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  1. #1

    Wheelchair Customization Ideas.

    Hi, I am C6 on my left with rather weak C5 on my right (3 out of 5 on the MRC scale).

    I currently drive a Permobil M300 what is five years old and I have decent prospects of being given a new one by Medicare/MediCAL. I was thinking of getting an F3 mainly because my insurance won?t pay for a full standing wheelchair like the F5. The F3 has something called active reach which allows me to sit up to a 40 degree angle. The M3 is only 20 degrees. I have read about the differences between driving front wheel and mid wheel but I?ve never actually test driven any front wheel drives yet. (Side Note: is there anyway for me to get an insurance plan better than Medicare not have them slaughter me every month in bills?)

    Anyways, assuming I?ll get an F3. I was planning for modifying it to have the armrests and backrest of a manual wheelchair but I?m not sure if the back rest as possible because I still need a headrest for when I tilt back to pressure relieve. I guess the head rest isn?t mandatory but I would imagine tilting without it would be rather uncomfortable for me. I?m not sure if this would be the ideal option for myself but it was what I was thinking because my current M300 armrrests are stock and they just feel like they?re always in the way. It?s the same deal with my back rest. I can?t really move my shoulders all the way towards the back without the back rest blocking my shoulder blades a little bit. I feel like if I were to get these two parts modified then I would have a whole lot more room to move around for other things. I don?t know if it?s right for me though because I do have a rather weak right side. I was told by my physical therapist and doctor, about five years ago when I was freshly injured, that the reason I had pain in my shoulder was because of subluxation. I?m trying to maintain an optimistic outlook, with regards to more independence, because I have seen other C-5/C6 injuries use manual wheelchairs but I do realize that at this moment in time I am a bit idealistic. Does anyone have any prior experience in a situation similar to mine? Does anybody have a rough idea of what it would cost out-of-pocket to pay for these two parts modified?

    I also have other ideas like a stowaway table for my laptop and mount for my tablet. I have seen some options for these two things on this forum and from searching online but none seem to be exactly what I?m looking for. I was wondering whether someone had a ballpark estimate on what it would cost to get something made.

    I also want a rear view camera that sends a video feed directly to my phone or tablet. I have never Heard of anybody having something like that though. It would be highly preferable if the camera can be hooked up directly to the wheelchair battery. Have seen other wheelchair cameras online that come with a separate screen but I feel like it would be troublesome to have an extra screen for something that I would only occasionally need.

    Permobil offers an accessory which allows USB charging but there?s only one port and I was hoping for something that had more; maybe two or three. It would be even better if it was USB Type-C and had an additional wall outlet. Are there any accessories like which would also connect directly to my wheelchair battery?

    I had these modifications in mind mainly because, in the future, I’ll be spending most my time on campus at a university. I want the armrests and backrest changed because I believe it will allow me to move my upper body more. I need the table and mount so I can be productive. I wanted the charging ports because I know I will be using my electronics a lot and since I might not have access all the time to outlets, I figured hooking everything up to my wheelchair battery would be the next best thing. I also really do not want to go around asking everybody to help me plug in stuff to the wall.

    I don?t know many other wheelchair users so I don?t really have anyone to bounce these ideas off of or get inspiration from. There?s a united spinal chapter near me but I haven?t had time to meet up with them so I was hoping for the next best thing which is this forum.
    Last edited by Sythellri; 11-23-2017 at 01:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Good luck getting Medicare to pay for those add-ons/features. This would be most unusual.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Good luck getting Medicare to pay for those add-ons/features. This would be most unusual.

    (KLD)
    i wasn't planning on it. thats why i asked if anyone has bought these mods before. do you know of anything similar to what im looking for?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Vintage's Avatar
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    Syth, I'm wanting/ needing a standing wheelchair, too. Few people who aren't living their lives sitting on their bottoms understand how badly we need to stretch out in an upright position. I'm trying to get back on the Star Plus Waiver, which may give me a chance at getting a standing wheelchair. I'm sure there will still be obstacles.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage View Post
    Syth, I'm wanting/ needing a standing wheelchair, too. Few people who aren't living their lives sitting on their bottoms understand how badly we need to stretch out in an upright position. I'm trying to get back on the Star Plus Waiver, which may give me a chance at getting a standing wheelchair. I'm sure there will still be obstacles.
    i wish there was a CA equivalent. im currently hoping that my excuses that it'll be necessary for independent living or getting a job will get the government to pay for it

  6. #6
    Senior Member Vintage's Avatar
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    Tho I really doubt that I would get this close to the edge.
    http://levousa.com/
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Vintage's Avatar
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    I've seen some good arguments online for standing wheelchairs. This one isn't the best, but is still helpful...though it's from 2014.
    https://mobilitymgmt.com/articles/20...hairs.aspx?m=2
    "JUSTIFY IT: STANDING FRAMES & WHEELCHAIRS
    "...In regard to Medicaid and private payors, we are having great success in getting standing devices funded,” Morgan says. “However, there are still many funding sources that attempt to exclusively use Medicare standards or even refer to standing as ‘experimental or investigational’ treatment. These erroneous types of denials are often overturned when a beneficiary follows through with their appeal rights.”"

