Looking for wheelchair and power chair information


Recommended Posts

Dorothy in Illinois here. Four years post stroke.

 

Is anyone here using a wheelchair or power chair full time ? I'm trying to figure the best way to travel with a chair.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dorothy: Bruce's WC is custom. But he is in it all the time. So, lets review.

 

If your person can walk, you may be able to get by with a Travel WC. Very light weight. Cost is about $100.00. You can even get them in Pharmacies. This is for quick in and outs only. Bruce goes 250lbs so I rarely use his.

 

Bruce will not walk. That is by choice, so it is beneficial for us to use the custom WC. It breaks down into five pieces-altho I rarely take off the wheels. "tooling" around stores, library, book shops is the only excercise he gets. I know he will be in an electric WC soon. I am tiny - and old, LOL - won't be able to do the physical stuff forever. For now, with his scooter, this works for us. The scooter breaks down into four pieces, battery pack is the heaviest at 35lbs.

 

In order to accomodate an electric WC we would have to get rid of the truck and car and have a WC-accessible vehicle. The ramp will accomodate it and I have no trouble trading in our vehicles for the WC-accessible one. Even have a dealer on board.

 

The WC is physically challenging for me and will only get worse. But I am still not ready to give up on Bruce walking. And I insist that he get out at all stops, work himself out of the bedroom and bathroom. My thinking is that at some point he will realize it is easier on him-because I am never an issue-to just walk.

 

Hope this helps, Debbie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dorothy, you got 4 years of recovery, what are you using now??? It's a matter of preference I think, it was with me, so I got a 3 wheel scooter rather than a power chair! I used a manual chair for several months after my discharge from a 5 month stay in the hospital but that was very hard on my wife load/unloading it all the time!!

 

The best way to travel is to get a ramp or a chair lift to get it in/out of your vehicle, you or no one can't lift it into a vehicle it's just too heavy! I don't ride mine on the street only from the parking lots into the place I'm going! Also I don't use it in the house now and I'm 8 years post stroke! If you need more info please email me!

Link to post
Share on other sites

hi dorothy, well you have a number of options i use a scooter it is a 3wheeler scooter so it does turn on a dime and when steering with one hand that is whatyou need and you can always get a ramp to fit on your van so he can drive up the ramp and into your van if you have any further questions please ask the scooter that i am using is called a karman i use a ramp and that way i can take my scooter with me to go shopping with my wife i hope this is helpful

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dorothy, welcome to the site. I enjoyed meeting you in chat sunday evening. I cant help you with w/c information , just wanted to welcome you and give you links to some good information . Hope to see you in chat again. We have chats twice a day on week days at 3pm and 8pm EST in the stroke support room. All the best to you,

 

mc

 

A survivor's Bill of Rights

 

http://www.strokeboard.net/index.php?showtopic=2094

 

The Five Stages of Grief

 

http://www.strokeboard.net/index.php?showtopic=857

 

A Letter From Your Brain

 

http://www.strokeboard.net/index.php?showtopic=83

 

Classic Postings and Advice

 

http://www.strokeboard.net/index.php?showforum=23

 

misc. info

 

http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/stroke/stroke_recovery.html

 

 

Caregivers’ Bill of Rights

 

http://www.strokeboard.net/index.php?showtopic=781

 

Caregivers’ handbook

 

http://www.strokecar...rg/handbook.htm.

Link to post
Share on other sites

hi dorothy and welcome to the site. i still use my manual wheelchair when i am going out, i cannot walk long distances before i get really tired. i also have a power wheelchair that i havent had the pleasure of using it yet. its locked in the garage and i can't get it out by myself. i have a neighbor buddy who likes to ride his scooter and has asked me to come along. my sons i have asked several times to charge it and set it uo so i can get it out and off i'd go. i haven't purchased the ramps yet to get it into our truck, not sure where to go for those i know the scooter would give me some freedom to get out on my own and enjoy what is around me. i just got a new manual wc as my other one was falling apart and was to heavy for my sister to operate it by herself. not knowing how big your need is , i would start out with a manual wheelchair then progress to a power chair after the therapists thinks you are ready for one. some of them are simple to use and others have alot of fancy stuff on it. my rep from the supply company set me up in one like a quadriplegic would use, i told him i wanted a simple chair and i ended up with the one i got. he said it was customized for me, to fancy for me, but the rep made the big bucks off of medicare from me, i've thought many times of turning it back in and calling medicare, but i want to try it out myself just once. these medical supply reps can get ya with the high dollar stuff check out your options let us know what ever you decide to do

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. Lots of responses. Wasn't even sure how to find 'em. Not at all confident here yet, but so glad every time the magic works.

 

 

Debbie: The chair issue is for me. My daughter in law found me a dandy used power chair - very affordable and never used. Works fine but a litte 'rocky' for someone with balance and stabiity issues. SS provided me with a different model that is much more stable. My questions involve how best to get the darn things into the truck bed. The crane style hoists are quite expensive and look like they might require the user to keep the chair from bouncing off the truck side. Ramps are too heavy for me to set up and then load up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

FRED: Hello again. You have hit on exactly my problems. Ramps too heavy for me to manage, lifts very expensive to experiment with.

 

Was sent home from the hospital with a walker, and that works well enough for VERY short moves, but I'm not able to get far on foot.

 

So, I'm hoping to hear about the experiences others have had with hoisting devices.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lenny: I'm on my own, so a ramp is more than I can handle. Still, I'm itching to get about independently. I have to use a chair as opposed to a scooter because balance and stability are issues for me. We have a township bus to haul gimps and old people around, but the range is very limited.

