Getting the right power mobility device at the right time can help you conserve energy, prevent falls and injuries, and remain more independent.
Power mobility devices fall into three general categories:
- Power Mobility Devices
- Qualifying and Ordering
- Insurance Coverage
- Home Accessibility
- Tilting and Reclining
- Electronic Controls
- Driving Your Power Chair
- Alternate Driving Controls
- Making Adjustments
- Charging Your Batteries
- Attachments and Accessories
- Transporting Your Chair
- Traveling by Plane
3. Custom tilt/recline power wheelchairs
These motorized, high-end wheelchairs (also called complex rehab or Level 3 power chairs) are custom fitted to support your body and postural needs. Their cutting-edge technology—including the tilt/recline feature, power leg rest, alternate driving modes and controls, and integrated Bluetooth® capabilities—can adapt to your evolving needs. You can choose to pay extra for a power-elevating seat. Portable respiratory and communication devices can be mounted or attached.
How will I know what I need, and when?
Always begin by consulting with your neurologist and ALS clinic team. They can help you determine which power mobility device is best for you—and when you should get it. The sooner you get the appropriate piece of equipment, the safer, more comfortable, and more independent you’ll be.
If you need more than a walker or manual wheelchair, but are not yet ready for a big, custom power wheelchair, we recommend asking to borrow a power scooter or standard power wheelchair from your local ALS organization loan closet.
Your Medicare health insurance will only cover one power mobility device every five or so years. So, instead of spending that benefit on a less expensive scooter or standard power chair, we strongly recommend using it on a custom tilt/recline power wheelchair, which typically costs over $20,000. Learn more about paying for your power wheelchair.
Most ALS patients will eventually want the increased benefits and functionalities of a custom power wheelchair, which is the focus of this guide. Your doctor and ALS clinic team will let you know when they think you should begin the process of ordering your chair.