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Thread: Power chair turning circles

  1. #1
    Biscuitgazer
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    Power chair turning circles

    What turning circle should I be looking for in a power chair? I took a turn for the worse last year and it's now time for one. I've looked at a few power chairs and have a rough idea of what I don't want, but I'm vague about what I do want. I got a used scooter last year, but I don't like it, mainly because my thumbs are too weak too hold the "go" lever for any length of time, but there's a few other reasons too.

  2. #2
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    Choosing a power chair is a minefield. First decide on exactly you want to do in the power chair, will you be using it inside your home, outdoors, etc. Then look at the type of drive, rear wheel drive, mid wheel drive, front wheel drive, they make a big difference, I have two rear wheel drive chairs but have used a mid wheel drive chair which was better in certain situations & worse in others.

    You also need to decide if you are wanting to transport the power chair in a car, my heavy chair weighs 120kg & you can't just lift it into a car, it's a major job & the car needs to be van-like to have any hope. My lightweight power chair is 25Kg, folds in a couple of seconds, & will go into a car boot easily.

    So, turning circle, measure your house, especially the hallway, see how tight a turning circle you'd need to get from hallway to each of the rooms, from that work out which power chair will work taking into account that your feet will likely poke out beyond the footrest.

  3. #3
    Senior Member deebee's Avatar
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    Also,will you be wanting to get on the bus with it
    Last week I was on the bus,when a lady said to the driver could he open the middle door so that her mum could get on
    He said her scooter was too big
    She said that the bus before had said the same ,but that he had two buggies and she presumed that was why
    He explained that even though he had no buggies on her chair was so big that it would prevent people getting past her in the designated space
    He then relented and said he didnt have many passengers and that they could get on if they understood that if he were to fill up and it caused a problem,she would have to get off
    then he asked her how far she was going and would she be coming back
    She was going a long way and was planning to come back
    He then said she may find that no other bus would let her get on to get back
    They decided to cut their journey short and go two stops to the local shopping precinct instead
    It did indeed take up the whole of the designated space, plus extra,thus meaning no other passengers could pass the middle of the bus
    the driver asked if they had been out with it many times and they said it was their first time
    I remember thinking how bad it was that someone had let the poor woman buy that model without explaing to her what she couls, and could not do on it

  4. #4
    Biscuitgazer
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    Many thanks Deebee. There are scarcely any buses around here, (middle of nowhere, Lincolnshire) so I'd not given that any consideration. What are the problems with mid wheel drive? It seemed to me that MWD was the way to go, maybe a Select 6 or some such, but now...not so sure. I was concerned about ground clearance and turning circle - once I got over the question of left or right hand drive (I'm right handed, but my left hand is currently stronger) and whether or not I can take it overseas.

  5. #5
    Biscuitgazer
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    Also figure I must have a ramp for the car as any power chair will be way too heavy, my lightweight manual chair is barely manageable.

  6. #6
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    RICA do a powered wheelchair guide.
    http://www.rica.org.uk/content/power...er-survey-2014
    I'm actually mentioned in it! The "Lynn" is me.

    All of the above is valid. whats you weight and height? Do you use it inside or out or both? How do you get it IN and OUT?
    Do you have a WAV with ramp or hoist? Or like me, no car at all? Has it got to go on buses or trains.
    Both buses and train have a limit length and weight wise, so do your research. Where you going to keep it?

    Is it just for pavements and shopping or is something more robust required? How many miles with it do without a charge?
    Best thing you could do is go to a mobility roadshow or Naidex.
    And do think about the controls. I too am realising that those wiggle-waggle controls hurt your thumbs!

  7. #7
    Biscuitgazer
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    You're famous, reddivine! Thanks for the link. It seems assessment is advisable. Pfft. I don't have much faith in social services or the NHS. When I had an attack some years ago, the OT advised me to slide down the staircase on my backside as I couldn't walk down - so much for dignity lol. Chair-wise, though, it's a good idea.

  8. #8
    Senior Member deebee's Avatar
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    Crikey! not very good advice!
    I have always in the past found OT,s to be very good
    Am currently waiting for an OT visit but the wait is loooong in my area

  9. #9
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    The main mid wheel drive problem used to be getting caught with front & rear wheels on the ground with the mid driving wheels suspended above a surface unable to gain traction, usually when you found a dropped kerb with a slope leading to it with a significant change of angle onto a cambered road surface. The main advantage of mid wheel drive was always that when you went along a path where there was a drop away at say a driveway, the chair wouldn't lurch uncontrollably towards the drop, which is a major problem with a rear wheel drive chair until you learn how to control it well enough to avoid it happening.

    Wheelchair assessments are usually a good idea, but, they can be limited by the assessor's knowledge or by their wanting to recommend chairs that they get a commission for recommending.

    Also consider power chair maximum speed, I prefer being able to cross roads quickly & avoid reversing cars in carparks with both of my power chairs capable of 6mph.

    Power chair programming is important too, most power chairs are sold with horrible programming settings so that they have a delay on steering, this causes them to be difficult to drive properly. I'd suggest you research this area at length. Dealers are supposed to help you get the chair set up to how you need it, but most dealers only have dealer level programmers & can't change most of the settings enough.

  10. #10
    Hi BG. You'll find the assessors are tied up what they can advise you to get and have a very limited choice. Wheelchairdriver.com is where you want to look regarding answers to your dilemma. You will find ALL the pros and cons here and anything you can't find just ask. Also don't settle on just 1, get to where you have 2 or 3 that seem to tick your boxes then get the dealers to bring them out for a test run so you can make your final decision. I hope you get what your looking for and if you need any more help just SHOUT!! Good luck!

    Terry

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