Travel, Leisure & Fun for South Valley Adults

Wheelchairs, Diabetes and Insulin


How often can I get my wheelchair replaced and does Medicare cover motorized scooters?

That is a really great question and I want you to get the most accurate information possible. I reached out to Nourlie Carlos, FNP-BC at Optimal Medical Care in Visalia, whom I have heard is very successful at getting his patients wheelchairs and scooters. He shared the most often asked questions along with his comments.

When should a wheelchair be replaced?

A well-cared-for and well-maintained active wheelchair can last from five to 10 years. There are chairs that, due to the materials, can last more than 10 years, but typically, the functional life of a chair is five years.

How often can a wheelchair be replaced?

A wheelchair or scooter is covered for replacement once every five years, except in special circumstances. Also, wheelchair and scooter repairs are covered.

I had an evaluation for a new or replacement wheelchair, but I never received it. Why was my request not approved?

Requirements for new or replacement wheelchairs are most often denied due to incomplete or improper documentation. Crucial information may be missing in the documentation that did not justify the need for a new or replacement wheelchair.

Documentation starts with the provider, accompanied by collaborating documentation from a therapist and home assessment by the DME/wheelchair company are necessary for approval.

Diabetes and Insulin

I have been told I am a diabetic. Does everyone who is diagnosed with diabetes have to take insulin?

I reached out to David Davis, FNP-C at Optimal Medical, who specializes in diabetes.

"No, a lot of Type II diabetics have been prescribed insulin to get their blood sugars down quickly; then have been kept on insulin to help keep their blood sugars regulated," said Davis. "Or, they’ve had their insulin increased numerous times because their blood sugars are still not at goal. Unfortunately, a lot of these patients end up on horrible regimens, taking multiple injections a day."

"According to the guidelines, all diabetics are to have their A1C (a simple blood test in the office) controlled below a 7.0. The reason for this guideline is because research has shown; controlling diabetics below an A1C of 7.0 has decreased the possibility of organ damage caused by uncontrolled diabetes."

He added that a lot of Type II diabetics are still producing insulin and may not need exogenous insulin (insulin in the form of shot) at all. However, some Type II diabetics can eventually stop producing insulin because their body's compensating mechanisms have resulted in the failure of their pancreas to produce insulin.

"This is why it's imperative patients should be properly evaluated," said Davis. "No two patients are the same, and neither is the therapy they should receive."

Kimberly Jensen has been working with Quail Park as a Senior Resource Advocate for over ten years and has helped hundreds of families find solutions to their senior problems. If you have a question, you can send it to her at or call (559) 737-7443.


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