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Thread: New Invacare Powerchair Process dilemma, please give me advice

  1. #1

    New Invacare Powerchair Process dilemma, please give me advice

    I've had my current invacare tdx going on 13 years. Main feature is just a reclining back, the power leg lift is broken but I'm accustomed to it. I was working on getting a new chair through insurance, but the ATP I was talking to hadn't contacted me in over 6 months and ignored my 1 voicemail and 2 emails (I'm not pushy or rude.) So I've realized that company isn't for me. In the meantime someone reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in a power chair that she wanted to donate. Short story is it's a beautiful 2018 invacare tdx sp2 with recline AND tilt and power legs. I'm 6'2 and the chair is too short for my legs, but not too bad for free vs my insurance co pay. So I took it to a dme shoppe and they raised it only an inch so still too short. Perhaps they could order some sort of riser to raise the seat base to give me more room but not sure. So, I was all excited for this new FREE chair that fell into my lap, but after trying it I have a discouraged feeling of if I go with this chair it would be a big mistake. So now I'm thinking it would be best to go through the insurance process and get fitted for a chair specifically for me, but then the copay amount makes me think I'm wrong for not choosing the free chair and living with it. But I know being in a chair all day that the cost would be worth it to my life and health. So then I looked up a seating company that's in my network and their web-site sounds awesome, so I emailed them. But then I read bad reviews. They are a nation wide company so maybe the ATP in my area will be good? But an ATP emailed me and was very nice and said I could email, call, or text him.

    Am I making the right choice in not settling for the free chair? I appreciate any feedback and experience on this subject.
    Thank you,
    Ian

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by dontevergiveup View Post
    I've had my current invacare tdx going on 13 years. Main feature is just a reclining back, the power leg lift is broken but I'm accustomed to it. I was working on getting a new chair through insurance, but the ATP I was talking to hadn't contacted me in over 6 months and ignored my 1 voicemail and 2 emails (I'm not pushy or rude.) So I've realized that company isn't for me. In the meantime someone reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in a power chair that she wanted to donate. Short story is it's a beautiful 2018 invacare tdx sp2 with recline AND tilt and power legs. I'm 6'2 and the chair is too short for my legs, but not too bad for free vs my insurance co pay. So I took it to a dme shoppe and they raised it only an inch so still too short. Perhaps they could order some sort of riser to raise the seat base to give me more room but not sure. So, I was all excited for this new FREE chair that fell into my lap, but after trying it I have a discouraged feeling of if I go with this chair it would be a big mistake. So now I'm thinking it would be best to go through the insurance process and get fitted for a chair specifically for me, but then the copay amount makes me think I'm wrong for not choosing the free chair and living with it. But I know being in a chair all day that the cost would be worth it to my life and health. So then I looked up a seating company that's in my network and their web-site sounds awesome, so I emailed them. But then I read bad reviews. They are a nation wide company so maybe the ATP in my area will be good? But an ATP emailed me and was very nice and said I could email, call, or text him.

    Am I making the right choice in not settling for the free chair? I appreciate any feedback and experience on this subject.
    Thank you,
    Ian
    While getting a free chair is nice, it may prove to be detrimental to your posture, skin, and general well being. If you were able bodied and walking, you wouldn't wear a pair of shoes that were a size or two smaller than your regular shoe size just because they were free. Sure, while your copay or a wheelchair is going to be greater than the price of a pair of shoes, the same rationale applies. The small shoes will cause you pain, give you blisters, over time may cause problems like hammer toes and bunions. You wouldn't do that to your feet, don't do it to your body by settling for a chair that doesn't fit you.

    Have you looked on Craigs list or other sell you stuff sites to see if you can find a used chair that more closely meets your physical requirements?

    Even if you end up having to come up with a hefty copay, think about the long haul. The chair, if properly cared for and maintained will last you a long time. Amortize the copayment today over 5, 7, possibly 10 years (in you recent case, 13 years) and it won't seem like such a big bite out of your wallet.

    Just for those of us who are acronym challenged, ATP is an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification. Much like a physical or occupational therapist, a person with this certification has knowledge of how to specify a wheelchair and can write a prescription that your doctor will need to sign to satisfy most insurance and Medicare requirements. After the chair is specified, I think you will still need to see a DME (Durable Medical Equipment) supplier to complete the order, deliver and adjust the chair as necessary.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    While getting a free chair is nice, it may prove to be detrimental to your posture, skin, and general well being. If you were able bodied and walking, you wouldn't wear a pair of shoes that were a size or two smaller than your regular shoe size just because they were free. Sure, while your copay or a wheelchair is going to be greater than the price of a pair of shoes, the same rationale applies. The small shoes will cause you pain, give you blisters, over time may cause problems like hammer toes and bunions. You wouldn't do that to your feet, don't do it to your body by settling for a chair that doesn't fit you.
    +42

    We have a helluva time finding homes for donated chairs -- simply because the folks that need them "most" have very specific needs (i.e., it's not just a "mobility aid for old people") and the need for ongoing support!

