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Wheelchair/Mobility Scooter Thread

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Orla, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. Orla

    Orla Senior Member

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    Hi all, I have been meaning to start a thread on this topic for a while. I have been using a wheelchair and mobility scooter for about 7 years now. I have picked up a few tips and that along the way so I thought it would be useful to pass these on. I'll start with Reclining manual wheelchairs as I just spoke to a mother of someone who uses one so have the information fresh in my head (and also written on the back of an envelope which I am sure to lose, so better write it down here quick!).

    Reclining Manual Wheelchairs

    I first saw a picure of a reclining wheelchair on the front page of Interaction, the magazine of the UK group. I have scanned it in and hope it comes out below. You might have to click on the attachment.

    Basically with a Recline wheelchair you can incline the backrest in increments so that it is tilted a little, or a lot, so that you don't have to be fully upright. You can also tilt it so far back that it is flat and like a bed. This could be useful for someone who has very bad dizziness or orthostatic intolerance and who cannot sit up for much time without feeling terrible, but who either has to go to an appointment, or wants to move from the bed (e.g. to lie outside for a bit on a nice day).

    It could also be useful occassionally for a less severe person who had to, or wanted to, do something that was going to involve being out of the house for a few hours, and where they might need to lie down for a bit for a rest.

    A very severe, bedbound, friend of mine got one when she needed to go to the hospital for an appointment. They had found in the past that you can run into problems when you ask if you can lie down. Without knowing the history nurses etc. can think you are just being a Prima Donna. Also sometimes you can be at an appointment somewhere where a bed is not readily available because all of them are occupied, or they don't have beds anywhere hear where the appointment is. It is easier to have your own "bed" as it saves energy explaining, trying to organise something difficult, or banging your head off a brick wall if you come up against someone particularly ignorant.

    They told me their one folds in the middle like an ordinary wheelchair would. There is a head rest that can come off. And the foot rests also come off. This would make it easier to get into a car. They have a hatch-back so unfortunately I don't know about what it would be like in an ordinary car. It might fit into a larger boot/trunk.

    It is a bit heavier than an ordinary manual chair. Her husband could lift it out on his own but you might need 2 if the people aren't particularly strong. She said she could manage getting an ordinary manual wheelchair out of the car but would need help with this one.

    As with any manual chair for an ME/CFS person you would need someone to push you. Remember it is not just a walking/balance/standing problem people can have, but also exercise intolerance in general, so this affects the arms and shoulders also. Trying to self-propel, other than short distances on the flat, is probably out of the question for the majority of people with ME/CFS who would be sick enough to be using a wheelchair.

    The brand of the recline wheelchair they got was Days Healthcare. It seems to be one of these ones on the top of the page http://tinyurl.com/ylze993

    Note, there are 2 different chair widths. You would need to check if buying or renting a chair like this (or any other wheelchair) that you were getting a size that suited you. Remember with the reclines especially you have to take into account your shoulder width as well as the width needed for the seat to sit on.

    She thinks they paid 275 Euro for it in Dublin, Ireland (this seems like exceptionally good value. My guess would be that it could be a bit more expensive than this in a lot of places, but basically it will give people an idea of the price-range, as it is not in the thousands or anything.)

    Hope this is of use to people. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has used a recline wheelchair. I hope to post up more about other types of wheelchairs and scooters when I get a chance.

    Orla

    Note: I think a "tilt-in-space" wheelchair is different from a recline one, generally speaking anyway. The tilt-in-space I think would not be as good for someone with ME/CFS as you still wouldn't be lying back. I have sat in a tilt-in-space electric wheelchair and I don't think it would be as good as a recline one.

    Recline wheelcha&#105.jpg
  2. Dr. Yes

    Dr. Yes Shame on You

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    Thanks for this Orla. I've been wanting to start a thread on this general subject for ages.

    Recline wheelcha&.jpg

    Is the cat optional?​
  3. Orla

    Orla Senior Member

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    I am afraid the cat is a compulsory accessory for people with ME/CFS.

    How do you do the big picture?? They always come out tiny for me.

    Orla
  4. Orla

    Orla Senior Member

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    Size of chair

    Looking a that particular chair that I put a link to it doesn't look that much different in size to an ordinary manual wheelchair once the headrest was taken off, so I think it should fit into a trunk/boot of a fairly normal size (though not a very small one).

    Orla
  5. Orla

    Orla Senior Member

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    Recline function

    I forgot to say that the mother said that the recline function was easy to operate. The person in the chair would need to sit up (or get someone to hold them up) while a lever is adjusted to change the angle of the backrest.

    Orla
  6. Tammie

    Tammie Senior Member

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    Woodridge, IL
    any options for someone who does not have anyone to help get the scooter or motorized chair in/out of the car trunk? so far I moslty can manage w/o a scooter but there are quite a lot of times when it would be really helpful......have not really found anything that I could manage on my own, though.......and I suspect that if I were able to find somethign it would be far too expesnive and not coevred by medicare
  7. Orla

    Orla Senior Member

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    www.travelscoot.com seems to be the lightest scooter on the market. I have it now for over a year. I will write out something properly about it again. The heaviest part of it is 20 pounds, and with the smaller of the 2 lithium ion batteries on offer, the whole thing is 35 pounds in weight (so other than the mid-section the rest is pretty light).

