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Joystick controller knob

Suranjana
Suranjana Member Posts: 6 Courageous
My daughter uses an electric wheelchair from NHS wheelchair service which has a golf ball knob on the joystick control. The problem is that the knob keeps coming off every now and then while she is using it. As she cannot pop it back on herself, it leaves her immobile and helpless until someone comes along to help her out. The other day it led to a dangerous situation where a car had to brake as she was stuck in the middle of the road.  
This has been a recurring problem for us (regardless of what type of knob we use) and our wheelchair service can only suggest using glue to stick it back on. Sadly, that works in the short term but then crops up again without any notice.
Wondering if anybody else has the same problem as I have seen lots of people with golf ball knobs. Are there any solutions that we can try out? Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.

Comments

  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 7,036 Scope online community team
    Hello @Suranjana and thanks for sharing your post :) 

    Sorry to hear about this, I imagine it is making you quite worried for your daughter's safety. Have you made the wheelchair service aware of the risks this is causing for her safety? 

    It seems to me as though the wheelchair needs professionally repaired, or replaced with one that doesn't have this fault with the knob.
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  • Suranjana
    Suranjana Member Posts: 6 Courageous
    Hi Ross, thanks for your reply. We've had this problem since long with a variety of knobs & chairs, so it might be that my daughter just pulls on it in a weird way due to her muscle tone. Wheelchair Service know and have just stuck it back with glue in many occasions in the past but it wears off after a while. 

    I am wondering if anyone can suggest anything more permanent.
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 2,918 Scope online community team
    Hello @Suranjana I can understand the issue you're having as it used to happen occasionally to me in my old electric wheelchair- sometimes when tense I would pull too much on the stick, and it would pop off the top. I could put it back, but it does cause problems as you get stuck for a bit.

    With my current chair, the control is flatter, more aligned to fit under my palm, like a slightly curved rectangle. I've had no issues with pulling it off the main body of the chair by accident. 

    I think it would depend on the type of chair your daughter has, so I would encourage you to have a chat with wheelchair services about whether any alternative shaped joy sticks are available to be tested for that chair. If not it might also be worth considering head controls, or other methods?

    I'm afraid the only other solution I can suggest is a regular amount of checks/gluing to prevent the stick from becoming lose over time, say once one a month, or whenever is needed.

    Do keep us updated with how you get on, and if I've missed anything, please do say.

    Alex
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  • Suranjana
    Suranjana Member Posts: 6 Courageous
    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for your response. Could you perhaps send a link for the type of knob you have now? My daughter has CP quadriplegic and her gross and fine motor skills are quite poor. Which is why we settled with the larger ball shaped knob as it seemed to work best in her hands. But we do need to look at other options now.
    Changing to head controls seems rather daunting but certainly an option if all else fails. 

    Suranjana
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 2,918 Scope online community team
    No problem @Suranjana here is a picture, it's a Whill C2 model wheelchair, which I'm not sure is available on the NHS, as I self funded for it:



    I was unsure if I would get on with it at first, as I was used to more of a stick with my Otto Bock chair, but it didn't take long at all to get used to it.

    I would hope this type of hand control would be an option to fit with your daughter's chair, if not something like it :)
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