 

NO way I could go the 30 or 40 K for a handicap van. So I'm left with finding an affordable way to get the chair - and me - around town.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kim: Light a fire under those guys and get that power chair out and rolling. It's one of the best parts of being limited. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Blues: other alternative is a WC-accessible vehicle. Once the door is opened, the ramps come down automatically and you drive up into the vehicle. Of course, much more expensive than ramps or a lift hoist. There is one gentleman at Rehab who has the trailor for his, but again always has help.

 

First off, kudos on being able to get a power chair at a reasonable price, used. That is just so great. I see the ads at rehab and are so hesitant to call. Of course, I or a caregiver, would be with Bruce to load and unload it.

 

So considering it is just you, I would look to the travel WC. Ours weighs less than 25 llbs, folds and loads with such ease. And honey, you can always push it on good days. Our consider the Rollator. It is a rolling walker with a drop down seat for rest.

 

All electric WCs have to be socked down, legally, for transport, whether in a vehicle or in a truck bed. Regardless of the ramps, that lock down is difficult and also requires extra mechanics.

 

I don't want to discourage you, but WC transport, of any kind, is difficult. I can't imagine doing it alone, yet I know there are many who do. I see them everyday at Bruce's Rehab. I would have a serious sit down with your OT and discuss the options for you and what OT thinks you can do safely. For instance, what if you are driving down the road the the WC lets go? Please do let us know. Debbie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ethyl 17

Since the price tag on even used vans is WAY out of reach, I'm down to trying to toss a folding chair into the truck bed.

I have a nifty / new Rollator. Can't use it at all. They require the ability to push both handles equally. Not gonna happen for me.

Walking is off my menu.

Right now I'm trying to find someone who would be helped by having it.

My truck bed has built in steel loops for easy tie down, but getting the electric chair in and out is a huge hassle.

Now I have two power chairs, because Medicare furnished me with one - no charge to me - so I keep the one that works best

on rough surfaces in the garage for yard/off road trips, and the new one indoors.

So all I'm lacking to feel more independent is a chair I can transport on my own.

Obviously no big drama compared to so many with multiple limitations.

 

 

D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again to you! What's your preference on names for the members here to use?? Dorothy or BluesMa your screen name??

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen around town cars with these little platform things on the back for powerchairs. They fold up flat against the back of the car when not in use but to use them all you have to do is fold down the platform and there is a switch you use to lower it. You then roll your chair up onto it and get off then it raises up high enough to carry it to wherever you are going. That sounds kinda like what you might need. I am not sure where to get them Scooter store i suppose. Hope this helps a little.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Blues: Cat may have the answer. You lower the ramp-kinda a trailer, drive onto it or use the controls to get it on. The safety lock downs are right on the ramp. that is like the one the gentleman uses at Rehab. You need to find a dealer who has one they can show you - Scooter Store or the Dealer who sells the WC transport vehicles.

 

I would think pull down ramps from the truck bed would be too long due to height for you to be able to get the WC up it with the controls and if you drove up it, how would you get down?

 

If you still go to Rehab, check the vehicles in the parking lot. Anyone with a trailer or lift has an electric chair. When you go inside, try to find the person and ask. Also check the bulletin board to see if anyone has one they are selling, call and ask if you can see it demonstrated. If you are independent enough to be able to get that WC into the truck bed yourself, no matter how hard, there has to be an answer for you. You just have to find the person to ask the questions to. And I agree with Cat to start at the Scooter Store, get the demonstration. You don't have to buy there, but will have some idea of what you are looking for. Let us know, Debbie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fred:

You can call me any old thing you like. I answer to both of those. If you're buyin' - I'll answer to anything. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cat:

I've seen those as well. My worry would be that adding that much length to the truck bed might make it a target for carless turners. They're less expensive, and easier to deal with than the swinging hoists, which require in bed securing of the chair to stay within the law.

 

I'll start calling around to see how much it would cost to have one installed. Of course, there's still the issue of exposure in foul weather.

Still lots of questions I guess.

 

D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I wish you the best in whatever way you decide to go!!! I got the auto lift with my scooter same one I had with my manual wheel chair that the VA installed in my SUV!! My car is 10 years old, 170,000 miles and I can't afford another one at today's prices nor could I take the chance of hauling it outside and awake one morning and the scooter is gone (stolen) in my neighborhood!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Possibly happy news on this front.

Was able to get a nice used van, with a remotely controlled lift, AND a power chair for an incredibly good / low price.

It has millions of miles on it, and may spend much of its remaining life on a tow truck, but for right now it runs well

and if it continues to do so, it will change my life and give me the independence I've been wishing for the past

five years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh Blues - good for you for making the leap! I only hope it holds out for a while. I can't imagine how difficult it is for you, but I so applaud your determination to figure out what works best for you. I pray some day Bruce gets there. You go girl! Debbie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats!!!! I hope it holds up for a long time so you will be able to go and do whatever your heart desires.

 

Dena

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Some of us start looking for workarounds as soon as we get out of the hospital, while others take some time to adjust and accept their new existence. I've talked with quite a few survivors, and

there is no one common response to what has happened to us. Much of how we view our futures is dependent upon how we dealt with life's challenges before.

Problem solvers tend to continue being that, and self pitying whiners go on in that pattern. Gender does not seem to make much of a difference. You can tell whether you're dealing with a positive or negative person by observing how they react to suggestions for improving their lot. Those who are eager to try anything to reach their goals are usually destined to do better.

Age doesn't dampen the winners spirits either. Two of the "over ninety" folks I've met are among the most positive and cheerful. They're still always thinking of ways to help others, even tho they are very limited physically. Definitely role models.

 

Dorothy

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.