Two Electric Wheelchair Issues
Apologies - a long posting from a first time poster. If too long skip to the two (numbered) questions at the end.
My father is 86, He's lived on his own since Mum died in 2013; his mobility gradually decreasing owing to spinal issues affecting the ability of his brain to tell his legs what to do. Over about five years he's gone from walking with difficulty to walking with a stick to walking with two crutches to a motorised scooter. He's had the latter about three years and could stagger around the house on foot well enough, get himself into the scooter and go the mile or so to the village shops. Don't know make or model of scooter but could find out (he's 130 miles away)
Late last year he was found in the hallway by a neighbour. He'd got up and dressed, a carer had made his breakfast, checked he was OK and departed, he'd headed for the front door, fallen and couldn't get up. Neighbour called 999, Paramedic called ambulance and that was the last time he saw his home (to date).
He had a temperature, Sepsis, spent seven weeks in hospital and it became obvious there had been a step (downward) change in his ability to stand, let alone walk. The NHS discharged him just before Christmas as "there was nothing more we can do; he's not improving". We got him in a private care home early January.
His scooter is not suitable for the care home; it's too big, clumsy and fast! As it took two staff and a hoist to get him from bed to manual wheelchair we got him a second hand electric wheelchair (again, apologies, don't know make and model) and he can get himself from room to lounge to Dining Room and has even ventured into the garden. The wheelchair is said to have a range of eight miles but he only ventured out of the home twice (both times accompanied by myself or my brother) when...
COVID 19 Struck. Residents confined to site, no visitors. Then a confirmed case in the home. Residents confined to their rooms. He's currently allowed around his floor but not downstairs - and I haven't seen him since late February (although we speak every day). However, he may be allowed visitors soon, he may be allowed off site and when he does I'll be hitting the M1 (to make sure he doesn't do something stupid...)
So, two questions based upon an electric wheelchair of a model I don't know and the experience of two brief excursions!
- Dad said that, after quite a short trip (short as in "away from the care home", not the lounge and back) he got cramp in his hand from holding the joystick. On the second trip we ended up "driving" which is even more difficult! I'm assuming it's either lack of practice or he's holding the joystick wrong but any tips?
- The road from the Care Home is through a housing estate. Each driveway has a dropped kerb with the paving slabs angled from house to road. His electric scooter handled these (or similar) with ease. His electric wheelchair takes on a mind of its own; as he goes from flat pavement to dropped kerb it swerves violently towards the road, as he goes up the other side it attempts to take him into a fence, wall or hedge. Again, any hints or tips appreciated.