Power Chair or Scooter in the Snow

The time of year is back when getting around on wheels of any kind becomes a challenge.  Driving in the snow and ice takes patience and preparedness. This is also true with a power chair or scooter and you may be surprised how many similarities there actually are between the two. We have gathered some tips for operating your power chair or scooter in the snow.

-When batteries, whether on a car or power chair, are exposed to severe cold, they lose the capacity they once had to hold charge. In a car, a battery is a little better protected, but in a power chair or scooter, the battery is more exposed. It is important to know that at zero degrees, a battery on a power chair loses 60 percent of its charge. You can protect the battery by covering it to better insulate it and this will increase your battery’s life and protect it from the elements.

-Much like roads and driveways need to be properly maintained during snowy weather, outdoor ramps and walkways used by those riding power chairs or scooters also need to be addressed. Losing traction in a wheel chair can cause injuries and damage the chair. This can be avoided by clearing the snow away, and kept away by spreading salt or kitty litter to increase traction and keep the water on the path from refreezing.

-To prolong the life of your vehicle, it is good to clean regularly, but especially after being exposed to winter weather conditions. The salted roadways can cause rusting which can cause important parts to your car or power chair to erode. Cleaning off the car or the power chair will help maintain its protection and appearance by preventing rust and disrepair.

-Maintaining a comfortable body temperature is a challenge for those using a power chair or scooter outside because they are more exposed to the cold. Being inside a warm car means using the heat, which is not an option to those who are on a scooter. In this case, dressing properly is of the utmost importance. Layering clothing and making sure you have a waterproof coat and pants will greatly help.

-You also need to make sure there are proper tires on your power chair or scooter, just as you would make sure your car’s tires are able to perform safely in snowy weather.  Traction is a very important factor when operating a power chair or scooter in the snow.

When it comes to winter weather and its challenges, it is important to maintain your power chair or scooter by taking precautions against the snow, ice, and salt. Operating a power chair or scooter in the snow needs special attention during winter months in order to work better for longer. Please give us a call at 888-345-1780 if you have questions about using your power chair or scooter in the snow. If you or someone you know needs a help getting around, see if you qualify for a power chair or scooter through your insurance by filling out the qualify through insurance form.

Changes in Medicare Reimbursement

So many of us have looked forward to the year 2016 for so many reasons, but this year some mobility patients are feeling frustrated and neglected. The products they depend on will either not be available to them any longer or the out of pocket expenses will increase for these Medicare recipients who are so often on a fixed income. So we have covered some of the changes in Medicare reimbursement that you might see this year.

These changes have occurred because Medicare issued a rule that requires lower prices for certain mobility accessory items that were not included by Congress in the competitive bidding program. The competitive bid program was put in place by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 to keep companies from monopolizing the market. These products were not included at the time the bill was passed in 2003, and therefore a lower bid could not affect these patients by increasing their out of pocket expenses. Then an additional bill was passed in 2008, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, which specifically exempted these items from being part of the competitive bidding program. This would be good, if not for the fact that these items are now required to be a part of the competitive bidding program.

If you are not familiar with the Medicare competitive bidding program, it was established to have medical providers submit bids to Medicare with lower prices than they currently pay for certain items. With this, Medicare enters into a contract with that company, saves money and establishes a trusted group of providers who have to comply with Medicare requirements in order to continue providing this equipment.  This is supposed to benefit patients, but some items and services were not included, as mentioned above. This affects those who are wheelchair dependent and those who use special accessories specific to their conditions. The following items are in question for changes in Medicare reimbursement:

-Wheelchair seat and back cushions that provide proper positioning and pressure release

-Power recline and tilt systems to change positioning for better breathing, blood flow and pressure ulcer prevention

-Specialty drive controls for individuals who must use alternative means to operate their complex wheelchairs

Pemobil President and CEO Larry Jackson states, “If Medicare moves forward with this rule, the severely disabled who depend on these products will see their health and independence jeopardized.  We strongly urge CMS and the Administration to rescind this rule to protect our country’s most vulnerable,” he adds.  Another disability advocate and Medicare recipient named Jenny Border contributed, “Life as an independent person with mobility issues will become significantly harder if this rule is not stopped, says Jenny Border, a disability advocate and Medicare recipient, in the release. “These items are not a luxury, and people need them to live their daily lives.”

