Elecrric Scooter

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New member
Mar 28, 2007
Electric Scooter

My wife and I live by a bike path. With ALS I can't walk
very far (one block) so thought a three wheel scooter
Might be the answer. Has anyone had any experience
with one? What should I look for and what should I stay away
from. :?

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Hi Curt. Are you having any trouble with your hands yet? Most scooters have a twist grip or a thumb throttle. I went to a power chair because of hand issues and I didn't think I'd be able to use the scooter long enough to make it worthwhile. Just something else to think about.
Thanks AL you gave me something to think about. I can still use my hands but they are weak. I will have to try one out first
I would be looking into a powerwheel if I were you. When my husband's legs went they went pretty fast, after more than a year with only arm/hand problems. But by the time we ordered the wheelchair and the time lag in getting it (>3 months), he was desperate and we had to borrow a chair for him. The scooters seem inpractical for PALS because there is such a short time frame to use them usually (but I hope I am wrong and you have a good long time before needing a power chair!)
Good Luck, Beth
get power wheel chair

My legs were affected first and I quickly progressed from a four-wheel walker to scooter and then a power wheel chair. The scooter was very nice for about 3 months but was too big for indoor use. Now my hands and arms are getting weak and the power wheel chair is a life saver.
Hi Curt,

Also take into consideration your insurance. If you have Medicare they most likely will not help you buy but one chair. You may want to save those $$$ for the power chair. We were able to find loaners for smaller power chairs while waiting to order the major purchase.
My mom had the same question and asked her PT at Cleveland Clinic. He said a definite no on the 3 wheel - requires too much balance for an ALS patient. Also recommended no on the four wheeled - save your money for the power chair. Medicare only covers one chair!

So we just spend $179 on a transport chair (Happy Mother's Day) and my dad can take her for walks.
Hi Curt44 -

Welcome. Everybody has the same advice I would give. Pass on the scooter - eventually it will be too hard to get on and off - easier in a chair. Also - get the best wheelchair you can for your future needs. Some insurers will only pay for one chair - even if your needs change. Also - wheelchair selling is a cut throat business. get a reputable referral from your ALS clinic - or from the good people in this forum. I know of many PALS who were sold completely inadequate equipment and were stuck.

Also - some of the equipment you might need: tilt, lifting legs, vent tray (even if you don't get a vent, the tray is needed for carrying around your bi-pap and battery), head rest, side supports, arm troughs, secondary joy stick, and other equipment that your reliable chair fitter can help with.

Good luck - a good chair will provide a renewed sense of independence! Beth
Power Chair Feature Question...

Great advice and information about scooters vs. power chairs! I'm in the process of getting one for my mother but need some advice. Medicare is paying for most of the chair, MDA is paying for the co-pay. There's no money for the elevator feature which moves the chair higher and lower. It's $2,000 extra dollars (yikes!). Is this a critical feature for ALS patients? If it is, we'll find a way to finance it.
My insurance did not cover the elevator either, so I paid for it myself. Its a great feature to aid in transfers, you can raise yourself high enough so you can be more easily pulled to a standing position. Board transfers are easier as well, since you can be raised to the same level. Plus its nice for conversations to elevate to more eye level.
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