What is the process of equipment repairs?

What is the process of equipment repairs?

Upon customer request, New Visions Medical Equipment will have a repair technician complete a thorough inspection to evaluate the repair(s) your equipment may need.  In addition to troubleshooting your original problem, the service tech will also assess your equipment for other potential trouble areas.  We call this a safety check.

Our technician may take pictures of your equipment or they may call the manufacturer regarding electrical problems or tech support needs.  The pictures are to ensure the right parts are ordered.  Calling the manufacturer is due to the complexity of the electrical systems and the sheer number of makes and models available, especially with power wheelchairs.  These calls assist us in making the correct determination when troubleshooting the many components of the electrical system.  In warranty situations, we may also be required to call the manufacturer in order to obtain warranty parts.

 

Documentation

Depending on how you plan to pay for your repairs, some additional documents may be needed.  For customers paying for the repairs themselves, the process is quite a bit faster and much less hassle as we are not required to have medical documentation to proceed.  Frequently Medicare, Medicaid, and some insurance companies require prescriptions for the repairs and repair parts from you doctor.  However, it is important for you to know that physicians are very often overwhelmed with requests like this.  It can take several days to several weeks to get the information to us.  In addition, some payer sources may require that we submit a request for prior authorization and approval before we perform the repair.  That can add to the time it takes to process your repair as well.  It is also important to know if your current insurance provider paid for the equipment when you received it originally.  Frequently, insurance companies will not pay for any repairs to equipment if they did not approve and pay for the original equipment.  In addition, the provider performing the repairs must have medical documentation in their file justifying the medical need for the equipment as well as the repairs being done when billing insurance.  Therefore, it is typically easiest to go to the place where the equipment originally came from for any repairs needing done if you desire to bill insurance.  For cash paying customers, the process is a whole lot faster as we bypass all the documentation and authorization requirements required when billing insurance.

 

Ordering Parts

Once we have all the required documentation, we will order all parts required.  Shipping time will vary depending on the manufacturer’s location.  As the provider, we do stock some parts.  However, we simply cannot stock all parts for every make, model and year of wheelchair/equipment on the market.  On occasion, parts from multiple manufacturers are needed.  This can slow down the process as well.

 

Repair appointment

After the documentation and payer approval has been received and parts are ordered/received, we are ready to complete your repair.  Our customer service staff will contact you to arrange an appointment to have a technician complete the repair.  We will make every effort to give each client and repair the necessary amount of time.  Due to this fact, specific appointment times cannot always be given but you may request that we contact you when the technician is on their way.

 

In-Shop Repairs

On occasion, some repairs are too complicated or require special equipment and cannot be completed at your location.  In such case, it may be necessary to bring your equipment back to our shop for repair.  If you are looking to get your repair done quicker, coming to the shop rather than us going to you is generally faster as we can typically fit these appointments between other appointments.  We highly recommend you call the office to schedule an appointment when needing a repair performed even when coming to the shop to ensure a technician is available to help you solve your problem.  Whether repairs are performed at the shop or at your location, the documentation requirements do not change.

 

We will always be there for you, even after the sale.  Regardless of top-quality product selection, occasionally equipment may require maintenance or service due to the complex nature of it.  Don’t worry, New Visions’ certified technicians are trained to quickly diagnose and fix the problem with as little interruption in your routine as possible.

Guide for Individuals Troubled by Stairways

Guide for individuals troubled by stairways

 

New Visions often receives phone calls from customers questioning, “What is the cost of a stair lift?”  While it is our mission to be as honest and as forthright as possible with our customers, the actuality is there is no simple answer to this question.  Every individual’s needs are unique as is every stair lift application and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

 

Straight stair lift models

Homes that have a straight staircase with approximately 12-14 steps are typically the least costly to install a stair lift in.  The cost for this type of application usually ranges from $2500 to $5000, but most often falls between $3000 and $4000 including professional installation and full service warranty.

straight stairlift

The rather large variation in price is due to the many models and options available to choose from.  One crucial factor in model selection is going to be the user’s body weight and whether a heavy duty unit is necessary or not.  Other influences on pricing will include added options such as power folding rails, upgraded footplates, seat selection, etc.   Prior to any stair lift selection, New Visions highly-trained professionals will conduct a free home evaluation to determine exactly what your individual needs are and what products will best serve you with absolutely no obligation to you.  Following the consultation, you will be provided a quote reflecting your exact costs to make an educated decision of how you wish to proceed.  Our goal is for you to be totally satisfied with your end result and provide you with the independence you desire in the home that you love.

 

This cost may sound shocking at first, but after comparing alternative solutions, the cost ends up being rather trivial.  Some stair lift alternatives include moving from your multi-story home into a one-level home, moving to an assisted living facility or possibly remodeling and/or adding on to your current home.  These are all things one should consider, but they all have considerable costs involved, and most likely a stair lift will be your least costly option of all of them.

 

  • Moving to a different home: In addition to the emotional aspect of leaving the place you love and call “home”, there are a lot of financial costs that many do not think of such as realtor fees, closing costs and actual moving expenses.  Furthermore, many face the problem of current furnishings not being appropriate for your new place.  These are all things you will want to consider before choosing this option.
  • Assisted Living Facility: One month’s stay in an assisted living facility will most likely cost you more than the one-time cost of the stair lift which can provide you access to your entire home for many years to come.
  • Remodeling/adding on to existing home: The costs involved with this will obviously depend on the extent of the project but will most certainly be much more than the cost of a stair lift.  However, if this is the option you choose, please be aware that New Visions offers this type of service as well and will provide a free home consultation at absolutely no cost to you.   We can manage your entire modification from start to finish to make this as easy on you as possible.

