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How do i get a wheelchair in the UK?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by justy, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    Hi, like many others with moderate M.E i can walk both inside and outside the home. However i cannot walk for very long/fast or far, mainly due to exhaustion and PEM. Therefore ive been thinking about a wheelchair so that i can get out and about more with my family for "walks" etc. We are going for a few days youth hostelling in August (my first holiday in years) and we are not going very far from home, but im worried that if we want to do something like look around a castle etc it can be too exhausting just to get from the carpark.
    I'd like a wheelcahir either to borrow for short periods or hire. This is a big step for me as it seems strnage when i can actually walk, but im also supposed to be on a regime of doing less as i keep crashing.
    Does anyone know how to go about this in the UK? My husband does work, but we are on a very low income and struggle to pay the bills so i cant sfford anything much.
    Ideas? Thanks, Justy.
     
  2. themjay

    themjay

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    I spoke to my GP who agreed it would be a good idea for conserving energy. He wrote a letter to wheelchair services at the local hospital and they came to do a fitting at my home. Initially they took measurements/weight over the phone and subsequently sent an unsuitable chair. The second one was much more substantial although I did have to wait probably 3 months from start to receipt although some of this time was waiting for a cushion to be delivered. Also remember a push chair is probably what you need as propelling yourself will just defeat the purpose of energy conservation.
     
  3. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I was referred to my local wheelchair service by a NHS Physio. They supplied a chair that can be pushed by my husband or I can self propel. Sadly, I am too weak to use it most of the time. I need to go back and ask for a battery operated wheelchair. The problem will be getting it into my home as there is no little space here.

    Also due to the small size of our car the wheelchair needs to be dismantled and then put back together. Really hard to do in a cramped carpark in the rain.

    If you have the strength ring the venues that you want to visit and see if they can supply a wheelchair for when you get there or even that they are wheelchair accessible.

    For home I would have done better with some sort of wheeled trolley that I could flop the upper part of my body on and and then propelled that way, by pushing my body. Sometimes I use the wheelchair for that.
     
  4. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I used a wheelchair sometimes during my first illness and it's important to bear in mind that if you're going over rough ground in one it is actually quite tiring just to maintain your position in the chair! Be on smooth ground whenever you can.
     
  5. Athene

    Athene ihateticks.me

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    If you know anyone with an NHS wheelchair, I would ask what they are like. When we looked into it for my father, several people told us that the NHS ones are pretty awful. We never got to try one so I don't know how true it is.

    My aunt has one of those motability scooters instead. This web page is about powered wheelchairs and scooters for people who qualify for disability allowance....
    http://www.motabilitycarscheme.co.uk/main.cfm?Type=PWSS
    But my aunt got hers simply by moaning and whining endlessly to the doctor about how tired and weak she was. Her only diagnosis was being old.
    It did subsequently turn out that she was weak and dizzy because she was having endless little strokes, but they didn't know that when they gave her the scooter.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...cd=1&hl=it&ct=clnk&gl=it&source=www.google.it
    This web page says that it depends on the region you live in exactly how the rules work, but you can be assessed by an occupational therapist rather than a doctor.

    In general, based on all the stuff we needed while my father was ill and dying, you get what you moan for. You have to pester and fuss and then you get what you need, if you just ask politely they forget you. You have to ask everyone you can and they all tell you something different, never accept the first thing you are told, keep asking different people till you get what you want.
     
  6. M0nstermunch

    M0nstermunch

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    I was in this position many years ago with my daughter before we also went the GP/Hospital route as others have commented. Our initial route was to go to the Red Cross, who can provide wheel chairs for donations I believe. Hope this helps.
     
  7. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    Thanks Monstermunch - i have ordered a wheelchair from the red cross who are delivering it to my nearest small town on wednesday, i just rang them up and asked for it, they didnt ask me any questions about why i needed it. I think i can borrow it for as long as i need for a donation. Im hoping to be able to use it on holiday next week as im suffering really bad PEM at the moment after feeling a bit better. It will be great to be able to try it out in a place where i dont know anyone, but im still nervous about getting out of it and walking in case people look askance.
     
  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I know what you mean about that! I was using a walking stick during the period that I was in a wheelchair. Even if you don't need one, it may help you feel more comfortable to use one even if you're not leaning heavily on it.
     
  9. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    Hi Sasha -thats a good suggestion.
    My plan is to push the wheelchair myself if im not in it i do motice that when i push a supermarket trolley i feel more steady, The thing is i can walk pretty well but its the PEM thats getting me and i want to be able to go for longer "walks" etc.
    Justy.x
     

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