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Anyone have advice or experience on a power wheelchair for home use that will fit through standard doorways in a home not modified for handicapped use? My dad has been barely hanging on to walking with his rollator for a long time now, and that window may be closing. Our whole family is well aware of all of his safety concerns, living alone, fall risk, etc. and we’ve put every precaution possible in place. He’s adamant not to move and legally can’t be forced. So I’d like to learn about the possibly of a wheelchair that he could get around in his home.

Thanks for all your helpful suggestions. Dad is in rehab for the millionth time, or it just seems that way, not making much progress, so we wait to see if walking returns. The roller coaster ride goes on...
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Imho, you should peruse wheelchairs in an elder supply store. Those stores cater to the elder population and should be better able to assist you, e.g. tell you if the device you may choose would be able to fit through a standard home doorway, which can range from 30" to 36" wide.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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One of our local medical supplies stores rents medical equipment and also has some on 30 day trial (you can bring it back for complete refund within 30 days). If you have a similar store in your area I would encourage you to use them. A sales rep came to my SIL's home with a few circle cutouts to make sure she choose a model that at least had enough space to work in her home, then delivered the chosen chair, complete with setup and a little on-site training.
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Reply to TNtechie
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First, be sure that your father is willing and able to learn how to use the power chair. My sister spent many hours looking for a chair that would fit through the doors in my mother's mobile home, spent a lot of money getting it, then trying to teach Mom how to use it. 6 months later? It sits, uncharged, next to the door in the kitchen. Mom is still struggling along with the rollator and experiences frequent falls. She often lies on the floor for hours before someone comes and helps her up. As with your father, Mom cannot be forced to do anything she is not inclined to do. The rollator is familiar to her, the power scooter is more challenging, so she opts for the familiar even though she suffers considerable pain in using it.

Sorry to cast more gloom into your life, but do consider his willingness to move on. If he is not willing to acknowledge his needs you may be wasting time and money. Perhaps it might need to be HIS idea rather than yours. I hope your father is more reasonable than my Mom, but from your description, I doubt it.
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Reply to LittleOrchid
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There is a small motorized chair that changes direction without forward movement. It will reverse on the spot as it rotates. If you need help from medicare to pay for it. Find a place that will help you get the right info. for him and the Dr. Medicare needs alll that info. on that form. So call until you find one that will give you help if you need help with the payment. It will take a while to process.
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Reply to DKelso34
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Look for used at 1/3rd of retail. $500 should get what you need. I sold a $1600 power chair for $600 after 2 years of use.
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Reply to Murrieta1
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Before you spend the $$ for some kind of powerchair, make sure that there is sufficient SPACE in his living area that can accept the chair. Wide hallways, free of any clutter, wide doorways--maybe remove doors from hinges completely--plenty of turning space, etc.

My mother got a Jazzy for Daddy. (Parkinson's) He could go down a 15' hallway and eat meals then back to the doorway of his room. They are not small and dad's didn't fit inside the door of his room. And then his room was smallish and even if he could maneuver the chair into his room, someone had to come in and 'flip it' around.

Their place was very small and the chair ate up a lot of room. If he had used it to go outside for a 'stroll' or something--it would have been wonderful. Sadly, daddy used it for about a week and put it in storage.

Mother is making noises about pulling it out of storage for her use. It's a non-starter as the apartment is far more cluttered now and she will not let us make any changes to her living space to accommodate it. She NEEDS to keep walking, she is almost ready for a wheelchair now--in 6 months I'm sure she will have graduated to that. She refuses to exercise and so is weaker each day.

I do see a few folks in my neighborhood riding their powered chairs around, sometimes with a grandkid hanging on, for fun. I do wish daddy had used his to its full capability.
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Reply to Midkid58
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I went to a medical supply store when my Dad was starting to lose mobility. They had all kinds of ideas to help him. Also his power chair was mostly paid for my medicare.
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Reply to anereus
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Doctor can prescribe a physical therapy evaluation. They can test your dad's balance and endurance. They also are very knowledgeable about wheelchairs - powered and non-powered.
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Reply to Taarna
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There are hinges that can be used on a regular door and it will allow the door to open more fully. "Swing Away" door hinges can add about 2 inches to the opening of the doorway.
But that does not address the fact that there is more here than that.
IF he is going to stay there some modifications might have to be made. Roll in shower also known as a Zero Entry or Zero Threshold). Opening under bathroom cabinet so that a wheelchair can be brought up to the sink. As well as other modifications that might have to be made. (actually they don't HAVE to be made, the modifications just make life a little easier for the caregiver as well as the recipient)
I agree with the ones that mentioned a PT eval.
Are there cameras in place so you can monitor him if necessary?
Does he have one of the "emergency alert" units? If so would he be able to use it?
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Agree with the PT eval . My mom also has standard doorways and uses her transfer chair by scooting her feet. I have purchased brake extensions for her, a wheelchair seat and arm covers. She seems pretty comfortable with this . The PT worked with her for transferring. A regular wheelchair would not fit through doorways, but the transfer is working fine.
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Reply to Chickie1
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My friends aunt had a Jazzy. She used it for years. She had bad knees and a problem shoulder and eventually COPD. She used it to get to her recliner or car or kitchen table or bed or bathroom. She did her own laundry, simple cooking. She used a walker when she went out to church or the hair dresser or with her aide or daughter.
She really enjoyed her Jazzy.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Have the doctor write a script for an OT eval for motorized wheelchair use. They hold the key to a successful transition
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Reply to MACinCT
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How is he cognitively? I'd explore getting an evaluation for what might work for him in the home. I say this because, I know of a couple of seniors who have motorized scooters that they don't control very well. I'm not sure why, but, suspect they have poor coordination or judgment. They run into things, repeatedly burn the motor up, etc. so, it's now a big issue getting them to give them up.

When my LO went to a wheelchair, she was provided a regular one that you use your own arms to propel yourself and even your feet, with the foot rests removed, to keep as active as possible. This worked well for her.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Daughterof1930 Jun 15, 2020
My dad is cognitively good. We he got the rollator, he had a “fitting” and little class like time to learn about it and get used to it. Will definitely be looking for that in any wheelchair.
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What about working with an OT/PT? My mom didn't have a power chair but the OT worked with the supplier to figure out our needs and helped decide what options would work best for us - she filled out all the necessary paperwork for gov't benefits as well.
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Reply to cwillie
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Daughterof1930 Jun 15, 2020
Not a bad thought. Currently getting therapy for what seems like the millionth time, trying to get back the baseline. Will talk to them, now a challenge in itself with CV restrictions
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Is your dad a vet? My uncle got a bunch of stuff, including a power wheelchair that fit through doors (if your dad is not a big guy). If he has to pay out of pocket, the price may freak him out. Also, a power chair means he will still need a transfer chair when he's taken anyplace by car. Can he get in and out of the car mostly by himself? This was a big issue with my 180-lb MIL...it had to be a car with a seat height that was a lateral move. Also, a belt to secure them as they move and to spare your back!
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Reply to Geaton777
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Daughterof1930 Jun 15, 2020
He is a vet, thanks for mentioning that. I’ve also looked at transfer chairs. We have a gait belt leftover from use with my mom, sad to think of bringing it out again. He does get in and out of the car, he has his own way of doing it which makes everyone cringe, it it seems to work for him, and he’s not a big man at all.
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