Getting new powerchair - one big question

KPeveler

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
So I am getting a new powerchair, and hopefully this one will actually fit me. I have an Quantum 600 that I ended up barely using, since it actually caused me *more* pain.

Here is some background. I am 5'1" tall, and weigh 110 lbs. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and fibro as well as a whole host of associated conditions.

My biggest thing is I need the smoothest ride possible. Part of the problem with my Quantum is that I weighed too little for the suspension on the chair. It is really designed for an average-sized adult (i.e. between 150-200lbs) and someone much taller. We had to drill extra holes to even make the footplate high enough. Also, the small front casters did not help.

I bounced all over the place. The chair actually ended up hurting me more, so I ended up not using it much.

I am now at the point I can no longer avoid using a powerchair, so I need one that is actually designed for people like me.

I have heard front wheel drive chairs are better than mid wheel drive when it comes to dealing with bumps and vibrations. Anyone had this experience?

Also, has anyone had the experience of making a chair for adults actually handle the weight of a smaller person? Switching out the springs of the suspension, maybe?

I do fit in the weight bracket for the pediatric chairs Permobil makes, but they have more limited power functions. I absolutely need power tilt and lift, and I will likely be getting elevating leg rests and recline. I may also get the anterior tilt option, which does not seem to be on peds chairs.

TIA

ETA: I need a chair that can handle rough terrain and outdoors a lot - I live near Disney World and I am probably going to start working there soon. I need something that can handle ground like you find in Animal Kingdom without being vibrated out of my seat.
 

BethCPTSD

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 4, 2016
Hi.
I have not been diagnosed with EDS at this point, though I will probably be tested for it as soon as I find an internist to start helping me solve all my medical mysteries! But I do have POTS and autoimmune disease among many other things, and have just purchased my first powerchair. Unfortunately, I don't have it yet, but will be getting it next week. If you were interested in looking at the kind I got, I bought the www.kdsmartchair.com.

Good luck!
 

SueM in MN

combining the teacups with a roller coaster
Moderator
Joined
Aug 23, 1999
My daughter is 5 feet tall and weighs about 81 pounds.
Although she WOULD fit into a pediatric wheelchair, she has had adult power wheelchairs with narrow seating.

Her last power wheelchair was an Invacare TDX, which did not have any special features in terms of reclining, etc. The TDX wheelchairs have 6 wheels and are midwheel drive. Although it could go to 300 pounds, it was adjusted for her size and did not have problems with handling rough terrain (she went on gravel paths and grass with it). She also did not have issues with vibration or jostling.

At the time she got it, we did consider a Quantum wheelchair - because they were less expensive, people were having better luck with them getting covered. She had several friends who had them and found they had difficulty going anywhere besides inside and smooth sidewalks. They also seemed to have very little in terms of shock absorption. That was quite a few years ago, so they may have changed.
Some of the ability to go on different terrains has to do with the programming of the controller. Her TDX wheelchair had 4 different programs. One was 'outside' and had a higher top speed plus greater torque, which helps with rough terrain.
 

SueM in MN

combining the teacups with a roller coaster
Moderator
Joined
Aug 23, 1999
My daughter's current power wheelchair is a Permobil F5 VS. Permobil chairs are kind of the Cadillac of wheelchairs.
She loves hers.
The VS stands for 'vertical stander' which she has since she is not able to stand without support and getting into a stander or gait trainer was very difficult. She can independently stand and sit down while in the chair and can also drive in a low speed while standing. Her doctors and therapists had to provide a lot of documentation about why she needed each feature of that chair as opposed to a less expensive one.

The Permobil F5 is basically the same chair without the ability to stand. From what I know, it would have the ability to do all the things you say you need.
The F5 and F5 VS are both front wheel drive. The VS has 2 small front antitippers in front of the drive wheels (so it has 6 wheels). The 2 small front ones are only used when standing. The F5 has only large front tires and 2 back casters.
F5 brochure: https://permobilus.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/F5_Web.pdf

F5 VS brochure: https://permobilus.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/F5VS_Web.pdf

The Permobil F3 might also be able to do the things you say you need.this is a link to the F3 brochure:
https://permobilus.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/F3_Web.pdf

All of the Permobile wheelchairs have fully independent suspension, which is adjusted for the person. When it was ordered, it was adjusted for her and the 'tweaked' at delivery.
My daughter's wheelchair has not had any problems on any kinds of terrain. Like her previous chair it has programs for indoors and outdoors, with the outdoor setting having a higher top speed and greater torque.
One of the issues it COULD possibly run into would be due to not having a lot of ground clearance, but we have not run into that.
 

KPeveler

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
I am getting a Permobil F3 through Medicare and Vocational Rehabilitation. It will have tilt and lift and recline and the "anterior tilt" option. It's not quite a standing chair, but I can stand without one (for a little bit anyway), so bone density is not a problem for me.

I am really excited about this chair. I have an old Quantum that doesn't even fit me (2 inches too wide and deep, footrest too long, etc), so I have been using my manual almost exclusively in the past 3 years. With my disability (Ehlers Danlos), this is not a good plan. So I am so happy I will be able to actually move around soon!
 

50surgeries2012

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
So I am getting a new powerchair, and hopefully this one will actually fit me. I have an Quantum 600 that I ended up barely using, since it actually caused me *more* pain.

Here is some background. I am 5'1" tall, and weigh 110 lbs. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and fibro as well as a whole host of associated conditions.

My biggest thing is I need the smoothest ride possible. Part of the problem with my Quantum is that I weighed too little for the suspension on the chair. It is really designed for an average-sized adult (i.e. between 150-200lbs) and someone much taller. We had to drill extra holes to even make the footplate high enough. Also, the small front casters did not help.

I bounced all over the place. The chair actually ended up hurting me more, so I ended up not using it much.

I am now at the point I can no longer avoid using a powerchair, so I need one that is actually designed for people like me.

I have heard front wheel drive chairs are better than mid wheel drive when it comes to dealing with bumps and vibrations. Anyone had this experience?

Also, has anyone had the experience of making a chair for adults actually handle the weight of a smaller person? Switching out the springs of the suspension, maybe?

I do fit in the weight bracket for the pediatric chairs Permobil makes, but they have more limited power functions. I absolutely need power tilt and lift, and I will likely be getting elevating leg rests and recline. I may also get the anterior tilt option, which does not seem to be on peds chairs.

TIA

ETA: I need a chair that can handle rough terrain and outdoors a lot - I live near Disney World and I am probably going to start working there soon. I need something that can handle ground like you find in Animal Kingdom without being vibrated out of my seat.
I just got my new power chair, a Quickie QM-710 MWD last October after my 13 year old Quickie S-525 RWD quit on me for good. My QM-710 has what's called the Spider-Trac 2.0 suspension. It does give a smooth ride over any kind of terrain: gravel, and grass. I'm scared to take it on sand as the owners' manual recommends not doing that. In terms of performance. It's great. Better than what my old power chair's standards were. I love it because I live in an old house with the two bedrooms right across the hall from each other. When I get a ramp into the garage entryway. I'll be able to use it in the house as it can really navigate the extremely tight turns to go into the two bedrooms.

My seating rep pre-set the suspension, so that it could handle my weight. I also have the r-net expandable controller. So, that power seating could be added onto the chair should I ever need it.

I almost wanted to take it to Disney World last year because I was going there for my birthday. But, with it being so brand new. I didn't want to take the chance of it being damaged. I rented a power chair on that trip, and that was fun.
 


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