An Attitude of Gratitutde

The month of November represents a pleasant change in weather, vibrant blossoms and brightly colored leaves, especially where we live in the southeastern part of the country. In addition, we look forward to partaking in the activities like outdoor festivals, apple picking, hayrides, corn fields and pumpkin patches.

Meanwhile, many are already dreading the task of untangling Christmas lights and are anxiously curious about what ‘Black Friday’ will look like this year. We are very intentional focused on the special moments that precede the frenzy of the holidays: Thanksgiving Day.  Even though the Christmas songs, lights, trees and decorations are all around us, we have embraced the mindset of giving thanks, gathering with family, putting and passing on the “attitude of gratitude” in a tangible way.

Grateful for Family

Thanksgiving will look different this year. As a global precautionary measure, cities, states and the entire country is advised against gathering for the holidays. This has been especially difficult for the big, happy family I married into. We love Jesus and being around each other. For so many years, the heart of Thanksgiving has been centered around the very thing we have been asked to avoid: family! To show love to our family members by not gathering this year feels like hearts are being broken in many pieces. It’s also a time to get creative.

Everyone from Martha Steward to Pinterest have suggestions on ways to have a fun quarantine, no-contact Thanksgiving celebration. But the one we’ll give the most attention to comes from the CDC. They offer activities and steps to protect yourself and others from getting or spreading COVID-19.

Grateful for Health and Wellness

Even with our children attending school part-time, we have been spared. With so many of my comorbidities, it’s been very important that our family is protected to keep everyone around us safe.

Fortunately, less than a dozen direct family members have contracted the coronavirus since it was officially announced in March 2020. Unfortunately, we’ve nevertheless suffered the loss of many of its members. Dozens in our outer, non-family member circle have both contracted and died from complications of the virus.

The morbidity of our new reality has really forced us to focus on all those we come in contact with differently. Even beyond the contact tracing happening at school and work, we are the best defense against the spread of the virus as well as what it can do to mental, spiritual, relational and professional health.

Grateful for Veterans and Essential Workers

This time last year, we honored our veterans out loud, in the streets, at their tombs and with a parade. In the midst of a health and human crisis, closures and cancellations, we couldn’t pay tribute to our veterans amid the strain of a pandemic. Some recognition events were moved to social media, memorial motorcades became socially-distanced and virtual events. Nevertheless, my gratitude for their service and sacrifice remains.

The pandemic highlights the long, overdue dependence on essential workers. They selflessly put themselves at risk, making sacrifices for the safety of others. First responders, healthcare professionals, public health workers, police officers, firefighters, military personnel, teacher/educators, grocery store workers, mail carriers, truck drivers and so many more risk their lives and serve the communities around them. As we look for ways to feed and fund our frontline heroes, we found a few ways to keep them encouraged.

Power Wheelchair Winter Storage Tips

Snowbirds who use a power wheelchair don’t always opt to bring it along with them. Sometimes, ambulatory wheelchair users prefer to rent a motorized wheelchair when they travel. Other times, they may have a mobility device that they leave at home and they choose to buy a power wheelchair when they get to their second home. If you’re going to travel south for the winter and you aren’t traveling with your power wheelchair, check out these storage tips.

Tip 1. Preparing Your Power Wheelchair for Storage

When it comes to storing your motorized wheelchair, preparation is key for maintaining its integrity. The first thing you should do, when at all possible, is make sure that the batteries are fully charged before storing. 

Tip 2. Where to Store Your Motorized Wheelchair

Ideally, your motorized wheelchair’s batteries should be stored in a climate above 32 degrees to help prevent them from freezing while you’re away. They also should be disconnected from the device to help slow down the rate of discharge.

Tip 3. Maintaining Your Power Wheelchair

How often you need to charge the batteries for your electric wheelchair is determined by how often you use it. If you use your product less frequently, we recommend charging the batteries 8-14 hours twice a week for a maintenance charge. When it comes to longer periods without using your power wheelchair, we recommend keeping a charging schedule of one charge every 2-3 weeks. 