 

Stair Lifts for stairways with curves, turns or landings

 

Some homes do not have the traditional straight stairway and may involve curves, turns or perhaps even a landing.  Although a straight stair lift will not work in these settings, there are still options that will.  These applications require custom curved stair lift models and are literally customized to fit your homes’ unique setting and can accommodate almost any stair case.

 

Curved stairlift

As you can imagine, these models typically cost more than the straight stair lift models due to the customization required to make them fit and operate efficiently.  Prices for custom units can range drastically depending on the complexity of the staircase, but our experts will do an in-home evaluation and provide you an accurate quote without any commitment from you.

 

Even though a custom unit may cost more than a traditional unit, the majority of the time this is still a much more economical route than the alternatives and can provide you with peace of mind knowing that the stairs are no longer a safety concern.  Keep in mind, one fall could cost you much more!

 

DO IT YOURSELF?

 

Trying to save money by ordering online and installing the stair lift yourself?  We strongly discourage you from doing so.  Many online providers promise cheap prices and easy installation but when it comes to customer support after the sale, they are not there to help.  Stair lifts have many moving parts and are complex machines that are not a one-size-fits-all piece of equipment.  A professionally trained installer should do a home evaluation and take accurate measurements of your staircase to ensure the proper equipment is ordered.  Oftentimes, individuals are attracted to low prices and do not consider the consequences when the stair lift does not fit or operate correctly.  We field many phone calls from customers who experience these types of situations and contact us wanting us to “fix” the problem because the seller is of absolutely no help after the sale.  Unfortunately, due to liability issues as well as, in many cases, poor quality product selections, New Visions chooses not to get involved in these situations which leaves the customer “stuck” with equipment that doesn’t fit, is dysfunctional and even worse dangerous to the user.

Do it yourself

New Visions has trained professional installers who are knowledgeable on every unit we sell and will ensure appropriate stair lift selection as well as safe and proper installation.  We do not support do-it-yourself applications due to the complexity of the machine and the danger it could present if not installed properly.  Our customer’s safety is our top priority.  After the sale and installation is complete, we will thoroughly train the customer on proper use and answer any questions.  In addition, you can be rest assured knowing that New Visions is only a phone call away should any problems or concerns arise immediately or even years down the road and that you can count on us to be there for you.

 

Where to start?

 store Front

Think a stair lift might be right for you?  Contact our office to arrange a no-cost home evaluation with one of our experts.  We will discuss your unique needs to determine proper equipment selection and present you with all your options.  Our mission is to ensure you get exactly what you are looking for as we strive to be the West Central Ohio leader in the mobility and accessibility industry offering top-quality brands and exemplary customer service built on a passion to make people’s lives better every day.

 

Medicare Requirements for wheelchairs/power wheelchairs

What documentation is needed to get a wheelchair covered through Medicare?

 

Many are surprised when informed that a prescription for a wheelchair from their physician is not enough documentation to get Medicare to pay for this type of equipment.  So what is all needed?  Hopefully the following information will help.

 

First of all, Medicare will only pay for the least costly piece of equipment medically necessary to get you around inside your home.   For example, if a wheelchair is being requested, medical documentation will have to state why a cane or walker would not be sufficient to meet your mobility needs within the home.  If the equipment is only needed outside the home or in the community for traveling greater distances, Medicare does not consider that to be reasonable and necessary and would deny coverage.  If this is the case, you do, however, have the option to purchase such equipment yourself if you would prefer.

 

Clinical documentation is a key factor in getting Medicare to pay for the equipment necessary to allow you independence in your residence.  This is true for any medical device billed to Medicare but is critical when it comes to mobility devices such as wheelchairs and power wheelchairs.  Lack of thorough clinical documentation will result in authorization and claim denials and will translate into repeat office visits and ultimately delay the delivery of the equipment needed.

 

So where to start?  The first step in this process is to be seen for a face-to-face evaluation by your treating physician specifically for a wheelchair assessment.  The physician’s office notes must state this is the primary purpose of the visit as well as paint a very clear picture of your mobility deficits and determine what type of equipment will be considered medically necessary by Medicare.  Not sure how to determine what would be considered medically necessary and how to rule out least costly alternatives?  Let’s review what Medicare requires to be documented.

 

MOBILITY DEFICITS:

What mobility limitations significantly impair the client’s ability to perform their activities of daily living including toileting, feeding, dressing, grooming and bathing within their home?

 

A mobility limitation is anything that prevents someone from accomplishing their activities of daily living entirely, places them at an increased risk of injury, or prevents them from completing them within a reasonable timeframe.  These deficits will need to be described in great detail including any diagnoses responsible for them.  Medicare doesn’t assume anything and if it isn’t documented, “it doesn’t exist”.

 

OTHER LIMTING FACTORS:

Are there any other conditions that restrict the individual from completing their activities in the home setting safely?  Things that could fall under this are significant cognitive impairment or lack of good judgment and/or vision but certainly not limited to these.

 

If there are other limitations that do exist, evaluator will need to describe how these can be compensated for to improve the individual’s ability to use the assistive device while performing their daily activities in a safe manner.

 

For example, someone may not be able to propel themselves in a wheelchair but may have a caregiver available to them who is willing and able to push them to where they need to go.  Again, this must be documented and not inferred.

