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Carers UK Forum •Portable/Folding Wheelchairs - UPDATED
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Portable/Folding Wheelchairs - UPDATED

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:51 am
by Pennie
After a rather traumatic six months (88-year-old mum had a fall, and then backwards and forwards between hospital and rehab), we now have her settled in a very nice residential home just 15 minutes away from us.

She is now so much better (for which I'm truly thankful) that I would like to be able to take her out and about on occasions. As mobility is still a problem (she can walk around indoors with her frame, but that's about all), I would like to buy a wheelchair for her.

I'm looking for something reasonably lightweight (I have problems lifting anything heavy - can just about manage to get the Hoover upstairs!), but which is also substantial enough to be comfortable enough for mum to be in for several hours. It also needs to fold to go in the boot of the car.

We've been given various catalogues of mobility aids, but I always think you can never beat a personal recommendation! Can anyone give me any pointers? Thanks so much for any help.

Re: Portable/Folding Wheelchairs

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:12 pm
by Bluebird
Hi Pennie

Glad to hear your Mum is better and settled into a home. I was lucky when I got my Mum's wheelchair as my Mums hairdresser knew someone who was selling one.
I now find myself needing to sell the chair as it is just sitting in the spare room.

It was cheaper than the catalogues and I was doing someone a favour buying it from them. Word of mouth is great, so mention that you want to buy one everywhere you go. Does the home have a message board where you could put a card up asking if anyone knows of one to buy? Or maybe your local shop/supermarket/butchers has one?

I don't know where you live, but if you are near Cardiff, then I have one to sell!
I hope you manage to get one soon,

Re: Portable/Folding Wheelchairs

Posted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:18 am
by SeasideDeb
Strangely, we got my husband's chair from Amazon. It is a nice lightweight chair & comes with cushion & padded back. I lift it in & out of the car regularly & find it quite easy.

There are quite a few lightweight ones on Amazon & we found it considerably cheaper than the mobility shops.

Re: Portable/Folding Wheelchairs

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:58 am
by Dancedintherain
I think what you are thinking of is probably a transit wheelchair? Fine for short term use.

Home might be willing able to loan something suitable?

Red Cross have some loan schemes in some areas.

Or maybe her GP could arrange an Occupational Therapy assessment and come up with some local suggestions too?

Re: Portable/Folding Wheelchairs

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:00 pm
by Pennie
Many thanks for all your comments.

I've had a look on Amazon and the range is truly mind-boggling! Through asking around locally, I've discovered that we have a mobility shop tucked away in our town so that will probably be my first port-of-call just to have a look at what's available and get an idea of "foldability" and weight.

Unfortunately, no Red Cross facility within practical distance.

Sorry, Bluebird, I'm nowhere near Cardiff, otherwise ... !


Re: Portable/Folding Wheelchairs

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:43 pm
by Bluebird
Sorry to hear you aren't close enough to me, or you could have borrowed it to see if it suited your needs. Good idea to go and have a look in your local shop.
Good luck!

Re: Portable/Folding Wheelchairs

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:24 am
by jenny lucas
My friend got one on loan from her local St John's Ambulence if that's any possibility for you - she had to pay a deposit (not sure how much) and then had the use of the chair. I think she said she never took the deposit back after her mum had become bedbound, just let St J have it as a donation, but I think you are entitled to get it back once they have the chair back presumably in reusable condition. Also, when my husband was in end stage of cancer and dying, we were able to get quite a lot of useful aids on loan from our local hospital (commode etc) - but I guess they were temporary, as they knew, sadly, they would get them back quite soon....it wasn't going to be long term.

Like you, I am also now on the look out for just such a chair for my MIL. It would enable her to get around big stores like John Lewis a lot more easily, and we could visit NT properties etc. What she loves now is 'scenery passing her by effortlessly' whether that is on car journeys or just being 'pushed around'. I think it's so important for them both to get out and about, and also for the mental stimulation of seeing new things, and the pyschological reassurance that those frail and far less mobile, they are still 'part of the ongoing world'.

On a similar note, why do SO many of these retirement flats and sheltered accommodation seem to be in very peaceful locations? I don't think it's just because we 'youngsters' want to 'hide' old folks, but because we have some weird idea that they like 'peace and quiet' now that they are one step away from the 'peace and quiet' of the grave!

In fact, I think I'm going to post a thread on this!

All best with your wheelchair.

Re: Portable/Folding Wheelchairs

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:47 pm
by Pennie
Hi Jenny ...

Thanks for your posting.

Well, Mum and I are having our first "wheelchair" outing on Wednesday! Our local shopping mall has a ShopMobility centre and I'm going to try and book one. Shops are all on one floor (or accessible via lifts) and with large automatic doors - will have to see how I get on. Hopefully, this will give me an idea of what I can cope with - am OK wheeling around but would have problems lifting anything too heavy (we want to buy a wheelchair eventually) into the boot of the car due to problems with my shoulders.

Amazing how the years speed by and circumstances change. When we first moved here almost thirty years ago this was the shopping centre of choice as it was so easy to get around with daughter's pushchair!

Re: Portable/Folding Wheelchairs - UPDATE

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:20 pm
by Pennie
Just in case it's of any use to anyone, I thought I would update this post to say that I have now found and purchased a wheelchair.

Another hunt around revealed a lightweight but robust - and stylish! - wheelchair (under 9kg - approx. two-thirds the weight of the one I first tried!). I'm guessing that I'm not allowed to advertise the actual make/model, but please PM me if you would like any further information.

Re: Portable/Folding Wheelchairs - UPDATED

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:27 pm
by bowlingbun
Wheelchairs are available free on the NHS. My mum resisted one for years, but after a really bad experience, I insisted. A couple of months after a gynae operation, with strict instructions not to lift anything heavy until everything was healed, mum had a hospital appointment, and asked me to take her. Nothing was said about pushing her in a wheelchair! The only one I could find was a really heavy monstrosity, with a semi flat tyre. I had to leave mum in the car, go and find it, push mum (14 stone) to the appointment, a long way from the entrance, push her back to the car, and return the chair to the hospital!!! At that point I asserted my authority, and insisted on a chair. She was given a simple lightweight folding model which would fit in my boot.