What’s up when you purchase a wheelchair?

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What’s up when you purchase a wheelchair?

Post by johnboy on February 16th 2008, 00:43

What’s up when you purchase a wheelchair?

My first wheelchair was an easy purchase. I was injured in 1973. At the hospital I was told, here is your wheelchair, have a nice day! I had no input, but it didn’t matter, I wouldn’t have known what questions to ask anyway. I was still dealing with feelings of shock, loss, and was just plain piss off about everything. I was bombarded with negatives in the hospital. Purchasing and using a wheelchair was just another !#@!&%* negative! After a while, I came to the reality that using a wheelchair isn’t negative and doesn’t mean “I was giving up” It meant “I was getting on with life” Sounds kinda hokey, but after you have a few years under you belt, you’ll understand.

Unless you are paying cash, almost always you will need other people involved. Usually an Occupational or Physio therapist and a wheelchair supplier (vendor) will help you out. I also recommend seeking the advice of an experienced consumer, family friend or an advocate to become part of your evaluation team. In general they will help make your purchase as smooth as possible. Keep in mind; you may not know if you have selected the best wheelchair until it is too late, if you don’t research and try out different chairs. Your team will talk about your personal concerns and goals, access issues, training needs, maintenance, finances, and warranties. The chairs you will tryout always feel and move a little bit better in the hospital. Try to get as close to your terrain you will expect in your future. Gather as many facts as possible. Remember, it is your ass in this chair all day, nobody else’s. The O.T/P.T. and vendor may help you a lot but they are coming into the game from different angles. The O.T./P.T. may know the body and its seating positions, but they tend to clump people to the chair they are familiar with, which is usually the same chair as the last person they dealt with that was similar to your injury or condition. The vendor on the other hand may be quite knowledgeable in mobility and seating issues. He or she don’t care what you buy, you are basically a cash cow to them. Get the chair you want, based on your needs.

The main thing to keep in mind, you are the customer and these people work for you.
If you put some thought and research into this process ahead of time, then you will approach the evaluation process a little differently than most new consumers. On the other hand, it is important that you have a team that takes the time to listen to you.
Good Luck!


Last edited by Admin on February 20th 2008, 11:51; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What’s up when you purchase a wheelchair?

Post by Pastor Joe Ritchie on February 18th 2008, 09:33

Hey, PJ here, I just went through this process. It was in November that I went to Motion Specialties in Windsor for new rubber and front casters... you could say my chair needed a tune up! This persons name that help me is Cindy Furth. I have a good story about how I know her but that’s for a different post!

Anyways, when I went in and began asking for my tune up say blew me away by saying why don't we just get you a new chair! To my surprise we set up an appointment/consult with an OT from IODE. The next week I went in for this appointment we looked at the Ti (that's the chair) mainly because of its light weight - 12 lbs! We filled out the forms and I left - took all of about an hour.

Then the wait! I didn't get the chair until the third week of January for a total wait of about 11 weeks. Wow was it worth the wait! My chair is amazing! Best chair I have every had in the 17 years I have needed one!

Here's the crazy part - I went in last week to have them replace a push rim since it was chipped from delivery, they totally did it all for me - great service! Anyways the guy told me that he saw the final price tag on the chair - just over $9000.00! What? Are you kidding me! Glad I didn't pay for it!
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Re: What’s up when you purchase a wheelchair?

Post by johnboy on February 18th 2008, 21:42

How the heck did you swing $9000 bucks?

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Re: What’s up when you purchase a wheelchair?

Post by rob on February 19th 2008, 15:23

Wow, $9000 bucks eh. Have chairs gone up that much in 2 years? My Ti cost just under $7000 and was purchased in Jan 2006. I even got those ridiculous priced Carbon Fiber clothing guards included, 700 bucks a pop. I had to pay a little over $2000 out of my own pocket for this chair. If I had to do it over again, I don't think I would go with the titanium chair again. I hardly notice a difference in the weight, and the price definately doesnt warrant it.


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