Forum

Wheelchair advice

Please could I pick people's brains about wheelchairs.  I have SPMS and my legs seem to be getting wobblier.  I have recently got a manual wheelchair from the NHS via a neuro physio recommendation.  I'm on the large side and the wheelchair is a basic manual one.  I'm having problems being able to wheel myself up anything but level ground which is a bit of a problem slopes are really difficult.  Does anything help with this in terms of technique (other than losing weight!). It's at work at the moment but I suspect my MS may progress so I need to use it more.  Currently my home path is too narrow for it and I have a front step which is pretty impossible to get a chair/scooter up.  It would have to be lifted over the step.  Where can I get advice on how to change the step/path/get help with.  Does anyone know the criteria for power chairs or the best way to get a proper idea of your capability with manual ones. I don't drive which doesn't help!!

Many thanks

 

Hiya..reagarding wheelchair advice..am affraid the nhs ones are a bit like tanks lol You should be able to get a voucher towards the cost of a new wheelchair that you can have custom made RGK wheelchairs do them and I would advise a titanium frame as its very light to wheel about in. You can also get wheels which have a motor in and can assist you when free wheeling about. I have one of those and it made a big difference to me..If you can speak to social sevices regarding amking your front acess level they would be able to do it or put you in touch with  tradesman who can do it.  I also you a trail rider which attaches to my wheelchair and lifts the front castor wheels up and makes it into a trike,  so you have what looks like the front part of a bike with barkes and battery acrrier..you may find this useful for getting about and conserve energy re freewheeling Da vinci wheelchairs in liverpool do them and the adjustment fits under the seat of your wheel chair..

hopes this helps

Wheelchair Services gave me their lightest manual chair. I couldn't even lift it into the car!

 

So I got a voucher instead and bought a very snazzy, superlightweight, rigid body chair instead. I also got a freewheel that means I can use the chair over pavements, kerbs, grass and even quite rough ground.

 

I didn't get a powerpack, but I did try someone else's once - amazing! Just vaguely pushed the rims and I went for ages!

 

Your upper body strength will improve as you use the chair more, but it wouldn't hurt to do a bit of body building! Tricep and bicep curls with a low weight to start with? Make sure you lean forwards to go up slopes and lean back to go down slopes; once you build up strength and technique, things will get easier.

 

Not sure what the criteria are for powerchairs, sorry. You can get them on the Motability scheme though, if you aren't eligible for one via WCS.

 

Changing your home is the responsibility of OT I would think? Contact your local Adult Social Services and ask for an OT assessment. If it isn't them, they can tell you who it is I would think?

 

Hth!

Karen x

Hi, well done for taking that monumental step, which many of us struggle with.ie realising a wheelie will help you and is not something to be dreaded.

Okay...I can see your problems. you know, i am surprised the physio who recommended you get a wheelie, hasn`t been more helpful in showing you how to use it safely and also not checked to see what your home access is like.

i think an assessment from an OT would be the way to go. I have found these bods to be wonderful..........helped me out no end of times!

They`ll come and see what your needs are and go from there.

i am a hefty lady and find self propelling really hard and impossible on the slightest incline.

Why not ask about an electric wheelie, eh?

good luck

luv Pollx

Hey again..lots of good advice so far from others too..

one thing I would say and agree with is the weigts for arms etc and you will get stronger the more you do.  An Ot really should be able to show some nifty manouvres in the chair..what is safe etc..it took me 6mths to adjust to the chair but was worth it in the end..and getting around was quicker and easier even if I saw the world from a different level..

 

also make sure you have regular reviews with a physio..because long term use of a wheelie can be wearing on the shoulders and esp the neck..and this in turn can put you at risk from wear and tear of the joints and discs in neck.( I have been using mine for 12yrs).I have have slipped disk at c4/c5 18mths ago and physios think that is due to the wheelie and also the fact that I have had 3 whiplash infuries in past..but even so..worth getting advice form physio/ot on best way to freewheel about and not put too much strain on neck and shoulders..

:-0