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    Para wants power chair info

    I am a T6 paraplegic since 1990 and always used a manual chair. I have developed syringomyelia and sever scoliosis over the years and have a lot of fatugur and shoulder pain now as well. I still plan to use my manual chair around the house but have decided to go with a power chiar for long rolling and bad days. I dont really want a scooter but a power wheelchair. I have a equipment guy and a pt coming monday. Any advise about what kind of chair I should consider. Thanks

    #2
    Make sure it will do what you want. If it ever has to be used inside to restroom etc. Make sure its narrow enough for regular doors and the turning radius is small enough.
    "What has happened, has happened; What I am going through, I shall rise above; And what will come, I will meet with courage"~Hazrat Inayat Kahn

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      #3
      If you are paying for it yourself, buy one of Pattherats XZ-1 power assist. I'm T6/7 with shoulder problems. I attach the power assist, go where I want to go, release the XZ and I use my manual as a manual.

      It weighs approx 75lbs vs 350t for a p/c. Is very unobstrucive and I haven't found any terrain I can't go over yet.

      I couldn't believe how trapped I felt in a p/c while with the XZ, it was liberating.

      So far I haven't heard of any insurance that will pay for one. Mine wouldn't and they have been extremmely good too me. It was worth my paying for it by far. They are around 5 grand vs. 10's of thousands of dollars for a p/c.

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        #4
        Originally posted by gingerlee View Post
        I am a T6 paraplegic since 1990 and always used a manual chair. I have developed syringomyelia and sever scoliosis over the years and have a lot of fatugur and shoulder pain now as well. I still plan to use my manual chair around the house but have decided to go with a power chiar for long rolling and bad days. I dont really want a scooter but a power wheelchair. I have a equipment guy and a pt coming monday. Any advise about what kind of chair I should consider. Thanks
        You might as well go ahead a get a good chair. I use an Invacare TDX-SP for two years and have absolutely no problem with it. I use the power lift seat several times a day and top speed is about 7 mph. (Mine was made for me with larger motors.) You can go to their website or to YouTube and see a video. The chair will perform as in the video.

        I hope this helps.
        Millard
        ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne

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          #5
          I'm a para that uses a powerchair too (broke an arm about a year post injury and it has never healed strong enough to support full time manual chair). I use a TDX too, they're heavy as hell so don't expect to carry it in a vehicle without it being purpose built for it, or installing a very strong lift. BUT they handle very well indoor and are not too shabby offroad, also, tough as nails.

          2 weak spots.........3 times I've fried electronics going to school in deep snow, fine till you get there but when it melts something gets smoked........ and the swing away footrests are constantly bending in because they are the first thing to contact doors, curbs, children who don't move quickly enough etc.

          For what it's worth my insurance just bought me a new chair this spring and after testing everything that was available (except permobile) I chose another TDX exactly like the one I had.

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            #6
            PS..... after you get a powerchair you're not going to beleive the freedom and ease it offers, honestly, if and when my powerchair breaks down I feel like it's a prison sentence. Confined back to a manual chair where going any distance is painful and slow...... and I drop shit non-stop...... and I'm pretty much confined to paved areas or sidewalks.... and, and, and.

            I know the arguements for keeping paras in manual chairs but frankly, it's BS. I'm 50lbs lighter now than I was when I started using a powerchair (been that way for years too) and anyone who thinks they are getting a cardio workout rolling around at a walking pace is wrong.

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              #7
              Also transitioning from manual to power. Will it go in your bathroom and around your house? Can you use it in your vehicle? How will it be used? If the use is house, vehicle, shopping then a 4 mph chair might be OK. This allows a smaller chair. If you want to get out and about the neighborhood on your own, you may want 7 mph. This usually means a bigger chair that is less suited for indoors.

              This is a huge decision, that affects many other aspects of your life. Try to insist that you get to try whatever they propose for at least a few days in your native space at your own pace.

              I became very dissatisfied with what my DME was offering me, and offended by the $20K total cost for two batteries, two motor gearboxes, a controller, and a seat. So I purchased a used chair from Craig's List for $300. It does not meet all of my needs, but it got me out and about and I have a much better idea of what I want next.

              If you can use it, the ZX-1 might be a good solution. Pat seems to have a good reputation. I have never seen a negative statement about the ZX-1.

              As to the quality of today's power chairs I would say they are all pretty bad. But my standards are perhaps too high. Having the controller fail just because you go out in the snow is not acceptable in my book.
              T4 complete, 150 ft fall, 1966. Completely fused hips, partially fused knees and spine, heterotopic ossification. Unsuccessful DREZ surgery about 1990. Successful bladder augmentation using small intestine about 1992. Normal SCI IC UTI problems culminating in a hospital stay in 2001. No antibiotics or doctor visits for UTI since 2001: d-mannose. Your mileage may vary.

              Comment


                #8
                You may like to read this: http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/powe...wheelchair.htm

                My take on manual or electric wheelchairs, as a T4 complete very active user who has tried both for 14 years.

                >>> from gac3rd's sig... T4 para, 45 years in a chair. Retired electrical engineering professor. Charge early. Charge often. Charge fully through the night.

                And I say throw them away, fit lithiums!

                They should last the life of the chair, half the weight, 3x the Watt Hours, much faster charging, dont die if left discharged, and are much cheaper long term. Scroll down! http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/BM-M...powerchair.htm As fitted to my new BM3 chair.

