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I'm anxious to purchase a VERY high-quality, lightweight wheelchair that I can use for my 93 year-old mother. I am in my early 70s, and the wheelchair we have is much too heavy and cumbersome for me to handle. My mother is currently using a walker, but we REALLY need to have a wheelchair very soon! Does anyone have suggestions?

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I didn’t know better but a rehab hospital got me a wheelchair thru Medicare. It’s just an ordinary wheelchair. Heavy, etc. Medicare paid over $800 bucks for it. Then I started to get monthly bills too. The new year rolled around and Medicare paid another $800 for the Same chair! More monthly bills came in. Which I threw out. I got in touch with Medicare to ask why they keep paying on the same chair? I got no where with that call. Do wheel chairs really cost $1600? Be careful what you wish for by getting a chair thru Medicare, unless you can go to the medical supplier to see the chair first, plan on seeing monthly bills that never end.
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if you are paying out of pocket, I suggest checking out huge retailers. I just got a nice "transport" chair from Walgreens on sale for $89. Because I had collected "points" from prior purchases, I got another $20 discount. They usually put things on sale @ holidays. You can keep an eye on walgreens.com for upcoming (and current) sales. If you order online you can choose ship to store and save shipping costs. I am right there with you dear. I am a 24/7 for my my physically disabled mom who also has dementia. My womb keeps dropping from lifting that crazy heavy wheelchair in and out of trunk of car. Just have to assemble this baby that just arrived from Walgreens and pray it will help. I am 60 -- and have my own areas of weakness healthwise...hope this helps & God Bless You.
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I bought a regular wheelchair through White Dove. Found out if was too heavy and cumbersome. Part of my wife's home care is supplied by Hospice. When I mentioned this problem to them. they had a transport chair delivered the next day.
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If you want Medicare to pay for a wheelchair, you will need to get one from the Medicare-approved supplier(s) in your area, You may have to do some checking--her doctor may not know which supplier(s) are Medicare-approved.Your selection will be limited to specific models, so this Medicare requirement may not fit well with your mother's needs.
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There is still a co-pay for Medicare provided equipment.
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Wheelchairs are covered by Medicare part B if she has the traditional coverage. It has to be medically necessary and ordered by a doctor. If you live by a large medical center, they often have seating clinics so she will be properly fitted and given an appropriate chair. You will be able to express your needs and get a good chair. As a physical therapist, I do not recommend using the donated chairs unless she only needs one occasionally. Proper fitting and maintenance are important in safe wheelchair use.
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Why not ask at the local retirement centers - folk who have passed on may leave their chair there. They may sell it cheap because they may have too many. Then you can choose.
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This has been such a helpful thread. I had no idea there were walkers that could also be used as transport wheelchairs - and that is just what my Mom needs! I found one on Amazon for a reasonable price: amazon.com/Roscoe-Transport-Rollator-Burgundy-Capacity/dp/B00MECBXEY/ref=sr_1_7_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1519763390&sr=8-7&keywords=wheelchair+walker&dpID=51oTVZ3VSIL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch.
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Medicare usually will pay for your first wheelchair as long as prescribed by a doctor. Get a really good one. Buy the transport one yourself for your car. I always took his wheelchair cushion and put it on the transport chair when using that one. I also always took the leg rests off before putting it in the trunk. The larger back wheel with the hand brakes is the better transport chair. Check Costco vs Amazon.
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We have "Drive" combo wheelchair and walker purchased on WalMart.com for about $149.00. It can be used as walker or pushed as a wheelchair. Very lightweight (I'm 64 and have no problems lifting it). Wheels are large enough to go wherever we need - but without the weight of those "Medicare furnished" wheelchairs.Would recommmend purchasing thicker cushion (also available on-line) for reasonable price -
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Medicare will pay for wheelchair, your Dr has to write a script. The company with the Medicare contract in your area can help with getting the right one
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Airgo Fusion Transport Chair Rollator Walker Combination
Ours has been in heavy use for a few years now and really holds up to the abuse! We are on our 3rd person using this and it still is holding up! I used for months with ankle fusion recovery, my mom used it, and now my dad. That thing has been used and abused - pushed through small doors, lots of doctors appts, and even up north at cottage. Folks up nicely, is light, durable, and looks better than any wheelchair. Easy to fold up footrests, and fold up unit. Yup!
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Definitely look into the transport wheelchair. I got one for around $120 on sale. The ultra light ones are only about 14 - 17 lbs and very study. The one I bought has footrest, seat belt, hand brakes and large back wheel for easy pushing over grass etc. It is even a little lighter if you remove the footrest. You can get them at most drug stores like Walgreens (might have to order) or online and you can get a great deal if you catch a sale. My mom's insurance wouldn't pay for it but it was sure worth it to save my back.
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If you don't want to spend good hard cash look on craigslist. people often put medical supplies no lnger needed on there for free especially if you live in a heavily populated area.
The one downside of the transport chair is that they don't usually have foot rests. They are lighter than a regular wheelchair but not as light as putting a walker in the car.
Another thing to consider would be putting one of those lightweight carry brackets on the back of your car and putting the wheelchair on that. Much easier that struggling to get a chair in the car or trunk.
I am 79 and find it hard to even get a rollator into my car.
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My sincere thanks to all of you for your prompt and helpful responses! I will certainly look into the transport wheelchairs that some of you have mentioned, since at this point, I'm only looking for the type of unit that can be placed in the trunk of the car. Thanks again to you all!
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Check with your town and surrounding town senior centers. They may have closetsfull of donated medical supplies and you can try out what is there...usually free. You can call first to see if they have a supply
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We bought a Medline transport wheelchair with larger rear wheels (not giant like regular wheel chairs..just bigger than the front ones). It was half the price on Amazon than it was at the medical supply stores. We have used it for about four years and still love it. Small and easy to haul.
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If you want something lightweight, look at 'transport wheelchairs.' They are not intended to replace daily-use wheelchairs, they are for lifting in and out of the trunk when you have to go somewhere.
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Ditto the suggestion to check DME suppliers; I'd start with hospital affiliated ones.

A few things I've discovered over the years:

Some give good service. Others do not, and are not cooperative. It's hard to really know, but insight from physicians' and staff can help.

One DME supplier told us removable arms weren't available on their wheelchair models. I don't know if that was ever true, but no effort was made to inquire whether they could get one, which meant that board transfer from wheelchair to another seating arrangement, including a car, was not possible.

If you can get removal arm rests (and leg rests), that's mandatory.

I've also discovered what I would consider a high end wheelchair, at a rehab facility of all places (sometimes they just have junk. This model has 2 rods which extend in the back to act as brakes on the wheels. This is in addition to the locks at the side of the wheelchair seat.

There's a secondary device to lock and prevent the chair from accidentally moving when stationary, but I don't recall what it is.

The back wheel locks though were something I've never seen. I had seen the rods and wondered what they were.
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Call the best medical supply in your area. Tell them what you need and ask what they advise. Then call another one and compare notes. Google their suggestions for more information on them.
My mom’s wheelchair was managable. Medicare paid for it. We usually just took her walker as hospitals and dr offices had wheelchairs available.
She used her wheelchair as a dining chair at home more than for transport. She liked the height and security when going from walker to chair.
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It depends on what exactly you need the wheelchair for, if you want something lightweight that is easy to put in your car and you only need it when she needs to go to the doctor or store then I would suggest you look at transport wheelchairs. All of them have to meet quality standards for safety.
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