Old 10-12-2013, 02:03 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default New chair advice?

not really sure where to post this so am trying it here I had a wheelchair eval with a therapist she has sent orders to the medical supplier and I will go get fitted for a power wheelchair she is ordering a medicare group 3 I am not really sure what that is so if any of you use one I would love to hear pro's and con's on a couple of models she said that she is ordering this looking ahead to what I may need in next 5 years as things can be added to it as needed and medicare will only pay for one every five years. I have never used medicare for equipment before so I do not know anything about it do we get a choice in which chairs we want or is that decided by the supplier if so what brands have good record for longevity and warranty service I know they service if medicare buys but just like anything you buy some companies stand behind their product better than others so I want a company that does. anyway if you have any opinions and or advice please share
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:47 AM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

Group 3 is just a reimbursement level for power chairs w/ options like tilt/recline (both of which you need).
Most PALS have Permobil or Quantum chairs. The choice of mfrs is somewhat dependent on the model that fits you best. You do have a choice and should run away from any DME firm that tells you otherwise. After you are evaluated, they should tell you what model they recommend and why. Then do your research before agreeing to anything. Questions to consider include your indoor/outdoor space needs, narrow doorways in your home, whether you'll be wheeling in a city or the country, etc. Wheelchairs differ in terms of length, width, turning radius, shock absorption, battery range, top speed, etc.

It's doubtful that any of the big w/c brands is significantly more awesome in terms of standing behind their products. Anyway, it is usually the DME firm that you will have more contact with and get service from. So pick a DME in which you have confidence. If you don't like them at the first visit, it will only get worse. In most areas, you have a choice of DME firms as well, your therapist's preference notwithstanding.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:48 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

Just my $.02 worth, but I have a permobile that I'm exceptionally happy with. I have extremely long legs and this has a 22 inch deep seat which makes it remarkably comfortable. The riser allows me to get things in and out of the microwave for as long as my hands hold out. I find the ability to tilt makes my back feel better. I find it has a long battery life and it takes a lot for me to get out of the green bars. I hope you found is good a DME dealer as I did. Good luck
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:18 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

I'm also in the midst of getting fitted for wheels.

Has anyone opted for the 'stand up' feature in addition to recline & lift? My legs still hold me up (well one does anyway), so I'm thinking transfer would be easier for a time with the standing feature. I've been told that it may be possible, but the caveat is that these components must all fit under the seat, without making the seat too high for me.

So many things to consider.... attendant controls? I've been advised by friends to get as many bells & whistles as possible - the government pays 75% once every five years - and only on the parts prescribed (except seats & backs replaced every 2 years). Any addition would be on our tab. Hoping to get it right the first time. I believe OT mentioned permobil brand.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:57 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

The raise and lower feature is not covered, but very helpful if you can afford to buy it. Pay up front prior to invoicing and you may get a better price.

I have a Permobile and am quite pleased.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:51 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

I would ask your local ALSA chapter for a recommended DME company if you are getting fitted outside of an ALS clinic.

I'd stay with Permobil or Quantum. You will need the tilt and recline power functions, along with leg power extension. The power seat elevator is extremely helpful but is not covered by insurance. However, Permobil is a Premier partner with ALSA and is donating the addition of the seat elevator for PALS. No idea about Quantum, but never hurts to ask.

Attendant control will be useful for times you can't drive yourself. Permobil included that for free for me as it also isn't covered by insurance, but that was before they did the seat elevator deal.

The Group 3 designation will usually steer toward the C300 model in the Permobil line. But the C400 is (or at least was) a Group 3 chair as well. It has a smoother suspension for outside, and can be justified based on spasticity and hyper reflexes.

I'm not trying to overly push Permobil, it's just what I know about from my experience. I have custom drive controls, and they were acting funny with their chair and I was very impressed with the support I've received.

