Service Cats: Q & A About The New PowerChair
MeOW and welcome to our first Service Cat post of 2018. We’ve been chompin’ at the purr-verbial bit to get started. Me wants to point out a few changes we’ve made in an attempt to make these posts easier to find, and easier for you to ask questions. First, take a look at our menu options. We created a whole page with the links to every post in this series called Training Tips and Everything Feline. We will be adding descriptive tags so that you can easily find exactly what you’re looking for. We had hoped to have that done already, but as most of you know, we’ve had a few challenges keeping us busy elsewhere. Rest assured we will be doing that in short order. You will also find a contact form on the page that is completely private. Just fill it out with your questions or post suggestions and we’ll receive an e-mail readable only by us. If you’ve missed any posts in our Service Cats series, you may check this page to get all caught up. As Always you may continue to ask questions in the comments of our posts; we luv, luv, luv hearing from you. Remember when asking behavioral questions to purrlease be as specific as pawssible. Let’s get the business outta the way and get this pawrty started.
The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
We had a lot of questions last year regarding the new PowerChair/WheelChair. Just in case you’re new to our blog, let me explain. Mommy’s PowerChair broke last June. One of the motors went out and the chair wouldn’t do anything but turn in a circle. Being over five years old, Medicare wouldn’t pay to repair it; so, we had to go thru the procedures to get a new one. Unfortunately, that process is long and tedious. We finally got approved and received our new PowerChair in January of this year. Here are some of the questions ya’ll asked about the new PowerChair and our Training/Ability to use it:
Old chair, but the joystick is the same on most chairs. It’s made of a
flexible rubber type material.
Q: Isn’t the joystick hard on a cat’s teeth?
A: The joystick is covered in/made of a fairly soft rubberized material, so it’s not any harder on a cat’s teeth than many of our toys.
Q: Does a repairman come out and evaluate the chair, and what steps are required to get a new PowerChair?
A: Yes, a repairman comes to our home to determine what’s wrong with the chair and if it can be fixed. If a PowerChair is over 5 years old, Medicare will not pay for repairs. So, the repairman must take measurements for a new PowerChair. The measurements required are the length of a persons arms, legs and torso. Measurements are also taken of the person’s width between the arms and weight. Other questions that will be asked is if the person has problems with incontinence, diabetes, ulcers or sores on their hiney, and the width of all doors and hallways in the home. Once those measurements are taken, the repairman will submit a request for a prescription from the person’s doctor. The person, (ie: mommy), must then see the doctor for a mobility evaluation, as well as a physical therapist. They will submit their evaluations along with a prescription to the PowerChair repairman who will submit it to Medicare for approval. The approval process can take as long as a year. There are emergency situations that can speed up the process, but it’s always best to expect a bit of a wait.
Q: Does the new PowerChair come with instructions or do we just have to figure it out ourselves?
A: The new PowerChair comes with a packet that explains how to assemble the chair and connect the control panel to the batteries as well as a description of the control panel. A small booklet with care instructions is also included. There’s no instructions on how to drive, which is why mommy ran into everything the first time she powered up.
Q: Why does it take so long to get a new PowerChair and do we have a manual chair we can use in the meantime?
A: We don’t know why it takes so long, but if you ever figure it out, let us know. MOL As for a manual chair, the answer is NO. Medicare and most insurance companies “rent” equipment in a succession based on health. That simply means they start with things such as canes and walkers and move up. Mommy skipped the manual wheelchair step because certain movements required to power a manual chair would cause her to pass out. She went straight from a cane to a PowerChair. So, when it’s broken, she’s left to get around however she can. In her case, that means crawling for several hours a day.
Q: Once the new PowerChair arrives, are we able to drive it or does it require re-Training?
