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Thread: Powerchair advice

  1. #1

    Question Powerchair advice

    Hi

    Does anyone have any advice on Powerchairs? I currently use an Invacare Mirage but its way too heavy to use in the car, not to mention the fact that it doesn't fit! Can anyone recommend a powerchair that is relatively lightweight (although I will get a hoist) that will be suitable for using outside. By outside, I mean, supermarkets, local town (with occasional cobbles and flag stone paths) that kind of thing. I have heard that the Pride I-GO is quite good but for some reason Pride are claiming its an indoor chair only!? My current chair has a 16" seat so I wouldn't want anything too much wider than that.

    Any advice much appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sky's Avatar
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    My advice would be:

    1. Avoid anything made by Pride - they are junk.
    2. Don't bother with a hoist - get a car with a ramp. One with a winch to help load it would be best otherwise you have to park level or pointing downhill.
    3. Unless you're only going to use it indoors, get an outdoor/indoor (EPIOC) chair with suspension. Even pavements and cobbles will rattle your fillings out if you use hard tyres and no suspension.

    I've tried lots of chairs and the only one that fits the bill for me is the Puma 40 - it's brilliant. Nothing else comes close in my book.

  3. #3
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    As I said elsewhere I have an add on pwer pack which makes a manual into powered . Benoit Lightdrive http://www.benoitsystemes.com/minotor2.html
    Lighttouch has one too.

    I also recently bought an expensive off road model. We don;t have a car, but it would need a ramp. It does fold up but still heavy and bit of a bugger to put together.
    Cobbles? your going to jar your spine and possibly lose some screws. Wheelchairs do not like them!
    The Lightdrive is very whizzy and will go on road, tarmac, paving and compacted gravel. It does not DO loose gravel or grass. It will fit in a bus and most trains.
    Comes apart - chair + battery + motor and will go in most car boots

  4. #4
    But what is the cost of a light drive? £4000.00?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stree View Post
    But what is the cost of a light drive? £4000.00?
    Yes. I brought mine back in 2013, and the price was just under. I only afforded it then with help with grants from charities and donations from friends and family.
    However, research online, go to Naidex and ask around. Mobility scooters and wheelchair that are decent and practical are not cheap, I'm afraid!!

  6. #6
    Beg to differ on that: I have had various scooters...TGA, Shoprider etc, and paid between £80 and £240.........All performed as they should and even beyond expectations..........even rambling through nature reserves etc..............So light drive will remain as an option not for me, even though I use a chir more and more now.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sky's Avatar
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    Forget buying new - you'll spend £5,000.00 to 8,000.00 to find that a week later it's only worth £1000.00 or less.

    Over the last four years, I've bought five mobility scooters and four powerchairs secondhand. I bought them cheap from Freeads and Gumtree at £200.00 to £1200 and I made a little money on each of them when I sold them, by not being in a rush to do so.

    Mostly, when these come up secondhand it's because the family wants rid of it as soon as possible after its owner has passed away. There are mobility companies making a mint from buying these up cheap - £200.00 to sell to you at £2,500.00 plus.

    My current chair (Puma 40) cost £8,000.00 new - I got it at less than six months old with 180 miles on in immaculate condition for £1200.00 from eBay and that was including delivery from Coventry to Portsmouth.

    The NHS has just offered me a Quickie Salsa M which I turned down because it's not as good as the one I have already.

  8. #8
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    You can go the wheelchair services route. You only get offered what they have. Not necessarily the best for you. Back in 2012, we determined we needed back brakes (if someones pushing you down a slope) and they did not have that so we got a voucher and paid the rest for a Karma Ergo.

    2nd hand is OK and Gumtree and Preloved are OK, BUT it won't be under guarantee or warranty. You won'y get insurance unless you get it serviced first and boy oh boy. I WOULD get insurance. With powerchairs, 2nd hand, you may have to replace the battery which can be pricey.

    Sky says she has bought 4 chairs in 4 years? So did they last? and has the 5 sums of money been as much as a new one? So you please yourself really.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sky's Avatar
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    They all lasted fine thanks and the only reason I sold them on was because a better one came along. I've made a small profit on them all and a whopping £1,000.00 profit on one.

    Batteries can be picked up a LOT cheaper too if you shop around. My local mobility shop wanted £270.00 each for a pair of 80Ah gels recently - I bought some for just over £120.00 each and they were exactly the same battery.

    Servicing is a joke - they just need cleaning mostly as there are very few serviceable parts apart from brakes and tyres. I always have insurance and I have never been asked when it was serviced last; that's for both my powerchairs and mobility scooters.

    The NHS has just offered me a voucher - £2,500.00 toward a chair and it has to be new. After laughing and joking about this with the OT wheelchair 'specialist' (who knew next to nothing about powerchairs anyway), I've managed to secure a deal where I will get the £2.5K plus £3k (£50.00 per month servicing fee for five years) on top. This means that the chair will be mine and I will be responsible for servicing or repairing it.

  10. #10
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    Tongue in cheek reply for the season:

    Get one with a snowplough on the front... useful for clearing the displays that clutter the ends of isles in supermarkets at this time of year

    Back to the question though, I use 2 wheelchairs,

    a Foldawheel PW-1000XL which is very light & can be folded easily to put in any car. It's not great on the cobbles but I've tried it a few times & survived. It gets me most places. Town is easy.

    an Otto Bock B500, it's big & heavy & a real pain to transport, just like the Mirage. With low pressure tyres it doesn't notice cobbles. Elevating seat allows me to look over people.

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