 

SAFETY CONCERNS:

Medicare requires that documentation include information regarding if the individual or caregiver demonstrates the ability and willingness to use the equipment in a safe manner.  Considerations should include personal risk to the user as well as risk to others.  If records fail to contain this information or state that there is unwillingness on the part of the user or caregiver to use the equipment in a safe manner, even if the equipment is medically necessary, Medicare will still deny payment for such equipment.

 

LESS COSTLY EQUIPMENT:

The medical records must contain information as to why a less costly option such as a cane or walker will not sufficiently resolve the mobility deficits.  These items should be appropriately fitted to the client and trialed.  If either of these items is sufficient to allow the client to perform their activities of daily living within the home, then that item is what Medicare will pay for.  If these items do not allow the client to complete these activities safely or within a timely manner, it must be documented why this equipment would not be medically appropriate using objective measurements (i.e. strength, range of motion, etc.

 

HOME ENVIRONMENT:

The client’s home will need to be evaluated to ensure the proposed equipment will be operable within the home.  Documentation should include information stating whether the home supports the use of the equipment such as wide enough doorways and hallways and whether the bathroom is accessible while using the equipment.  Flooring surface is another thing to take into account, particularly when determining whether a client will be able to propel a manual wheelchair through the home.  Oftentimes carpeting with padding underneath proposes a problem for someone propelling a manual wheelchair and this needs to be considered as well.  Attention also needs to be given to whether the client will be able to enter and exit the home safely or if there needs to be some type of modification such as a ramp.  If there are areas of the home the client needs to access but are not accessible with the equipment, note should be made as to alternative options for the client.  It is important to realize that Medicare will deny coverage if there is not documentation stating that the home supports the equipment being provided.

 

MANUAL WHEELCHAIR:

Determination will need to be made as to whether or not the client has sufficient upper extremity function to propel a manual wheelchair throughout the home setting and allow them the ability to perform the activities of daily living during a typical day.

 

An optimally configured wheelchair (correct base, seating, weight and accessories) should be trialed in the client’s home to determine whether this is the appropriate equipment.  Deciding factors should include whether the client has appropriate strength, endurance, range of motion and coordination to propel the wheelchair.  Is there a deformity or absence of one or both upper extremities that creates a challenge to independently maneuver the equipment?  Is the client’s home designed to adequately access and maneuver in all areas necessary with surfaces compatible for wheelchair use?  Does the client have the ability to safely use the wheelchair?

 

If an optimally configured wheelchair is not medically appropriate, the documentation must state why in as much detail as possible using measurements and objective statements and not broad statements such as upper extremity weakness with no supporting findings.

 

SCOOTER/POWER OPERATED VEHCILE:

If a cane, walker, rollator or optimally configured wheelchair is not enough to meet the client’s mobility requirements, the next step to consider is whether a scooter will assist with this.  Consideration will also need to be given to whether or not the client has sufficient strength and postural stability to operate a scooter.

 

A scooter is a 3-wheeled or 4-wheeled device operated with tiller steering instead of a joystick.  Medicare will require documentation as to if the client can safely transfer on and off the scooter and maintain stability and position to adequately operate the device.  In addition, note will need to be made regarding whether the client’s home allows for adequate access to maneuver the device throughout all areas and if not how this issue will be solved.  Furthermore, the client’s ability to safely use the scooter will need to be established and recorded.

 

If the client is not a good candidate for a scooter, records will need to state why the equipment is not appropriate in as much detail as possible including strength measurements, range of motion, home environment, etc.

 

POWER WHEELCHAIR:

If all the above least-costly items are considered and ruled out as being sufficient options for the client to meet their mobility needs within the home, Medicare will then consider coverage for a power wheelchair.  A power wheelchair is operated with a joystick or alternative device and can be maneuvered in much tighter spaces than a scooter.

 

A power wheelchair can be configured to accommodate the client’s medical limitations much better than a scooter including proper seat width and height to allow for safe transfers as well as numerous seating and positioning options.  The type of power wheelchair and options should directly correlate to the client’s functional impairments.  Medicare will only provide coverage for items that are justified medically as being necessary for the client to perform their activities of daily living within the home.

 

Again, the client’s home will need to be assessed to determine whether it allows adequate access to maneuver the power wheelchair and records must contain this information.  Mention will also need to be made to whether or not the client has the ability to operate the equipment safely.

 

If the client is unable to safely and/or independently use any of the above-mentioned equipment but has a caregiver who is willing and able to provide assistance, Medicare will consider coverage for the device but only if documented in medical notes.  Typically a manual wheelchair is appropriate in this type of situation, unless the caregiver has documented limitations that doesn’t provide adequate access for the client.  However, proper documentation is key in getting any type of mobility equipment covered by Medicare.  If medical records do not contain any of the supporting information, they will deny coverage for the equipment as they will not assume anything.  The more detailed information obtained from the physician/therapist, the better chance of Medicare allowing coverage for the equipment.

 

It is very important that the physician/therapist paint a very clear picture of the client’s function.  Medicare doesn’t know anything about the client and only sees the documentation.  Information provided must be supported with objective statements including measurements.  Medicare’s philosophy is if it is not documented, it isn’t an issue.  Every client is different and a diagnosis is not enough for reviewers to determine medical need.  Medicare is looking for justification of every mobility device as well as all accessories/options with any least-costly items ruled out.  They want to know what the client’s limitations are and how the equipment will improve the mobility concern.

 

Oftentimes a doctor will not provide enough information to support medical need and a physical or occupational therapist will be necessary to provide additional clinical data.  If this is the case, be sure the information provided by the physician does not conflict with anything documented by the therapist.  This will be a cause for a denial.  The therapist’s documentation will then need to be reviewed and concurred with by the physician or will not be recognized by Medicare.

