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Wheelchair Services

Hi, I had an assessment with wheelchair services yesterday. They agreed that I’m eligible for a power chair, but will only let me have an indoor one so they can see how I get on with it. If I do OK, I can then have an indoor/outdoor one in 6 - 12 months. I’m really disappointed as I’m currently housebound - I can’t get out without assistance - and having a chair that I can take outside would make such a difference. They said that if I wanted something else, there are some vouchers they’d give me towards the cost, but only to the value of what they would have given me. Also, when I tried a powerchair out, although I could drive it OK, I had problems reaching the footrests as my arms don’t really stretch far. How does anyone else get around this? I jokingly suggested that I could do with one where the footrests are power operated, that maybe a foot platform could lower to ground level when I needed to transfer. I got the impression they do exist, but are very expensive. Heather

Hi, I havent seen or heard of a wheelie with motor assisted foot rests. Yeh, if they do exist, then I imagine it would hike the price of a wheelie right up!

I use Wheelchair Services and find them very knowledgable and helpful.

I did buy my own powerchairs and manual chairs, but when I had knee and hip problems, it was found that my chairs werent suitable and I had caused myself damage! The people who sell these things arent half as knowledgable as trained therapists.

I had an indoor chair first (electric) and was using a scooter for outdoor trips. Then the scooter became unsuitable and so I applied for an indoor/outdoor chair. I waited about 4 months and then had to go out with a therapists for a test drive.

Back to you…what about using Shopmobility for outdoor shopping? Of course, I do realise that this may not always be what you`d like to go out for. But perhaps it will do for those trips.,…as long as you can drive or be driven to the centres.

Regarding difficulty with lifting/lowering the footplates yourself. I do this with my stick or leg lifter…that`s a thing which looks like a stiffened dog lead and collar, without the dog!

About the vouchers you were told ablout, I thought they were only for manual chairs…a daft idea, but there it is. To me, somone who needs an electric chair should have vouchers offered instead of a manual one…I`ve asked why that is so, but not had a resonable answer.

Go for the indoor chair for now…the 6-12 months will comeabout eventually.

luv Pollx

Me again.

Re your interest in an electric chair with powered foot rests…I`ve had a google and cant find anything about it. Most of the recent info doesnt give any indication of that.

But I think it would be possible to add powered footrests if a chair was made to measure in a bespoke fashion…and yeh, it would probably come with a massive price tag!

pollxx

Hi Heather,

I was in exactly the same position with an indoor chair and I was also very disappointed. I went ahead and bought my own outdoor chair even though it wiped me out financially. Eventually I was reassessed and I now have an indoor/outdoor chair from them which I love.

If you accept the vouchers they will only give you the cost of the indoor chair and it will be 3+ years before you can get more. If you take the indoor chair and tell them in 6 months that you are using it most of the time in the house you’ll get your outdoor chair fully funded.

With regard to the foot plate. My chair has a single fish tail foot plate – not swing away foot rests. I can flip it up and down with my feet – no need to reach with my hand. Google Quickie Salsa and you will see what I mean.

Jane

Hi, Thanks for your replies. Wheelchair Services have said they need to come out and assess our house, make sure that what they’re going to recommend will fit, but they’ve said they’ll need a decision then as to what I want to do. If I decide to buy my own, they’ll write out a prescription which any power chair I buy has to meet, plus they pay their contribution direct to the supplier, not me. We don’t qualify for any financial aid, so we know we’ll need to get the kitchen done at the very least. The OT wants us to put a through-floor lift in as well, that we’ll have to pay for. I’ve got a Motability car which I can’t drive as my balance is so bad I can’t get down the drive to get to it. I was going to change it for a WAV and go to an assessment centre to see what adaptations could help me, but it all depends on what wheelchair I get, and if I only have an indoor one, that plan is dead. I’ve got a mobility scooter, which aside from currently needing repair, I struggle to use as just getting my coat and shoes on wears me out, before I’ve even got it outside and tried to lock the door behind me. Wearing even a jumper or long sleeved top causes me to overheat, and so having enough energy to get out of the scooter when I get home again is an issue. On times when I’ve HAD to go out and I’ve been on my own, I’ve worn something light and shivered as I need to be able to function when I get back again. I seem to be talking myself into getting an indoor/outdoor one. Live is for living and mine seems to be constantly being put on hold. Heather

Hi Heather,

Your story is so much like mine we could have the same hymn sheet!

My visit to wheelchair services caused a tsunami in my life but I can only tell you what my situation was after 12 months:

  • Moved from the house where wheelchair usage was impossible into an adapted bungalow with ramps/adapted kitchen/wetroom etc
  • Changed my car to a WAV
  • Got the indoor/outdoor chair that I love from wheelchair services

It seems like a mountain to climb with no easy answers but it is possible to make very radical changes and a year zooms by. I know exactly what you mean about putting your life on hold but if you are dealing with each of these problems that you have it will not be on hold it will be moving forward.

Jane