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Seated mobility scooter, NON-electric!

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Dainty, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    Does anyone have experience with the Walk-Aid seated mobility scooter?

    [​IMG]
    Image courtesy of The Original Walk Aid Mobility Scooter

    It's looking like a really good option for me right now to extend the distance I can "walk" and provide a seat without the bulk and hassle of a wheelchair.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  2. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    No, but as someone who's mowed down multiple display cases driving a motorized cart at a slow pace even, I wouldn't try this. ;) My reaction time isn't quick enough.

    If you have a balance problem, many pwcs do, trying to maintain balance on 2 wheels is impossible. My brain can barely handle standing on a flat surface. lol.

    tc .. x
     
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  3. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Narcissism = lack of self awareness

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    Why not a walker with wheels on the front legs? This thing looks like a disaster waiting to happen not to mention the energy it would take to push it along and keep it balanced.
     
  4. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    Hmm, I suppose it's going to depend on what kinds of movements are easier for you.

    Walking exhausts me. Walking with weight on my arms exhausts me in addition to hurting my back. Being able to sit upright and push myself along with my foot, letting the momentum of the wheels carry me further than the same exertion would with walking feels, to me, a lot easier than walking, using a walker, or trying to push myself in a wheelchair.

    A couple years ago and for several year prior, this would have been out of the question for me due to the balance issues and also inability to exert myself that much. But at my current stage I'm capable of riding a bike, only problem...it exhausts me! There are stores I cannot enter by myself because they're too big and I need places to sit down. I can go in with someone else pushing my wheelchair, but I'd like to be capable alone and an electric wheelchair would be overkill.

    Another reason I've avoided walkers is that if I need to be standing and walking somewhere, walking fast so that I reach the next place to sit down ASAP is the way I go. Sure, some walkers have seats in them, but the effort of sitting down and standing back up again is really taxing, not to mention the half-spin around each time you want to do it. Now that would make me dizzy!

    Sounds like what may be a solution for me wouldn't be for you, and what you're proposing might work for you but would be a disaster for me!
     
  5. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    I could see some potential for that for some people.

    It could work for outdoor strolls when walking would be too hard but you still want to keep mobility.

    Moving from walking (and crashing) to a mobility scooter is a big step, because deconditioning is a reality that needs careful consideration and we all need to be aware of the problems it creates, as much as the problems PEM create.

    This scooter allows sitting, and keeping the legs active.
    It would be great if you could get a trial, or a rental to see if it works for you. how much does this retail?
     
  6. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    I think I would have too much trouble with both balance and energy to use a scooter or bike of any kind. I'd fall over. Hmm, maybe a 3-wheeled bike that would stay still when not moving? But that wouldn't work inside the store.

    I get what you say about trying to walk quickly to get to the next place to sit down. My solution is to go to stores that have enough chairs/benches around when needed. And avoid all stores that are too large and need lots of walking. Does Costco still exist? That place was a nightmare. Huge store, big crowds, and no air conditioning.

    The other thing I do is keep a cane that folds into a seat in my car. And then I carry that cane/seat with me into the store. It's not good to sit on it for more than 5-10 minutes so that's why it's good to know where there is a bench or chair (e.g., go to a grocery store that has a deli section with chairs, or go back out and sit in my car). But it's good enough for waiting in line for a few minutes at the checkout line. Or for sitting down when I suddenly feel wobbly.

    Of course, this all depends on having a car and being able to drive. I could never take mass transit (bus or train) even though I would love to be more environmentally friendly. I can't control the temperature (usually too hot), the seats are too upright -- straight-backed instead of reclined, and I might not even get a seat when it's crowded, etc.

    I do get that we all have different abilities and problems to solve. Best of luck to you!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
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  7. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    Sounds like you're referring to something like this, which uses 4 smaller wheels instead:

    [​IMG]
    Image by FWD Mobility

    With the scooter I'm referring to, unlike a bike you don't fall over when you're not moving. With a bike, pedals and height prevent you from easily propping yourself up with a foot - you basically have to fall over and then try to catch yourself with your leg. Which is pretty hard for me, personally. The Walk Aid doesn't work that way....one or both feet may easily be in full contact with the ground at any or all times without it leaning over in the slightest:

    [​IMG]
    Image by The Original Walk Aid

    (Here he's using a removable footrest on the other side.)

    I wish I didn't end up loving the stores that are too big for me!! Would certainly make life a lot simpler. ;)

    That sounds like a really handy device, what's it called? I haven't used a cane in a long time 'cause it tends to throw out my back, but one that can fold into a chair just might have enough benefit to outweigh the drawback.

    Mmm, right. That makes sense. I don't have a car and can only drive occasionally, so I've been trying to make mass transit work for me, which is really exhausting! So much effort getting from point A to point B even apart from riding that's simply too far to walk. That's actually what started me on my search for an "in-between" type mobility aid. Currently mass transit is my only option for developing more independence, otherwise at this point most days I feel like a prisoner even though I'm no longer so ill that I absolutely need to be housebound.