Since you aren’t home during this time, we recommend that you ask someone you trust to do it for you. We do not recommend charging the batteries for longer than 14 hours. Refer to the manual supplied with the battery charger for charging instructions.

Snowy landscape with a sunrise behind four pine trees with glistening snow.

Tip 4. Getting Your Motorized Wheelchair Ready for Use

Once you’re back and ready to use your motorized wheelchair, there are some things you need to do first. Before you can use your electric wheelchair, make sure that the batteries are charged. In the event that batteries were stored in an environment below 32 degrees for a long period of time, they need to be brought into a warmer environment for a day before charging to prevent any damage.

If you read through these tips and decide to change your mind about traveling with your power wheelchair, we have some tips for traveling with your motorized wheelchair safely.

Which Scooters are Covered by Insurance?

One of the biggest questions you may have is “how do I pay for a mobility scooter?” You are not alone. Thousands of people who are taking their first step toward increased mobility share the same concerns. We hope to make it a little easier to weigh your options by providing you with additional information.

Medicare and Medicaid

What exactly is Medicare? Medicare is a federal health insurance program meant for individuals who are 65 or older or people that have certain disabilities 1. There are several parts of Medicare, and specifically Medicare Part B can potentially cover medical supplies. Medical supplies can also be defined as power wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Depending on your diagnosis and a  examination by your physician, your mobility device may be covered/partially covered by your insurance.

Private Insurance

Outside of federal insurance plans exist what are known as private insurance plans. These are plans that are offered by employers or purchased through other means. At times, these plans may also potentially cover a portion of the cost of your mobility device. The best way to verify your coverage is to contact your private healthcare plan directly.

Self-Funding

If insurance is not an option self-funding is always an avenue you can explore for gaining increased mobility. Starting a fundraiser within your local community or even checking out online fundraising applications like Go Fund Me Crowdcube, and IndiGogo, to name a few.


Which Scooters are Covered by Insurance?

So, which scooters may be funded through insurance? Here are a few from Pride Mobility that are officially coded ( or code verified). Please note that scooters reimbursed by insurance depend on your  medical need and type of insurance coverage:

  • Go-Go® ES 2 – lightweight portable scooter that comes with a front basket.
  • Go-Go Elite Traveller® – one of our most versatile scooters that easily disassembles in just a few steps.
  • Go-Go Elite Traveller® Plus – perhaps one of our most versatile travel scooters, featuring a delta tiller with ergonomic wraparound handles for optimal driving comfort.
  • Go-Go® Sport – travel the country with a mobility scooter that can fit into most car trunks!
  • Victory® 9 – Enjoy on-the-go style with a scooter that boasts a comfortable black vinyl seat that swivels.
  • Victory® 10 –One of our most feature-rich scooters, complete with an LED light to show you the way.

You can also view an entire lineup of scooters by opening this end-to-end brochure. There will be a row detailing what billing code is associated with each scooter (if applicable). If you have any additional questions regarding coverage or your options, we recommend speaking with your insurance provider. If you have any questions regarding Pride Mobility®, feel free to leave us a comment, give us a call at 1-800-800-4258 or chat with one of our friendly representatives by visiting www.pridemobility.com and clicking on the little blue chat icon in the lower right hand corner of your screen.

*Please note that this article is only intended to be a resource, we recommend speaking directly with your insurance and healthcare providers for information pertaining to exact coverage/etc.

  1. As defined by Medicare on Medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/your=medicare-coverage-choices/whats-medicare

Make Your Thanksgiving Gathering Inclusive

The holidays are an exciting time and they’re just about upon us, with Thanksgiving kicking off the season! While we have a lot to be grateful for, it’s easy to become stressed when planning holiday gatherings and lose sight of what really matters during these special times. If you have a friend or family member who uses a wheelchair or mobility scooter and they are coming to your Thanksgiving gathering, you may worry that your gathering may not be accessible. It is imperative to plan ahead when it comes to hosting an event. The same thing goes for hosting an event with wheelchair users or mobility scooter users. While you can’t go remodel your house with just a few weeks to go, there are some other small adjustments you can make to ensure that your gathering is accessible for all.