 

Medicare’s requirements for providing funding for a wheelchair or power mobility device are complex, but if proper documentation is obtained which supports the medical need for the equipment, they will cover these devices.  However, as stated many times throughout this article, documentation is critical in this process.

May is National Mobility Awareness Month

May is National Mobility Awareness Month

National Mobility Awareness Month is an annual celebration each May in the United States and Canada. The awareness month encourages people with disabilities to embody the spirit of Life Moving Forward by raising awareness of the mobility solutions available in your community.

Millions of Americans are affected

According to the census bureau, about 56.7 million people reported some type of disability in 2010.  Of these individuals, approximately 30.6 million had difficulty walking or climbing stairs or used a wheelchair, cane, crutches or a walker.  In addition, roughly 9.4 million noninstitutionalized adults had difficulty with at least one activity of daily living.  These activities included getting around inside the home, bathing, dressing and eating.  Furthermore, approximately 5 million of them required some type of assistance with their daily activities.  These numbers are only expected to rise.

There are numerous reasons one might experience limited mobility including issues such as arthritis, stroke, pulmonary or neurological diseases, injury or trauma as well as many others.   Regardless of the cause, everyone seeks the same solution of how to keep moving.  Fortunately, New Visions Medical Equipment, Inc. focuses on improving the lives of those with disabilities because they deserve to live, and their disability shouldn’t be a sentence.

 

GETTING AROUND

There are many assistive devices available to help and a host of solutions to fit the unique needs of each individual.

Canes:  A cane may be sufficient for individuals requiring just a little extra support with walking.  However, a quad cane provides added support with a larger and steadier base, but is also somewhat bulkier than a traditional cane.

Walkers: A walker works well for someone who depends more on the equipment for safety.  Both hands are utilized with a walker to offer more balance.  Wheels are optional and allow the walker to glide along rather than lifting the walker to progress forward.

Rollators:  A rollator is a walker with four wheels, a seat and handbrakes.  This piece can be utilized instead of a walker with wheels, but the seat is a great feature allowing the user a place to sit and rest when needed.  Most rollators come with some sort of basket for personal items.

Wheelchairs:  Wheelchairs are available in many different models with many different features; however, a standard wheelchair is similar to what you will see in retail stores, hospitals, etc. for public use. Generally the standard type of wheelchair is available in different widths and weight capacities to allow for the body habitus, but there isn’t a lot of adjustability beyond that.  These wheelchairs usually weigh somewhere around 40 pounds and can be burdensome to maneuver as well as transport.  However, these are typically the least costly.  They are a nice option for the individual who is not in the wheelchair all day long but rather uses it occasionally.  Of course, if the standard wheelchair is not for you, there are other possibilities such as transport wheelchairs, lightweight wheelchairs and ultra-lightweight wheelchairs.

Power Mobility Scooters:  If walking aids and manual wheelchairs are not sufficient to get you around, then the next step is a power mobility scooter.  Scooters are generally available in 3- or 4-wheel models.  They are operated utilizing both hands on a tiller to control steering as well as speed.  Scooters typically require a larger area to maneuver and many times are not the best option inside one’s home.  For this reason, most individuals choose such an item for outdoor use.  A nice feature of a scooter, though, is that many of them can be taken apart and transported in a vehicle much easier than a power wheelchair.

Power wheelchairs:  A power wheelchair is usually the best option for someone unable to propel themselves in a manual wheelchair throughout the home but who has the ability and cognition to operate a power wheelchair. One hand is utilized to control the speed and steering through the joystick.  The joystick can be mounted on the left or right side to better suit the operator’s needs.  Power wheelchairs will turn in a much tighter radius than a scooter, which makes it the better choice for most in-home users due to tight operating spaces.  However, this equipment is much heavier than a scooter and does not come apart to transport in one’s vehicle as easily.  As in manual wheelchairs, there are many models available ranging from basic to custom.

 

 SPECIALIZED EQUIPMENT:

The vast majority of us know there are assistive devices available to help people safely ambulate such as canes and walkers.  Most people are also aware that there are wheelchairs, scooters and power wheelchairs for those that are no longer able to walk or can only walk for very short distances.  These are all items that are fairly accessible as long as you don’t need anything “special”.  However, many do not realize that there are often times when the “standard” equipment isn’t enough as these items are not a “one-size-fits-all item”.  What then?

New Visions Medical Equipment can provide you with whatever equipment it is you need, whether it is standard or custom.  The possibilities are endless, but our mission is to provide you with a device that will offer you the maximum comfort level and allow you the greatest amount of independence.

When is customized equipment necessary?

Any full-time wheelchair user, whether manual or power, would most likely benefit from some customized features to ensure proper fit as well as have accessories incorporated that will offer the greatest level of independence.  What does customization really mean?  In reality, it means a wheelchair built specially for you and your needs with things such as armrests that can be adjusted in height for user comfort and possibly aid in transfers, a proper seat width and depth to accommodate your body habitus, a proper seat cushion to prevent skin breakdown, a back cushion to provide optimal positioning, added lateral supports for better trunk support, or whatever it is you need to help you live life to the fullest.  The combinations are endless and these are just a few of the options available.  So if you spend much time in a wheelchair and it is not meeting your needs, a custom wheelchair might be your answer.

 

ADDITIONAL MOBILITY SOLUTIONS FOR THE HOME

Of course, if you have restricted mobility, a device to get you from place to place may not be the only beneficial piece of equipment for you.  Following are some of the countless options available.

