Last week I took the big step of buying a powered wheelchair. A neat little device: a DeVilbiss Airfold
Carbon fibre frame so quite tough.
Took it out today for its first proper trial and I’m really happy with it. It is comfortable and very responsive. I just have to remember to release the joystick when I want to stop! That was the cause of a couple of comic moments in an outdoor cafe this morning- no harm done but much laughter as I careered into the tables having forgotten how to stop! Learning curve.
But seriously it is great and a welcome addition to my various aids. I was outdoors with it all morning at a local fair and it performed brilliantly even under my inexpert piloting.it is designed for both indoor and outdoor use.
I expect to have a companion with me mostly and will try to expand my range by doing short trips with whoever will come out with me. It folds down like a pushchair and fits happily into a standard car boot, a friend gave me a lift most of the way and lifted the machine into her car. She said It was heavy but she lifted it easily it weighs 17 kg.( I paid £2,350 for it. My local mobility shop didn’t do motability and to be honest I didn’t want that, illmpay myself back over the year from my mobility allowance. When you compare it to the cost of getting and running a car, you get some perspective.
I’ve much to learn and I’m tired out now, but I’m loving it.
Happy May day, or Beltaine for all you Celts out there.
Have fun rolling along, Tony!!! I know what you mean about mishaps when you’re first learning to use a new set of wheels. My first trip to the market after my stroke I powered into a display case and sent about thirty toothbrushes flying across the aisle. I was so embarrassed, but everybody had a good laugh, so I guess it was worth it! Jeanne
@Anthony.Nickson Wowser so chuffed for you well done on your maiden voyage, I did chuckle at the thought of you bumping into tables with your chair. It sounds brilliant to get around more. Have a good BH Monday best regards Loraine
@Anthony.Nickson how fab. Sounds like you’ve found the perfect mobility companion. I did chuckle a little at knocking the tables in the cafe. It won’t take you long to get used to it. Freedom at your finger tips @axnr911 all those toothbrushes . Reminded me of a time Before I had my stroke when I managed to knock over a whole display of Easter eggs in Aldi with my trolley. Always been clumsy. Not sure I could ever be let loose with an electric scooter
Pleased for you. My new scooter, all turned into, bit of a pain. Broke down , side of road. Been told,not a problem! , if happens again, need to get off , pull lever , lift off complete seat ,unclip & remove cover , find 4 batteries, push 4 cut out buttons & then reassemble? I, m f***ing DISABLED Need to rethink & laugh. David.
That sounds daunting!
Initially I don’t expect to go out without a companion. I plan to just do little trips locally while I get used to it. I d have a melt down if I had a breakdown like you described. There isn’t an AA service for scooters is there? I called them out once when I couldn’t release my handbrake, back in the days when I still had my car. I don’t know what I’d do if the power chair stopped working and I had no one with me.
I guess I’m not expecting to recover the kind of independence I previously had pre stroke, but to adapt to do things differently, seemsctgere will always be some dependency, but I’m ok with that.
Good luck with taming your machine I hope you get it to work for you in the way you need and it not become an additional anxiety.
Let us know how it goes
Happy Travels I also use a mobility scooter and it has enabled us to do lots of things we wouldn’t otherwise been able to do. It takes a bit of getting used to but worth the effort. I walk whenever possible but if I want to go that bit further, I use my scooter, which has enabled us to travel abroad and have many great days out. Keep up the good work.
Hi Anthony. I too have a powered wheelchair. I find it great for local journeys but have not gone further afield. Don’t worry about battery failure. My battery ran out recently, fortunately on a quiet pavement and I just came to a gentle stop. My husband switched on the second battery and off I went! I have had several near misses but thankfully none serious. Enjoy your new mobility. Lilian
It has been very helpful to share experiences with other wheelchair and scooter users. Sobfar I’ve only taken it out locally,
I went to a local park yesterday but the paths are quite narrow and have quite a steep camber,
I wanted to experiment with how it tackles a gradient as the bit of parkland is part of the local woodlands I live near, and has a few quite steep hills, or so I thought.
Mostly it did well on the hills but it doesn’t like the camber, and neither do I. On pavements it seems to perform well, I will soon do a try out on public transport. I’ve used a manual wheelchair successfully for a while on public transport, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. I need to work with it for a while yet to fully explore what it can and cannot do.
It is mostly an urban aid, which is fine as that’s where I am.
I don’t need or want to go any distance on my own, so I think it should work well generally for me. If in time I feel I want a bigger range, I can always look into a bigger scooter, or even a car again, but I’m reluctant to go back to driving, I didn’t enjoy it much when I got back on the road, and of course it brings new challenges like finding parking near enough to where you want to be, so I often ended up having to walk to my limit of endurance.
So I expect there to be challenges, and I don’t expect bit will solve everything for me, but it is something that brings me a bit of hope and I’m looking forward to exploring what I can do with it. I hall continue to try to improve my walking capacity and stamina, as that is something I always used to enjoy and would bring me pleasure if I could get better at it, it is good exercise too. I don’t see the wheelchair as preventing me in any way from doing that. In many ways it may provide more opportunities and variety
Thanks for sharing your experience, and I wish you well.
Like you I’m a powered wheelchair user and I found that I get much better control of the wheelchair by holding the joystick in the fleshy ‘web’ bit between my thumb and forefinger rather than resting on the end of the joystick.
Yep, that works for me too
Currently I’m working out new systems to allow me to go out without a lot of help. There’s no one simple solution really. A new device solves many issues but brings many new ones, like where to put it how to get it out easily. All these things will resolve in time as other things have, just need to be patient as with other things.