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Thread: Power Chair

  1. #1

    Power Chair

    I am a c4/5 quad and I am looking to get a new power chair. What do you think is the best power chair out there. I also would like to find a chair with the least depth so it will fit in my elevator. I have Medicare; are there any foundations that might help with the 20% Medicare doesn't cover. I also use a head array to control my chair now.

  2. #2
    Here in Boston, most of the local quads went through Spaulding Rehab and the therapists there have been advocating for the Permobil F5 Corpus at least the last couple years. Reason being primarily that it has a good standing function, though it's by no means small so you should definitely double check that it will fit in your elevator. Of course, that also makes it pricey, and insurance companies resist. But a couple of the local disability law firms have taken up the case and convinced Medicaid, at least, to sponsor these chairs for some quads. Not sure about Medicare, as it's possible that Massachusetts Medicaid is simply a little more generous than other states or the federal Medicare program.

  3. #3
    "best chair" means a lot of different things.
    In over 60 years as a chair user, and 45 in the mobility industry, my advice is this:
    The "best" chair is one that is fitted properly, to you, with the right features/accessories/options to meet your needs.
    The most important thing is that it be provided by a local supplier, who cares enough about you, to invest in trained repair technicians, and stocks, at least some common parts. Every powerchair will require service at one time, or another, so good, local support is a must.
    I know that is a little vague, but you will have to do some homework and investigation into your local providers.
    The other factor will be your funding-Medicare covers "mobility within the home"-and that greatly limits what you can get.
    A larger "rehab" provider will have the billing expertise to maximize what you qualify for, whereas a small "mom and pop" provider might not.
    Most manufacturers and some large suppliers have charitable foundations that might be able to help with the co-pay situation.
    I've read recently of either NSM, or Numotion, (don't remember which), having such a foundation.
    I would also suggest you insist on trying a chair, before you decide-all major manufacturers have local reps, who have demo chairs available.
    You should trial it in your home, preferably, for a few days.
    Since you'll be, more or less "stuck" with it for 5 years, you want to be wise.
    You have a current chair-does it meet your needs? if so, often sticking with the same brand is often the easiest.
    If it doesn't meet our needs, you should try to list and define the shortcomings.
    If your current chair is rear, mid, or front wheel drive, usually staying with the same configuration makes the adjustment to a new chair mush easier.
    I hope this helps, it is a huge decision for you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Media, PA
    I really like my Amysystems chair.
    "Some people say that, the longer you go the better it gets the more you get used to it, I'm actually finding the opposite is true."

    -Christopher Reeve on his Paralysis

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DOREEN View Post
    I am a c4/5 quad and I am looking to get a new power chair. What do you think is the best power chair out there. I also would like to find a chair with the least depth so it will fit in my elevator. I have Medicare; are there any foundations that might help with the 20% Medicare doesn't cover. I also use a head array to control my chair now.
    If space is limited the last chair I would look at is the Permobil F5 simply because its a robust chair for end users who need and want more in there mobility. More important its a lot bigger then its sister chair the Permobil F3.

    You dont really mention what you like to do when rolling but seeing space is an issue in a building with an tells me your going in and outside vs someone thats strictly an inside person.

    I would recommend a Permobil F3 its a great chair and with front wheel drive it will make it so much more easy to get close to those floor buttons in an elevator.

    It has such an advantage over mid wheel drives and give a great ride inside and out.

    It also handles larger 24 size batteries that will give you more running time.

    With seat elevation and active reach it will really had to your user experience!

    Set up a weekend demo at you house where they drop it off on a Friday and pick it up on a Sunday that way you can try it in your own environment.

    Apartment, Market, Bus, Subway, church etc.

    If you need any help message me!

  6. #6
    Would you guys recommend the above mentioned chairs over Quantum?

  7. #7
    I'm on my third Invacare Torque 3. The last one lasted me 10 years. The last two were tilt/recline. I favor the rear wheel drive due to more stability backing up to the vans wheelchair lift. Just be advised that who ever does the measurements gets them exactly like your old chair. If that's what you want. This was the reason I kept my last chair 10 years. The new one I got is 3 inches shorter, so kitchen tables legs had to lose 3 inches. I wish you the best of luck if you go through National Seating & Mobility. MORONS!
    Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.
    Bob Seger

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Leeds, AL USA
    All the above posts make good points.
    The only thing I can add is to compare your lifts dimensions with the chair of interest. Also weight capacity of lift because some of these chairs are 350-400 lbs + your weight.
    75% or less below lift max capacity won't strain lift too much, wearing it out.
    Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
    Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

  9. #9
    Wow, my ATG said they're not at all popular. I ended up getting one and regret it so far. I've gotten stuck, and it hasn't seemed a better ride than my old mid wheel. But it could just be configuration, which has been the worst. It's so tall, I can't reach the ground at all, or fit under things. I have to recline it because straight and flat feels like I'm falling forward. The back doesn't fit me at all, so I have to recline that, else I'm shoved forward significantly. I still am not used to steering it, and hit things with the back wheels constantly. Seems to need a LOT of room to turn around, and it's not very nimble. So I guess so far not a fan!

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