Lift chairs:  An ideal candidate for a lift chair is someone who may need help getting in and out of their chair on a daily basis whether due to aging, arthritis or a recent surgery that limits their mobility. And because lift chairs look and feel like regular chairs–but possess a safety mechanism that can allow them to raise or lower the chair in order to easily stand up or sit down–they provide a friendly way of regaining independence. Typically, those in need of a standard lift chair are not able to get in and out of a chair by themselves.  Lift chairs come in many sizes, models and colors to fit your home décor.

Stairlifts:  There’s no place that makes you more comfortable and secure than home. Stairs shouldn’t become an obstacle to that contentment. Stairlifts make it easy to once again enjoy your entire home. Whether you need a stairlift to reach an upstairs bedroom or downstairs laundry, a stairlift is a fast, easy solution.

Patient Lifts:  Patient lifts are designed to lift and transfer patients who are unable to do so on their own from one place to another using a sling. These medical devices are very beneficial in reducing risk of injury to patients and caregivers when properly used.  Lift types vary from portable hydraulic or electric to stationary ceiling lifts.

Automatic Door openers: If you’re struggling to get through doorways due to your limited mobility, it’s important to understand all the advantages that come with installing automatic door openers. Automatic door openers do come in multiple models and designs, but for the most part, they’re incredibly simple to use and maintain. They typically operate using either motion sensor technology or with a simple remote control or button.  Ultimately, approximately 6.8 million Americans use assistive devices to aid their mobility, and automatic door openers are just one device that makes lives easier every single day.

 

 BATHROOM MOBILITY

We all use the bathroom every day and most of us take this activity for granted and never stop to consider what risks this might present us with.  Statistics show the bathroom can be the most dangerous room in the home.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relates approximately 235,000 people over the age of 15 visit emergency rooms each year because of injuries they suffered in the bathroom.  About 14 percent of these injuries result in hospitalization and roughly two-thirds of the injuries occur while bathing or showering.  Although the shower or bathtub may propose the biggest risk, there are many other safety concerns in the bathroom.  Many older adults have problems getting on and off the toilet, and this also leads to frequent falls.  There are many precautions we can take to avoid a mishap, but unfortunately many individuals don’t take these steps until it is too late.

 BATHROOM MOBILITY SOLUTIONS

Grab Bars:  Beyond helping to prevent a dangerous fall, grab bars can improve your stability in the bathroom. They can help you safely enter and exit the shower as well as the toilet and provide support for individuals who are not steady on their feet.

Elevated toilet seats:  It may not seem like much but a raised toilet seat is a huge quality of life investment for many individuals.  We able-bodied individuals take our mobility for granted.  Raised seats return independence for those less mobile.

Shower chairs:  Using a shower or bath chair helps to increase safety by decreasing the chance of you falling by providing a secure area in a slippery shower or bath. Shower Chairs and Bath chairs are especially useful for those that are in wheelchairs, the elderly, or anyone who finds excessive movement painful or difficult.

Barrier free showers:  For those who prefer to spend their 15 minutes of relaxation in a shower, a barrier free shower is a great alternative to a walk-in tub. The low barrier shower has an open side that is level to the floor, which eliminates the obstacle of stepping over a high shower wall and easily allows wheelchair accessibility.

Walk-in tubs:  When living a comfortable, stress free life is most important, it is essential to enhance the home with a walk-in tub. The stress relief from a walk-in tub will help strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, improve metabolism, manage diabetes and improve heart health.

 

MOBILITY SOLUTIONS OUTSIDE THE HOME

Ramps:  Wheelchair ramps enable physically disabled as well as elderly people to enjoy complete freedom, as they allow users to move in and around the home safely and freely. It is a cost-effective and practical solution to enhance mobility. By installing a ramp, scooter and wheelchair users can access steps, doorways, sliding glass doors, showers or even raised landings easily.  The type of ramp most useful for you will depend on the application it is being used for and whether you are needing something portable or permanent.  New Visions can help you choose a ramp depending upon the structure of your home.  In order to comply with the handicap accessibility law, you will need one foot of ramp for every one inch of rise.

Vehicle lifts:  You’ve got places to go!  Scooter and power wheelchair lifts make it simple to take a mobility device with you.  Transport your scooter or wheelchair inside or outside your vehicle.  These lifts make it easy to keep you on the road.

 

 OUR FAMILY CARES ABOUT YOU

It’s challenging to make sure you or your loved one has whatever is needed to ensure quality of life.  New Visions medical Equipment was established in 1998 to meet our daughter’s needs and help her live life to the fullest.  It’s been exciting and rewarding to help others accomplish the same.

New Visions is a nationally accredited HME company serving all ages and abilities with custom rehab solutions.  Our team offers a personal approach to truly finding the best solution for recuperation or for living an independent lifestyle.

Our company is a provider of all the different types of equipment mentioned above as well as much more.  If you know of anyone needing any type of assistive device, please contact our office at 419-678-4979.

power scooter

Ask Sarah: How do I choose an appropriate scooter?

CHOOSING THE RIGHT MOBILITY DEVICE

A mobility device can allow you so much freedom but is an investment that should be made wisely.  All the possible options on the market can be overwhelming and you want to ensure you take some time to research them carefully and really ascertain you’re getting the equipment that makes the most sense for you.  First, you will need to determine whether a power mobility scooter or a power wheelchair will serve your needs best.  Some important things to consider in determining this are your lifestyle, physical limitations, and what you plan to use the device for.

What is the difference between a power mobility scooter and a power wheelchair?