A: Quite a few of you asked this question; but, until the new PowerChair got here, we couldn’t know for sure how to answer it. This is mommy’s third PowerChair, and each have been a little different. The first and second chair rode and drove pretty much the same and required no additional Training. Our new PowerChair however, rides and drives much differently than the previous chairs. The differences are subtle, but they are there. Enough so, that we will both require some new Training. Actually, me should say all three of us need some additional Training. The first time mommy powered on, she ran into everything and even fell off the sidewalk outside.
The view seems better from the new chair. And, the arms seem wider.
What are those differences, you ask? Well, for starters, the old chairs had a 360° turn without moving forward or backwards. The new PowerChair moves slightly forward when turning to the right, and slightly backwards when turning to the left. That may not sound like much to you, but due to limited space in our apartment, it can mean the difference in successfully turning around or hitting doors and walls and any other furniture that might be near, as well as falling off the curb. We have a very small kitchen and bathroom, so turning around becomes difficult in this chair. We’ll be doing more “backouts” instead of actual turning around. Mommy also says this joystick is very touchy. One little push or pull and the PowerChair starts moving. Altho’ that’s a good thing, it’s not something we’re used to and will require a few hours of additional Training. After all, we are cats and do find ourselves occasionally re-scenting the joystick with a little face rub. We for sure don’t want to go wheeling through the wall just because we showed the joystick some love. MOL The speed control on the new PowerChair is a dial up instead of a push button. Mommy hasn’t decided yet if that’s a good thing or not, but we’ll keep you posted as we go along. One small detail that others wouldn’t have given a second thought, is that the power button and horn are in the opposite positions from any chair we’ve ever owned. And the back wheels not only touch the floor all the time, they’re also the same size as the front.
So, a lot of little changes mean a lot of extra Training. Remember, altho’ the old chair was broken, we still had some form of Training each day, we just didn’t move. Getting used to moving again, is going to take a little time. However, mommy’s confident we’ll be ready for the races in no time. 🙂
Well, we hope we’ve answered the questions you all had about the new PowerChair. We’ll be posting more about our Training as well as tackling any other questions ya’ll might have. ‘Member, there are no stupid questions. Ifin you’ve been wanderin’ somethin’, you can rest assured you’re not alone. And be sure to check out our menu page Training Tips and Everything Feline to get caught up on any post you may have missed in this series.
We have a favor to ask. As you all know, we really want to go to BlogPaws this year. It’s a state over in Missouri. That’s just too close to miss, we think. Anyways, it’s time to submit your favorite blogs fur the Nose to Nose Awards. We fur sure would luv to be recognized and receive one of those pawsum awards. We’d really appreciate your nomination of our blog fur one or more categories. We’ve tried to make this as easy for you as pawssible, so, you can just do a copy and paste of the links. Here’s the categories we qualify for and the information you’ll need to submit us. Purrlease take a couple of minutes and fill out the form here. Fank you all so very much.
Best Cat Blog:
Contact/Creator Name: Audra High
Our email address: email@example.com that’s lexi (dot) dezi (at) yahoo (dot) com. No spaces of course.
Our BlogPaws Profile:
Our Facebook Page:
Our Twitter Page:
Best Written Pet Blog Post: Use the links above, unless you think another post was our best. If you choose another post, purrlease let us know which post you nominated. You may nominate more than one post or blog, it just has to be on a new form. Posts that are qualified for nomination/consideration: Any post created/published between January 2017 through February 2018.
Best Photo on a Pet Blog: We had a lot of trouble trying to narrow this one down. Purrlease feel free to choose one of the following, or you may choose any other foto of us on our blog:
Best Written Blog Post, Sponsored:
We really ‘purreciate ya’ll takin’ the time to nominate us. If you’ve chosen a post or foto different from the links we provided, just let us know. We’re always innerested in knowin’ what you luv ‘bout us or our blog.
Till the next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Posted on February 9, 2018, in Educational, Human Speak, Questions & Answers, Service Cats, Training and tagged #ServiceCats, #TrainingTechniques, #TrainingTips, Cats, Deztinee, Educational, Human Speak, Powerchair, RaenaBelle, Training, Wheelchair. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.