Buying a (new) Powered Wheelchair

Options
1st_Ade
1st_Ade Community member Posts: 10 Connected
With apologies for the radio silence since I asked for advice for my father about steering a power wheelchair. He went into a Care Home Jan 2020, bought a second hand Powered Wheelchair in Feb 2020 and lockdown happened in March... I never actually saw the wheelchair (visits banned from March 11th 2020) and, apart from his two excursions outside before lockdown he's been no further than bedroom - lounge - dining room - patio in 15 months.

He's now allowed out! The first two things he's found is the chair is not comfortable for long periods (the home took the residents on a day out in the minibus with four hours in Liverpool) and the battery capacity is way down.- he ended up being pushed back to the minibus by the Care Home Staff.

I've (finally) seen his powered chair and it's in a bad way. The seat fabric is worn and stuffing leaking out, the wiring is chafed and "dodgy" and it's generally seen better days. I don't know if it was like that when he bought it or whether 15 months lack of attention has worked it's toll. It's got him through the lockdown, it did the job.

So - new powered chair time. Any makes to look for or avoid? what features are worth having? any showrooms in the South Manchester area offering Test Drives? I'd like to do at least a rough selection process before Dad gets near it - his attitude to finance makes Scotsmen and Yorkshire Folk look generous (he very grudgingly admitted that his Stannah Stairlift was "not bad" after he'd had four years use out of it)

(his current chair appears to be an Invacare Spectra Plus if that helps)

Thanks in Advance

Comments

  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,611 Championing
    edited July 2021
    Options
    Hello @1st_Aid and welcom back to the community, how are you? 

    Sorry to hear that your dad's power chair isn't in the best of conditions, but I hope you are able to help him get a new one soon. 

    I have no knowledge of power chairs and wouldn't be best placed to advise, however I'm sure that others will be able to offer their input here. It might also be a good idea to browse the "Disability Aids and Equipment" category along with the transport category.
  • 1st_Ade
    1st_Ade Community member Posts: 10 Connected
    Options
    Thanks @Ross_Scope - we're all good. Dad driven slightly batty by lockdown but we're all alive and kicking.

    I'll have a look in the two sections you mention; stay safe and look after yourself.
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,611 Championing
    Options
    Good to hear @1st_Ade, yeah I bet we've all been driven a bit nuts by the lockdowns this past 18 months so I know how he feels :) Hopefully things will get back to some kind of normal soon though
  • littleacorn
    littleacorn Community member Posts: 376 Empowering
    Options
    There are companies who will bring powerchairs out to you to test drive. No sure about your area but some will even travel quite along way to you home. My suggestion would be what do you need the chair to do? Do as much desearch as possible as there are so many models out there to buy. Do you have access to an OT or can be pointed in the right direction to one?
  • 1st_Ade
    1st_Ade Community member Posts: 10 Connected
    Options
    There are companies who will bring powerchairs out to you to test drive. No sure about your area but some will even travel quite along way to you home. My suggestion would be what do you need the chair to do? Do as much research as possible as there are so many models out there to buy. Do you have access to an OT or can be pointed in the right direction to one?
    Thanks - research is a must! While I'm prepared to travel up to Dad I want to make most productive use of my visits. Most of the chairs TIME will be indoors (so don't want anything too big and clumsy) but it must be capable of at least a few miles on pavement / paved road - given good weather he enjoys the cricket (club is about a mile away)

    Excuse my ignorance but "OT"? Not an abbreviation I'm familiar with.

    Thanks

  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,443 Championing
    Options
    I think perhaps littleacorn might have been referring to an occupational therapist (NHS) @1st_Ade.
  • littleacorn
    littleacorn Community member Posts: 376 Empowering
    Options
    Yes @Tori_Scope you are correct. Sorry for the acronym.