                Burgerman Ignore my user name, I cant type!

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                  #9
                  I kove my ZX-1. I didn't have to do any alteration to my house, van or workshop to accommodate it. They were talking thousands of dollars plus the abhorent price of the power chair. It really is the best of both worlds. Adding the Freewheel just adds to the enjoyment of going offroad easily where before I could'nt go on.

                  Considering the money we have to pay out of pocket for a p/c; even with Medicare or other insurance, the ZX , in many cases, is cheaper.

                  Yeah, Pat is really great ensuring that it's right for you. He sent some adapters for my added cog and another actuator when the first one seemed too light to lift myself with the chair. I am so glad I didn't buy that p/c I was looking at.

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                    #10
                    Powerchairs are very susceptible to precipitation. Any controller with raised buttons are the worst. Fortunately my Omegatrac Premier controller is sealed and except for a few rusty screws has handled multiple showers excellently.

                    My Frontier X-5 has raised buttons and was built in Australia. It is a sitting duck for failure if I get caught outside in the rain or snow and that includes the entire chair.
                    C 5/6 Comp.
                    No Tri's or hand function.

                    Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

                    Teddy Roosevelt

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by buegerman View Post
                      You may like to read this: http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/powe...wheelchair.htm

                      My take on manual or electric wheelchairs, as a T4 complete very active user who has tried both for 14 years.

                      >>> from gac3rd's sig... T4 para, 45 years in a chair. Retired electrical engineering professor. Charge early. Charge often. Charge fully through the night.

                      And I say throw them away, fit lithiums!

                      They should last the life of the chair, half the weight, 3x the Watt Hours, much faster charging, dont die if left discharged, and are much cheaper long term. Scroll down! http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/BM-M...powerchair.htm As fitted to my new BM3 chair.

                      Burgerman Ignore my user name, I cant type!
                      Just read your page explaining why paras need powerchairs...... amen brother.

                      What do you think if the new offerings from gennymobility or allychair? Aside from what they're charging for them I think they're the best damned idea going. Correctly configured they will be smaller than a manual chair, and equiped with decent tires they go anywhere! A center drive without the castors!!! Brilliant!!!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I think they are great.
                        As you say at a cost.

                        I might be a bit worried about fragility, as they were not originally intended for all day every day use maybe. Dunno till I can afford one to pull apart!

                        But the main thing is that the batteries are a little small. Esp for a heavier person, and they are too wide with the essential fat cushioning all terrain rubber. All things that can be fixed though I think.

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                          #13
                          If you're not scared to build your own packs (obviously you're not), and can afford the extra weight (my problem), there's lots of space under the seats for more batteries.

                          I think currently the way to go is to buy a second hand segway and bolt an old manual frame to it if you're looking to go at it from a cost standpoint.

                          I've got an OT coming to assess me on Monday and I'm going to pitch the genny to her on the basis of outdoor access to minesites. I THINK I've dealt with this OT before, and she was a softy so I'm hopeful.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I wish you luck! Which side of the atlantic?

                            edit: Sorry Canada. I see it!

                            Here in the UK I managed to cause so much trouble that they have me on a new pilot scheme (of just me!) to build my own fast, lithium powerchairs. They put a considerable sum in my bank, and I spend it as I see fit every 3 years. And I see fit to build my own!

                            Hence the chair I already link to somewhere on here.

                            Added... Lithiums are much lighter. The extra weight you have (your problem?) is the reason you NEED more battery power. As it is with a lightweight on board the segway runs out of steam long before a "old tech lead" powered chair does. I have been all over my town, and the nearby seaside town with a freind on one and me in a powerchair. And I am fat! Segway died long before my lead battery powerchair needed charging.

                            So you need more power still if heavy.

                            My new lithium powered chair has 3X the usable stored energy of a pair of large powerchair batteries, and half the weight, saving some 56lb...

                            Check out this photo. This is HALF the weight of the lead batteries it is sat next to, fits the exact same space, and stores 3x the usable energy. And lasts about 10 to 15 years and 4x as many cycles. And since it only needs charging say once a week in the winter when you dont need 45 real world miles, that means it will easily outlive a powerchair.

                            2000 cycles - charged say once every three days, is 15 years. But it has 5000+ cycles if not fully discharged!

                            photo http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/imag...hium-small.JPG

                            Burgerman.
                            Last edited by buegerman; 31 Jul 2011, 8:41 AM.

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                              #15
                              You're preaching to the choir my friend

                              ASIDE *You're not the only guy who has dicovered LiPo and LiFePo4 batteries through RC, I haven't been able to fly much this year but I own one or two of those plane thingies myself. Around 10 actually, everthing from 30" electrics to a 124" 150cc gasser. Last year I put the first few flights on a 100cc aeroworks edge running on lipos (12s4p lipos). Flys nicely and JUST JUST JUST hovers (all chinese electronics and batteries, outfitted cheaper than I could have bought a gas engine for it).*

                              Having said that, I'm just under the genny weight limit as is so they invent batteries about as dense as helium, or a tougher segway like drive train I'm sunk when it comes to range. Why don't you whip something up and sell one to me on the down-low? I'd give my word not to hold you to all the safety, hand holding, polyanna crap that the crip equipment manufacturers live by. :P

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