    These reasons sound good, too.
    http://www.redmanpowerchair.com/standing-wheelchair-health-benefits/

    The Health Benefits of Standing Wheelchairs

    Many people who can stand do not understand the amazing benefits of being able to do so. Such as independence and the naturally occurring health benefits from changing posture. When someone is forced to sit in one position for extreme amount of time, health problems will naturally occur. In fact, physicians have been documenting the benefits of standing devices for years throughout medical publications. Now, thanks to Redman Power chair, the world’s highest quality standing wheelchair, even people with spinal cord injuries can reap the health benefits of standing.
    Physical Benefits of Standing Wheelchairs
    Urinary Health – Urinary Tract Infections are common among people who are in wheelchairs. However, studies have shown that using a standing device or standing wheelchair can greatly decrease urinary tract infections.
    Circulation – Changing posture helps the blood circulate around the body. For example, sitting in one position causes the blood to stagnate and reduce circulation to other places of the body.
    Spasticity – Staying in one position, such as sitting, can cause muscle spasticity. Changing posture helps relax the muscles and reduce spasticity.
    Bowel Function – Poor bowel function is a common complaint among wheel chair users. However, according to numerous studies, standing exercises can greatly improve bowel function. Even when using a standing wheelchair these results are the same.
    Pressure Sores – Pressure sores occur from constant pressure on one area of the body. Being able to stand up in a wheelchair helps distribute your weight and improve healing of bed sores.
    Contractures – Sitting for long periods of time may cause the joints and muscles to stiffen. Standing allows the muscles to get stretched and exercised, decreasing the amount of stiffness you experience in joints and muscles.
    Bone Density – Some evidence shows that standing wheelchairs may increase bone density. This is because standing puts more weight on your bones than sitting.
    Psychological Benefits of Standing Wheelchairs
    Independence – Standing is the foundation of reclaiming independence. A few examples include being able to reach cupboards, change light-bulbs, and looking into a mirror at a regular level.
    Increased cognition – Better circulation often means better cognition. Standing wheelchairs may help with certain cognitive tasks such as memory and focus.
    Fatigue – Sitting or lying down for too long is a known cause for fatigue. Muscles may atrophy and quickly tire. Standing up helps exercises these muscles and reduce fatigue.
    Depression – Depression is often caused by feeling a lack of control over certain situations. So it is no wonder why people confined to a wheelchair may suffer from depression. However, gaining the ability to stand, even with assistance, helps reclaim a certain amount of control and helps reduce depression.
    Well Being – Wellbeing is dramatically increased by using a standing wheelchair. You can be on “the same level” when talking or communicating as others. You can also make eye contact, pose for photographs, hug standing up and much more.
    Sources:
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...r_standers.pdf
    Last edited by Vintage; 11-25-2017 at 01:09 AM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Vintage's Avatar
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    For your questions on handling technology on campus, you might ask DJ on inspiredsciforum.com. He's a young man in college.
    Female, T9 incomplete

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage View Post
    For your questions on handling technology on campus, you might ask DJ on inspiredsciforum.com. He's a young man in college.
    Wow that’s absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for all the info you gave me. I was only thinking about justifying the wheelchair to the Department of rehab or community living fund near me but it seems like I could possibly do that with Medicare Medi-Cal? I wouldn’t know where to begin. I have read about people trying to argue that the Peristeen should be medically covered by Medicare Medi-Cal.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Vintage's Avatar
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    It's just heartbreaking how non-injured people an be so callous and ignorant of our needs. They can send monkies into outer space and submarines underwater, but providing a machine that lifts adult paralyzed persons off their butts for an hour a day is seen as an extravagance that could sink the nation's medical care system. So much for their claim of offering 'preventative care'.

    I've wanted to try Peristeen, too. But for now, I'm just hoping that I'll get the Star Plus Waiver and that they will fix up my bathroom. I'm glad that you liked the info I found for you. I hope it will help you make your case.
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