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Thread: first wheelchair

  1. #1
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    first wheelchair

    Hello everyone,

    I'm seeking a bit of advice- I am getting my first 'proper' manual wheelchair and wanted advice regarding the options. I think I'll be going for a Quickie Life R but I wanted to know if:

    1) it's any good as a first wheelchair and

    2) Are the Spinergy wheels are worth the outlay or if I should just stick to the standard or even go half way and get the lightweight wheels?

    I am not a permanent wheelchair user but I use it if I go anywhere more than around 20 metres. I want to use it to take my dogs for walks in 'accessible' woodland using gravel paths, compacted earth, etc

    Any guidance would be hugely appreciated!

  2. #2
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    LT is the one to ask here.

  3. #3
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    Red face thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by reddivine View Post
    LT is the one to ask here.
    Thanks- I will be paying for it myself if I can't get assistance (will potentially be saving up for months) as I don't think there are wheelchair vouchers in Wales and through working for the local authority I know that there is a several month delay for assessments through OT's in my area
    Last edited by helatruralhome; 23-04-16 at 14:02.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    If you've ever tried to use a heavy weight NHS wheelchair you'll realise how wonderful you feel using a lightweight designer one.
    http://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/whee...lchairs/life-r

    The Quickie range of chairs are well designed and engineered - made in Germany. http://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/whee...ht-wheelchairs

    I'm not a full time wheelchair user but wanted something lightweight and easy on the eye. I choose the Quickie Xenon SA which is like a rigid chair but can be folded with a one handed easy action. Starts at about £2,000. http://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/whee...irs/xenon-2-sa

    You're best seeing a wheelchair assessor who will customise your chair to suit your size etc

    Here are a few extras you might look into

    - dropped handle grips
    - a Jay cushion
    - swing away front forks
    - 5 inch diameter front wheels
    - Spinergy 12 spoke wheels that come with fibre non-rusting spokes http://www.spinergy.com/products/lit...eme-lxmarathon plus tyres

    - Marathon plus puncture proof tyres - http://www.spokz.co.uk/Wheelchair-Ty...lchair-Tyre/35

    Look into the wheelchair voucher scheme. It's a voucher worth a few hundred pounds courtesy of the NHS available through the Council's Wheelchair Service. They have a list of approved sellers who are part of the voucher scheme.
    http://www.abilitymatters.co.uk/New-...chair-Vouchers
    If you buy your own wheelchair you are responsible for all maintenance and insurance. If your chair goes in for a service you'll need to hire another one.

    Access to Work
    I'm guessing you can phone Access to Work and Enquire about a Wheelchair. Even if you don't use it daily to work you could say you need one for recreational activities that help with your well-being and keeps you in work. Suggest that you can put £500 towards the cost of 'special equipment'- you never know!!
    https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/what-youll-get

  5. #5
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    Hi thanks for that- how does getting a wheelchair through Access to work happen- can I choose the one I want and where to get it from? I would use it daily for work as I do struggle getting into work at present (I have to get into work over an hour early to recover from the very short walk and up my painkillers)

    I have applied for an access to work assesment as you don't get the vouchers in Wales sadly. Fingers crossed- I may ask for a Helium and see what they say as this would be absolutely ideal!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Hi, if you need it for getting from your car into work then that's your 'business case'. Reason.

    You have to self refer to AtW. Phone them up and tell them that you need to be assessed for a manual wheelchair. Tell them that you have already done research and identified the one you want.

    Someone will come out to where you work and bring a demo wheelchair to measure you up.

    As you will also be using the wheelchair socially they will expect you to contribute something towards it. Just test the water and say £200 - they are only looking for 'gestures of good will' to tick a box!

    Tell them about extra features you want like drop handles. They probably will not fund fancy wheels but you can but ask!

    Let us know how it goes and give us feedback. You'll never get what you never ask for.

  7. #7
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    Hi- I know after a bit of googling that AtW have funded e-motion wheels for other people and these would be a massive help to me as I can't self-propel for long so I'll ask about them... I've never had any assistance from them before and all I need is this chair in order for it to have a life-changing improvement on my life as currently I end up waiting in the car while everyone goes off without me when we go anywhere... I have to get into work over an hour earlier to ensure I can park close and recover from the 20-30 metre walk into work. I also have to restrict toilet breaks as the toilet is around 30 metres from my desk so a 'proper' wheelchair would really improve my quality of life...I have completed the AtW application online (they are trialling a new system) so hopefully I'll hear from them within 7 days- who orders the equipment? Is it AtW or do I give my employer the details and they order?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Here's a link to e-motion wheels - https://www.activemobility.co.uk/alb...ls-p-2249.html

    It seems that most add-on motors cost around £4,000 and your type of wheelchair costs about £2,000.
    You might find Access to Work wouldn't think it's value for money and might suggest a portable electric scooter like Catlover uses.