    Thanks! It's such an experiment to find stuff that works for us. i appreciate you sharing your discoveries for what works for you. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
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  8. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    There are many different versions out there but here's the one that I have:

    http://www.magellans.com/magellan-s-sport-seat

    One thing I will note is that the photo of the woman sitting on it is completely misleading. The seat is meant to be straddled with the handle in front of you. It is very unstable to sit on it the way the photo shows. You need your legs to help balance you.

    Here's a photo with the right way to sit.

    cane-seat.jpg

    I replaced the small, white caps on the end of the legs with more sturdy rubber cane tips. You can find cane tips in most any drug store. Other than that the same cane/seat has lasted since about 1996. I can't remember exactly when I bought it but I know it was before 1997.

    I don't actually use it as a cane, e.g., for support or to lean on it. I may sometimes use it for balance but only on bad days. Mostly, I just carry it along with me in my right hand, using it kind of like a walking stick.

    PS. I thought I'd add that the way to find these at other stores is to search for cane seat or folding cane seat in your favorite search engine.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
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  9. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    There's a couple issues to consider. One is that while bicycling requires less energy expenditure to get from point A to point B, compared to walking, it's generally a more intensive expenditure. It's difficult to guess how intense a non-pedaling bike would be, but that intensity still might be a problem for ME patients, especially if you add the struggle of posture and balance to the mix.

    Additionally, you would be using different muscles than you usually do (arms as well - a lot of tension required holding onto handlebars), which might cause unexpected problems. Basically when we run out of energy, certain muscles are prioritized to get the remaining energy. Hence we can still walk a bit even when in pretty bad shape, but the muscles used to make this a more graceful process tend to cut out and we lurch all over the place. The muscles used in pushing the bicycle might not be ones that work when exhausted.

    I think the general concept is interesting, but it really should be in a narrow tricycle design to minimize balance issues and to allow true rest. Yes, you can balance better on the bicycle shown above than on a normal bicycle, due to a much lower center of balance, but you still have to use leg muscles to hold that position. And it actually looks like a more awkward position to hold compared to standing up straddling a bike.

    I think it would help with some issues (mostly leg and foot based, especially if one-sided), but have serious doubts about how helpful it would be for an ME patient who is having problems with insufficient cellular energy. For $300, I'd absolutely insist on being able to take one for a test drive. I can't say I care for such a brief return period - a 7 day window is a bit intensive when you might be crashed, etc.

    This guy also leaves comments on various mobility articles using different girly names but pretty much identical text. Some comments appear to have been deleted (as spam?) since they show up on google but not on the linked article or its comments. And there's a complete lack of real reviews anywhere on the internet.

    I don't think an electric mobility scooter is overkill, if you can't handle outings when walking. Definitely more expensive though, which is a major factor to take into consideration.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
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  10. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Are there used ones for sale? If you bought a used one and didn't like it, you could get most of the cost back reselling it.
     
  11. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @Valentijn
    how interesting about the way we use muscles when we're running out of energy - of course it makes sense now to me why I start to Iurch about after a short time walking. I go from thinking hey I'm keeping a straight line to what!!!. like I've just drunk 10 pints of lager. No way I could manage that scooter, and the seat looked a little uncomfortable too:eek:

    I'm in a quandary too like many of us, justifiying the cost of a mobility scooter due to it sitting unused for weeks at a time, ( I loved borrowing one last year for a short while) can't balance even on an electric bike, tricycle look excellent but not for shopping. So it looks like we are going to buy a run of the mill wheelchair and then hubby needs to keep his training up:)
     
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  12. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    You could also get a harness for it, and have some burly dogs pull you around :D
     
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  13. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Don't think Tesco would be impressed:D
     
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  14. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Maybe if you get him a proper costume? Something Roman?
     
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  15. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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  16. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    Maybe it's the nature of my illness, but I can't see the usefulness of anything I have to push or pedal. I have enough trouble moving my own mass without adding more mass to push around.

    I can see the value of aids for balance, even if they add mass you have to move. If you can't balance, you can't go anywhere, so you trade the extra mass for the ability to balanced.

    Similarly, if the main limitation to mobility is OI and sitting is significantly better in terms of dizziness and such, then again, it's worth trading off the extra equipment to move for being sitting as opposed to standing.

    For me, the major obstacle to shopping or walks around the block is not balance or OI, it's PEM. I can walk a distance in the moment, but I crash afterwards. Pushing myself in a wheelchair or pedaling a bike just uses up my limited energy sooner. Not worth it for me. But I can see how it would be for people with a different set of symptoms.
     
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  17. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    1200 euros for half a bike frame - they are taking the p...........
    my husband is cheaper:)
     
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  18. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Do you, erm, ride him around the street then? :wide-eyed:
     
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  19. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    :rofl: I wish!!

    naughty girl - I lean on him.
     
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