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My mom can still walk a little and transfer, but when sitting our aide will leave her in her wheelchair because mom can't assist with transfers. This is a basic manual chair with added cushions, not the most comfortable for extended sitting imo.

I am also looking forward to my vacation when the nursing home will probably have her sitting in it all day. I have seen residents slumped in their chairs without proper supports and cringe at the physical discomfort they mut have to endure.

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I had to search for this thread so I could remember when I first started wondering about getting a better chair. I talked to case manager in early Spring?, she sent an occupational therapist, who contacted a supplier. OT and supplier came for measurements and an assessment and brought a loaner chair. Then they came again a couple of weeks ago for more measurements. Yesterday I got a quote and today I agreed to the order. Who knows when the chair will arrive. That makes almost 6 months already, I hope mom lives long enough to actually sit in it!
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There are many people that specialize in seating and prescribing the "right" wheelchair. They can use pressure mapping devices if skin break down is an issue and will look at things like size, abilities and posture.
Unfortunately Medicare is pretty stingy on this which is why you see so many people in homes in less than ideal positions.
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Hi Cwillie, we researched wheelchairs ourselves and bought the model that fit her.
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I will just add that if your mom uses her legs some, it's good that the chair allow her to continue to do that when she's in the wheelchair. At first, I wondered why so many wheelchairs had the footrests removed at the ALF. I then discovered that many of the residents can use their legs just enough to propel themselves around with their feet. The footrest hamper this. By keeping their legs moving, it enables them to stay more active, IMO.

My cousin has a special cushion that can be removed to sit on in the wheelchair. It's quite sturdy and easy to clean.
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NYdil, did you go through an agency to decide what you wanted and to get it sized or did you just do a little online shopping? I'm running into roadblocks because she doesn't really "need" it, but I think it would be beneficial in the long run.
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You can get your mother the same kind of wheelchair a young woman her size would need if she were paraplegic. Young adults need good wheelchairs in order to live independently. So that's what we did and the wheelchair is smaller so it hugs her body better and she is very comfortable in it. It's got much sturdier wheels and the cushion is removable, breathable, and washable. It cost about $850.
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If your patient is at risk of sliding out, ask the MD to write an order for the tilting wheelchair. You only get what the order is written for. Using a tilt and gel pads will help avoid pressure sores.
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I've looked online at those tiltable chairs with headrests, they really don't seem out of reach price wise. I was just wondering why so many seniors seem to be confined to your most basic straight backed chairs, if they have to sit all day they should be comfortable. I know custom built chairs are available for younger people with disabilities.
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Can your mother transfer with a slide board? My father made 2 for my mother, one a little longer than the other for transfers from wheelchair to car.

We got our wheelchairs from Medicare, but I don't recall whether there was any co-pay- this was back in the early 2000s. And DME regs have changed since then.

I'm not sure there's any wheelchair that's comfortable to sit in for long periods, but the ones with removable arms and legs as well as sturdy leather (I've even seen strong cotton ones, which surprised me) are I think the best.

When my sister needed a wheelchair, her oncologist used a DME service that provided a wheelchair with arms that weren't removable, meaning that she needed assistance just to stand and transfer. I had to squat keep my own back aligned straight to avoid backaches just to help her get up, I contacted the DME supplier but they insisted they didn't have any. It was shortly before she entered her final phase of cancer so there were other issues to deal with but I would never use that DME supplier again. At this time I don't even recall whether I was able to get another supplier that was more cooperative.
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