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Lifting a wheelchair into the care boot. - Carers UK Forum

Lifting a wheelchair into the care boot.

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
My husband has been put on medication to help his depression after his stroke last year. The good news is that they are helping him, but now he feels trapped in the house all winter and is asking to be taken out. My problem is that we bought a supposidly light weight wheelchair for him but as I have back problems, I can't lift it into the boot of my new car. I bought it in November - a lovely little 2 door Vauxhall Corsa (bright yellow), I love it, but although the large door is handy to get him into the passenger, with some difficulty as he only has the use of one arm, the small boot doesn't really have much space. I could drop the back seats forward to make more space but I am not strong enough to lift the folded wheelchair into the boot.
I have been looking at ramps etc but not sure if they would work. He is getting more unsteady on his feet so really it isn't safe to let him try to walk outside with his stick.
I am beginning to think I shouldn't have bought my lovely car and gone for something more accessible, but we didn't think his mobility would get this bad. He is beginning to think I don't want to take him anywhere but the reality is that I am having real difficulty having to support him when he is walking and he really has to be in a wheelchair but he is too heavy for me to push very far.
It is possible to fit a hoist into the back of a car, for wheelchairs. Can't remember any manufacturers names I'm afraid, but google might be able to find them. Otherwise ask an Occupational Therapist.
Hi Irene

I had similar problems with Mum's wheelchair until I changed my car to a Nissan Note - the boot space is adjustable as the whole of the back seat/bench slides back and forth which made it much easier to get Mum's chair in and out. It was also quite easy to slide it across the back seat if the boot was full with shopping !

But it sounds as though you could do with an electric wheelchair when you take him out ? Unfortunately the power pack does make them very heavy to lift ! Do you have a "Shopmobility" place in your local shopping centre ? I think most towns have them now - if so you could drive hubby there, park up and then hire an electric chair or a mobility scooter for the time you're out. Have a look here for further details http://www.shopmobility.org.uk/
We have a hoist for my husband's wheelchair. Originally it was for a scooter but when he changed to a power chair we had the bracket changed over. It is fantastic as there is no lifting required just looping the hoist straps onto the wheelchair bracket.
If you google mobility car adaptions in your locality (or similar words) then you should be able to find a company that does it in your area. Give them a ring and chat.
The size of the chair & the car will matter - we needed quite a bit of height clearance as well as width.
We have a motability car so the cost of the hoist was reduced through the scheme. I think it cost around £400. We don't consider this is bad for 3 years. However the cost without this may be greater.
It may also be worth talking to your local Carers group as they may know of some local grants which could help with the cost.
We have a large Renault Master with a tailgate lift. It cost my sons mobility allowance for five years and a non returnable deposit of £7,000 but we can not manage with out it as public transport of any kind is out of the question for us.

Have you tried going for Disability Living Allowance the mobility part actually it's PIP now but if you got High Rate Mobility you could apply for Motability and get a Wheelchair accessable car, a WAV as they call it.

You can get one with a winch so no pushing simply attach the winch to the wheelchair and it does all the work for you.
They have a 4 way system to clamp the wheelchair in securely and a seatbelt for the wheelchair user.

Or I know you wouldn't like this option but could you swap your new car and get a second hand WAV, many are based on normal cars, like a Fiat Doblo so drives like a normal car.
If you cannot push far an electric wheelchair as well, again you can apply to get an electric wheelchair through the NHS.
If your husband is unable to control an electric wheelchair, you can get a Carer controlled wheelchair, the controls are situated at the back of the chair. Very easy to use I have operated a few.

Hope this helps, it's quite a lengthy process going through PIP, filling in forms etc and motability but the end result would make it a lot easier for yourselfs.

We can literally load and go, takes less than 5 minutes to get the wheelchair in, strap down and drive off.
I wish we could get disability allowance, then he would qualify for a mobility car, but he is 70 and you have to be under 65 to claim it and he only had his stroke last year.

My son's father in law has a mobility car, which he has been entitled to since he was 60 and is much, much, less disabled than my husband.

His friend was here on Thursday and we tried to get his folding wheelchair into my little boot. It would have gone in if we dropped down the back seats, but then there is no where for a third person to sit, as the whole back seat has to fold. I cannot push Brian in his wheelchair by myself as he is too heavy so I am now stuck as to how to get him out.

Honestly, I wish we had foresight as I would have bought a car with separate back seats but that was something I never though of as his mobility was better before Christmas. Only had my new car for about 4 months and don't want to have to trade it in. His friend came with us to Brian's hospital appointment last week. This poor man who is 68, had to clamber into the back seat as my car only has 2 doors, again bought specifically for this reason as the large doors make it easier to get Brian in. I really though I had all the bases covered to make life a bit easier for him but it hasn't turned out quite as planned.
In the end did you find a solution? I've been lifting until recently my husband motability scooter. Through doing this the last ten years have developed lower back problems. He now has a hoist for the car. There is still different problems until you start using these things. You don't know the pit falls. We had to have the lifting clips changed because my husband can't use them due to severe Arthritis in his hands. We had hope he would be able to use it independantly. However, he can not push the control buttons. An easier one which would also be remote control would cost £350. The hoist he has was done by BP convertions which is local to us. A good idea before spending any more money is to go to a motability road show. where you can see/try equipment.
There is one at Silvestone race track end of May.
I discovered thst even although I was able to get his "lightweight" wheelchair into the boot of any care, he is too heavy for me to push. I don't have much body strength and have a bad back which can go if I put it under any stress.

I have though it over and decided that I will not change my car. If he only wants to go for a wee run then he can get into my car and back out ok. If we want to go out anywhere thst entails the wheelchair, then it will be by taxi (only reasonably locally) with a third party with us to push the chair.

The cost of taxis will be nothing like losing money on swapping my car and buying something new. I will use his attendance allowance money on these taxis for hospital appointments etc. I feel relief that I have come to a decision as I really would hate to have to change my car. It is the first car that has ever been bought by me, for me, not bad at 70 years old.
What's the back seat configuration like in your car? Is it just one back bit that flips down, or is it a double/single?
I drive a Kia Picanto, so probably a similar size to a Corsa.
MIL has a lightweight folding chair. To get it in the car, I flip down the whole back seat, put the wheelchair in sideways, stand it back up again and then put the double backrest back up again so we can fit someone in the back.
When I bought the car I took the wheelchair to the dealership with me and basically took the showroom model apart and played with the configurations. Felt sorry for the trainee salesman who had to put it all back together after. Three years on and we've got it all down to a fine art.
We also have an electric chair that comes apart into three pieces. The two pieces of the base fit into the boot with the parcel shelf off, then the chair bit folds and sits on my back seat. We've even managed to get two passengers in the back as well. OK, they were skinny and they weren't able to breathe for the whole journey, but we managed it :)