Currently, there are several petitions circulating to let Congress know this is not the preferred way to go when it comes to changes in Medicare reimbursement, and how it affects those who really need these products. If you have questions or comments on how this may affect you, please get in touch with the mobility department at Aeroflow Healthcare at 888-345-1780. We can help you get the products you need through your health insurance. Just fill out our insurance qualification form and we will contact you soon!

What Are Your Wheelchair Options?

Many people are faced with difficulty getting around, even in their own homes.  When this is the case, it is time to consider options to improve the ability to move around, get from one room to another, and to do the things that make their homes the places they want to spend their quality time.  Maybe you have thought about mobility products already, and you have ruled out a cane or walker, knowing your needs may be a little more complex than that. If this is the point you have reached, you may be thinking about your wheelchair options. We have come up with some pros and cons to owning both manual and power wheelchairs.

Let’s start with manual wheelchairs. First off, a manual wheelchair is the simplest option when it comes to a wheelchair choice.  A manual wheelchair is designed for two simple functions, either to be pushed by another person, or self propelled by the rider. There is no electric or gas power source involved. A manual wheelchair is lighter weight than a power chair and easier to transport.

There are specialty position wheelchair bases that include the ability to recline the back rest, tilt the seat, or both. These chairs are not as easy to fold up and place in a vehicle, but are designed to provide longer term seating for the rider, and are still easier to transport than power chairs. One positive that comes with using a manual wheelchair, is that it will require maintenance far less often than a power chair. Another plus, is that there is a level of exercise with a manual chair. As far as cost, a manual wheelchair will always be less expensive than a power chair. However, some disadvantages to manual chairs is the exercise achieved can bring muscle soreness in the shoulders, wrists and elbows.

When it comes to power wheelchairs, there are lots of good things to consider as well. Power chairs are made to go further with the least amount of effort from the rider. When it comes to individualized changes in the power wheelchair, there are definitely more options here than in a manual wheelchair. With a power chair, additions can be made over time that will increase the comfort an ease of maneuverability for any rider. Also the tilt and recline options that come with power chairs are electric options; just press a button and the seat and back support are adjusted to the rider’s preference.

With all these conveniences there does come a higher price, including the cost of the chair itself. A power wheelchair can be pretty expensive considering the needs of the rider. Luckily, Medicare and other insurance plans will cover most, if not all, the cost of a power chair for those whose doctors really think they need it. With that being said, It is more difficult to transport a power chair, sometimes requiring a modification to the rider’s personal vehicle to get it from place to place. Another thing to consider is that a power chair is made to be used indoors, so there are limits to its places of use.

If it is time for you see if about your wheelchair options, please call us at 888-345-1780 or fill out our easy two step qualification form. One of our knowledgeable mobility representatives can help you not only choose a chair, but get the chair paid for by your health insurance. Improve your overall mobility and start enjoying life again!

Aeroflow Product Feature: Pride Go-Go ES 2 Power Scooter

At Aeroflow we provide power scooters and chairs that can be covered by your insurance, if you qualify and need it for primarily inside use. If your mobility is not limited enough for a power chair, the scooter may be the best option for you. A popular power scooter is the Go-Go ES 2 by Pride Mobility. The Go-Go is a well known brand that’s been manufactured for over 20 years. This experience has allowed Pride to master the scooter’s inside mobility while making it easily transportable due to its folding feature.

