Disability aids, equipment and technology
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OAD wheelchairs

ljosalfarljosalfar Member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi, I have CFS/ME and fibromyalgia, and also Poland's Syndrome. I've spent the last year soldiering on with an elbow crutch, but walking has just become too painful/exhausting, so I'm looking at getting a wheelchair.

Does anyone have experience of using a dual-rim OAD (one-armed drive) wheelchair? Im concerned about long-term strain issues from propelling myself with just my left hand/arm/shoulder. I may in any case need a power add-on for the chair, but for times when that doesn't work or runs out of juice, I'd need to be able to propel myself and I can't use both arms.

I'd really appreciate hearing from people who actually use an OAD chair. How easy do you find it for propulsion and manoeuvring?


  • buzzerbuzzer Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
    An Occupational Therapist will assess your needs at your local N.H.S. Wheelchair Service Clinic.
    Ask your GP or consultant to refer you.
    Your local council adult services will also have a OT who can assess your changing needs in and around your home.

    Try & be kind to one another even if we may have different views. 

  • ljosalfarljosalfar Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks, but it's 99.99% likely the NHS won't provide any wheelchair support, they're very reluctant to do that for people with CFS/ME/FMS whose mobility fluctuates (I've already looked into this). So I'm going to have to buy my own kit.
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi, it`s a shame wheelchair services cant help , but please be careful when buying a chair privately. I have done this twice and ended up damaging myself Some dealers just want to seel you something and arent qualified in sorting it suits you 
  • ljosalfarljosalfar Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks for the concern, but the Exeter Disability Centre comes highly recommended by my wheelchair user friends.
  • david235david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    @ljosalfar - my condition has many similarities to ME and I used to use a conventional self-propelling wheelchair. Self-propelling is tiring two armed, and a one arm chair means all the effort is coming from a single arm through one hand.

    It is likely worth you trying a one arm manual chair, but many people do not get on with them. A powerchair might be a better option bearing in mind the chronic fatigue element of your condition. You will only know by trying equipment.
  • ljosalfarljosalfar Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Aye, it's all down to affordability. I'll probably try to get a manual chair but with a power add-on, as they're cheaper and way less bulky than a dedicated power chair. Apparently the Exeter Disability Centre does good discounts if you can buy the chair and the add-on together.
  • TraceyFalconTraceyFalcon Member Posts: 28 Courageous
    edited September 2019
    I got my powerchair on ebay. There seem to be a lot on there which aren't too expensive. I chose this option as I wasn't sure what I really needed and thought this was a good way to try something out and sell it back on ebay if it wasn't suitable. Turns out it suits me just fine and I have time to research other wheelchair options whilst regaining some independence and not being housebound. Very good luck.
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