Many people do not know the difference between a power mobility scooter and a power wheelchair.  Hopefully this article will provide you with some insight on this.  One of the biggest differences in these devices is the way it is controlled.  A scooter is operated with a tiller mechanism and requires adequate strength and dexterity of both hands to maneuver it safely; whereas a power wheelchair is controlled with one hand through a joystick and has many more options available.  A power wheelchair is also easier to maneuver in tight spaces such as hallways and bathrooms due to having a much tighter turning radius.

Is a scooter right for me?

If you have any concerns with trunk control, balance, skin breakdown, swelling in your legs, inadequate use of both hands or any other limitations requiring adaptations, a power wheelchair may be the better option for you as it can be customized to meet your needs much better.  Special seating systems with positioning pads, skin protection cushions as well as elevating leg rests are among some of the options that are not available on mobility scooters but can be added to a power wheelchair.

Furthermore, if you intend to use the device inside your home, a power wheelchair may be the better choice due to the ability to make tighter turns.  However, if you have an open floor plan with wide doorways, a scooter may work as well.

If you simply need something to assist you in walking but have good body control and enough room to maneuver it, you may be a good candidate for a mobility scooter.

SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER IN CHOOSING THE APPROPRIATE SCOOTER

What do you intend to use the equipment for?

If you anticipate using the scooter inside your home and/or when you are out running errands, shopping, or traveling, a compact scooter may be your best option.  These are often called “travel scooters” and have many nice features including the ability to be taken apart very quickly and easily for transporting in your vehicle.  Most models are available in a 3-wheel or 4-wheel version.

If you do not plan to transport your scooter but rather intend to use it out in the yard or on uneven terrain, you may benefit from a larger scooter with bigger tires and more ground clearance.  The larger scooters usually do not come apart as nicely and are harder to transport unless you have some type of vehicle lift or trailer to load them.

Three-wheel versus 4-wheel scooters:

Generally 3-wheel models are the lightest and most compact, offering the best maneuverability.  They typically have a tighter turning radius than the 4-wheel model and make navigating in crowds, stores and your home easier.  The 3-wheel version offers more leg room for the rider allowing them to stretch out their legs.  Comfort level may be one of the biggest influences in opting for the 3-wheel version.

A 4-wheel scooter may offer a little more stability but still can be tipped over if not careful on uneven terrain.  The turning radius isn’t quite as sharp but isn’t a factor in wide open areas.  Because of the fender covering the tires, the 4-wheel models don’t offer as much leg room which may be a big determining factor, especially for someone with long legs.

If you need your scooter to get around inside your home, your top priority should be ensuring you have enough room to make turns and get down narrow hallways or into bathrooms.  In this case, a smaller 3-wheel scooter with a shorter wheel base may be your best option but you may need to consider going to a power wheelchair as your turning radius will be much better.  Of course this will depend on the layout of your home.

What size scooter will I need?

Prior to making your model selection, you will need to establish the maximum weight of the user as well as any additional items that will need to be carried on the device such as oxygen tanks.  You should select a model with a weight capacity equal to or greater than the anticipated load.  If you are close to the weight capacity, you may wish to consider the next weight capacity range.  Try to be as accurate as possible with this as overloading a scooter may affect the overall performance especially on inclines and may possibly void the manufacturer’s warranty.  This may narrow your selection down some.

Scooters are available in many different sizes with varying weight capacities.  Your body build will likely play a factor in which piece of equipment is most comfortable for you.  If at all possible, we suggest you physically sit on the scooter to ensure it fits you well.  Some things to pay attention to are comfort of the seat and that the seat width provides adequate room for you as well as the overall size of the scooter feels good to you.  On many models the armrests can be adjusted in or out to your desired position.   We find that often times petite individuals feel more comfortable on a smaller device whereas a tall person may desire more leg room offered by a larger one, but this varies with each individual.

What size tires and how much ground clearance do I need?

If you intend to use your scooter in your yard or on uneven terrain, you will want to consider the size of the tires as well as the amount of ground clearance the scooter has.  In this type of application, larger tires and more ground clearance will give you the best performance.  Many times you will need to consider a larger scooter to get the ground clearance and tire size you desire.

If you plan to mainly use your scooter on flat paved surfaces, a smaller tire with less ground clearance will perform well for you and oftentimes will be less costly.  Again, the smaller varieties usually transport much easier than the larger versions.

How far can I travel on my scooter?

A common question is how far a scooter can travel on a single battery charge.  This will depend on the scooter itself, the size of the batteries, the age of the batteries, the weight load being carried as well as the terrain being traveled.  Check with your dealer on the average operating range for the particular scooter model you are considering.  Typically larger batteries will allow further range of travel and will perform better on steep inclines.

What are some features I should consider for my scooter?

Lights:  Many scooters have lights in front as well as in the rear.  These are helpful if you plan to ride your scooter in poorly lit areas.  They typically are not bright enough for you to see well enough at night but rather helps others see you better.

Shocks:  Some models are equipped with a suspension system.  These scooters provide a much smoother ride especially on uneven surfaces.

Battery size:  Scooters with larger batteries typically have more power and can travel greater distances on a single battery charge.

Tires:  Pneumatic tires will periodically need air added, whereas solid rubber tires are pretty much maintenance free.  Tire size is important when traveling on uneven terrain and unpaved surfaces.

Transportability:  Many “travel scooters” break down into several pieces making them easier to handle as well as fit into your vehicle.  This is an important feature if you plan to load/unload your scooter often and have limited space to store it in your vehicle.