About The Product
The Go-Go ES 2 power scooter is compact and transportable. Known for its ease and convenience, it comes with a basket on the front of the tiller steering system and in an easy-to- maintain black color. Its turning radius is 31” and its overall weight is 58 lbs. When folded, the Go-Go is an economic 17” x 15” and the 2 10 AH batteries supply up to six miles of travel on a full charge. The scooter’s max speed is 4 mph and it comes with a 3 year limited warranty on the frame and a 1 year limited warranty on electronics and drive train. Please see below for a full list of specifications. If you’re interested in a power chair instead, click here.

Product Information
• Model: Go-Go ES 2
• Model Number: S81
• Front Tires: 2 x 7.5″ Solid
• Rear Tires: 3″ x 7.5″ Solid
• Maximum Speed: Up to 4 mph
• Ground Clearance: 1.5″ at mid-frame
• Turning Radius: 31″
• Overall Length: 36.75″
• Overall Width of Base: 19.5″
• Seat-to-Ground Height Range: 19″-20″
• Seat Type: Compact, Foldable (17″ x 15″)
• Weight: 58.4 lbs.
• Seat-to-Deck Height Range: 16.25″ – 17.25″
• Battery Weight: 6 lbs. each
• Battery Requirements: (2)10AH
• Maximum Range Per Charge: Up to 6 miles
• Battery Charger: Off-board, 1.5A
• Maximum Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.
• Standard Body Colors: Black
• Weight of Heaviest Piece: 41.4 lbs. (Scooter base)
• Medicare Code Coverage: K0800 – Group 1 Standard
• Warranty:
o 3-Year limited on frame;
o 1-Year limited on Electronics;
o 1-Year limited on Drive train

How To Get The Go-Go ES 2
If you want to purchase the Go-Go ES 2, you have two options. You can purchase it out of pocket and have it shipped directly to the address of your choice. If this is what you prefer to do, please see our website here. Follow the instructions on how to purchase and if you have any questions, give us a call at 1-888-345-1780, and select option 2 and one of our mobility sales representatives will help walk you through it. Or, you can get your insurance to help pay for the power scooter. While this option is slower, it is sure to save you money. If you’re more interested in this option, please give us a call at the number above and one of our mobility representatives will take your demographic information and instruct you to set up a mobility evaluation with your doctor. Once your appointment is scheduled, we will fax the doctor paperwork that must be completed at your appointment. From there, we will work to get the paperwork from your doctor to ensure that the paperwork abides by your insurance’s requirements, prior to submitting a claim. Once we have the correct paperwork, depending on what your insurance requires, we should be ready to order your scooter. Contact us today to get the process started!

Winter Weather and Your Power Chair

Chill is in the air. Christmas music is playing on the radio and your breath is visible. Its winter time and your main concern might be just to stay warm. Well bundle up and read on, because if you have a power chair and it’s freezing outside, there are some important things to know.

Keep your chair inside
So you know not to keep your chair in any kind of weather other than sunny and seventy-five. However, time and time and again we receive calls where individuals have electronic issues with their batteries and/or joystick. A lot of these calls come in the winter months. Coincidence? I’m afraid not. Cold weather, especially under thirty-two degrees, can cause electronic issues with your chair. Before you panic, your power chair is fine with short term exposure to cold weather; you just don’t want to store your chair outside in the winter months.

Check the weather
While strenuous outside use is never recommended for your power chair, it’s perfectly okay for light outdoor use on even, smooth surfaces. That being said, even and smooth surfaces can be dangerous in the winter months. So check the weather channel before you head outside with your power chair in the winter months. Any moisture on sidewalks and roads will be icy in below freezing temperatures so pay attention to the weather report and plan your trips accordingly.

Have a backup plan
If you have to go out in questionable weather make sure to have a backup plan if things get slick. A good idea is to have a relative or friend who can pick you up if the weather turns severe. As mentioned previously, it’s best to stay in if the weather is questionable, but realistically you’ll have errands and appointments to get to in the winter months so just make sure to commit to extra planning to compensate.