    It is pretty easy to dismantle and put together (obviously not if a person is very severe). It is also compact when dismantled (part of the problem with other scooters is not just that they have a few heavy parts, but also that they are bulky and awkward to lift, so that you woud need 2 people).

    You can also get hoists to help lift scooters in and out of the trunk, but I think you might need a hatchback car for this to work (not sure about this).

    Orla
  8. spindrift

    spindrift Plays With Voodoo Dollies

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  9. Orla

    Orla Senior Member

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    Hi Spindrift

    They have got to be the coolest wheelchairs EVER. Thanks for posting the links. The video of the people climbing the stairs and going downhill etc is so cool. I kept thinking they were going to fall out :eek:.

    Super inventions.

    Orla
  10. Tammie

    Tammie Senior Member

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    Woodridge, IL
    Thanks for the link, Orla....edfintiely sounds more manageble than anything I have seen.....now to figure out how to pay for it since of course Medicare won't cover it
  11. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    Will medicare pay?

    Hey spindrift,

    I'm as green as the skin on my computer with jealousy. Seriously, do you float on a surfboard? On this side of the country, in the Atlantic, one can carry their boogie board out into the water and hold onto it while drifting with the current into shore or parallel to the shore. Short ride and too much work for a CFS person to get there.

    Seriousy, I believe medicare will pay if you choose one of their durable goods providers, have a doctor's prescription, and also cannot walk inside your home. Well, that's how it is for a wheelchair. Anyone know more details?
  12. Tammie

    Tammie Senior Member

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    Medicare does not cover scooters for any reason - they will only cover motorized wheelchairs if you need one to use in your home - they do not care if you need it to be able to get around outside of your home & they do not care if a motorized wheelchair is impossible for a disbaled person to manage to get in and out of a car on their own
  13. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    Thanks, Tammie, although the info. is disheartening. I do remember getting a script for my chairlift and it saved me state sales tax.
  14. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    Update on electric wheelchairs and scooters/medicare

    I had a physical yesterday with my family doctor. He said it's very important what he thinks regarding need of the chair/scooter. I told him that I walk in my home for the most part, but there are times I can't get from one end of the house to the other. He has started the process to get me in some "wheels." The doctor has 7-8 pages of info. to fill out. I have one page. Someone from the scooter store will come out and take measurements of the home to determine which type of vehicle is right. They measure doorways, etc.

    I am encouraged. It would be wonderful to get out on a pretty day and take a "walk" with my husband.
  15. spindrift

    spindrift Plays With Voodoo Dollies

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    Brown-eyed Girl,

    I am happy that you will be getting some wheels to go for a "walk". I received my travel scoot but have not been
    able to put it together yet. I am hoping for the weekend. The part about floating on a surf board is still in the wishful
    thinking stage. No need to envy me at the moment. But I was able to sit and stick my feet into the pool this week,
    which was quite exciting. I love feel good moments.
  16. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    I never realized such moments could be so satisfying until I became sick. Good for you. I wish you many more happy moments at your poolside.:victory::victory::D
  17. spindrift

    spindrift Plays With Voodoo Dollies

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    Yipee!!!!!!! Just assembled my travel scoot and went for a spin in the garage. How fun!
    Will go for a long "hike" along the ocean side tomorrow. My cat got all excited when I
    told him we will go for a 'walk' tomorrow. He still remembers the word although we haven't
    done that for a while because we live on a steep hill and I run out of energy too fast on
    steep inclines.
  18. Orla

    Orla Senior Member

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    Wheelchair Article, page 1

    I thought I may as well scan in the full article that I mentioned in my first post here. The article is from Action for ME's Interaction magazine (I think Afme used to be a lot better than they are now, though they still have some interesting articles in their magazine). They say articles can be reproduced for non-commercial purposes provided their telephone number and address are given so here goes: http://www.afme.org.uk/ . Action for M.E., PO Box 2778, Bristol, BS1 9DJ, UK. Tel: 0845 123 2380.

    Please note this article is quite a few years old (from 1998, so over 10 years old!) so some of the information might be out of date, especially contact details of other organisations. But I thought it was worth posting here, as there are some good points in it, and there is a better picture of the recline wheelchair than the one I posted.


    [​IMG]
  19. Orla

    Orla Senior Member

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    Wheelchair Article Page 2

    About the vibration/tyres issue mentoned below, I can have a problem with movement/vibraton but didn't find it a particular problem in the wheelchair, but I am not as severe as the person photographed. Maybe if you were on rough ground a lot it would be more of an issue?

    Don't forget that the more pneumatic tires you have the more tyres that can get punctured. It could be worth not bothering trying to get the front tires as pneumatic ones, until the ordinary ones were tried out first (this would also save on cost). The back wheels are usually pneumatic anyway.

    [​IMG]
  20. Orla

    Orla Senior Member

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    Hi spindrift,

    A Travelscoot buddy :victory: I hope the travelscoot works out. I got mine over a year ago and love it.

    Orla

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