Forum

Wheelchairs

Good morning good people, I’ve not written for a while. The last time I wrote a piece it took a while and when I had done in the wrong place I couldn’t move it to post it, I’m sure many of you can imagine the feeling.

I’ve been looking at wheelchair use for a while now including through this site. There’s so much to read and so many different types and prices. I would buy a bargain second hand chair but the issue still exists. WHICH ONE, WHICH TYPE.

Any hoo, one of the questions people were asking was, where to get a wheelchair. I went to my GP. She sent me to the Local Community Health place where there is a wheelchair workshop. They were lovely people who assessed and measured me to get the best chair for me. Guess what, it was free, it is mine, they will service, replace parts if necessary and after 5 years I can go back and get a new chair.

What type chair do any of you use?

Personally when my legs started to go I picked up a stick and told everyone it wasn’t to help me walk but to stop me falling over because I have MS. I think by saying it backwards with a smile people accepted it, what damage can someone cause to someone with good humour.

It’s the same when I use my chair in Supermarkets, “I have MS so my legs get tired, so it’s easier to use my chair and I my wife can take her time wandering around?” right guys. I just sit there with a basket on my lap, and wheel off looking at my own things, when I return wifey usually has an armful of discount shopping.

None of us should be embarrassed for our conditions, look at all the people around us, and wonder how on earth they think they look good wearing that or walking like that. Think about it.

Have a good day, hoping to hear some wheelchair types and styles to look into. Andy

2 Likes

Hi Andy

As you say, none of us should feel embarrassed about having MS. I’ve been using a manual chair for just over ten years now, so am fairly experienced. Even so, when I’m out I can’t help but feel a little self conscious - when everyone else is walking around & I’m the only one on wheels, it’s inevitable that I feel like I stand out a bit. But that doesn’t mean I’m embarrassed at all; I’m not. I’m just a bit different.

When I started using a chair, I didn’t have any choice what I got. I was just given the standard, basic folding chair that my local NHS wheelchair service provided (no idea what it was called). When I started using a chair pretty much all the time, I was reassessed by the wheelchair services, and was given their next grade up of chair, which was slightly lighter (again, I can’t remember what it was called).

At my next reassessment, I decided to use the voucher scheme, where you get given a voucher for the same value as the chair that wheelchair services would have provided. You can only use the voucher at an approved retailer, but it means you get more choice over what chair you get. You can pay extra on top of the value of the voucher too, but you also have to pay the cost of any repairs. I went to one of the local approved shops and had a look at a few different ones, and made my decision - a Quickie Neon, which I picked basically because it was one of the lightest folding chairs available. It cost loads more than my voucher (especially as I opted to get a Jay 3 backrest for it, very expensive but super comfortable & worth every penny), but I was incredibly lucky to have my employer pay for the rest.

It’s served me well that chair, getting its fair share of knocks & scrapes over the last 5 years. But it’s now time for my next chair and, having saved up over the last few years, I’ve used the voucher scheme again. This time, I’ve made the switch to a rigid manual chair - a Quickie Helium, which I got it last week. It needs a bit of tweaking to get it set up properly, but I’ve been for a few quick spins round the block & it’s noticeably faster & more efficient than the folding ones.

I know that needing a wheelchair is, understandably, something people fear a lot (I know I did). However, I also know I’ve been very lucky with the chairs I’ve had, so as a way of saying thanks I’ve donated some money to a charity called Motivation, who provide sturdy wheelchairs for people living in developing countries (not sure if I’m allowed to plug this on here, but I love what they’re doing - http://www.motivation.org.uk/)

Good luck with the chair, hope you enjoy the freedom : )

Dan

2 Likes

Hi Andy,

I had a Wheelchair from my local social services which was qoute good it was called a Kuschall made in Switzerland it was not that light 10kg folded ok to put in the car.

I was working full time at the time had the chair for 9 years, I saved hard and bought a chair same name as the one that Dan got, Quickie Helium generation 13, it has quick release wheels and folds to put in the car. Without the wheels it weighs 4.2 kg with the wheels 6.2 kg . I always put emphasis on the weight of the chair it is well built and should last a good few years so long as I look after it.

Best of luck

Kielyn

Thank you both for your replies, it’s good to know many of us are searching for the same info.

It’s difficult for many to to keep that upper lip stiff when not actually a born optimist.

Andy