Really basic wheelchair advice please...

First thing to say is that I can walk BUT I use a stick and crutches when I’m struggling… in a couple of weeks, we’re planning on visiting my step-daughter at Uni and my husband has just suggested buying a wheelchair!

After overcoming my initial urges (to cry/sceam/puke etc. - please don’t be offended if you’re in a chair, I’m sure you remember this feeling) I realised he’s probably right and it’ll be difficult going to a town I don’t know well and I struggle to walk any distance. He’d spotted a cheap fold away lightweight job and I’ll try to post a link.

Question is, who’s used one of these and is it ok?

I’m quite petite so I don’t need anything too sturdy and it really is intended for occassional use only, thi one can live in the car boot quite easily.

Obviously we hadn’t intended to spend too much at this stage as I truly hope I won’t “need” a chair for while yet. hopefully this is going to be for occasional use only.

Thank you

Sonia x

Hi. The link comes up with “error -not found in database” :frowning:

Oh no, that’s strange, it comes up for me… It’s the Betterlife for Lloyds £55 lightweight travel one.

Sonia x

Can you hire chairs? Would that be worthwhile so you could trial them? Axx

Hi Sonia, as you don’t need one all the time have you thought about borrowing one from Red Cross? That way you won’t feel you have quite made the leap to being a wheelie user yet :slight_smile:

Good call, I will see if I can borrow/rent one

Thank you

Sonia x

Hi, as im known quite well known here, for extoling the virtues of wheelchairs, Ill try to offer a bit of advice.

As you`ve probably already decided, borrowing a chair from Red Cross is what I did, before buying one. They asked for a donation and I gave £10. Perhaps they have a fixed fee now.

It is also a good idea to use Shopmobility chairs as well. I used to borrow their scooters, before I bought my own. Using a scooter, somehow kind of makes us feel less disabled! I prefer a chair now, as I can get closer to restaurant tables, fit in the spaces at cinemas, etc.

Whatever you decide to do, try not to look on the idea as defeating you or a negative is neither of those…it is something to help you keep safe and not quite so chuffin` knackered!

Enjoy the visit!

luv Pollx


Like Poll I am always singing the praises of wheelchairs. However, as you mentioned in your post, I remember all too well those initial negative reactions – BUT if £55.00 will give you and your family a nicer day it’s cheap at the price. I found that having my own chair to hand was a real boon in so many circumstances (Those endless hospital corridors for example)

Have a lovely day


Hi Sonia, my husband has a different medical condition but like you he uses crutches.

A few years ago my husband told his GP about how he struggles going into town and his doctor arranged a wheelchair for him through the NHS. Having the chair was a ‘god send’ especially when doing the Christmas shopping or going out for the full day. Have you asked your GP?

My challenge now is I can no longer push him!

Avril x

Aw thanks guys, I phoned the Red Cross and yes, they loan them out for a £10 donation (she even said they could negotiate pn that as I only want it for a weekend, I had to INSIST I’d be happy to pay £10 :slight_smile:

I braved it and discussed it at work today so I’m feeling a little calmer about the idea now :wink:

Thanks for all your well wishes and advice, it means a lot!

Sonia xx

Hi I am guessing wheelchair services probably varies in different areas as do many other ms services. I know not everyone has an ms nurse. However when I saw my nurse a few weeks ago I told her how I got poorly by over doing it one day on holiday and had to hire a chair the next day, for the first time. I had insisted my family go out without me but they organised a chair and I met up with them at lunch time. Like you I can walk but the hug, leg pain and wobblyness plus the fatigue element meant I could only keep going for a short time. Anyway my ms nurse referred me to wheelchair service, even though I don’t need one all the time and a few weeks later a chair just turned up. It means I can go out for a longer stint with my hubby or family instead of restricting myself to around a two hour outing. I can’t quite get my head round to using it and am still restricting myself to two hour outings at the moment but when I am ready or need it I will be very grateful it was such a help on holiday. Hope you have a good trip to uni. Mish x

Hi everybody, I feel the same about getting a wheelchair. I have a menal block just as I did when I got my first crutch and then my rollator. I know that I need a wheelchair as I can hardly walk even with crutch and only for a very short time with rollator but I keep putting it off. I’m scared that an emergency will crop up and that I won’t be prepared for it because I won’t have a wheelchair organised for myself.

If I know all of these things - then what’s stopping me??? =) just my foolish pride - slipping away gradually =)

Thanks Mish & Marie

Yep, I don’t want to have to not do things or get involved because of MS… so I will do the wheelchair thing. I know I’m gonna feel weird about it and I’ll just have to get over it won’t I?! I know it’ll be OK and I can’t knock my husband for considering this way before I got to that page. :slight_smile:

Sonia xx

Why don’t you try getting a chair in a supermarket?

Husband goes to the help desk and gets a chair - brings it back to the car - you get in and you both find out.
I do know that Sainsburys have chairs with the ring on the wheels for self-propulsion if you want to try that.
You could then move on to the hired chair once you know what it’s like.


Hi Sonia,

I think the shopmobility people in some towns rent collapsable wheelchairs out for a few days at a time too.

Know how you feel. I went in a chair for the first time at the Big Pit in south wales. Daughter pushed me about, meant I got to spend a lovely day with my family doing something fun.

Then went to Cardiff and used shopmobility - great around the St David shopping centre. Finally plucked up the courage to get a shopmobility scooter where I live - will take some getting used to and not sure about how people I know will react but will give me a bit of freedom.

Good luck and enjoy your time with your stepdaughter without worrying about how far you can walk.

Jen x

Hi I have a mobility scooter but it would be helpful tohave a collapsible chair too , I sing in a choir and had to borrow an In house one at the venue we performed at as it was massive with lots of walking , I had to bite the bullet and having my best friend with me helped, we were in Coventry Garden, has anybody tried to wheelchair over cobble stones ! A word of warning DONT ! We had a great laugh trying to though and I enjoyed an otherwise impossible day, Thanks for the stellar advice on hiring from the Red Cross will give this a go x