Forum

Wheelchair?

Hi folks,

I think the time has come for me to invest in a wheelchair - I'm looking at a self-propel one so that I still retain a little self esteem and can do it by myself - whether this is actually possible remains to be seen, but I want the option.

I know nothing about wheelchairs from a user's point of view - can you help me with what I should be looking for?  Also, a couple of websites have sales on just now with what looks like a decent chair reduced to about £80 - is this a good price?

Thanks,

Luisa x

Try a free one from the NHS while thinking. Wheelchairs can be quite comfy.

Hi Louisa, you should be able to get a referral from your gp to access an nhs one. They might give you a voucher towards one. The last referral I did for one of my service users received a voucher for £388 and then they give you a list of mobility shops who will take these vouchers. £80 is very cheap, make sure it comes with a fitted cushion as they can be quite uncomfortable without . Hope this helps Karen Xx.

Hi, this is a subject close to my heart.

I have been a full time wheelie person for around 7/8 years now. Before that I was a part-timer for a few years.

As you have already decided it`s time to go for wheels, you are over what can be a really upsetting and soul searching time. I`m glad you are on this side of that time.

using a wheelie does make a big difference to your view of life!

believe it or not, I have bought (self funded) 3 electric chairs, 2 self propel and 1 attendeant pushed. Yeh, quite a chunk of dosh!

If you are able to self propel, then that`s great. It will use some energy and keep the `bingo wings` down!

Yes, you could ask for a referral to Wheelchair Services, but there is a waiting list and if your needs are more urgent, then buying a cheap-ish chair ain`t a bad idea.

But I do recommend being assessed............I didn`t initially and hurt myself, which ended up needing a lot of replair time! (me..not the chair).

Right, £80 isn`t much to pay and that may not necessarily be a bad thing. My current self prople was £135 from an expensive dealer. I have seen them quite a bit less...but still good.I use it rarely, when visiting family where no-one can lefit me into the houses whilst I`m in my leccy chair!

Hope things go well for you...and remember;

 

have wheels will travel!

Enjoy! If you want to ask me anything else, please do.

luv Pollx

 

Hi Luisa,

 

I have a w/c and hated using it,so i bought a mobility scooter and i dont mind using it,i prefer it to the w/c becuase it gives you more independance,i hated being pushed in the w/c it made me feel really bad,but i whizz about on my own round the shops now,i wish i had bought it ages ago,but pride stopped me,my daughter didnt want me to get one, because she said i looked the double of madge on benidorm lol, thing is i do, i have blonde hair just like her, and i will not dare use my scooter if i get a tan because i will be a dead ringer of her.hope  you get sorted whatever you decide.

 

jaki  xx

Thank you for your replies, they're very helpful - I did wonder about getting one from the NHS, at least I would be fitted for one properly then - I have learned the hard way that you can't just go buying aids yourself without help from someone who knows what they're doing.  I bought my first walking stick from Argos - didn't want to wait for however long it would have taken to be referred to a physio, I was using it wrong and I've damaged my shoulder in the process.  I've already got my head around using a chair I think - it was difficult when I bought my mobility scooter, but I'm over that now, I think the mental adjustment to be using a wheelchair will be similar.  At the moment, I only really want to use it for when I need to be walking outside - I'm terrified of tripping and falling, and I really can't walk that far any more.  I'll phone my GP next week and see if they can refer me.

Thanks again,

Luisa x

Good girl! Just think how you`ll save yourself from those awful potential falls.

I have a scooter too, but prefer my wheelie now, as i can get closer to a dining table and nearer the shelves in shops.I bought a wheelchair bag which lives at the back of my chair, with my spares in! It was cheap on e-bay.

luv Pollx

Hi,

If you get a propelled scooter/mobility chair then get one with a dry cell battery like a Travelscoot (www.travelscoot.eu) or a luggie (www.luggiescooters.com/).  This sort is much much lighter easily fits into the boot of a car. It is foldable and very portable.  I own a tracvelscoot, it has improved the quality of my life and independence.  I am not allowed to drive a car any more cos of MS. See review on my website www.aid4disabled.com

Ones with a wet-cell battery are heavy, cumbersom and make you feel as if you are totally disabled

Good luck,

Patrick

I have recently bought a self-propelled wheelchair. It really does make a difference! I would recommend a cushion; I had to spend a day at work minus mine because we managed to loose it out shopping! If you are considering one you can put into the car, I recommend an aluminium one. More expensive yes but much lighter to lift. I suspect I ought to get myself assessed - I think that is probably wiser and you will be shown how to propel the chair.

Hi Luisa,
I bought a cheap wheelchair off eBay a while ago but then got an Invacare Action3 from my local OT - steel to aluminium, what a difference!!!

Talk to your GP and see if they’ll refer you to your OT and get properly measured for a chair then at least you’ll know what size you need.

Andy

Thanks again for your replies - I really am totally clueless - I want a wheelchair because my scooter is too heavy for me to put in the car.  The suggestion of aluminium as opposed to steel is one I hadn't really thought/known about - my upper body strength for lifting things is laughable, and I get knocked off balance with the slightest weight, so a lightweight chair is what I'm looking for.  Good advice re the cushion too.

Luisa x

Hello Luisa,

As I said in an earlier post look into the travelscoot or the luggie.  I have a travelscoot, only weighs 18 Kg and that includes battery but you must be able to uise your feet, it has reverse. I talk about travelscoot on my website www.aid4disabled.com

Patrick

There is a million and one chairs out there but the most important thing is it has to be the right one for you.

After working with physio and OT for years  not only is the width measurement important but so is the length of the seat and height to footplates and floor. Incorrect seating and poor posture needs to be avoided.

If there is a chance you will be spending lengths of time in it,make sure your pressure area scoring  forms part of the assessment. The less mobilise you are when sitting ie repositionning yourself the higher rating cushion you will need.

I would always advise on the making out once you are seated you cant relieve pressure very well so you get a higher rated one   they are so much more comfortable and it is a degenerating illness so saves another assessment in the future anyway.

ALL the best Pip

Have a think about where you will use it.  If its for work you may get one through Access to Work.  I was assessed by ATW who recommended a lightweight "quickie" self propelled chair which I could take apart to lift into car.  However when I came to trial one I did not have the strength to cope with the steep ramp from the car-park to the office.  Looks like I'll get a scooter instead funded through ATW which I willl keep at work.  Ask NHS to provide a lightweight wheelchair - got mine changed and whilst I still can't lift its easier for my family and It lives in my boot for when I'm out with others.

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for the info - it looks wonderful, but I just don’t have the money to buy one. There’s a physio coming tomorrow to tell me how to use 2 walking sticks (I already walk with one) and to measure me for a wheelchair, I have been assured that I can have a lightweight NHS one - hopefully the wait won’t be too long.

Luisa x

I want it for when I’m going places, like to the cinema or out with the girls (to accessible pubs), and for my remaining days at work - I have started the ball rolling for Ill Health Retirement, so hopefully I’m not going to be working for too much longer. I have already said that I need to have a lightweight chair - I’m on my own so I need to be able to get it in and out of the car by myself.

Luisa x

Thanks Pip,

I appreciate the tips - i’ve seen a few different types of cushion online. I’ll see what the physio says when she comes tomorrow.

Luisa x