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Thread: The future of titanium wheelchairs?

  1. #31
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elarson View Post
    Black Alloy, Sorry to hear that you decided not to go further with your composite everyday chair. The unfortunate thing is that many wheelchair consumers do not have the ability to spend top dollar for "better" products, though I know there are exceptions. That's why I have concerns about innovation being limited to only those who can afford it, because ultimately it is going to limit everyone, even those willing/able to pay for it.
    Absolutely. Reviewing the published demographic studies of PWD in wheelchairs it is quite clear the overwhelming majority live in, and on the edge of, poverty, and a significant percentage also live unemployed, relying heavily on public assistance. Dropping "top dollar" for anything, food included, is a fanciful idea.
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  2. #32
    just got my tr3, rb wheels and d's approved through cigna. no issue.
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  3. #33
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    Oddity, this is a bit of a side question, but I am looking for demographic studies of people with disabilities (PWD?) using wheelchairs, and wonder if you can share any links with me that are good for statistical data. It's in relation to my own research about the lack of options for complex rehab technology for non-ambulatory stroke survivors, which I believe is even worse than for SCI and many other groups due to lack of awareness and knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    Absolutely. Reviewing the published demographic studies of PWD in wheelchairs it is quite clear the overwhelming majority live in, and on the edge of, poverty, and a significant percentage also live unemployed, relying heavily on public assistance. Dropping "top dollar" for anything, food included, is a fanciful idea.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  4. #34
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    Good to hear that fuentejps. Hopefully that means that private insurance companies are not following the lead of the CMS on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps View Post
    just got my tr3, rb wheels and d's approved through cigna. no issue.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  5. #35
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    Elarson what I find funny is Medicaid will pay for titananium with justification of chorse. I am not on Medicaid. I have Medicare. I am not sure wht my next chir will be. Or even if I will get another chair. I know that the complexities of this issue is hard. In my case I am poor. So coming up with extra money can be difficult. Even if it's $50.00. I live on a fixed income. It's frustrating. It is what it is.

  6. #36
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    That is very interesting about Medicaid paying for titanium still, which I assume is in Arizona? I think it must be one of the few states that do.

    Quote Originally Posted by randomryan007 View Post
    Elarson what I find funny is Medicaid will pay for titananium with justification of chorse. I am not on Medicaid. I have Medicare. I am not sure wht my next chir will be. Or even if I will get another chair. I know that the complexities of this issue is hard. In my case I am poor. So coming up with extra money can be difficult. Even if it's $50.00. I live on a fixed income. It's frustrating. It is what it is.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  7. #37
    Plywood and Casters, lol. Don't give em any ideas, there might be medicare reps reading this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    I'd be rather curious how many Ti chairs are actually funded private insuance vs. just purchased by the end user. I kind of think that the #'s would be biased towards the 'just purchased' side. Reason for this is watching how my insurance carrier has been handling things since my injury in 2002 vs. today. Also, how rehab 'professionals' are handling things now vs. then (although mine is in a limited, second-person view). I saw the incredible 'letter writing' needed to get my first chair (mis-sized of course). But it was paid for by insurance. Witnessing an attempt to get someone else's chair through the same process resulted in a brick wall, too much effort on the part of the providers apparently, rather big change in roughly 6 years from my experience to that example. Then seeing how my insurance is becoming significantly less 'user-friendly' as well.



    I dunno, I know that I just forgo the hoop-jumping and time wasting and just buy stuff like this. I'd sort of think that maybe the bulk of others wanting a Ti chair just bypass these headaches for Ti chairs and just buy the stupid thing?

    I guess it is just a luxury to have a current technology assistive device in the view of insurers, heck we should be happy with a sheet of plywood and some casters, eh? Lousy state of affairs IMO, but I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here.
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  8. #38
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I think titanium can be fabricated to bring some advantages as a chair frame material, but I also think there is a good bit of bias, a misled elitism, towards it, too. What we need, much more than chairs made of the next "super" stuff, are chairs with exacting specifications for our individual seating requirements. Material is 3rd, or 4th, down the list of authentic priorities, IMO.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    I think titanium can be fabricated to bring some advantages as a chair frame material, but I also think there is a good bit of bias, a misled elitism, towards it, too. What we need, much more than chairs made of the next "super" stuff, are chairs with exacting specifications for our individual seating requirements. Material is 3rd, or 4th, down the list of authentic priorities, IMO.
    Ditto
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  10. #40
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    I agree with you at some level about titanium and materials, but really do think the titanium frame helps with bumps and vibrations, especially on our typical brick roads and when using a Firefly and a ZX-1 power add-on, which also puts quite a lot of stress on the front frame. Possibly if we had a box frame, it would be different, but that would cause other issues that are not workable.

    My husband also has severe neglect where he ignores one side completely and on any given day his chair will be bashed into about 20-30 things. I like that he has a satin finish chair so I can buff it out. For the same reason, we would never go carbon fiber, because it would look like crap in a matter of weeks. If it was only about the issues with the frame being bashed around and scraped up, which is mostly cosmetic, I would have no issue with paying extra for the titanium option on an Aero Z.

    Unfortunately, if you look at the price of a K0005 Aero Z with the titanium option it is $3,490, while a ZRA is $2,995. That is $500 more to get it as an option. There are also other options that are not possible on the Aero Z, like individual flip-up footrests, that are critical for his use of the chair. The point is that people should have choices based on the complete configuration, without having to forgo an entire chair just because of it's frame material!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    I think titanium can be fabricated to bring some advantages as a chair frame material, but I also think there is a good bit of bias, a misled elitism, towards it, too. What we need, much more than chairs made of the next "super" stuff, are chairs with exacting specifications for our individual seating requirements. Material is 3rd, or 4th, down the list of authentic priorities, IMO.
    Last edited by elarson; 08-13-2014 at 04:33 PM.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

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