Is Your Home Accessible?

Both power wheelchair users and scooter users may run into some issues when trying to navigate entrances with steps. It may be difficult for them to go into different rooms when the doorways are not wide enough. One thing you can do is place rubber wheelchair ramps over thresholds. In addition to providing a safe way for electric wheelchairs to cross thresholds and small steps, they are easy to install, slip resistant and affordable.

Some other factors to look at, if you are considering hosting at your home, would be:

  • Can a power wheelchair or mobility scooter fit through the doorway?
  • Do you have carpet or hardwood flooring?
  • Is there enough space in each room for a wheelchair or scooter to do a 360-degree turn?

Sizes in motorized wheelchairs and electric scooters vary, as well as their turning radius, so we suggest asking the wheelchair user or scooter user which model they have. For instance, the Go-Go scooter line is our smallest line of scooters, but there is a difference in turning radius if your loved one drives a 3-wheel scooter vs a 4-wheel scooter.

An Alternative to Hosting at Home

If you find that your house is not accessible, another great option would be to schedule your get together in a public place.  Consider having your celebration at a restaurant. Some restaurants have a party room with open space that guests can rent out. Keeping the same criteria in mind as when you were evaluating if your house was accessible, try to find a place that has an entrance without steps and that is wide enough for a power wheelchair to enter. Rather than hosting, maybe you all prefer to enjoy a meal out together. Either way, make sure that the restaurant is wheelchair accessible first!

Be Mindful of Where You Place Things

Whether you are hosting your accessible gathering at home or elsewhere, it’s important that you are mindful of the environment. If you are at home, consider where you place decorations to make sure there’s still clear paths for a person in a mobility device to get through. It is also important to think about where you place your food, whether you are dining at home or out. Placing food on bars or high-top tables can make it very difficult or impossible for some wheelchair users to reach it if they do not have a Jazzy Air® 2 wheelchair! Also, to ensure that everyone has ample open space to mingle, we suggest moving any tables with refreshments to the edges of the room.

Navigating the Holidays with Your Scooter

The holidays are just around the corner which means that there will be a lot of hustle and bustle for the next several weeks, maybe even months. From shopping for gifts to visiting family members, it can be both an exciting and stressful time. Having a mobility scooter is meant to be an asset, helping you navigate the holidays. Whether it’s going to a holiday event or Black Friday shopping, we have some tips for you!

Shopping with Your Mobility Scooter

Shopping during the holiday season is hard enough. Stores are crowded and it’s hard to get to anything you want to see, not to mention it’s difficult to even get anywhere when people are all around you. With the Jazzy Zero Turn, its patented iTurn Technology™ allows this 4-wheel scooter to maneuver easily in hallways, elevators and other small spaces.

While you’re out and about, you may need to get in contact with your family or friends for several reasons. No matter where your scooter or power chair takes you, the XLR USB Charger will keep your cell phone charged and ready to use! This compact charger plugs conveniently into the charging ports of Pride® electric scooters and can be used while your electric scooter is in motion.

When it comes to carrying what you buy during your holiday shopping, we offer two baskets, a front and rear basket, for you to hold your items. Some scooters also offer under seat storage. You can continue shopping hands-free without worrying that your bags will fall off your lap.

Going to Holiday Parties with Your Mobility Scooter

It’s important to be able to see where you’re going. LED lights play a pivotal role in your visibility, safety, and independence and brighten up your night. Several of our scooters come standard with an LED lighting package. Whether after a long day of shopping or leaving an event, you can safely drive through the parking lot or on the sidewalk while still being visible to others.

Several of our scooter accessories make going out convenient without the extra stress of making sure different items are with you. Just like when shopping, both the XLR USB charger and the RAM® X-Grip® cell phone holder are great for being able to easily reach anyone that you need to contact.

While you are at any party or holiday event, having a cup holder is perfect for being able to mingle hands-free, while still having your drink handy.

