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Thread: Please help with Permobil

  1. #1

    Exclamation Please help with Permobil

    Dan took delivery of a Permobil C500. Questions, and comments that maybe someone could help with;
    1. The Roho hangs over the front of the seat pan. Shouldn't the cushion fit the pan?
    2. The lateral supports are too low, not giving a C4-5 any support. The plate that secures the lat supports only goes into one spot on the back of the chair and is not adjustable.
    3. The max weight is 250lbs. Dan is 240lbs.....the Permobil seat is supported by one 1 1/2" or 2" post. He wobbles. A lot. Not only when he has the seat raised, as is a feature of this chair, but even when it's all the way down. He feels unstable, and looks unstable. Do you think it is unsafe even if you only count that he is right on the edge of the heaviest weight you should be?????
    4. The arms lift up easily but Dan uses the left arm as balance. It comes up with just a little bit of pressure, so he falls sideways.

    I don't know what to do. Any suggestions? This chair was not covered by insurance, or Medicare. He had to pay cash! $30k. Please help!
    Thank You!

  2. #2
    you need to email chuck lee at permobil

    the website is
    they are so good to help there.

  3. #3
    You need to go back to the DME who ordered the chair for you. It sounds like this is not only the wrong chair for him, but it was either ordered or made wrong. Even if you private pay for a chair, it is very helpful to have a PT or OT who knows what they are doing review the prescription. Many DMEs are do not have any special training.


  4. #4


    Thanks for the link, Bobby B,
    and KLD, I know! I am afraid it is the wrong chair for him!
    You'd think I'd know better by now!

  5. #5
    Yea Cathy $30K it should fit like a glove:

    Lateral support should do just that SUPPORT laterally
    Seat elevation should never wobble

    Demand perfection!
    It's not a wheelchair it's a lifestyle!

  6. #6
    If the lateral supports seem way too low, simply switch the sides that the laterals are on. The pads on the lateral supports themselves can be adjusted by unzipping the cover and loosening the metric Allen screws attaching them to the bracket.

    When Permobils are shipped, typically there are three rectangular foam pads stuck to the Velcro toward the bottom of the back pan behind the backrest pad. Remove them or spread them out across the entire backrest. When you reinstall the back cushion, mount it so that the bottom edge of the padded section is above the top surface of the Roho. If you do this, the Roho can be placed farther back on the seat pan. The top of the padding will be ~1" above the top of the backrest shell--which also prevents the top edge of the shell from causing excess pressure when the seat is tilted.

    With respect to the being wobbly, Permobils have a lot of flex in their Corpus seating--some of which can be eliminated. Make sure the round knobs located on the lower 1/3 of the backrest have been tightened and that the "L" shaped brass retaining clips at the rear of the seat pan have been attached to the posts on the sides of the backrest. Their is another retaining clip in the middle of the backrest that also needs to be secured.

    If all of these items are tightened/secured, ask your provider or regional rep to inspect the fasteners to make sure they are properly tightened.

    The armrest issue might be addressed if adjustments to the laterals provide more stability. Permobil has "HD style" hardware to reinforce the armrests. It is primarily designed to allow more downward pressure to be exerted on the armrest assembly, but it adds some resistance which makes the armrest less-likely to flip back unintentionally. Fabricating a click strap between the armrest and seat pan is a less expensive way to keep them from flipping backward.

    The C500 is a nice powerchair which provides better positioning and support than almost any other powerchair on the market. It should be able to adjusted to position him properly. The reps I deal with do an exceptional job of resolving any problems I have encountered.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Lots of good mechanicals, thank you!
    Do you think that 240lbs is too close to the
    250lb. rating???
    Thank you all so much.
    I knew I could count on ya!

  8. #8
    I wouldn't be too worried about the weight limit so long as he doesn't put on any more pounds. I would recommend that he avoid driving with the seat in any significant amount of elevation, and would recommend periodically going though the various fasteners on the C500 and making sure they are tight as a heavier user is more-likely to make fasteners loose.

  9. #9
    I have a C500 and absolutely love the thing. It is a hell of a piece of equipment. I'm half nuts and have tried to tip it over numerous time, but haven't achieved that feat yet What I'm saying is I wouldn't worry about the stability at all. He may try stiffening the suspension if it seems too unstable. I'd also have the seat pan extended. The DME provider probably ordered the wrong damn one. I've had it happen and I can see why he thinks he is uncomfortable. The Roho should fit exactly on the seat pan. Does he have an upper chest strap? I've found that helps when I feel too unstable also. Don't take no for an answer from that provider. If he gives you too much crap contact Permobile. Good luck

  10. #10
    May be the final question.........
    is $30K around what they cost?
    I know it's "custom", but for a quad.....

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