Charge your chair
Some individuals don’t use their power chairs as much in the winter months. If this is you, then just make sure to charge your chair at least a few times a week. This may sound strange, since you’re not using the chair as much, but if you don’t charge your chair at least a few times a week you could find yourself with a dead battery when spring rolls around. If you plan on storing your power chair for the winter, be sure to store it in a dry, temperature controlled room.

Takeaway
If your power chair is having issues you can contact a mobility representative at 888-345-1780 or simply fill out our contact form and we will get the issues resolved. Make sure you’re not storing your chair in cold temperatures during the winter months (yes, I’m talking to you Michiganians), always check the weather and have a plan, and another plan, and a backup plan for your last plan and, well you get the idea.

Donating Your Used Power Wheelchair

Donating your used power wheelchair is an easy way to help people with disabilities save hundreds or thousands of dollars, not to mention a lot of frustration. There are many people who need a power device but do not qualify through insurance. Unfortunately not everyone can afford a power wheelchair out of pocket. What can be done with an old/used power wheelchair? That is a question many people with disabilities ask themselves when they decide that they no longer need their wheelchair. Wheelchair users sometimes decide that they do not want or need their wheelchair anymore and they find it hard to get rid of the equipment, or to sell it for some kind of return on their investment. It is important to know that donations are highly valued and needed. The local hospitals as well as almost all VA hospitals accept donations for patients in need. There are also many non-profit organizations that welcome power wheelchair donations. For a list of non-profit organizations to donate to, please visit www.wheelchairfoundation.org.
There are many services out there that allow you to publish and advertise your used wheelchair. For example, craigslist.com provides a section for listing and selling your unwanted items, some users prefer to post under the “Health and Beauty” category, other users place their ads under the “General for Sale” category. Depending on what type of equipment you are trying to sell, you can use your own judgment on what section it belongs in. Ebay.com also provides a similar service that allows you to publish and advertise ads related to your wheelchair or medical equipment, for this service you are required to sign up and log in to your account in order to be able to post your used wheelchair. Another option to selling or buying a used wheelchair is Disability Forums. Websites like apparelyzed.com, allows users to buy and sell, used wheelchairs from their community of loyal and dedicated users.
As a buyer of a used power device it is always important to make sure that the wheelchair you are buying has some manufacturer information that comes along with it. You can also find this information posted online. When purchasing a used power wheelchair ask for photos, and ask plenty of questions to make sure you are getting the wheelchair you see in the pictures, and not something that is broken or non-repairable. Be sure that you are able to physically see and test the device before the final purchase. As a reminder to the donator it is important to keep all information about your donation to use when filing your taxes. Most donations are considered tax-deductible in the year in which you made the donation. If you have questions or concerns please contact an Aeroflow Representative at www.aeroflowinc.com or call (888) 345-1780 and we would be happy to assist you with your used power wheelchair.

Brand Feature: Pride Mobility

When looking for a power chair to purchase you’ll find there are several options. However, you’ll figure out that you can’t directly purchase your chair from the manufacturer. You must go through a supplier (PS…that’s us!). Most suppliers get their chairs from one or two suppliers. In our case, we have two; Pride Mobility and Drive Medical. For now, let’s focus on Pride; however, make sure to check in later for a feature on Drive.

Pride Mobility Products is the world’s largest manufacturer of mobility products including power chairs, scooters, lift chairs, lifts and ramps. While Pride is headquartered in Exeter, PA, they have locations worldwide. The company’s vast experience has allowed its engineers to create, test and implement industry leading mobility technology. Known primarily for its Jazzy Power Chair, Pride has taken advantage of 30 years of mobility manufacturing experience to create an unrivaled selection of power chairs. From the standard Elites ES to the sophisticated Select 6, all of Pride’s chairs are backed by warranties on their frames and electronics.

