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Powered wheelchairs

Hi. I posted a question about powered wheelchairs a while ago, but never got round to doing anything about it. Now spring is here maybe it’s time to get my act together so that I can get out and about independently.

Any advice would be welcome.

Do I go for something small enough and manoeuvrable enough to get me around our small bungalow and allow me to potter into the garden. Would I be able to get it onto a bus? Would it do small steps as in where dropped kerbs have a little bit of a rise?

Or do I go for a bigger one which would be sturdier and have a bigger range but might not be suitable for getting around indoors?

I’d like both but I can’t afford both!

I also have a scooter which I no longer use and am hoping that maybe it would be taken in part exchange.

Hi flowerpot,

Don’t pay for your power chair; get in touch with your O/T and ask to be put in touch with the wheelchair service. They will arrange to fit one to suit you and more important will regularly service.

If you get Motability DO NOT use this to get a chair; very expensive. No wonder they are over £2 billion in profit.

Good luck

George

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Hi Eve

My Wheelchair Services only provide horrible huge powered chairs (I hesitate to call them ‘power’ chair’s, they don’t seem to have much power). And then only if you need to use a power chair both indoors and out, ie can’t use a manual chair inside the house, because of weak arms or for some other reason. Their powered chairs would be a total nuisance to have in my house/bungalow, it’s not that small, but just getting anywhere near the loo/sink in the bathroom would be a challenge and manoeuvring round the house would be horrible. The paintwork already gets enough rough treatment from my manual chair!

So when I was assessed for a power chair, I decided not to bother. My husband doesn’t mind pushing me, although my arms are constantly hurting, I can still use a manual chair indoors.

The other thing about a monster of a power chair is that I’d (husband would) need to be able to get it in the car, so it would have to be light enough for that.

I wish Wheelchair Services did more to help when opting to buy a chair. To my mind, if their offerings won’t suit a person, they could be doing a decent job of helping a person to buy a chair that suits their needs and won’t get them ripped off by pushy sales people.

(They used to do a ‘voucher’ scheme, whereby if they couldn’t provide what an individual wanted/needed, they’d give the value of what they could provide towards the chair of their choice. It’s worth contacting your Wheelchair Services to see what they’ll offer, and whether they do a voucher scheme if what they’ll give you won’t do.)

Sue

Hi. I have a foldalite power wheel chair which I find can be used inside and out side range of about 11 miles. cost me £2399 with Vat exemption. Good for going on buses not to big. Make sure you have a test run on it first a company called Spring Chicken bring one or two to your house. It will depend on how wide your doors are in your property, Its OK for going up kerbs of about 2-3 inches has suspension and can fold if you need space in your house/flat. Have a look on the website either care co wheelchairs or Spring chicken wheelchairs. Hope this helps. Best of luck. Kielyn

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Thanks George. Nice idea but I can’t wait that long. In this area the waiting time for a powered wheelchair is three years, I know someone who got his last year having waited five years!

i definitely won’t be going down the Motability road, it’s a complete rip off.

The local mobility shops are not very large and have a limited range to see and try.

Some apparently great deals online, but I’d rather see and try before buying.

Suppose I’ll have to travel to find a bigger dealer.

Thanks Sue. I agree with everything you say. We too have chunks out of every door frame!

Three year waiting list for powered chairs here, and the only choice is take it or leave it, the NHS ones I’ve seen are very cumbersome.

I’ve seen some online which are very appealing. One would get me round home, and go in the car, another I liked has a bigger range and is sturdier looking but not transportable. Very competitively priced too.

I’d rather try before buying and can’t find a local supplier for the online ones.

I used to be undecided but now I’m not so sure!

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Thanks. I’ll have a look.

Only just read this or I would have said - Go to Naidex. There are lots of options out there. Maybe get teh list of exhibitors out and then chase up websites. As for cost, you can persue the grant route - try the MS Society, or try Turn2us Grants - Turn2us

But you can’t do it retroactively - you have to get the money FIRST.

2nd hand there are FB groups - I’m in one called Awesome Wheelies UK, also Preloved, Ebay etc - but its buyer beware with buying 2nd hand. Repairs may stack the cost up.

https://www.thelivingcentre.co.uk/atto-freedom-folding-mobility-scooter.html this is one I’ve seen that takes up small space storage wise and easy to get in a boot.

I’ve heard ppl talk and an indoor one which seems to come reccomended is the Quickie or Rascal and can get them 2nd hand.

No experience of wheelchairs, but this one took my eye.