    Have you looked on Craigs list or other sell you stuff sites to see if you can find a used chair that more closely meets your physical requirements?
    Or, see if you can leverage the "relatively new" chair to offset your copay.

    As an aside, perhaps the ATP can tell you if the chair can be made (modified/adjusted) to accommodate your size? And, perhaps willing to do so "on the sly" (for cash under-the-table)

    [Of course, all of this depends on the size of your copay, etc.]

    Note, also, the relative hassle of each approach ("buying new" isn't always the easiest/quickest option)

  4. #4
    Thank you guys for the feedback! I agree exactly and have recently used the shoe analogy. But... a new "something" as occurred just today! My brother in law was over and sat in the new chair and said man this is nice, what do you need done to make it right for you. He took the laterals from my old chair, adjusted the arm rests, lengthened the leg rest and I've been in it a few hours and honestly it's feeling much better and actually pretty good. He says he can even take the riser from the old chair and add it to this one to give me more height but would only allow an half inch more extension on the leg rests but it might just be enough. I am including a photo and appreciate your feedback and thoughts. I think my legs are pretty good right now but that would be one of my main concerns. Thank you guys! P.S. As you can see from the photo I have a piece of foam under the cushion to give me a little more leg room, is this acceptable or is there a better solution apart from a whole new chair?https://photos.app.goo.gl/oL6F2yp5HXX4Kp9i6

  5. #5
    Just IMHO the trend of nation wide DME's buying up local DME's is not in end users best interest, only in curbing the market and more profit for national DME.
    With that said, my wife and I attempted using the national company that bought our independent DME. The owner early on had stayed with company for about 6 months and didn't notice any difference til he left. Techs were all new and lost interest in repairs, just new equipment.
    Here ATP's are working through DME and so far we have little experience with the new ones but they don't seem to care, no followups and when you do decide to contact after weeks past what was told to expect only to find they are on vacation, family problems, day off and my favorite is none of our paperwork can be found. Course that is timeline that need new paperwork because time limit up on paperwork. The last ATP was as helpful as a wild hog running amuck in Time Square buying tickets to most sold out show.

    If you have time, patience, willingness and fortitude than I would set my mind to a new powerchair with what equipment you need completing your evaluation with Seating Clinic, obtaining a full Rx and full Justification Letter from your physician making copies of it all for the very likely your DME will lose you paperwork.
    Then I'd check in daily with DME, ATP and all concerned with DME to make sure they know you are on your toes attempting to keep them on theirs! Don't let a deadline pass without a complete rousting of DME from ATP though manager.
    "Good Luck!" If you actually get a new powerchair please let us know!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeP2013 View Post
    Just IMHO the trend of nation wide DME's buying up local DME's is not in end users best interest, only in curbing the market and more profit for national DME.
    With that said, my wife and I attempted using the national company that bought our independent DME. The owner early on had stayed with company for about 6 months and didn't notice any difference til he left. Techs were all new and lost interest in repairs, just new equipment.
    Here ATP's are working through DME and so far we have little experience with the new ones but they don't seem to care, no followups and when you do decide to contact after weeks past what was told to expect only to find they are on vacation, family problems, day off and my favorite is none of our paperwork can be found. Course that is timeline that need new paperwork because time limit up on paperwork. The last ATP was as helpful as a wild hog running amuck in Time Square buying tickets to most sold out show.

    If you have time, patience, willingness and fortitude than I would set my mind to a new powerchair with what equipment you need completing your evaluation with Seating Clinic, obtaining a full Rx and full Justification Letter from your physician making copies of it all for the very likely your DME will lose you paperwork.
    Then I'd check in daily with DME, ATP and all concerned with DME to make sure they know you are on your toes attempting to keep them on theirs! Don't let a deadline pass without a complete rousting of DME from ATP though manager.
    "Good Luck!" If you actually get a new powerchair please let us know!
    Mike thank you for this, I have had more than one of those bad experiences too and it is a sad shame. Please check the photo I linked above and give an honest opinion of the chair I'm in, thank you!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dontevergiveup View Post
    Mike thank you for this, I have had more than one of those bad experiences too and it is a sad shame. Please check the photo I linked above and give an honest opinion of the chair I'm in, thank you!
    Just a opinion but you may have problems with seating down the road.
    With tilt there may be a problem lifting it to help with you seat to floor height. Sorry, I'm not aware of how the base and seating system on Invacare are put together.
    Having foam under your seat cushion could compromise/defeat your seat cushion usefulness for pressure relief.
    Lengthening center mounted legrest should be no problem in most cases. Except will not be able to lengthened much, if any due to seat to floor height of that chair.
    I don't remember if you posted any thing about level of injury, back, thigh roll or any other problems but your height so this is just a guess.
    I'm not qualified but looks like in the photo some lateral support might be good idea. Might be helpful in the long run.

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