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Reasons Why You Should Consider a Bariatric Power Wheelchair

February 06, 2012

Bariatric means relating to the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity and related diseases and a bariatric patient is a person diagnosed as clinically obese (body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher) 

Hoveround XHD heavy-duty power chairBefore you consider just any power wheelchair for the mobility-challenged loved one or patient under your care, take a brief look at the benefits of a Hoveround bariatric power chair. You may discover that this unique power wheelchair provides the answer to your care giving questions.

Here are three factors caregivers might wish to consider when thinking about the suitability of a heavy-duty power chair:

  1. Body size and weight 
  2. Mobility and health deficits 
  3. Need for weight distribution, custom seating and positioning support

Weight and Body Frame

Q: Does the bariatric patient under your care weigh more than 300 pounds?

Bariatric power wheelchairs, such as the Hoveround Teknique XHD and the Hoveround Teknique HD6, can safely support up to 450 and 600 pounds, respectively. Both are specifically constructed to be comfortably wider and sturdier than most standard power chair models.

Mobility and Physical Health Status

Q: Aside from being overweight, does your patient, parent, or other loved one have additional physical conditions that limit mobility?

A highly-maneuverable bariatric power wheelchair might be the best solution for anyone living with both chronic health problems and excessive weight. While offering some direct relief from the stress of impaired health, a bariatric power chair may also ease the management of routine mobility-related activities of daily living (MRADLs), which include meal preparation, bathroom access, and moving throughout rooms of the home.

Wheelchair Seating and Positioning Needs

Q: Will the bariatric power chair user be seated for several hours a day, on a continual, daily basis? 

Because so many bariatric and mobility-restricted power wheelchair users sit in their mobility chairs for extended hours throughout the day, prescriptions for Medicare-covered bariatric power chairs may often include wheelchair positioning aids.

Special cushions and systems for therapeutic seating, tilt, elevation and recline may be added to the bariatric power wheelchair prescription to maximize comfort, facilitate pressure relief, and make it easier for bariatric patients to shift their weight and accomplish transfers.

If it appears that bariatric assistive equipment might be what's needed,, call Hoveround today at 800-542-7236 to talk with a mobility specialist. You'll learn how you can help the person you're caring for to achieve increased independence, enhanced health and extended mobility.

"bariatrics": The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company.1/20/12 http://medical.yourdictionary.com/bariatrics

For the purposes of this article, the definition of "bariatric patient" includes limited-mobility individuals weighing between 301 and 600 pounds.

Power chair prescriptions that may include medically-necessary power wheelchair accessories are determined by the diagnosis of the treating physician. Specific accessories will depend on individual mobility needs.
Power chair coverage depends on medical necessity as determined by the insurer and a doctor's diagnosis. A valid doctor's prescription is required.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional.

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