Our local MDA clinic is recommending that we get our son a power assist wheechair. He currently uses a scooter at school for travelling the hallways to modular buildings for extracurricular activities. They would prefer that he not use the scooter as it offers little support. While we understand their point, Matt loves his scooter and all of the kids at school think it is pretty cool, which has some advantages. Also, he doesn't hang out or sit in the scooter for long periods of time, it's just a way to get from point A to point B. The doctors at the clinic were not insistent, but also made the point that eventually he will need a manual chair anyway as a back-up to his power chair and insurance companies don't like to pay for manual chairs after there has been a powerchair purchase. So why not go ahead and we'll have it when we need it as opposed to waiting for it to be ordered after we need it? That I get. They are recommending a power assist chair. I'm hoping for some insight here. I have looked at some online, but so far I don't see how they are helpful in this application. My son has difficulty carrying a light backpack so I can't see how he can use a manual chair even with the power assist feature. How can this work for our boys? Thanks! Also, I don't see a whole lot of support in thse chairs, either.

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My son is 18 and has been using a power assist chair for 4 years now. He loves it! He has the Quickie 2 with the x-tender power assist system. Jon has the 3:1 ratio system which magnifies his effort by 3 times. It is really easy for him to push and is very maneuverable. It was fitted by a rehab specialist with his needs in mind, it was not bought off the shelf so to speak. He has slowed down quite a bit and we have just received a new full power chair. Since we don't have anyway to transport the new chair he is still using the power assist chair. We are working a getting a new van. but these things take time. That is the other advantage of the power assist chair, it folds up and is not too heavy for me to lift.

Don't know if that helps or not, if you have any other questions let me know and I'll try to answer them for you.
Susan
Susan,
Do his arms/shoulders get tired even with the 3:1 ratio system? I guess that's ultimately what I'm concerned about. Could he go long distances - such as the mall - without getting tired?
Thanks,
Danelle
He used it for school and it worked really well, he didn't really get tired using it. It isn't so much that he is getting tired now, he has just lost enough strength to make it harder to push especially on carpet or any kind of an uphill grade. It really does not take much effort at all to go at a decent speed. I used to have to run to keep up with him :).
Thanks, Susan,
I feel much better about the whole idea.
Danelle
ok we also by rehabilitation doctor that a power assist would be what we should look into for my son it is really for distances right now, but they told me that there are one's to grow with, because last time the place where we got his manual chair was suppost to help us with one to grow with and all of that and that is not what happened and i at the time didn't know better, so now we want to go to get the power assist one with a therapist, and contact a vendon and try it out and have a i guess promotion to see it before we get one, but my problem is well first i can't find a vendor, definatly not local, but online not even one in the whole state of michigan, so are there any features anone knows about that we should look for, any brands better than others, should we get extra betteries to start, any recomendations would be greatly appreciated.
Sara,
Have you tried Wright & Filippis? They have several locations in Michigan and that is where we got Derek's first manual chair, which they did adjust as he grew. I'm not sure if they handle the power-assist chairs, but it's worth a try.

TIna

Sara Savalli said:
ok we also by rehabilitation doctor that a power assist would be what we should look into for my son it is really for distances right now, but they told me that there are one's to grow with, because last time the place where we got his manual chair was suppost to help us with one to grow with and all of that and that is not what happened and i at the time didn't know better, so now we want to go to get the power assist one with a therapist, and contact a vendon and try it out and have a i guess promotion to see it before we get one, but my problem is well first i can't find a vendor, definatly not local, but online not even one in the whole state of michigan, so are there any features anone knows about that we should look for, any brands better than others, should we get extra betteries to start, any recomendations would be greatly appreciated.
Hi

Brian Denger got one of these for his younger son and they love it. I think they got it from the Netherlands. They had it at the conference last summer and it was cool. Easier to transport in cars and planes than power chair. It looked very cool too. E-mail Brian on this list and he will fill you in.
Sara,
At our end of September clinic appt. at UM, we were supposedly put on a waiting list to be fitted for a power assist through the clinic. Still waiting. I need to call and check on that. When I do, I'll ask who the vendor is. I'll let you know.
Danelle
well we have gone to wright and fillipis in the past for other things and really they have upset me more than help honestly, we were suppost to get a chair to grow with and did not, shoe insert for flat feet, they gave us afo to use with pt that went up to his knee, really i have not been impressed with them, so i am trying to avoid them. i really am having a hard time getting services here, not paid for but the services themselves, we leave and drive like 40 minutes just for his night splints, and am about to have to drive an hour just for knowledgeable pt.. it just seems to not end.

Tina Klingaman said:
Sara,
Have you tried Wright & Filippis? They have several locations in Michigan and that is where we got Derek's first manual chair, which they did adjust as he grew. I'm not sure if they handle the power-assist chairs, but it's worth a try.

TIna

Sara Savalli said:
ok we also by rehabilitation doctor that a power assist would be what we should look into for my son it is really for distances right now, but they told me that there are one's to grow with, because last time the place where we got his manual chair was suppost to help us with one to grow with and all of that and that is not what happened and i at the time didn't know better, so now we want to go to get the power assist one with a therapist, and contact a vendon and try it out and have a i guess promotion to see it before we get one, but my problem is well first i can't find a vendor, definatly not local, but online not even one in the whole state of michigan, so are there any features anone knows about that we should look for, any brands better than others, should we get extra betteries to start, any recomendations would be greatly appreciated.
we may be at u of m with you, i am happy with md clinic we go to, (dr wong) but may have to go to um for wheelchair and pt.

Danelle Dickerson said:
Sara,
At our end of September clinic appt. at UM, we were supposedly put on a waiting list to be fitted for a power assist through the clinic. Still waiting. I need to call and check on that. When I do, I'll ask who the vendor is. I'll let you know.
Danelle
I've had a few frustrations with W & P, as well. I wouldn't use them unless they were the only option. And, as for UofM, I know they don't compare with Cincinnatti, but they've been growing into a multidisciplinary clinic. I would definitely give them a try - especially if you're having a hard time getting services.
we do go to cincinnati,for clinic and trial, but for this service, and justto have closer to home in case, i am not against u of m, but have you heard anything about mary free bed in grand rapids? it says they do wheelchairs too, but i did not see power assist on there, but did on u of m website.

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