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Electric Wheelchair

(31 Posts)
Anniebach Mon 05-Apr-21 09:32:05

i am trying to find an electric wheelchair to get around my bungalow, I live alone so no help with bringing things from one room to another.

If anyone uses one how do you manage ?

Franbern Mon 05-Apr-21 10:17:30

Anniebach I assume you can make your own transfers, so can get from bed, to wheelchair, wheelchair to loo, etc. etc. Also, will depend on whether you need the same chair when you go out (although I do know you do not do this very often).

My ex-husband used wheelchairs indoors for many years, but required hoists for transfers. There is so much to choose from, Some will lift you to standing position, others are just for indoor use, other can do both indoor and outdoors. You also need to ensure that ANY chair you use is really suitable for you and gives proper support to all parts of your body.
Easy to have a look at such catalogues like Careco - but would have thought the first place to start is to have a consultaion with someone from your care team. You do need to be sure that all your doorways are wide enough for a chair, and you may need some of things like light switches can be lowered to be accessible from the chair. Also, in your kitchen, might need to take away the base unit so you can get to the worktop whilst still in the chair.
Most chairs, simply plug into the electricity for batteries to be re-charged at night.
If you can manage without a chair, then a mobility trolley is very useful to help you get around safely at home and not have to try to carry things.

Anniebach Mon 05-Apr-21 10:28:31

Franbern thank you so much.

I can’t walk to my bedroom, loo, kitchen, have been sleeping on sofa for 9 weeks !

Don’t have a care team, did have enablement team for six weeks for support for walking, end result - leg too twisted to
enable me to walk, physiotherapist not doing home visits yet.

So need to get myself around the bungalow , so complicated isn’t it. I can stand for a few minutes but not walk.

Thank you for replying

25Avalon Mon 05-Apr-21 10:45:29

Have you got an Independent Living Centre near you? They operate as charities and can give good advice on suitable wheelchairs and other equipment or adaptations that you might need. Franbern has given you good information.

Dibbydod Mon 05-Apr-21 10:46:45

Think it would be best to have chat with a local mobility shop for advice or even contact your local council or social services ,ask if it’s possible to have someone to call around to consider different options with you . There is always someone out there to help and give advice on these matters so don’t feel alone .
Oh, just like to say there are some brilliant very small mobility scoters about now , maybe that’s the answer .

Blossoming Mon 05-Apr-21 10:51:48

This article from Which? may be helpful,

Teacheranne Mon 05-Apr-21 11:24:12


Think it would be best to have chat with a local mobility shop for advice or even contact your local council or social services ,ask if it’s possible to have someone to call around to consider different options with you . There is always someone out there to help and give advice on these matters so don’t feel alone .
Oh, just like to say there are some brilliant very small mobility scoters about now , maybe that’s the answer .

I was thinking about a small mobility scooter as well because they are easier to steer and wouldn’t need wider doorways. I taught some older children who had mobility problems and some preferred scooters in the house if they could weight bear and do standing transfers to mover from scooter to sofa or toilet etc.

Anniebach Mon 05-Apr-21 11:25:16

Thank you all.

Nearest mobility shop is 50 mile away !

Occupational therapist recommended a wheelchair but can’t
advise which to choose. Local Red Cross has closed down.

I recently bought a small scooter to get into my garden, when council can fit a ramp over bottom frame of door.

Think the answer is - make room to have the scooter close to the sofa , means getting rid of my indoor garden !

Being able to discuss it has been a great help, thinking of it over the weekend with no one to talk to I find I give myself the same
answers , I am so grateful

granny'sbuttons Mon 05-Apr-21 12:17:03

I have a friend who had polio as a child and can only walk very short distances. She uses a small scooter indoors. It is narrower than a wheelchair and has the bonus of being able to carry a few things in its basket- like a bike!

grandtanteJE65 Mon 05-Apr-21 12:30:51

If your doorways are wide enough to allow it, put a small bike basket on the one armrest of the wheelchair.

Then any small articles you need to transport you can put into the bike basket.

If you can't get through the doorways with a bike basket, then the alternative is a shopping bag either on the back of the chair or on your lap.

Light switches can certainly be lowered, but before you have that done, check whether it might be better and cheaper to have light fittings installed that can be turned on and off using a remote control that you can have either in your pocket, or lying on a convenient surface near the door of the room where the light is.

You can buy lamps that turn on and off when you clap your hands - if you can do so, and probably voice activated ones as well.

Have you had the thresholds removed from your various indoor doorways? Or small ramps put over them?

Please get someone who can get down on their hands and knees to re-route all lamp and other flexes so that none of them cross the floor, but all follow your skirting boards and are fastened to them with cable clips. This is safer, but meams you cannot move table lamps etc. so you need to work out precisely where you want them before hand.

My mother's solution to carrying small articles was to wear aprons with very large pockets where she habitually had her purse, spectacles and lower denture, plus anything else that she wanted with her from bedroom to sitting-room or elsewhere. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound facetious, but she did rarely have her lower denture in, but kept it handy if anyone came!

FannyCornforth Mon 05-Apr-21 13:21:16

Hello Annie
Sorry to hear that you are still in such a poor predicament
Have you considered hiring a wheelchair for a week or so, in order to try before you buy?
That's what I've decided to do regarding a foldable mobility scooter.
I do hope that things improve for you soon thanks

FannyCornforth Mon 05-Apr-21 13:24:00

And further to what grandetante has suggested, Amazon smart plugs are very helpful indeed.
I think that I remember reading that you had an Alexa - they work in conjunction with that.

