My power chair means freedom to me. it is almost seventeen years old. That's old for a power chair. I have resisted getting a new one because my chair has never given any problems. I have had parts and batteries replaced through the years, but, that's it. I know people who have chairs much newer than mine. They are always having trouble with them. I did inquire about getting a new chair years ago. I wanted a chair as close to the one I am using as I could get. Because of a dispute between the FDA and the manufacturer, they were not allowed to sell the chair until the dispute was settled.They tried to sell me other chairs. I was frustrated. I wrote a blog post about issue. http://confessionsofadisableddiva.blogspot.com/search?q=i+gotta+keep+rollin%27 I kept replacing parts.
Lately, one of the wheels on my chair has been falling off. Sounds funny, but it can be pretty scary when I am going down the hall or turning a corner. The maintenance people here have replaced the bolt and it seems to be holding up well, but I finally decided it was time for a new chair.
I spoke with my social worker. I learned that because I am in a facility now, Medicare will not pay for a new chair or wheelchair repairs. It is a federal law. Medicare doesn't think anyone needs a motorized chair if they are in facility because staff can push them around. Medicaid will pay for a chair, but Medicare will not. It makes no sense at all.
The legislators who passed this law obliviously have no idea what its liked to have to wait for someone to push you from place to place. I do. Shortly after arriving here, one Friday evening, my chair stopped dead. There was nothing that could be done until Monday, so the entire weekend, I had to wait for staff to push me around. They would forget me and I couldn't get to my call light easily. It was very frustrating. Thankfully, the problem was a minor one and I was mobile again on Monday.
My chair is my only means of getting around independently I am able to leave the facility when I choose to and take public transportation to my destination. If I only used a manual chair, someone would have go with me..
I was told when I entered this facility that I could still have a life. I can, but without my motorized chair the quality of life will be significantly limited.
I guess Medicare is of the opinion that if you are in a facility you are sick. I am physically disabled, not sick. I deserve a life. i deserve to be able to keep rollin' ..