Whether you are bringing something to the party or taking something home with you, having a front and rear basket is helpful for carrying your items for you as you focus on driving. While the baskets are helpful for smaller items, our cane clip attachment and cane holder are two good options for holding other mobility devices that you may use as an alternative to your scooter, once you get to the event or party.

Traveling with Your Mobility Scooter During the Holidays

Whether you are traveling by land, by sea or by air, portability is important when it comes to traveling with your scooter. Our Go-Go® travel mobility line features smaller scooters that disassemble into five lightweight pieces for storage and transport. There is also the Go-Go® Folding Scooter, which folds in just a few steps. In addition to our Go-Go line, we also have slightly bigger travel scooters, such as the Revo® 2.0 mobility scooter, Victory® 9 and 10 mobility scooters, and the Jazzy Zero Turn. Not all of them disassemble. If traveling by air, be sure to speak with your airline ahead of time to ensure that your batteries are compatible for flying.

Hand putting a cell phone into a basket on a mobility scooter that is plugged in charging.

If you are intimidated by the idea of bringing your scooter with you on a plane, you can always opt to rent a scooter. Several authorized Pride providers offer rentals. Renting a scooter ahead of time is as easy as going to our dealer locator, entering in the address of where you’re going, and seeing what each provider offers. If they offer rentals, you will see it as an option, along with their contact information.

Dealing with Loss, Using Self Care

September was Mental Health Awareness Month and October is Suicide Prevention Awareness month. There has never been more attention and light on these issues as the world is forced to adapt to isolation, social distancing and insurmountable loss during the global health, cultural and political crisis of 2020. Many are asking: how do we cope, grieve and manage the “new normal” that these unprecedented times have presented to us? Ironically, the lives of individuals with disabilities have a way of single-handedly managing this experience daily – until we can’t.  That’s when we call for assistance, support, resources and self care. I chose equine therapy.

The following types of loss represents those a newly injured or diagnosed individual with a disability may encounter.

Loss of Abilities

This type of loss can present itself as an illness, injury accident or aging. It can be temporary, permanent or for an unknown amount of time. In our case, it was a post-graduate season and after landing my dream career. The loss of my job, career, income and ability to walk happened in the same moment of impairment. No one specifically said, “I’m sorry for your loss,” but in retrospect, that’s exactly what happened to our entire family.

Loss of Freedom

Next, there is no better example of this loss than what we now know as the coronavirus. While we celebrated Christmas, the United States watched and prayed when we saw the impact of an airborne disease sweeping East Asia. By March, several cases were identified in Seattle, WA. Shortly thereafter, the entire country was locked down – from schools to airports, mandated self-isolation orders were in place to flatten the curve. And just like that, only essential workers were permitted to leave their homes and hospitals became inundated with the sick. No one is immune. Statistically, people with disabilities, underserved socioeconomic groups and men have been the hardest hit. The medical model of this country has long seen those who are ill as the problem, not the society’s perception of, or limited accommodations, for us. As such, we are more likely to stay at home than risk the problem of attitudinal and architectural barriers we face most everywhere we go.

Loss of Family

At the time of this writing, there is no cure for COVID-19. The global loss felt is unmatched. The information provided to keep the medical fragile and high-risk populations have shifted and changed over time as we remain helpless and uncertain. Those with already complicated medical histories understand, and have suffered, the common experience of watching their family members die from a condition without a cure or research without the possibility of enough funding to get them the answers needed to save them. Even more common than a physical loss of family, there’s the loss of support from family, spouse, children and friends who are no longer able to endure the challenges people with disabilities often face.

Self-Care Solutions

Here’s how self-care can assist. Whether the loss of family, freedom, friends or abilities is the challenge, recognize that self-care is a mindset, sacrifice and choice. Finding a light at the end of the tunnel can be as simple as a selfcare routine, mindset mentor and best-practices. According to Mindset Trainer, Caroline Ferguson, there are eight self-care tips for mindset maintenance:

  • Cultivate self-awareness
  • Accept the world and yourself
  • Pay attention
  • Care out time for yourself to be creative
  • Give yourself permission to let go
  • Make time to meditate
  • Book sacred “me time” in your diary
  • Practice active gratitude

What is a Yellow Pumpkin?

