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Thread: Wheelchair progress

  1. #11
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Medicare paperwork always takes a while.

    The two wheelchairs I've had have had both swingaway legrests and movable footplates that you can kick up and out of your way.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  3. #12
    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agate View Post
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    Medicare paperwork always takes a while.

    The two wheelchairs I've had have had both swingaway legrests and movable footplates that you can kick up and out of your way.
    What were the pros and cons?

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  5. #13
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    If I had to choose one or the other, I'd choose swingaway though I've noticed that medical providers always go for the lift-up foot pads, probably because it's less of a hassle.

    The swingaway feature means you have to know where to look to release it, and on both chairs it's in an out-of-the-way place, behind and under the seat, and you have to know how to operate it.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
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  7. #14
    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Can you say more about the pros of swingaway and pros of foot plate? Example, do foot plate allow one to get closer to wall, counter area?

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  9. #15
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    In my experience, no. Footplates lift up and to the side but you've still got the metal tubing they're attached to protruding--and contacting the wall. If you want to get closer to the wall or whatever, you swing the entire legrests away and probably off. They're just in the way. Often--depending on the kind of seating you have--your feet can reach the floor with the legrests off.

    In fact, I often propel my chair with one foot on the floor, under the footplate or behind it, as an aid to the arm propulsion--and I've seen other manual chair users doing this. It's faster and easier sometimes.
    Last edited by agate; 11-10-2017 at 08:05 AM.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  11. #16
    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Ok. Why do some prefer foot plate over swingaways then?

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  13. #17
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    I wasn't aware that there was a preference or even a choice. I've always had both options on the chair but I've had experience with only the two chairs. There may be types of chairs where you have a choice of one or the other.

    Sometimes I use the swingaway, sometimes the footplates. Some chairs seem to have one bar across for your feet instead of two individual footplates. I'm not sure how they work.

    I hope Cat Dancer will have something to say here. Years ago I recall her recommending tossing the entire legrests into a closet and forgetting about them because they were just in the way.
    Last edited by agate; 11-10-2017 at 08:10 AM.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
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  15. #18
    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    For me, the chair is way more comfortable with foot rests. Maybe because of the spasticity in my ankles and feet?

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  17. #19
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Me too, BBS, though there are times when I do without the legrests. My legs are too short and my feet don't quite touch the floor without them. That gets tiring--fast. I'm still able to propel the chair with one foot on the ground as I mentioned but it's my toes that are on the ground, not the whole foot.

    Also, having the added support of the footrests seems to help my legs to get through the day. I can't sit in an ordinary chair for more than 10-20 minutes. My rollator seat gets uncomfortable after about 5 minutes.
    Last edited by agate; 11-12-2017 at 02:31 PM.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  19. #20
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    I think those wheelchairs with "fixed" leg rests are most common in nursing home settings, where there are wide doorways and fewer impediments to moving around than there are in a regular home setting. As already noted the swingaway give you more room, more clearance, to get into tight places in the home, or under a restaurant table. You can swing away the foot rests, take them off, stash them under your chair and move closer to the table, for example.

    I've only seen the fixed leg rest chairs in institutional settings... most of the people I know who are wheelchair users have the swingaway features.
    ...I am not a doctor nor medical professional, and don't pretend to be one, here... :o

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