Forum

Question for wheelchair users

Over the last year or so, unfortunately I’ve had to spend more and more time in the wheelchair. Last year my local OT department provided me with a wheelchair which was great, but it was so heavy I couldn’t lift into the car myself.

After much googling, I bought an Enigma lightweight (13kg) self-propelled chair which I can get in and out of the car myself.

In February, after a physio session I was referred to wheelchair services who said the Enigma chair wasn’t the best for me now I was spending more and more time in Chair. They tried me on a few chairs which were great to use, “active chairs”, much better at manoeuvring and very easy to self-propel. I got my new chair yesterday, it’s a Kuschall Champion.

Unfortunately, it also has a couple of disadvantages. Although the new chair is slightly lighter than the Enigma, so far I haven’t found a way to lift into the car by myself. I’ll persevere but it is important for me to be able to do this myself to maintain independence. Secondly, there is a single foot plate and I’m finding great difficulty in getting in and out of the chair. The Enigma has two separate footplates which can be moved to the side which means you can stand right in front of the chair making easier to get in and out of.

The Kuschall chair is very high-tech and looks to be engineered to the hilt. I could be wrong but I don’t think though they included disabled people or carers in the race design team.

Does anyone use a collapsible lightweight chair that it also an everyday use chair or an active chair that has 2 separate footplates? If so, I’d love to hear your experiences.

Thanks,

derek

Hi Derek.

I had an HSE (Irish NHS) chair given to me as a temporary measure to use on holiday. Way too heavy! Gave it back and ordered one of these…a GLite-pro

http://excelwheelchairs.com/ I found it great and was able to manage it in and out of the boot. Things have changed now and my mobility is far worse. I have been allocated a Quickie Helium, which is amazing and there really is NO comparison. If you can get one of them, I’d definitely recommend. Between my OT and the engineer, a split foot plate was ordered for the very reason you mention.

1 Like

Poppy,

thanks for the response. Do you know the full weight of the Quickie? I’ve looked online and I can see the starting weight but not the weight once everything is added, i.e. Wheels etc.

Also is the wheelchair foldable?

And finally, does the Quickie have armrests?

derek

Just reading the manual. Min 6.4kg Max 13kg. If you have an estate type car, I imagine you can put the chair in the back, complete. The wheels have a pop off mechanism that’s easy to use. Chuck them in the boot or back seat, then take the seat cushion off and fold the back down. It doesn’t fold sides together, if that makes sense. It’s really feather light then and I am able to lift it above my head with one hand, without wheels on. I don’t actually need to do this I must point out! It’s just explaining. :slight_smile:

The Helium was put together for my specifications. These were decided by my OT and engineer who spent an hour with me. It’s invaluable as they deal with this on a daily basis. I didn’t have a clue. There are armrests but I chose not to have any as it looks a lot sleeker without them. The chair becomes almost un noticeable when I’m in it… That mattered to me then, last year. Now I use a motorised chair which is a totally different ball game. Good luck. Let me know how you get on. :slight_smile:

Hello Derek.

I see your problem. Both my chairs have foot plates which lift up so I can easily stand. I cannot possibly see how it was thought convenient. obviously, as you say, there was no input from disabled people in its design.

I’ve noticed that people always put the foot plate down for me when I’m about to transfer from a car. I have to politely say that I need the foot plate up. Puzzled looks ensue. Says it all really.

I don’t think you should have a problem finding another one; you’ve already had good advice.

Steve.

Hi,

Have you thought about getting a hoist fitted to your car?

Some are quite small and you manoeuvre the scooter into the boot yourself.

Just an idea.

Jen x

Jen,

i don’t need a hoist just yet.

The main problems I’m having with the wheelchair which I’m trialling are:

  1. The wheelchair isn’t as easy to lift as my current one - even though they are more or less the same weight, approx 13kg.

  2. I’m struggling with the fixed footplate. My old chair has 2 separate footplates which can be moved as required, making it very easy to get in and out of the wheelchair. Twice now I have fallen getting in to the chair and I’ve also had a couple of near misses. Also getting out of the chair isn’t as easy as before because the footplate is exactly where I want to plant my feet before attempting to stand up.

Can any other wheelchair users offer any advice especially regarding the footplate.

derek

Hi Derek

I can’t help you but it’s always been a question that puzzles me, how does a person get onto and off a wheelchair with one fixed foot rest rather than two foot plates which move.

Sue

Sue,

I’ve been looking at a lot of different types and styles of wheelchairs over the last few months and they certainly seem to be designed much better and engineered much better but I have my doubts that disabled people or their carers have been involved in the design process.

I’m struggling badly the single footplate and for the Life of me, I can’t work out where is the best place to put my feet for both getting in and getting out of the chair.

Derek

Hi

Have you asked your local Wheelchair Services? I’ve just had a look at the chair on their web page and I can’t see how you’d get in and out of it at all. I just don’t get it.

Unless, does one side of the footplate come unattached from the metal bit which comes from the seat to the footplate? (Sorry, can’t think what you’d call that bit!) It looks to me that the two ends of the footplate are differently attached, maybe one end comes unattached and flips up or swings out?

Sue

I’ve just seen a video of how the chair folds as I couldn’t get the damn thing out of my head. And there is no way to move the footplate and sit on it. It’s right in the way of where you’re feet need to be to sit down and stand up.

What a bloody stupid chair.

There is no way on earth I’d be able to use that chair, and I’m not a bit surprised you’re having trouble with it Derek.

Sue

My new Invacare Action 3NG has a lever you pull back and the foot rests fold inwards into the middle of the chair.

However, my powerchair has a heavy central footplate that lifts up, so you have to put your feet either side of it to stand.

Fay

http://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/powered-wheelchairs/quickie/power-wheelchairs/salsa-m2-mini

Fay,

your wheelchair looks very like my existing chair, the Enigma lite pro. The foot plates can be moved to the side to make it easy to get in and out of. It’s also folds up the middle really easily which also makes it easy to put it in and out of the boot.

However, wheelchair services advised that this wheelchair isn’t the best for me anymore because I’m in the chair more and more and because I mainly self propel. Because of this I need an “active” chair and hence me trialling the Kuschall Champion. It was supposed to be lighter than the Enigma but it’s not. Both chairs fully clothed, i.e. With wheels on etc, weight approximately 13kg.

I haven’t seen an active chair with split footplates, although Poppy mentioned above that her Helium chair has split plates.

Sue, the footplate does lift but only when the chair folds, so you still have the problem of getting in and getting out of the chair with the footplate in tact.

back to the drawing board and back to wheelchair services.

I think there,s a job for me somewhere as a wheelchair consultant. It certainly looks like the wheelchair manufacturers could do with input from those of us who will actually be using the chair.

derek

1 Like

Derek, the engineer was going to arrange the chair with the solid foot plate that was on it. It was my ot that was insistent it be split into order to flip them up. I wasn’t too pleased as I thought the solid one looked sleek. Of course, now I’ve had it for a while I can see how awkward it would have been. Dangerous even. I also requested no sides. It’s just great.

I’d ask wheelchair services about the options for the footplate, if you are just trialling this,perhaps it is the only one they have, they would probably need to get in touch with Kuschall. I imagine it would need to be put together specifically for you. I have an Ottobock chair, very light,with flip up footplate and adjustable/removable armrests and higher seat back, completely different features to the trial one that the rep brought…excellent bearings,can tell which premises don’t have level floors, worst being wheelchair services! why not look at Kuschall’s site yourself,should give you options for ordering so you could see what options there are for the footplate.