You see them everywhere: in stores, on porches, in person and on Instagram but do you know why we carve jack-o’-lanterns? Traditions come from history and pumpkin carving has some deep roots. Decorating and carving pumpkins started in Ireland where other types of root vegetables like turnips and potatoes were used by people to decorate. The jack-o’-lantern comes from a folktale telling the story of a man named Stingy Jack. You can read more about the story here.

Have You Seen a Yellow Pumpkin?

Trick-or-treating is a time-honored tradition for many families during the Halloween holiday. In order to trick-or-treat, you need something to carry your candy in. Containers range from pillowcases to plastic pumpkins. You may have seen teal pumpkins while trick-or-treating. They signify that the child or person carrying the teal pumpkin has a food allergy to be aware of. The Yellow Pumpkin Parade was started by a mother who lives upstate and created the project to bring awareness to children with disabilities. Lisa Slater’s son was denied candy when he wasn’t able to say trick-or-treat while visiting a home. You can learn more about the Yellow Pumpkin Parade by visiting this site.

What About Costumes?

Taking the holiday a step further toward inclusion, many retailers have created costume lines that are adaptive. In addition to purchasing an adaptive Halloween costume, there are many ideas that you can make yourself right at home.

What Else is There to Do?

During the fall there are so many activities that can be a great and inclusive time for the whole family, including baking, apple picking, hayrides and corn mazes. You can learn about these great activities here. As always, we recommend contacting the venue prior to visiting to ensure that their facilities are accessible.

Staying Safe

Perhaps the most important Halloween costume accessory is staying safe. It’s always a good idea to stay within neighborhoods you are familiar with. During the fall, it tends to get dark out earlier, so bringing something to light your way and keep you visible is always a great idea. Flashlights, LEDs and reflective gear can all be worked into a great costume!

https://www.pridemobility.com/find-a-dealer.asp

Does Medicare Pay for Scooter Lifts?

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federally funded program that is designed to provide health insurance to people age 65 and over, as well as certain individuals with disabilities. Some of these individuals include people who are blind, totally and permanently disabled and have been receiving Social Security disability payments for 24 months, or who have end-stage renal disease. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) runs the Medicare program, while the Social Security Administration helps by enrolling qualified participants into the program.

Will Medicare Pay for Scooter Lifts?

In short, no, Medicare will not pay for a scooter lift for your car or van. While Medicare covers a wide range of equipment to use within your home, they do not cover scooter lifts for your car. Medicare Part B specifically covers a portion of the purchase or lease of certain approved types of durable medical equipment (DME). Unfortunately, Part B does not cover things like wheelchair ramps, walk-in tubs or scooter lifts for your car.

How Medicare Works

Medicare has several parts. Part B, which we discussed earlier, is the medical insurance part of Medicare that pays for DME. This includes an electric wheelchair, mobility scooter or power lift recliner.  For Part B carriers to reimburse for DME, such as a power mobility device, certain conditions must be met.

In order for Medicare to cover the durable medical equipment, the device must be deemed medically necessary and reasonable, either in the treatment of an injury or illness or in improving the function of an impaired body part. It must also be for use primarily in the individual’s home, which is why scooter lifts for your vehicle are not covered.

To be considered for coverage by Medicare, the Medicare beneficiary must have a face-to-face mobility-focused examination and a written prescription from a doctor or other treating practitioner, and the equipment must be medically necessary based on Medicare’s coverage guidelines.

Learn More

To learn more about what durable medical equipment Medicare covers and Medicare’s coverage guidelines, you can check out their website at medicare.gov or speak with a representative over the phone.

Finding a Compatible Lift for Your Scooter

If you don’t have a wheelchair accessible vehicle and are an ambulatory wheelchair or mobility scooter user, purchasing a lift could be beneficial for you and your loved ones. You can safely store your mobility device in your vehicle and bring it with you wherever you go. There are several kinds of vehicle lifts for your mobility scooter, including platform lifts and boom lifts. With many options for lifts out there, how do you know which one is compatible with your scooter?

