How to select a transport chair?

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Medicare has already paid for a big heavy wheelchair. I would like to get a transport chair for my mom, who is wheelchair bound. She has a giant heavy one paid for by Medicare. I can no longer lift it into the trunk of my car when I take her out. I think she would like a transport chair that she can scoot herself along in and that I can lift. I would appreciate any info on best brands and sources of purchase. I need new vs. used, she is very picky and would not tolerate a used item (even if I'm paying for it. Sigh).

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I have an Everest and Jennings transport chair that we bought for my parents about 12-13 years ago, for about $225 at that time. It's been worth its weight in gold! I've pushed my 200+ lb dad and my 130 lb mom through/over all sorts of terrain, including pushing my mom over about 1/2 mile of gravel when I thought she'd enjoy visiting a working farm (she grew up on a farm). She didn't, LOL and I got a month's worth of workout pushing her in that chair! I've pushed my dad through museums and large shopping centers and both of them through snow and rain. The chair has held up beautifully over the years.

I got the chair at a small mom-and pop pharmacy, where they assembled it. I just sent a girlfriend back there to buy one for her ailing parents, but she was informed Medicare is no longer paying, so they don't stock them anymore.

Her dad has bought two chairs online that required assembly and he's screwed up both chairs (he's in his 80s), which is dangerous. So be sure if you get one, that someone can put it together correctly, if it needs assembly. Her dad is also 300 lbs, so if your loved one is larger, make sure to check the weight limit.

I highly recommend getting the best one you can afford, because they'll last a long time and really serve your family.
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As long as you are careful going over uneven surfaces - doorways tend to be worse and pavements can be difficult. Over here we have some cobbled roads - don't even think about it then because it would be far too dangerous and not easy in an ordinary wheelchair either
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would a transport chair be ok for going to macys or an art museum once in awhile or a casino?
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You need to consider several things when buying or renting or acquiring a chair. Firstly what do you want to use it for. If it is to get someone from house to car and from car to house then a transport chair is absolutely fine AS LONG AS YOU ARE NOT INTENDING TO GO OVER GRAVEL - If you put one on stones you aint going anywhere. Small wheels are great to keep the weight down but they are not quite as manoeuvrable as you might need..

If you want to put it into a car make sure it folds OR that you get a gizmo which will load it onto the car for you or ramps even. In the UK there is a firm called rica (dot org dot co dot uk) and it might be worth having a look at them first to get an idea of alternatives to a new chair

If you decide on a chair then you MUST get one that is the right size - too wide and they will slip out, too narrow and they wont get in in the first place.

Check out the sides of the chair for plastic a lot of them have plastic sides and they don't stand a lot of handling unless you are really careful.

Make sure it has a seat belt - I think most do today (ours do by law I think) but it is bloody easy to tip them out.

The lightest I found weighed about 17-20 pounds and some of those even fit into a carry bag but do remember that they are for occasional use not for a lot of use. Carbon fibre wheelchairs are the lightest and if you win the lottery the best of all to buy but incredibly expensive. The panthera X for example weighs in at about 7pounds but costs an astronomical 8k in dollars

If I had to choose one over again for regular use I would go for a larger wheeled lightweight chair that folds at least once with a seat. Whatever you do don't go for one that doesn't fold but comes apart. It might be ok when the weather is fine but rather you than me in trying to put it together if it rains!

If you want it for occasional use only then I would look for a fly weight small wheeled wheelchair that has good reviews. Amazon are great on their reviews and if 90% of them are 4 and 5 stars then that, for me, is a good guide

Hope that helps
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I have a Hugo transport chair which is available on their website or Amazon

Drive brand also is available on Amazon

My mom can paddle around in it with her feet quite well but you'll definitely want to get a little seat cushion -
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Dear kwyattearp,

I didn't know there was a difference between a transport chair and a wheel chair. If I had your choice I would Google both to see the difference. I haven't used the transport variety, but from what I have read, NOT experienced, these are lighter weight,and have smaller wheels, but are not easy for the occupant to use independently. That's where you have to decide: If she can get around by pushing herself, I would suggest a lightweight, foldup w/c, We don't have a big w/c but the under 225 capacity chair fits in some trunks. Over 225, and your w/c should be a hair bigger +heavier. Also consider any extra weight that may be carried (ie. groceries-backpacks or tote bags fit nicely on the back handles to carry what they may need) to choose the proper w/c size. around 200 mine starts sounding creaky/groans when going over slight bumps.
the trouble is often angles to get them to fit in the opening of the car more so than the size of it itself. We have a good old manual wheelchair. If you use it a lot ( I push mom many miles, often) that's for you. If you expect her to ambulate with it independently, the w/c is a more practical choice. If your car can handle a hitch and tiny trailer, that works if it wont fit in the car, but is work during inclement weather. They both have their uses, its a matter of which best meets your moms needs.. If your mom should not get up independently, a lap seatbelt is helpful. If you go with the manual version, test it by pushing it around with and without MOM in it. Some seem to have better bearings and roll easier than others. Get a fast one!! :) If you travel on the airlines, take the cushion on the plane. the nice ones are spendy and get lost down under by the luggage. Ours is a tracer sx6, made by Invacare, and it is lightweight for the quality you get. I don't know much about the electric ones other than that you need to decide if you want 3 wheels or 4. both have different issues to consider... Check it all out. lots of details to think of. Hope this helps! :)
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Thank you JessieBelle.
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I looked online and found many new transport wheelchairs for less than $100. It's nice to see some things are still affordable.
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A good place to start would be Walgreen's. They have many chairs available. You can see their selection online. I don't know if Medicare will pay for a chair. They have gotten very conservative with durable medical supplies now. You can try, though. Transport chairs are not very expensive, so you may want to buy one even if Medicare won't cover it.

Some churches have extra transport chairs about that they will lend or give to their members. It is the first place I would check. You often can find transport chairs at thrift stores and estate sales. There are many extra ones out there that will save you a lot of money if you need to buy one yourself.
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Yes, kellse, the transports have little wheels and are much lighter!!
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