measurements be able to help me determine things like that for me? . . .
    Sure it's OK to ask.

    Attached is a research paper about how to achieve the most efficient wheelchair push. For most people (including me) the goal simplified is to have your finger tips just touching your axles when you're sitting well with your arms hanging. For me that means a RSH of about 15", but I made my own ergo seat, which raises my butt a bit, so I need the low RSH to accommodate my homemade ergo seat (which cost me about $2).

    A good tech will know how to fit your RSH and much more.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

  8. #18
    Is your self-made seat comfy? Do you have sensation issues? There have been several periods that I've spent time in my chair daily, and I usually end up with the worst tailbone ache. For awhile I had just a basic chunk o foam seat cushion, and it was NOT cut out for comfort, or much of anything else! Pressure relieve was nonexistent and forawhile I had tihs big red spot on my rear where I could't take pressure off. (was totally nonambulatory then.) Lately even though I can walk on and off, when I use my standard chair it hurt my butt, even when I sit on a pillow. I still have the remains of blisters on my fingers from using my chair for a few days two weeks ago. I'm in a waning (think between flare-ups) period right now so I'm pretty much able bodied (temporarily!!!) but I rather want to get everything when ti comes to the new chair sorted out before the next flare up comes and I HAVE to use it then, no matter what kind of shape it's in. Are custom chairs better on your bottom than standard chairs, like for pressure relief, and do people with normal sensation really need anything special in the way of a cushion? My doctor thinks since my condition is so variable, I should just use it at school daily, and not worry about it. Last year the way I did things was 'walk until you literally fall over...then somebody will go get your chair for you'...but that sucked and I'm glad this year is looking like it won't be that way.
    Tourette's Syndrome - motor tics of the legs, feet and back, which can make it difficult or impossible to walk

  9. #19
    Nother random thing...I've been using an 18 in standard...its width fits me exactly. Would an 18 in rigid work for me, or is there variability and would it be narrower? I don't want them to add *more* width to my seat for the new chair...yknow, narrower the better in terms of doors and finger-smashing against handrims.
    Tourette's Syndrome - motor tics of the legs, feet and back, which can make it difficult or impossible to walk

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by voxina View Post
    Is your self-made seat comfy?
    Yes

    Do you have sensation issues?
    No. I have full sensation, and I stand frequently. Even when I am using my chair to shop, I stand up to get things off shelves. My cushion is very comfortable; it is 4" thick and contoured; I don't even notice the plywood beneath it. (I also have a solid seat pan.)

    There have been several periods that I've spent time in my chair daily, and I usually end up with the worst tailbone ache.
    Tell your tech about that. The tech should know all about cushions, too.

    I still have the remains of blisters on my fingers from using my chair for a few days two weeks ago.
    Check out Natural Fit and Surge handrims. I love my Natural Fits, but some users hate them. Be sure to try before you buy. (I use gloves almost always. Many threads exist here about glove choices.)

    Are custom chairs better on your bottom than standard chairs, like for pressure relief, and do people with normal sensation really need anything special in the way of a cushion?
    The cushion is super important, more so than the chair for seating comfort. But well-fit custom chairs are like part of you - like prosthetic legs. Many users talk about sitting in their custom chairs versus sitting on poor fitting (e.g., standard) chairs. My wheelchair is the MOST comfortable chair I've ever sat in.

    My doctor thinks since my condition is so variable, I should just use it at school daily, and not worry about it. Last year the way I did things was 'walk until you literally fall over...then somebody will go get your chair for you'...but that sucked and I'm glad this year is looking like it won't be that way.
    I do what your doc says. I always use my chair away from home no matter how I may feel at the moment. If I don't, I become helpless. A good chair can actually be fun (wheelies, spins, dancing, rolling easily down ramps - use caution and antitippers).

    Nother random thing...I've been using an 18 in standard...its width fits me exactly. Would an 18 in rigid work for me, or is there variability and would it be narrower? I don't want them to add *more* width to my seat for the new chair...
    Different manufacturers measure differently; check the order form out for your favorite chairs when you get that far (they're all available on line). I actually had mine all filled in when I visited the seating clinic - all the tech did was confirm/tweak what I had already entered.

    yknow, narrower the better in terms of doors and finger-smashing against handrims.
    I have 4-degrees camber to help protect my knuckles.
    Last edited by chasmengr; 08-18-2012 at 12:32 AM.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

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