Franbern Mon 05-Apr-21 13:35:46

Main problem with small scooter would be that the seat would not be suitable for long-term sitting in. No proper back or neck support, etc. Whereas a wheelchair can provide these things, and even a proper cushion to prevent pressure sores.
Obviously, if you can transfer with reasonable ease to your sofa or armchairs, then this would not be too much of a problem.
Alexa is very useful for turning on and off lights, I have that in my bedroom, hallway, and both ceiling lights in my Living room,.
Mobilioty within the home is such an indivual thing, depending on exactly what you need, and how much room you have. Sleeping on a sofa for a prolonged period could cause more problems in the long run.

I did sleep on my recliner chair for three nights when I fractured my back, as I could not get myself out of my (electric) bed. The chair lowered my feet to the floor and I could then lean on my trolley to get up. But a good mattress an posture in bed is essential particularly as we get older.

Anniebach Mon 05-Apr-21 14:32:18

I don’t want to sit for long periods in a wheelchair I want to get to my bedroom so I can sleep in bed and let my dogs out into the garden and go to the loo.

I am sure 9 weeks sleeping on the sofa has caused harm to my hip and leg and caused the muscle shrinking to shrink faster.

Am going to have a visit from a private physiotherapist, I did have a visit with the physiotherapist from the hospital last December, she took photographs of my knee and for the muscle wastage told me to clench my buttocks several times a day ! I assure you it doesn’t work the muscles .

When my younger granddaughter can come she will sort out Alexa for me, she has her finals coming up so very much studying to do.

Franbern Tue 06-Apr-21 09:00:31

Alexa, glad you will have someone to sort out Alexa, Yes, I use it, but have not done any of the set-ups myself, rely on SiL for that. Do not forget to use Alexa on your main (ceiling ) lights you will need special bulbs, and for use on lamps you will need special plug. You will need these read prior to anyone being able to set it up for you.
Could you not use a walker to get from room to room? Much cheaper than any sort of wheelchair. Also, will give you that little bit of exercise when using it.

Anniebach Tue 06-Apr-21 09:13:41

Franbern I have used a walker for several years , pain too intense now, leg badly twisted, if you can imagine- when walking your knee and foot go in the same direction, not mine,
if walking south my left foot faces east , if I place the foot south my knee goes west , and my hip !

Thank you for your support x

25Avalon Tue 06-Apr-21 09:48:11

Anniebach have you been in touch with your GP regarding a wheelchair assessment? You may be entitled to a wheelchair from the NHS on loan. If you are at least assessed by an Occupational Therapist you will know the right kind of wheelchair for you. It is not one fits all. There are many considerations. If you google “Which? How to get a wheelchair” there is some very useful information.

The Disabled Living Foundation has occupational therapists to give advice on type of wheelchair through their Equipz section. It is f.o.c. Please take a look at www.disabled or phone 01612144590. They can advise on all sorts of living aids. I have found them excellent in the past.

Anniebach Tue 06-Apr-21 09:57:26

25Avalon I was assessed by an occupational therapist, she put me forward for a wheelchair last December, February I was told I would have one but a long waiting list so earliest would be Autumn.

I live in Mid Wales, very rural, all help seems 50 miles away , I thought of hiring but only place is 54 miles away

Daisymae Tue 06-Apr-21 11:02:34

Maybe get in touch with your GP for an assessment by social services? My husband had a wheelchair provided by the hospital. We did look at electronic wheelchairs in the mobility shop last year but we're given to understand that they are a bit complicated?? We settled for a small Mobility scooter, although it's for when we go out so lives in the boot of the car. The car has a hoist fitted and I have to say it makes life so much easier. We have had physio, occupational health and wheelchair services all visit in the last few months.

Anniebach Fri 09-Apr-21 09:38:21

Have heard from physiotherapy dept.

No more can be done for my twisted leg, they are ordering a standard self propelled wheelchair, if I can use it with my twisted hands they will order a small one.

A reablement team will give support to use both the wheelchair
and my mobility scooter and see which is best for me to get to
my bedroom.

Thank you all for your advice x

25Avalon Fri 09-Apr-21 11:10:38

Anniebach pleased to hear that something is happening with getting the mobility support you need. If you find the wheelchair is not comfortable after you have been it it a while you can get sheepskin lining and support which are really good and in some circumstances can be provided by the NHS.

Susan56 Fri 09-Apr-21 12:12:17

Annie I am wondering if the mobility shop would come out to assess what you need?It might be worth contacting Age UK.They recommended a company to us who came out and assessed mum for an electric bed and scooter.Age UK kept in touch throughout the process.The chap who came out to mum in Cheshire had travelled from the North East so I don’t think they mind travelling.

Katie59 Fri 09-Apr-21 12:32:13

Some mobility scooters have central drive wheels and you steer with a joystick, these can turn in their own length and fit through normal doorways. You can reach normal light sockets easily, there are plenty of S/H advertised on eBay and elsewhere so should not break the bank.

Anniebach Fri 09-Apr-21 18:41:56

Thank you, I recently bought the scooter, I didn’t like a power chair I bought so returned it, I didn’t like sitting in it with nothing in front of me, will try the manual wheelchair if I get use to sitting with nothing in front of me I will consider a power chair again and this time will contact Age UK

Thank you so much

Blossoming Fri 09-Apr-21 19:38:12

Good to see from your update that you’ve been able to get some advice and support.