Pride was founded in Pennsylvania in 1986 with a customer-first focus. Known for their emphasis on community service, their philanthropy efforts have been recognized by United Way, and other leading organizations. Pride understands that mobility products empower people. This understanding has led to the development of industry leading technology, like mid-wheel drive motors and synergy cushions. Pride’s goal to help people “Live One’s Best!” is apparent in their consumer-focused products. From the first Jazzy Power Chair in 1996, image below, to their modern Jazzy, Pride has always placed their customers’ needs first.

While Pride’s products are known for their industry-leading technology, they are also known for their great style. Of course you need a power chair that allows you to complete all of your daily activities, but why not have something that looks amazing too? If you don’t believe me, please compare the Jazzy Chairs to other industry-leading chairs like Hoveround and tell me the Jazzy doesn’t blow them away? I thought so.

Overall, there are multiple mobility product manufacturers out there; however, Pride is one of the best. Their dedication to their customers and their community are second to none and their innovative products wrap them up as the perfect package. Contact us today at 1-888-345-1780, and select option 2, or go to http://www.mobility.aeroflowinc.com for information on how we can help you own a Pride Mobility product.

Product Feature: Pride Maxima Scooter

The Maxima power scooter from Pride Mobility is a heavy-duty performance device that is a great option for those suffering from limited mobility. With a weight capacity of 500 lbs., this scooter was engineered with the bariatric market in mind. It can be difficult to found a bariatric device and Pride Mobility wanted to ensure all patients could find a device to fit their individual needs.

It is because of their dedication to patient needs, that Aeroflow Healthcare proudly offers Pride Mobility devices. All of the equipment offered by Pride is also manufactured in the USA and comes highly recommended by the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

Why We Like it 

The Maxima has been around for quite some time and is a proven durable and reliable scooter. The Maxima scooter has a high weight capacity and features a strong motor that can easily handle up to 500 pounds. This device has deep, comfortable seating and an ergonomically enhanced design.

The Maxima also has an option to upgrade the batteries for a greater drive range between charges. The charging port is located on the tiller, making it a breeze to access. This scooter also has a handy power seat option for an additional 5″ of seat height to reach higher cabinets and shelves.

Main Features

  • New, ultra heavy-duty drivetrain and upgraded electronics package
  • New, redesigned seat for improved comfort
  • Standard conveniences and safety features like a front basket and full lighting package
  • New, black, flat-free, non-marking tires

How to get the Maxima

You may worry that the Maxima is out of your price range, however Aeroflow Healthcare can help you qualify for this device at little-to-no cost to you through insurance. Simply complete our Qualify Through Insurance form and one of our Patient Care Representatives will verify your insurance and contact you within 3-5 business days to discuss your coverage and mobility aid options. You can also give us a call at 844-686-5539; one of our representatives will be happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

If you do not have a prescription for your mobility device, or you simply do not want to go through the insurance process, Aeroflow can still help you through the process. Aeroflow Healthcare has recently updated our online shop site, Aeroflow Direct. Here you can access all of the products offered through insurance, plus many more. And all orders over $50 receive FREE shipping.

Take control of your mobility today, and let Aeroflow Healthcare take care of the hard part for you

Getting a Power Wheelchair Without Insurance

Many patients call Aeroflow Healthcare in need of a power mobility device; unfortunately not everyone qualifies for an assistive device through their specific insurance guidelines. In order for insurance to pay for a power device, many providers want to know why other devices have failed to aid you with your mobility issues.

Insurance Process

First, insurance will require that you set up a face-to-face mobility assessment with your healthcare provider.  During this assessment your physician will state objectively why a cane, walker, and manual wheelchair have failed to assist you with your current activities of daily living within the home.

You can visit the Medicare website to see the official items that insurance will pay for as well as the guidelines for each item. Many individuals do not ultimately qualify for a power device for use inside the home. Most patients are able to get from room to room in their home, however doing other activities that require a greater distance of walking such as shopping at the grocery store or at the local mall is not possible for them to accomplish.

If you need a device for long distances or for outside use, don’t worry; you’re not out of luck!

