Special Needs Stroller vs. Transport Wheelchair

Discussion in 'disABILITIES Community Board' started by Disneylvr, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Disneylvr

    Disneylvr Always Disney Dreaming!

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    Since DD has now outgrown our MacClaren Major stroller we planned on buying a Convaid Metro 16". They are $950. DD doesn't necessarily need it for mobility although she doesn't have the stamina to walk 7 or 8 miles a day in WDW. We use it more for eloping issues in very crowded areas, to help with waiting in line and to give her a defined space when she becomes overwhelmed in crowded & loud situations. Now I am second guessing my decision and wondering if we should simply purchase a transport wheelchair which is in the $125-$150 range. Any thoughts? We do encourage her to walk as much as possible but there are times when it just isn't safe or we need to keep her from entering others' personal space.... We do not use it when simply going to the grocery store, Target....but will use it at the baseball stadium, zoo, WDW and other less frequently visited places.
     
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  3. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    If she doesn't need a lot of positioning support, a transport wheelchair might do very nicely for her.
    If it doesn't work out, you could probably sell it easier than a special needs stroller since there are more groups of people who might need a transport wheelchair ( elderly or disabled family member who can walk some, but not distances).

    A couple of other things to think about:
    - depending on your insurance, they may pay most of the cost for a special needs stroller. Check that out first - the benefit would come under 'durable medical equipment'. If they would cover, check what documentation you would need and also what the copay would be.

    - I believe you can get a 'transport option' on a Convaid Metro. That would allow you to safely have it tied down on WDW buses with her riding in it.
    Transport wheelchairs are not meant for that and the frame could get bent if tying it down ( they are usually lighter weight and fold differently than 'typical' wheelchairs).

    - seatbelt is probably included in the Convaid and would have to be added to a transport wheelchair.
     
  4. Disneylvr

    Disneylvr Always Disney Dreaming!

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    Thank you Sue. We don't use Disney buses so having a stroller or wheelchair with tie downs isn't really necessary. Insurance has already denied a stroller for Maddy but we do have other funding available to us. However the process would take quite a bit of time and it wouldn't be completed by May which is when our next trip is. I think we may just go with the wheelchair for now and see how it goes. Like you said, we could probably easily sell or find someone in the family that needs a wheelchair. Our May trip isn't a certainty at this point since we are still waiting to see if DD's school year is going to be extended due to excessive snow days but I am still trying to plan in advance hoping we can still go!
     
  5. Disneylvr

    Disneylvr Always Disney Dreaming!

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    Has anyone had experience using this wheelchair in the parks?
    Drive Medical Fly Lite Ultra Lightweight Aluminum Transport Chair

    I found it on Amazon.
     
  6. Disneylvr

    Disneylvr Always Disney Dreaming!

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    Bought the Convaid stroller yesterday so we are one step closer to being ready for our WDW trip next month.
     
  7. ghost1000

    ghost1000 Ukulele Guy

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    What do you think of it? We are investigating options for our 7 year old for the same reasons you cited.

    Thanks!
     
  8. leahlefler

    leahlefler Mouseketeer

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    We have a Maclaren Major for our 7 year old - it works quite well (it goes up to 110 pounds, so will hopefully work for him for several more years). They are pricey, though. Sometimes you can find used ones on medical exchange boards or on craigslist.
     
  9. ladyjubilee

    ladyjubilee Mouseketeer

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    I know its late to post, but....

    We were blessed. My son uses strollers for behavior management, and because he's too heavy to carry distances after a seizure.... so my mother kept an eye out at thrift stores.... and found a convaid crusier for $12....with 25% off. It goes to 100lbs, so we will get years of use. I took it apart, customized it and let my son pick fabrics for cushions, made drink holders and a fidget bag, plus a 'amusement park essential storage pack for the back. He considers it his throne.

    So, depending on your insurance and the amount of physical support needed, used might be cheaper.
     
  10. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    Yes - important to check your insurance. You will find coverage for equipment in the section about 'durable medical equipment'. It's important to know what percent of the cost they will pay, plus whether/how it applies to your deductible.
    With my daughter's last wheelchair, our portion was around $700 - custom wheelchairs with custom seating are much more expensive than special needs strollers.
     
  11. Disneylvr

    Disneylvr Always Disney Dreaming!

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    As I stated above we bought the Convaid Metro. Our insurance would not pay for it because our daughter doesn't need it for a physical disability, just to have her own defined space. After our trip in April we were wishing we had just bought a wheelchair. The Convaid is very heavy and reclines too much for her. We made it work but haven't used it since and wasn't worth the $950 price tag.
     
  12. SoonerSarah

    SoonerSarah DIS Veteran

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    If you are on FB there are several Medical Equipment BST groups that you could look into possibly selling your chair. You will be out some money of course but hopefully you can get enough to cover something else.

    My daughter has a Convaid Rodeo that we got a few months ago and we really love it. It suits our needs very well and is quite comfortable for my daughter.
     
  13. Docvaden

    Docvaden Earning My Ears

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    We were blessed to have great insurance that paid for all but $350 of ours and we got the Convaid cruiser ($1500) but she has a physically disability as well as her delays and sensory issues.... Oct was the first time we used it in the parks and it went well... I started by trying to have her load and breakdown the chair because some kept trying to call it just a stroller.... But I finally gave up and kept her in it,, got a red tag and the Wheelchair info to show to those that questioned it because it has a sunshade but it has wheelchair foot pedals... My suggestion if you get the Convaid which we love would be not to try and break it down for bus rides( my kiddo is mobile just not for long distances due to her CP) it will strap down like any other wheelchair!
     
  14. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    before strapping it down, make sure your special needs stroller has a transport option - not all are.
    The ones that do have metal loops welded or bolted onto the fame for attaching the tiedown straps.
    Tying one down that is not designed for it can be dangerous for someone riding in it and can also bend the frame.
     
  15. PatMcDuck

    PatMcDuck DIS Veteran

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    We use a Convaid Scout, the transport model, and I got it on Ebay, but it was still $1000. Seller was local thank goodness, so no shipping was required. Its the big one, 18", DS weights about 160 pounds. He is a 25 year old adult.

    It is more than he needs, but he will never outgrow it. And these can be repaired, if necessary. We considered it an investment that he will use for a very long time (its not like we will be buying him a car, lol, sorry we have warped senses of humor)

    The worst part is that is it HEAVY and does not collapse small, but it does fold up. I try and avoid the Disney busses as much as I can, we drive to most parks. MK is a challenge. (DL is easier than WDW for us.) I have concerns about me using is as I get older. I may have to eventually find a lighter option.

    We like it because it is tilted back like a stroller. DS tends to lean forward, so when we used a transport chair, he was bent over and did not even look around the parks, which he loves. Now he still leans forward most of the time, but that oddly has him almost upright.
     

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