How do I go about getting a wheelchair for my mother with Medicare paying for most of it? I don't even know where to begin. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for your time and have a nice evening.
You have to go through your Dr--He must write a prescription for it.
You can also often borrow wheel chairs from many fire stations. Many have what they call loan closets.
Check with yours and see what they have.
Look in your phone book, usually under Medical Supply, if you live near a medium to large size city, there should be a company that can help you.
The hospital where I work has a Wheelchair program. People donate wheelchairs, volunteers repair and distribute them free of charge. Try your local hospital.
Many people donate wheelchairs as dedtired mentioned. I would imagine that along with hospital donations, that you might find them at a Goodwill stores/Salvation Army, and classified sections of your newspaper. If you go on line, i imagine that there must be sites for those who collect wheelchairs and donate them. Years ago I remember a guy who did this.
Keep your eyes open as you drive around on trash day. A lot of people throw out wheelchairs that are no longer needed. You may need to do a bit of repair but genaric parts are easy to find at a dealer. I believe that medicare pays 80% with a perscription which can be expensive especially with a motorised unit. I recomend hard rubber tires. Air filled create a problem not holding air.
If a family member was in the military, check with your local American Legion or VFW. Ours loans out equipment to vets and their families/
A lot of good advice above.
Also, if there is a Harbor Freight near you, they carry a few very basic wheel chair models, at a fraction of the price of going to a medical supply store/drug store.
But I must warn you of one thing with Medicare. There's a certain protocol there. If you get a wheel chair (indicating your mother is completely disabled), and then decide your mother needs something like a walker, or electric lounger to help her get up (something for a partially disabled person)--Medicare may not pay for second item. It's complicated, but for medicare to pick up the tab, you have to buy these things in a certain order, and at certain intervals. Before you make a decision, talk to the folks at your local medical supply store to see what they recommend. We just paid for mom's wheel chair, because it wasn't worth losing benefits she might need further down the line (for something more expensive).
Also, mention among your friends, at your church, etc, that you need a wheel chair--ofte people have them sitting around the house because they're too expensive to throw out when they're no longer needed. You may find someone who is willing to lend you one.
Or, if you only need it for excursions out of the house, I found that most places I wanted to take my mom had wheel chairs to borrow--and we just skipped those that didn't, until we finally got her one of her own.
I believe Medicare will pay for a wheelchair only if it's prescribed by a doctor and the person needs it in their home, not just to get around outside.
You can buy a basic folding wheel chair for about $130. And try places like Craig's list and ebay for used ones.
Does she hav supplimental insurance? When I broke my ankle my insurance paid for a month of wheelchair rental.
Azzalea is right, Medicare is very tricky. My husband got a walker a whie ago that only cost him out of pocket $22. But he tripped using it and a piece of metal on it snapped, so it is useless. He found out Medicare will NOT pay for a new one, he has to wait 2 years. Ask your doctor for a prescription and definitely go to a professional Medical Supply store to get it, not your local drugstore or even Walgreens.