Aeroflow’s Online Shop

Aeroflow Healthcare has created a user-friendly online shop, Aeroflow Direct, for you to view the various Pride and Drive mobility devices that Aeroflow distributes. Whether you are looking for a power scooter or a power wheelchair, there are many stylish and functional options that you can choose from.

Many patients may think that these devices will cost them thousands of dollars if they do not use their insurance, however Aeroflow Healthcare offers top-brand mobility products at very competitive prices. Aeroflow also offers individuals who are interested in patient-pay pricing, the option to finance their device into a payment plan that fits your specific budget.

Steps to Getting Your Device Online

  • Assess Aeroflow Direct
  • Select Mobility
  • Select Power Scooter or Power Wheelchair
  • View each item by sorting
  • Sort by price, name, position, etc.
  • View each description; pick your favorite
  • Add item to cart
  • Check out (note free delivery for items over $50)
  • Enter demographics such as name, phone number, address, etc.
  • Enter credit card information
  • Place order
  • You will get an email confirmation

If you do not have access to a computer or do not feel comfortable shopping online, this is no problem at all. Our dedicated Mobility Representatives would be happy to help you with purchasing your equipment through Aeroflow Direct. Simply contact us at 844-686-5539.

Don’t let your mobility issues slow you down. Aeroflow Healthcare can help you get the devices you need today.

Product Feature: Sport Rider Scooter

The Pride Mobility Sport Rider is one of the most unique three-wheel scooters on the market. The Sport Rider is defined as a motorcycle design that offers practical performance and the stability of a mobility scooter. In addition to comfortable features like a high back, adjustable captains chair, and a full suspension system, this sporty model offers high performance capabilities. This Pride scooter is one of their sportiest full-size outdoor scooters and it has a great look and design with all of the bells and whistles you would expect from a Pride scooter.

Why People Love It

  • The suspension and tires handle great on uneven terrain
  • Can go up to 9.4 mph most only go up to 4 or 5 mph
  • Made for outdoor usage
  • Ground Clearance 5” must scooter and chairs are only 1.5 or 2.5
  • 2 rear view mirrors for safety and easier maneuvering.
  • Offer’s an optional windshield and large rear storage pod that mounts behind the seat

Specifics about the Sport Rider

Weight Capacity 400 lb
Overall Length 65″
Seat Depth 19.8″
Seat Width 20″
Per-Charge Range, Maximum 31.25 mi
Maximum Speed 9.4 mph
Turning Radius 62.2″
Weight, without batteries 253.5 lb
Weight, with batteries 417.7 lb
Heaviest Piece Weight 203.5 lb
Disassembly Does not disassemble
Front Wheel Diameter 14″
Rear Wheel Diameter 14″
Ground Clearance 5″
Tire Type Pneumatic
Drivetrain Type Direct drive the rear wheels
Motor Type 24V, 1300W, 4300 RPM
Brake Type Electro-magnetic with drum brake system
Battery Type (2) 12-volt, deep cycle, (2) 75 AH (standard) or (2) 100AH
Battery Weight 106 lb
Battery Charger 8-amp, off-board
Goes In Reverse Yes
Freewheel Mode Yes
Tiller Style Handle Bar

How to get the Rider

Since the Sport Rider is too large for use inside a home or assisted living facility, (due to its large 62.2″ turning radius) it is a patient pay item. Insurance companies such as Medicare will not pay for a power device that is made for outdoor use.

However, Aeroflow Healthcare has created convenient new online shop, Aeroflow Direct, for patients to purchase power devices at the lowest allowable prices. Each item on Aeroflow Direct that is over $50 will allow you to receive free shipping and you can also pay a small fee for a specially trained Aeroflow driver to come to your home to put the device together for you. You will also receive the same top-quality customer service and 24-hour assistance that Aeroflow Healthcare is known for.

If you have questions about the Sport Rider 3-wheel scooter from Pride Mobility, give Aeroflow Healthcare a call today at 1-866-298-6482; we’re here to help!