Need to find a wheelchair but don’t know how? Well as a quad, I have been down that exact same road and asked the questions, “Where do I go and what type of wheelchair will work for me?”
These kinds of questions can seem overwhelming, and the search for the perfect wheelchair could cause a person a great deal of stress and to want to give up on obtaining one. Stay calm, help is on the way. I will show you how to get the wheelchair you need, step by step.
You would think that all wheelchairs would accommodate an individual with an injury but unfortunately, this is not true. Every injury is unique, so you just can’t go out to any wheelchair store and say, “I like that one; I’ll take it.” There is more to it than that.
The first thing that you need to do is talk to your doctor. Don’t have or know a good one? Don’t worry. Just call your insurance company to find out who your medical provider is and look for a general physician (the doctor in charge of your overall health who will write you a prescription to see a specialist).
Once you see your doctor she will write a prescription for a wheelchair evaluation with an occupational therapist. Once that is done an appointment is made for you to visit with him and a wheelchair vendor at the same time to discuss what kind of wheelchair you will need. During the visit you will be shown the different types of wheelchairs that are out there, such as what type (manual or power-chair), brand, color, and size.
Once you have picked the one you are interested in and that can be covered by your insurance, your body is then measured. The OT and wheelchair vendor will take measurements so that the wheelchair can be fitted to your body. Trust me on this, you don’t want to be in a wheelchair for 13 hours that doesn’t fit you. A chair that doesn’t fit your body can cause more harm than good; it’s like wearing a shoe that doesn’t fit. Your chair well be an extension of you body so make sure it is a perfect fit.
After all that has been done the OT will write a letter of necessity to your insurance to pay for your wheelchair. Once that as been done the vendor will then place the order to the manufacturer to have the wheelchair made to the specification and measurements. From that point you will have to be patient and just wait for your wheelchair to be built. I had to wait at least three months (which is normal) before I received my wheelchair, but it was worth the wait. It is important to know that no one will receive payment until after your new wheelchair has been delivered.
I hope this will be useful and give you a road map as to where and how you can go about finding a wheelchair.
Christensen & Hymas specializes in personal injury law. If you have been injured please call us for a free consultation at (801) 506-0800.
Photo copy right to the National Park Service employee