Motorized wheelchair

Not open for further replies.


Active member
Mar 16, 2006
Does anyone know when the right time is to get a motorized wheelchair? Do you also know if a middle drive has more advantages over a rear drive
Hi Elo,

From our experience, order it before you are dependent on it. For us it took six months to get. Also, go for all the features, tilt, recline, elevator seat and electic leg lift. It took some doing for Medicare to approve all of this but eventually they did. I don't know what we would do without each feature.

Good luck,
motorized chair

Elo, the middle drive chairs need much less space for turning than the other types. My sister had one and was able to make right hand turns from the hallway of an ordinary 3 bedroom home ( not a large home) into her bedroom. Also I agree, go for all the frills, especially get an air cushion (Roho is a good one) it makes a lot of difference when you need to be in the chair for long periods of time. Hope this helps take care

I would agree. Get it before you really need it. I am in the process of getting a porch lift in and a handicapped bathroom. This weekend with the heat the lift was a godsend. I didn't have to do the stairs. Saved a lot of energy for other things.
motorized wheelchair

Thanks for your information and listing the detailed features.
Thanks Jane for your input on the operation of a middle drive chair.
Thanks Al for your input on this also. Re the handicapped bathroom, is there an easy way of getting in and out of the shower/bath. My husband has the bench and it is still not easy for him to get in and out. Your porch lift sounds good, Do you have this at the front entrance of your home?
motorized wheelchair

Thanks Terri for listing the detailed features for a motorized wheelchair.
Happy belated birthday Al, seemed you had a great day!
I know we're not supposed to promote any one type of product here, but could any of you provide me with websites of the best motorized wheelchairs? The middle drive ones would probably work best for my sister as well. They have an older home with tight corners. She doesn't need it yet, but she is using a walker quite a bit these days. I'd appreciate any info you can provide! Thanks!

We designed the bathroom floor and shower floor with a small hill in it. The plan is when I need it we get a wheeled bath chair and Lee'll be able to either get me out of bed and wheel me in or transfer from wheelchair to bath chair hose me down and blow dry me or whatever. Our tub now has a grab bar clamped to the side which helps me getting in and out.
We live with our daughter and son in law. They have a bungalow with a walkout at the back. We built a good size apt with all 36 inch doors and lots of turning room to allow me free movement when I need the chair full time. We had a 20 by 40 ft concrete patio put in and the lift sits on one corner and goes up about 6 ft to the wooden bridge and off there to the sidewalk and around the end of the house to the garage. We count our blessings every day that the kids wanted us to live with them and have helped us adapt the place to our needs. When I get the work finished which should be another week I'll take some pictures of the shower and lift and post a site so you can have a look. It's really quite neat.
Hi Elo,

One more thing we got for LB's chair were some grab handles at the front of the seat. He has a Permobile but was having a difficult time repositioning himself and getting far enough back in the seat. These have been wonderful. Because he still has good arm strength he can use these to help transfer himself. If hands or arms are too weak these probably would be of no value though.
motorized wheelchair. shower, lift

Hi Al, your bathroom really sounds accessible, something that would really help my husband right now, as he doesn't have much strength in his upper body to grab handles on bath and pull himself out of the bath anymore. We have to make some changes to our bathroom soon. You are very lucky to have such a thoughtful daughter and son in law. Your lift sounds fantastic, would love to see pictures of these when the work is done. Elo
motorized wheelchair

Hi Terri, the grab handles sound good. We are working with our occupational therapist and have asked for all the things you mentioned. He thinks we may not be eligible for all but we are giving it a try. Thanks again for your help
Just keep trying, Elo. If you have Medicare just keep doing what they ask for proof of need. They kept requesting more proof of need from the doctor and the PT. All expenses of visits were at our cost. Wording is so important in the reports. So be sure to read the paperwork yourself to make sure they dotted and crossed their " t's and i's.'

We did not know about the grab handles when we ordered the chair and the therapist did not mention them. It was only when the chair arrived and LB couldn't move in the seat that we went "oops" They were $300.00 through the Permobil folks. We have filed them with Medicare but I don't know their answer yet. Even though we thought that was way to expensive they have helped LB very much. We just think of it this way, for less than a dollar a day moving is easier!

Good luck!
all-terrain wheelchair

Has anyone had any experience or knowledge of an all-terrain wheelchair.

My wife loves her walks through the forrest and around the island gravel road at her parents cottage. The walks are becoming very difficult.

Hi Elo:
Don't know where you are from but I had the difficult task of moving my wife in and around the woods at our cottage as well as on the dock. The thin tires were a pain in the butt, and I wish that I'd had fat tires on the chair, but couldn't locate any that could be used in an all-terrainsituation. I suspect the fatter and lower the pressure the tires are, the better able to handle the terrain would be... however the more work will be required to move the chair.
Sorry I didn't have a source but maybe you could try "Shoppers" to see if they know of any. Maybe your O.T. will have some ideas.


I have a friend in a chair due to a massive back injury and he was here today and I asked him about ATV tires on a chair and he said you can get just about any tires you want now. His chair has much smaller tires on the front than mine but he is mostly in town whereas I'm more urban. I have no idea if the ALS Society took that into account when they sent me my chair but I have seen other chairs around that have had wider tires on the main wheels. Never had to give it a thought before though.
Not open for further replies.