Electric Wheelchairs Scooters and Bariatric Mobility Products
Medicare Bariatric Factors
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Two Critical Medicare Bariatric Factors
Medicare requires the dealer to certify the beneficiary can safely use the P.W.C. and it is usable inside the home. You will want to consider these two inherent Bariatric P.W.C. design problems when considering which chair to use.
In the past we have explained why center drive 6 wheel spring suspension power chairs are inherently the most unstable power chairs. Because of this they are inappropriate for bariatric users. The following actual user comments from a large manufacturer’s web site provide accurate descriptions of their problems.
“I have a ________. It has a number of design flaws, a couple serious enough to make the chair dangerous”. “First, the chair had to be designed with front anti-tip wheels because it lurches forward when coming to a stop”. “My chair also rocks like a rocking chair when it stands still”. “If I lean forward to type on my PC, my chair tips forward”. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost slid off my chair because I had to come to a sudden stop at the grocery store because someone comes out of an aisle without looking first:. “And I have fallen twice”. “And raising and lowering myself on my van’s lift is a nightmare because my chair is in full forward tip mode the whole time”. Another user’s comments about the same model, “My ________ almost tipped over the other day because it leaned forward too far and after only one year, one of the front anti-tip wheel shocks broke”. (The chair uses a spring front anti-tip system.) The inherent teeter-totter problems of center drive chairs are greatly exacerbated with a bariatric user’s super high center of gravity.
Our Boss uses a midi 3/4 design with drive wheel between front and center drive. This design has two advantages. First, the design greatly reduces the inherent instability of center wheel drive. The only time our adjustable rigid anti-tips are used is when stopping quickly on a steep slope or using our exclusive step off footrest chair access.
The 3/4 midi drive design provides a super short turning radius very close to the center drive radius. It is considerably better than front drive and vastly superior to rear wheel drive bariatric chairs.
Customer says Rear Wheel Drive Can’t be Used Indoors, and it’s only good for a doorstop!
Rear wheel drive bariatric chairs large size and poor turning radius make them unusable for indoor use. One customer actually wrote these comments on a dealer web site in
frustration after the purchase of a rear wheel drive chair. Strengths - “Makes a good door stop”. “A bad design that’s time has long since outgrown its usefulness”. We continue to
see manufacturers marketing rear wheel drive bariatric
chairs even though the turning radius makes them unusable inside the average house. These manufactures hide this problem by not listing the terrible turning radius in their sales literature. The manufacturer of the chair the user comments are about goes even further to hide the design’s severe limitations. They don’t even reveal the huge turning radius in the Owner’s Manual.
The manufacturer must tell you the PWC turning radius so you can determine if the chair can be used inside the house. Otherwise you could be stuck with an unusable chair.



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