You also want to pay attention to seat cushions when ordering. Many are happy with the ROHO air cushion, although there are also gel cushions too. And I use a ROHO back cushion as well.

Hope some of this helps!
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:54 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

TY all for the comments so far.am hoping I get a really good dme that will go over all the options with me.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:58 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

Here is the related press release.
Http://www.alsa.org/news/archive/per...-premiere.html
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:14 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianD View Post
I would ask your local ALSA chapter for a recommended DME company if you are getting fitted outside of an ALS clinic.

I'd stay with Permobil or Quantum. You will need the tilt and recline power functions, along with leg power extension. The power seat elevator is extremely helpful but is not covered by insurance. However, Permobil is a Premier partner with ALSA and is donating the addition of the seat elevator for PALS. No idea about Quantum, but never hurts to ask.

Attendant control will be useful for times you can't drive yourself. Permobil included that for free for me as it also isn't covered by insurance, but that was before they did the seat elevator deal.

The Group 3 designation will usually steer toward the C300 model in the Permobil line. But the C400 is (or at least was) a Group 3 chair as well. It has a smoother suspension for outside, and can be justified based on spasticity and hyper reflexes.

I'm not trying to overly push Permobil, it's just what I know about from my experience. I have custom drive controls, and they were acting funny with their chair and I was very impressed with the support I've received.

You also want to pay attention to seat cushions when ordering. Many are happy with the ROHO air cushion, although there are also gel cushions too. And I use a ROHO back cushion as well.

Hope some of this helps!
TY Brian
Oh wow I am trying to get all this in my head still as just diagnosed with PLS a few days ago, I had no idea that I would be needing all this special equipment when I went to the therapist.my diagnosed neuro wants the neuromuscular specialist to go ove all the details of what this disease can cause which I can understand as he does want me to know from someone who has more expertise in the field.I am just trying to get some support set up as I thought for last 3 yrs I had PPMS which as been a bit of a process to unravel anyways I have not been to any alsa or any als clinics. for now I live in the country about hr and a half away from a major city, guess I should look into what is available there. Again TY for the help
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:54 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

Check with your supplier...
The PLS diagnosis is not always recognized as a qualifier as is ALS.
You may want to have your doc change his diagnosis to ALS and keep the term PLS out of his files.

SSD is tougher as PLS, don't know about the wheelchair.
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:24 AM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

I am not trying to push for Mobile Permomile either but the system is modular. So right now I'm using the controls but it is easily converted to attended controls if necessary. When I asked my very experience DME guy who serves the ALS community about the standing feature he warned me that it had a tendency to toss people on their noses and recommended the riser, which I have. At my height. It's much easier to get out of the chair when I have risen it up. Permobile also has computer arms, security vests, and a lot of things that work with it. I would agree that are ALS social workers are the best source for who the good guys are. Good luck!
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:20 PM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

Thank you Hollister & Brian ( sorry Rascal - not hijacking your thread)

I ordered the Permobil M300.

Brian - got Roho seat ( quadpro) and back

Hollister - the PWC guy told me the exact same thing about the standing up feature. It's not recommended for PALS for the reasons you describe.

Chair has tilt, recline, elevate, power leg rest, gel armrests & attendant controls.

I chose purple and maximum speed package.
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:49 PM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

my two cents, refuse a chair from invacare, atg rehab, or numotion. the chair seems to be modeled on the tinker toy design, meaning parts can easily be added to a standard frame whether they fit or function or not. Armrests and lateral supports cannot be made to work on the same chair, defective parts will be replaced at your cost. And they have no qualms about billing you three times the Maximum quoted cost.
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:57 PM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

Joe,

So I'm safe then?
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:02 PM #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: New chair advice?

Our Blue Cross plan (non-Medicare) covered the seat elevator feature, which added a few months before my husband had to use the Hoyer. Well worth it. Still has some use under restaurant tables. BC is pretty mainstream so that suggests any plan might cover it w/ good documentation.
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