Picking the right wheelchair

CommunityAdminCommunityAdmin Posts: 9Administrator Reeve Staff
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Wheelchair 101: People are not “confined” to their wheelchairs -- they are in fact liberated by their wheels. A person with paralysis can get around as quickly in a wheelchair as anyone else can walking. A wheelchair offers people access to work and shopping or any other travel outside the home.

In some ways a wheelchair is like a bicycle: There are many designs and styles to choose from including imports, lightweights, racing models, etc.

The chair is also like a pair of shoes -- there are distinct styles for special purposes, such as tennis or rugged trail use. If the fit isn't just right the user can't get comfortable and therefore can't achieve maximum function.

Selecting the right chair, especially for a first-time wheelchair user, can be confusing. It's always a good idea to work with an occupational therapist (OT) who has experience with various kinds of wheelchairs.

Check out the full article.


  • CruckerCrucker Posts: 7Moderator Moderator
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    This is a test response from a deemed moderator, A. Rucker. I don't really have anything to add to the extremely thorough review of wheelchairs above, except to say that I am presently completely frustrated in trying to get a replacement chair from Medicare. I think it's my vender's fault, not Medicare, but I am currently caught up in a bureaucratic nightmare. But you don't want moderators to bitch and moan, right? I'll try to be more useful in the futures. AR

  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 8Moderator Moderator
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    Being properly fitted for your wheelchair is of the utmost importance.  I speak from experience.  My first chair was not fitted to me properly and as a result, it created posture issues for me.  I would recommend talking with other people in the SCI community to see how pleased they are with the fit of their chair.  Find out who they worked with, what was the procedure, how many years of experience, etc.  I am getting ready to get my first chair using Medicare plus a supplemental insurance.  It is safe to say that Medicare has a very specific procedure and guidelines for purchasing a new chair.  I even called Medicare and found out they approve a new chair every five years based on medical necessity.  Anything other than equipment that is medically necessary means that Medicare will not pay ANYTHING!.  I confirmed this by speaking to a representative at Medicare.  The comments about our wheelchairs liberating us is very true but only if they are properly fitted.
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