    There's myself and Reddivine who use another type of bolt-on motor called 'Lightdrive. They are really good. I use one as I can't self-propel using just one good arm. http://www.benoitsolutions.co.uk/light_drive.html
    Reddivine found funders to buy her Lightdrive I had to self-fund as I no longer work and took early retirement 5 years ago.

    You could visit Naidex next week on Wednesday or Thursday to see about wheelchairs and possible bolt-ons. http://www.naidex.co.uk/page.cfm/act...howcatid_1=313

    Only last week I had a mini hoist fitted in the rear of my Renault Scenic to lift my wheelchair with bolt-on motor and battery into the hatch space. http://www.autochair.co.uk/products/...fts/mini-hoist

    We start off saying we don't mind logging the wheelchair in and out of the boot but the novelty wears off after a while. It's just so easy using a hoist.

    Anyway - aim for the sky with a manual wheelchair plus bolt-on - they can only say no.

    Good luck and keep us informed of your progress.

  9. #9
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    I'm currently going through the motions of obtaining a new wheelchair with ATW, albeit a powered one.

    Firstly, I wrote a business case explaining why it would help me in the work place. I justified the extra options over and beyond the basic model (I had already done the work to identify the right model for me). I submitted this to ATW and found the document had covered most of their questions, so it was nice and easy.

    Secondly, they will expect you to pay 2/7's of the cost. That is assuming you work 5 days a week. If not replace the 2 with the number of non-working days. They will also expect an employer contribution if your employer is over a certain size. I can't recall the numbers, but my employer is looking at a contribution of £1000 + 20% of the ATW contribution.

    Here in Kent I'm looking at a £3000 voucher from the local NHS wheelchair service. ATW will take into account any NHS contribution.

    Good luck with your submission should you proceed with one.
    Last edited by vantage; 23-04-16 at 12:37.
    No single thing can define me; not my work, not my politics, not my hobbies, not my vices and not my disability. I'm way more complex than that!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Thanks Vantage that’s interesting to know about the 2/7 rule. When the wheelchair service assessed me they said I qualified for an electric wheelchair but wouldn’t give me an indoor/outdoor one as I had no ramp. The Disabled Facilities grant people visited and said I met the medical criteria to have a ramp but it was means tested. They also said if they were to put a ramp in they’d need to change my bathroom too even if I didn’t want it doing - I gave up!!

    Vochures
    I was offered just £400 by the wheelchair service - every Council has itsow4n rules!!


    Access to Work is the Government’s best kept secret. It seems to me that they don’t really want disabled people to know about the number one support system for working disabled people.

    At least you’ve got in touch with AtW and got the ball rolling.


    Getting the wheelchair in and out of your car
    I have a manual wheelchair with a bolt-on motor - it does make a world of difference. I can’t use a manual wheelchair independently as one arm doesn’t work so well. The idea of getting a foldable wheelchair was so I could put it in the hatch area with the dismantled motor and power pack. It works perfectly well when you feel OK but if you wake up with back ache you think twice about driving somewhere then getting it out, assembling it and doing the opposite on your return.


    I now use auto chair hoist and just swing it into the back of my hatchback with minimal effort. http://www.autochair.co.uk/products/...fts/mini-hoist This cost about £1,300 as I own my car. If I was ordering a Motability lease hire car it would only cost £300.


    E-motion wheels
    These are a good idea. Only be warned that the battery makes the wheels very heavy. Most people that I know who have this add-on don’t dismantle the chair to put it in the boot. An added advantage is that you could use a folding wheelchair and use a car hoist to lift it inside. As it would be compact you could still use the back seats of the car for passengers.


    Wheelchairs
    The Quickie range is great - German engineering at its best


    A rigid frame lightweight wheelchair is ideal. The Quickie Xenon foldable wheelchair is even better giving you the compactness of a foldable chair but just as rigid as a rigid chair. I can fold mine with one hand in less than 4 seconds! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-njjoPrhoU


    Walking the dogs . . . remember a Formulae 1 car is no good at rally-cross. Your Quickie Helium will be good to use on hard surfaces e.g. offices, tarmac, shops etc. You can use it on short flat dry grass but I wouldn’t use it daily on gravel paths or lumpy land. You might need a Power wheelchair with bigger tyres and suspension.


    Who orders the equipment
    Well you don’t get involved. Your company may need to contribute say 20% towards the cost but don’t worry that’s not your problem - they’ll have a hidden kitty and they can claim it back via accounting practices. AtW will liaise with your manager. Your manager will source which department raises orders - might be HR. Your manager will say they don’t have enough money in their budget to pay just 20% but this will be part funded by your Corporate HR budget or the like - don’t worry it’s not your problem.


    Parking
    If you have a private car park outside you could suggest that they outline an accessible parking bay near the entrance. If it’s only on-street parking outside you could phone ‘highways’ and ask about having an accessible bay marked up as near to your place of work. It wouldn’t be yours - any Blue Badge holder could use it - but it would help.

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