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I’m excited to announce that I have a new occasional writing gig creating content for the Sunrise Medical Live Quickie Blog — my first article is titled, “How Many Wheelchairs Are Enough?” How Many Wheelchairs Are Enough?

First, a disclaimer… While I am now a paid contributor to the Live Quickie blog, don’t take this as a blanket endorsement of the Sunrise Medical company or its products. We do own a Quickie 2 wheelchair that is J’s main set of wheels but we purchased it (through Medicare) several years ago. I do think it’s a good chair and I might get around to reviewing it someday. I decided to write for the Live Quickie blog because mobility is a huge issue for J and so many others, and the blog and its companion video library offer interesting user perspectives. Sunrise also manufactures Jay Cushions and we do own a Jay Union cushion purchased outright two years ago.

What is Sunrise Medical?

Sunrise is a German company owned by a private equity firm. The breadth of their seating systems is impressive, and you can learn a lot about wheelchairs and cushions just by perusing their website. Their website states, “Sunrise Medical is a world leader in the development, design, manufacture, and distribution of manual and powered wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and both standard and made-to-order seating and positioning systems.”

The Quickie 2 chair was selected for J by a seating specialist recommended by her physiatrist. The specialist works with a variety of manufacturers and conducts an assessment of the user’s needs to determine the appropriate chair. In J’s case, we needed a low, narrow chair suitable for J’s short stature and our narrow doorways. The chair isn’t a perfect solution but it solved several problems and has held up well — I provide more detail about this in the article.

Mobility is a Fascinating Topic

Maybe it’s my technology background that causes me to be fascinated by mobility devices. While huge, heavy, industrial-strength wheelchairs are still available and in use, there is constant innovation across the industry designing new chairs for a variety of uses. The new chairs are lighter, often offer power, and are usually more specialized. They tend to be expensive, rarely covered by insurance, and so specialized that you need more than one type — hence, the basis for my article.

Coincidentally, as I was finishing the article, I saw a video about a wheelchair announced by Revolve Mobility BV in 2021 that folds up and can be carried onto a plane and stowed in the overhead bin. This chair features amazing folding wheels. The product concept included the intention to be able to rent the chair at an airport kiosk. The original chair in the video appears to have been superseded by a newer version that will be available through Kickstarter later this fall.

While a carry-on wheelchair sounds useful at first blush, it will be interesting to see how consumers react since airlines are already required to provide accommodations for wheelchairs both in the cabin and as luggage, Again, these highly specialized devices carry a high price tag and may not be suitable for day to day use.

As always, I encourage you to share your thoughtful comments and feedback. I’d love to here about your mobility challenges and what solutions you’ve found.

I’m not accepting advertising on this blog or my other blog, One Voice for Reason. I hope that if you appreciate my efforts, you’ll buy me a coffee through my ko-fi account. Simple and safe, any small contribution helps me offset the cost of hosting, etc.

Thoughtful Comments Appreciated!

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