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Wheelchair Life Expectancy?




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10 replies to this topic

#1 manda6843

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 03:54 AM

My husband is contemplating a new chair and I have to say, I think it's long overdue. Just curious - how long does a chair typically last? I don't mean wheels or cushions that definitely need replaced from time to time, but the chair itself.

Also - what typically prompts you to get a new one? Features? Style? Comfort? Change in abilities? Just for the heck of it? Doesn't really matter, I'm just curious. Thanks!
~manda

#2 Ratticis

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 05:39 AM

All I know for sure is I can't get funding for one less than 5 years apart, and 2 years for a cushion, but there is the odd other grant for other things.

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#3 Simba

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 05:45 AM

Most common reason that I know of for replacing a wheelchair is if the structural integrity of the frame has been compromised.

You can look up the lifetime of the frame through most manufacturer's to find out what the expected lifetime of that particular type is.

Usually about every five years is the average replacement time though most will easily do ten. Depends also on amount of usage/milage and maintenance of other parts of the chair.

#4 jp2417

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:52 AM

Hello,
A wheelchair will really last as long as you want it to. We are reconditioning, customising and maintaining our customers wheelchairs which are 15+ years old. It is all about maintenance really. If you feel that there is a problem component on your chair, then get it sorted if possible as it will only escalate into a bigger problem and may render the wheelchair unusable in the end.
Obviously a wheelchair will age with time and may start to look untidy. Once again, anything is possible including new wheels, tyres, upholstery, brakes, axles, frame repairs and refinishing in new colour. Individual components from a mobility dealer can be very expensive as there seems to be a massive markup on the price. Parts may also not be available as the chair may be discontinued after a period of time. This is still not a problem, for example my company repair or remake parts in this instance.
I would sum up by saying that if you are happy and comfortable with a wheelchair, then stick with it if there is nothing on the market that would suit you better. Too many mobility firms supply wheelchair users with new wheelchairs that do not suit their needs. The result of this all too often is that the user goes back to using his older trusty wheelchair and the new supplied wheelchair goes in the garage.
Before committing to a wheelchair and a supplier, do your homework about the companies by searching on the internet and especially investigate their after sales service. I hear so many horror stories that the user has been sold a wheelchair by a "salesman" and when an issue or a problem arises, the company is very poor to react to your issue.
Also, buy a product that you want to buy and not one that the company wants you to have.
In summary, look after your chair and it will give you years of good reliable service.
Regards,
Paul
www.sport-mobility.co.uk

#5 wheeliebear75

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:06 AM

5 chairs in 21+yrs & aside from the cosmetic stuff I don't think I'll be NEEDING #6 for quite a few years yet.

Edited by wheeliebear75, 21 May 2011 - 10:07 AM.

*Enjoy every sunset, but be grateful for every dawn.*
*Wheelchairs are made of a special ocular magnetic alloy......they're "eyeball magnets".*
*I USE a wheelchair, that does NOT make ME a wheelchair!*

#6 manda6843

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 02:04 PM

Thank you for your input!
~manda

#7 tsh3406

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 03:27 PM

One thing to keep in mind though, is when you start replacing rims, brakes and upholstery, you are quickly approaching the cost of a brand new chair. That's the case with Top End, anyways. I try to cycle them, so I always have two at a time, then fix up the others and sell them to someone who couldn't otherwise get that type of frame (for roughly the cost of a tank of gas and lunch when I deliver it). I'm on chair number 5 now, and may be replacing it this year.

T

#8 jp2417

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 06:10 PM

That is if you want to pay Top Ends prices. There are many alternatives to manufacturers parts if you are prepared to investigate further.

#9 tsh3406

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 06:54 PM

Lol, I don't think there's ANYTHING left on my Crossfire that was made by Top End, just the frame....

T

#10 monkeyman

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:25 AM

I can wholeheartedly recommend Paul's services. I used them to refurbish an old chair of mine a few years ago now. Structurally the chair was fine but cosmetically it had seen many better days!
After Paul had completed the re-furb it was like new, even the spinergy wheels had been rebuilt and re-powder coated so they were like new too. It's now the chair i use for "special occasions" it really is that good!
If you think your chairs "had it", give it to sport-mobility to bring it back to its former glory... you'll be surprised how good it can turn out, i was!
Price was FAR cheaper then buying a new chair too - about 1/5 of the cost.

NOTE: i have no financial interest in the company, just one very happy customer!

Cheers, Stevie

Hello,
A wheelchair will really last as long as you want it to. We are reconditioning, customising and maintaining our customers wheelchairs which are 15+ years old. It is all about maintenance really. If you feel that there is a problem component on your chair, then get it sorted if possible as it will only escalate into a bigger problem and may render the wheelchair unusable in the end.
Obviously a wheelchair will age with time and may start to look untidy. Once again, anything is possible including new wheels, tyres, upholstery, brakes, axles, frame repairs and refinishing in new colour. Individual components from a mobility dealer can be very expensive as there seems to be a massive markup on the price. Parts may also not be available as the chair may be discontinued after a period of time. This is still not a problem, for example my company repair or remake parts in this instance.
I would sum up by saying that if you are happy and comfortable with a wheelchair, then stick with it if there is nothing on the market that would suit you better. Too many mobility firms supply wheelchair users with new wheelchairs that do not suit their needs. The result of this all too often is that the user goes back to using his older trusty wheelchair and the new supplied wheelchair goes in the garage.
Before committing to a wheelchair and a supplier, do your homework about the companies by searching on the internet and especially investigate their after sales service. I hear so many horror stories that the user has been sold a wheelchair by a "salesman" and when an issue or a problem arises, the company is very poor to react to your issue.
Also, buy a product that you want to buy and not one that the company wants you to have.
In summary, look after your chair and it will give you years of good reliable service.
Regards,
Paul
www.sport-mobility.co.uk



#11 tsh3406

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:14 PM

That's awesome, if there were somebody near me that could do all that for $350, I'd be all over it....

T


Spinal Cord Injury & Cauda Equina Syndrome Support

This website is a way for those with spinal cord injuries and cauda equina syndrome to share experiences and advice. Any medical matters, treatments or alternative therapies discussed on this website should be thoroughly reviewed by a medical professional or therapist before being acted upon. Under no circumstances should you alter prescribed medication or a medical care plan without consulting your doctor or care plan supervisor first.