Choosing the right vehicle lift for your scooter might seem like an intimidating task at first, but there are just a few factors that go into choosing the right one, helping you narrow down your options. This includes looking at the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the specific model of your scooter.

Dimensions

Four dimensions need to be considered when assessing the compatibility of your scooter lift for your vehicle. One should know the length, height, width and weight of the mobility scooter. This is an important step that shouldn’t be overlooked because equipment that is too heavy can damage the vehicle lift and make it unsafe to use. The mobility product should weigh as much or less than the maximum weight capacity of the lift.

Measuring Your Mobility Scooter

To measure your scooter, start from the front to rear, stopping at its longest point. This also goes for measuring the width. Measure your scooter from side-to-side at its widest point. Accuracy is imperative because the mobility product’s measurements should line up with the dimensions of the platform lift, even leaving room to spare.

To measure the height of the scooter, start from the ground to the tallest point, with the backrest folded, if applicable. This determines whether it fits through the vehicle’s rear hatch or side door opening and then can fit inside the vehicle.

If you already own a Pride Mobility® scooter, we make the process easy! Check out our Brochures page under the Resources and Support Center to find the specifications for your specific scooter model. These will include the dimensions such as height, width, length and weight.

Black electric platform wheelchair lift for a vehicle with power cord on top of the platform.

Speaking with a Professional

Our biggest piece of advice in finding the perfect lift for your vehicle is to consult an expert. Providers that sell lifts have sales representatives available who are knowledgeable in a wide range of mobility scooters that can discuss which vehicle lifts are compatible with both your scooter and your vehicle. They can help you make an informed and confident decision when finding a compatible lift for your scooter.

PRIDE MOBILITY® LAUNCHES GO CHAIR® MED POWER CHAIR

Contact Information:

Rebecca Bria

Public Relations Manager

(800) 800-8586 ext. 1380

rbria@pridemobility.com

EXETER, PA – The new Go Chair® MED Power Chair* from Pride Mobility Products® is now available.

The Go Chair MED has a similar footprint to Pride’s popular Go Chair®, however with additional enhancements, the Go Chair MED is HCPCS coded as K0821 Group 2 Portable through insurance while the Go Chair remains a retail product. In addition, the Go Chair MED has anti-tips on the front tires to enable the unit to climb to 40 millimeters, a requirement to meet the K0821 code. The Go Chair MED is a feature-rich power chair with a compact design and a tight turning radius. It has feather-touch disassembly so the chair can be easily disassembled in just a few steps, making it extra portable. Plus, the Go Chair MED has two different seating options, allowing consumers to get the seat size that is right for them.

“Medicare and most third-party insurers will only pay for a mobility device to be used in the home,” said Ray Wandel, Director, Jazzy and Retail Mobility Management. “This is a sticking point for consumers who live busy, active lifestyles outside the home. They needed a portable power chair that is easy to transport and one that insurers will cover. Enter the Go Chair MED.”

Renae Storie, Vice President of Pride Mobility, says consumers and providers wanted a coded, truly portable power chair from Pride that didn’t sacrifice quality or performance.

“We received feedback from our providers that their customers were looking for a coded power chair that is portable,” Storie said. “We wanted to find a solution to meet this customer and provider demand, and we are confident the Go Chair MED hits the mark.” 

*Note: Pride FDA Class II Medical Devices are designed to aid individuals with mobility impairments.

Pride Mobility Products® Corporation is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of mobility products including Jazzy® Power Chairs, Go-Go® Travel Mobility, Pride Mobility® Scooters, and Pride® Power Lift Recliners. The Pride® family of companies also includes Quantum Rehab®, a leader in complex rehab power chairs, as well as Stealth Products®, the foremost manufacturer of positioning components. Headquartered in Exeter, Pennsylvania, Pride also has operations in Las Vegas, Mississippi, Florida, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Visit www.pridemobility.com.