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Thread: Powerchair comparisons & advice

  1. #1

    Powerchair comparisons & advice

    Hello everybody,

    My name is Cody. I'm 29 years old, and am in the process of getting a powerchair. I don't have an SCI, but I do have CP as well as an undiagnosed condition that is causing my function to go downhill rapidly (they're currently investigating). I've been a manual chair user for years now, but it's time for me to move to power mobility full time. I will say that I had a Group 2 powerchair a few years ago, my first foray into powerchair usage, before my decline - a Jazzy Select 6 - that was absolutely horrendous & has made me vary wary about Pride Mobility.

    Based on my own research and before demoing, I'm leaning toward Permobil as my pre-trial company of choice. I don't know much about Invacare or Quickie.

    My dealer, while a nice guy, seems to be all about Pride products. He has said he wants to see me in a "Quantum Q6", which according to my research does not exist. I can only assume he means a chair from the Q6 Edge series. He fully admits to being a "Pride pusher", and these are his reasons:

    1. Invacare is slowly going out of business with powerchairs? (I don't know how true this is but that's what he said)

    2. Quickie is "crap"

    3. Pride has "come far" in the past few years, and that my experience with the Jazzy was the fault of it being "basic of the basic", instead of a higher quality chair that I now need...that Quantum is so much better than Jazzy because of the grouping codes/that Pride itself is not a bad company.

    4. Permobil is a "Swedish company" (later admitted the real reason is he doesn't know how to fix Permobils)

    I do trust the guy, because he's kind and he was highly recommended to me by another dealer I know and trust (but whose company doesn't deal with powerchairs). I don't think he's purposefully lying to me or just trying to make a sale.

    I'm not against trying Quantum chairs, but I feel like I might be being pushed into a corner here by multiple people.

    On one end, there's my dealer wanting me to go with a Quantum. He's said that it's ultimately my choice on what brand I go with, but it doesn't really seem that way. I gave him a list of chairs I want to demo - a few Quantums, a few Permobils - and the only chairs he has ready for my demo this Wednesday are the Quantums. Fishy.

    On the other end, I'm being pushed by loved ones to more-or-less take what Medicaid will give me, to not make waves so to speak. Supposedly, Permobil might take longer to get covered/more of a fight would have to be put up as compared to a Quantum...that if they'll pay for Quantum, but make a fuss about Permobil, just go with the Quantum since the fight will likely be a PITA anyway.

    I don't want to seem snotty, but I'm also unsure what to do with myself. Ultimately I want the best chair for me from a reliable company. I'm still very nervous about Pride, and all of the information I've seen has been from years ago. I'd like some up-to-date reviews.

    So, my questions to you all:

    1. What are your thoughts on Quantum chairs and/or Pride itself? Would you suggest a Pride chair? Why/why not?
    2. Is Permobil worth fighting for?
    3. Any thoughts on other powerchairs?

    Thank you for any replies

  2. #2
    So who will be paying for your chair? Medicare? Private insurance? Medicaid?

    If Medicare, you will have to have a wheelchair evaluation and prescription/letter of medical necessity from a PT or OT who is RESNA certified for power chair evaluations. I would start with them rather than directly with a DME.

    Permobil is made in the USA. The parent company is Swedish, but they also own Quickie and Roho. Their main plant is outside Nashville, TN.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    From my personal experience Quickie is not "crap." In fact, Pride seems to top the crap list, from my observations. You might want to check out wheelchairdriver.com forum as another resource.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    So who will be paying for your chair? Medicare? Private insurance? Medicaid?

    If Medicare, you will have to have a wheelchair evaluation and prescription/letter of medical necessity from a PT or OT who is RESNA certified for power chair evaluations. I would start with them rather than directly with a DME.

    Permobil is made in the USA. The parent company is Swedish, but they also own Quickie and Roho. Their main plant is outside Nashville, TN.

    (KLD)
    When did Permobile acquire Sunrise? That's new to me, I know they bought Tilite and Roho.

  5. #5
    Ooops...you are right. It is Tilite, not Sunrise.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    So who will be paying for your chair? Medicare? Private insurance? Medicaid?

    If Medicare, you will have to have a wheelchair evaluation and prescription/letter of medical necessity from a PT or OT who is RESNA certified for power chair evaluations. I would start with them rather than directly with a DME.

    Permobil is made in the USA. The parent company is Swedish, but they also own Quickie and Roho. Their main plant is outside Nashville, TN.

    (KLD)
    Medicaid is who I have to pay for my chair. I have all of the letters of medical necessity in the works from my doctor and PT/OT...I'm not going solely with just DME here - so far he has been involved with this whole process, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyjames View Post
    From my personal experience Quickie is not "crap." In fact, Pride seems to top the crap list, from my observations. You might want to check out wheelchairdriver.com forum as another resource.
    This is extremely useful, thank you.

  7. #7
    Pride, IMO, is crap.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Hampstead NC
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    1,094
    Just a small piece of advice. If a person lies to you once he/she will lie to you again and again. Pride chairs are garbage. Dealerships/vendors of durable medical equipment, equivocate to snake oil salesmen! They are one step below Insurance salesmen and Real-estate Salesmen. However, that is just my opinion! Invacare sells wheelchairs in almost every Nation on the Planet it is not likely going out of business.

  9. #9
    Permobiles have been known for quality and innovation. I use an amysystems R3 which I have found to be of great reliability. Never had a quickie but have heard good things about them. If you do go Permobil I would request the Swedrive motors if available on your model. I would pick a few and request demos.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Saint Petersburg , Florida
    Posts
    595
    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyjames View Post
    From my personal experience Quickie is not "crap." In fact, Pride seems to top the crap list, from my observations. You might want to check out wheelchairdriver.com forum as another resource.
    I'm with you. Quickie is not crap! I actually just ordered a new one. Should be here in 3-4 weeks.

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