Accessories Available:  Options for your scooter will vary from model to model but may include things such as oxygen holder, crutch holder, walker holder, rear basket, front, basket, safety flags, power elevating seat, cell phone holder, cup holder as well as many others.

How will I store and transport the scooter?

If you will carry your mobility scooter in your vehicle, you need to consider how much space you’ll need and the strength required to assemble and dis-assemble it.  Large-sized scooters usually cannot be disassembled and require a vehicle lift or ramp to transport.  New Visions Medical Equipment is certified in installing vehicles lifts as well as a provider of ramps.  Some of our customers have multiple scooters and other mobility devices to get them around.  This is ideal if you can afford it.

Where do I buy a scooter and what brand is best?

There are many different scooters on the market and some manufacturers are better than others.  One critical thing to consider when purchasing a scooter is if there are parts readily available for it and where I can get them.  Many scooter companies come and go and it is very difficult to obtain parts for scooters from the ones that are no longer in business.

Many individuals consider purchasing equipment online.  Oftentimes this is not the best plan as you have no one to service the scooter after the sale.  This is a big problem for many and is a very important factor to consider.  We suggest you buy from a reputable dealer and manufacturer that has been in business for a period of time.  New Visions Medical Equipment keeps a variety of scooters in stock for you to try as well as services every piece of equipment we sell.

Who will service the scooter? 

This should be a big factor in determining where to purchase your scooter.  We often get calls from individuals who cannot find anyone to service their equipment after the sale.  New Visions Medical Equipment stands behind all manufacturer’s warranties and services everything we sell.  Part availability is a huge concern for many scooter models so you will want to carefully consider what you are buying and ensure this will not be a problem for you.

What are my options if I am not able to load my scooter myself to transport it?

For someone unable to physically load their scooter by themselves, the best option is probably a power operated vehicle lift as a ramp is not very user friendly for this type of individual and can sometimes take just as much as effort as loading the scooter itself, especially if it is a ‘travel scooter”.  However, for the right individual, a ramp is an option and is usually quite a bit less expensive.

How do I choose a vehicle lift for my scooter?

Just like scooter models, there are different types of lifts on the market to help with loading your scooter so you can transport it.  These are a great purchase for someone not physically able to assemble and dis-assemble a scooter but who still wishes to maintain their independence.  You will need to ensure the lift you are considering is compatible with your vehicle as well as the scooter you plan to transport.  Many power operated lifts are made for specific vehicles in addition to specific scooters and are not a one-size-fits-all item.

Vehicle lifts that are power operated are very easy to use and make transporting so much simpler.  Before selecting a lift, you will need to determine the make, model and year of the vehicle you wish the lift to be installed with as well as the make and model of the scooter.  You will also need to decide if you will haul your scooter inside your vehicle or behind your vehicle.  When hauling a scooter on the outside of your vehicle, you will need some way to keep it dry as scooters do not hold up well when exposed to any type of moisture, perhaps a scooter cover.  Once you have established this information, your lift choices will be narrowed down significantly.

Where can I get a power operated vehicle lift installed for my scooter?

 New Visions Medical Equipment is certified in installing vehicle lifts and can accommodate most people’s needs and wishes.

If you need any further help choosing a power mobility scooter, power wheelchair, or vehicle lift, visit us at: 

New Visions Medical Equipment, Inc.

4108 State Route 118

Coldwater, OH  45828

419-678-4979

How to choose a lift chair?

Lift chairs make standing and sitting much easier for people with limited mobility.  Lift chairs also ease the pressure placed on your joints during sitting and standing.  They can help ease the pain of sitting and standing for people who suffer from stiff joints or conditions like arthritis, severe back pain and other related conditions, especially models with therapeutic benefits like integrated massage and heat features.  Lift chairs are also a great option for seniors who need a little extra help getting up and down.

SIZE:  Power lift chairs come in numerous sizes to accommodate many different heights and weights.  Size and weight limits vary for each brand and model but typically range from petite/small to heavy duty/XXL with up to a 700 pound weight capacity.

POSITIONING:  Will you be sleeping in your power lift chair?  If so, you might wish to consider an infinite position chair, allowing you to adjust the chair into the most comfortable position.   This feature generally allows you to control the chair back separately from the foot of the chair providing you with endless positioning options.  Some chairs will also have features such as power pillows or power lumbar support to meet your comfort needs.

FABRICS AND COLORS:  Lift chairs generally are available in a large variety of fabrics and colors.  Some companies use fabrics that combine durability and comfort like polyester that come in various colors to match most décor styles.

SPACE LIMITATIONS:  You will need to make sure your power lift chair will fit in your room as most will need to sit away from the wall.  Many companies do offer lift chairs that are designed to be placed within 4-6 inches of a wall.  The base on normal lift chairs stays in one place when reclined; however, these “space saver” chairs glide forward as you recline and require less space behind them.

SERVICE AFTER THE SALE:  Your lift chair may need serviced over time due to not working as it once did.  You will want to consider this when purchasing a new lift chair as not all dealers offer this service and parts may not be available for all lift chair models from other suppliers.   Oftentimes, a hand control may go bad and can easily and economically be replaced if there are parts available.  New Visions Medical Equipment, Inc. services everything we sell.

BATTERY BACKUP:  Many lift chairs have a battery backup system incorporated.  This feature should be powerful enough to raise your chair at least once to allow you to get out of the chair should your power go out.

HEAT AND MASSAGE FUNCTIONS:  Power lift chair features vary from model to model and some will offer integrated heat and massage options with massagers for specific pressure points in your back and legs as well as heat for your lumbar area.

At New Visions, we strongly recommend that you try several different styles before deciding on a chair.  We have a large selection available in our showroom and would love to help you in your selection.

 

blue lift chair

 

 

 

Ask Sarah: Do I qualify for home modifications?

Do I qualify for home modifications?

Ohio Medicaid recipients may be eligible for home modification services as approved by their case manager through the waiver program.  Programs such as Passport, Ohio Homecare Program (Carestar) and the Department of Developmental Disabilities have active programs to meet the accessibility needs of their consumers.  New Visions Medical Equipment, Inc. works with each of these programs providing exceptional services in the installation of ADA ramps, portable ramps, stairlifts, ceiling lifts, bathroom modifications including but not limited to roll in and walk in showers.  Our expert contractors can handle the most problematic needs of the consumer.  We are also available for Private pay clients who want the professionalism required to maintain the integrity of their home.  Call us for a free consultation and estimate.  New Visions Medical Equipment, Inc is located in Coldwater, Ohio and services a wide area in Midwest Ohio, Including but not limited to Mercer, Darke, Auglaize, Van Wert, Allen, Shelby counties.

Accessibility Never Looked So Good!

When you think of bathroom adaptability & accessibility, do you envision beautiful ceramic, stone, or glass tile?

You should!

We are launching a new Designer Shower display at Homan Interior’s new Showroom so you can see for yourself how beautiful an accessible bathroom can be!

With our Designer Series showers, tub/shower combinations, and shower pans, you can count on the quality, peace-of-mind and worry-free maintenance for which Bestbath® is known, while enjoying a customized look that will add a “wow factor” to your project.

Featuring custom recessed panels for inlaid tile accents and available with a range of barrier-free and residential curbed options, the Designer Series provides an elegant look for traditional installations or for universal design and other accessible applications.

Bestbath’s Designer Series single- and multi-piece showers and tub combos offer custom molded recesses on the side and/or back walls. These panels can be filled with a limitless array of decorative styles, such as colorful glass or ceramic, providing a custom design that lets you carry backsplash tile work onto your shower walls and/or floor.

Multi-piece units feature our patented interlocking system technology for smooth installation and a tight seal, preventing leaks or water damage.

Stop by Homan Interior’s new Showroom Grand Opening Open House to check out our Designer Shower Display! Located at 195 Schwieterman Drive in New Bremen. Open House will be held Friday, March 31 from 12-6, Saturday, April 1 from 8-2 and Sunday, April 2 from 11-3.  Homan Interiors is a custom cabinetry business who has been in business for 20 years. Stop by to see their beautiful work and how they can transform your dreams into a reality!

Buzzaround XLS Scooter

Scooters have arrived for Spring!

It’s that time of year again! The sun is out, temperatures are rising and flowers are starting to pop up from the ground.  Spring is here! One of the best things about spring is being able to enjoy it outdoors.  If you are one of many American’s who struggle with their mobility, spring may not seem as enjoyable as it used to.  Just because your mobility may not be as good as it once was, doesn’t mean you should sit on the sidelines.  Get outdoors this spring with a new scooter!

There is a new scooter in town this year, and it definitely will help you enjoy life again! That new scooter is the one and only Buzzaround XLS scooter from Golden Technologies.  The Buzzaround XLS comes in both 3 and 4-wheel models and features:

  • 300 lb. weight capacity

  • Ultra Bright LED headlight standard

  • Charging port below the control panel

  • 3 inch ground clearance

  • Red and Blue Shroud panels included FREE

  • Disassembles quickly and easily for transport

  • NEW Comfort Spring Suspension for a smoother ride

This scooter is the best travel scooter on the market!  You can even take the battery pack out of the scooter and charge just the battery pack, making it convenient for keeping your scooter in your vehicle for traveling.

So don’t stay cooped up indoors this spring.  Enjoy it outside on a brand new scooter! We have both the 3 and the 4-wheeled models in-stock.  Stop by and give one a test drive today!  We will even show you how quickly they can come apart!

For anyone who purchases a new scooter during the month of March, we will enter your name into a drawing to win 4 FREE Dayton Dragons baseball tickets!  P.s. They are handicap seats too!

Fifth Third Field

Ask Sarah: I need to be able to get down the stairs, but my arthritis is too bad. Do you have a solution?

Dear Sarah,

I have been having trouble lately with my arthritis in my knees.  It’s so bad that I can’t get down my basement steps anymore without extreme pain.  I need to have access to my basement because my laundry room is down there.  What if I need to get down the stairs quickly due to a storm? I just don’t know what to do.  Do you have any solutions?

Thanks in advance,

Jean, Sidney, OH

 

Hi Jean,

I am sorry to hear that your arthritis is causing you so much pain! I understand your need and concern to be able to get down into your basement.  If you are unable to relocate your washer and dryer, or would rather just keep them down the basement, then a simple solution would be to have a stairlift installed.  By installing a stairlift, you would be able to safely and quickly access your basement while remaining seated- no more painful knees! Having a stairlift installed is easier and more affordable than you might think! In the past few years they have designed more economical models, making them more affordable for everyone.  Installing one only take a few hours and doesn’t take up too much space on your stairway so you can still walk up and down the stairs if you want too.  You can even put your laundry basket on the seat of the stairlift and send your laundry up and down so you don’t have to worry about carrying a basket and navigating the stairs at the same time! The stairlift runs on battery, so if there would be a power outage due to a storm, you can still access your basement safely.

If you would like a free estimate on a stairlift, please give us a call! 419-678-4979. I hope you find some relief soon!

Sarah

New Visions Medical Equipment