Disability aids, equipment and technology
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Tips please. Spine must not be jolted in wheelchair. No suspension.

newbornnewborn Member Posts: 722 Pioneering
Have had to go back  to power chair at times, but cant  afford  decent  suspension.  Last time, I eventually  found a compromise with just the right type of seat cushions, 2 at a time to sit on, and one to lean back on.,     It still  wasn't  perfect.  

With a different chair, for travel,  everything  had to be lightweight and compact,  so I  used a half inflated blow up beach toy, which did absorb the shock over bumps.

Here in Scope there must  be hints and tips for people who  cannot  risk  their spines being jolted.  Any ideas, please?


  • Namaa_ScopeNamaa_Scope Member Posts: 34 Connected
    Hello @newborn

    If you have an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, ask them for advice on what you need and what products are available. 

    Please check out this link on working with your occupational therapist to find the best equipment for your needs 

    Working with your occupational therapist 

    Look for online discussions about what other people with similar conditions  use, such as:

    • relevant Facebook groups

    • AskSara, a website that provides online advice about buying disability equipment 

    Think about how you plan to get the equipment you need and how to pay for it and what to consider before ordering it. 

    The links below have good tips on what to look out for.

    What to consider before you buy equipment (Disability Equipment Service) 

    Disability equipment buying guides (Disabled Gear) 

    When you’ve decided what equipment you want, and how you will get it, focus on researching the product. 

    • Look for reviews online.

    • Go to the manufacturer’s website to get information on the equipment. 

    • Watch out for any product recalls or warnings. 

    • Find out if you can trial the product to see if it’s right for you.

     !  Reviews are not professional advice

    Advice on communities, forums, customer reviews and social media are often based on one person’s experience. Finding more reviews may help you to understand how people feel about equipment, but reviews are not professional advice. 

  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 722 Pioneering
    Goodness,  thanks for all those leads.    One old but still valid forum post made me laugh with recognition when  the writer said  he could compose a thesis on what's  wrong.

    Choice was easy.  No choice. Hurry. Whatever was the first power chair in a charity shop.   But bitter experience tells me to protect my spine from jolts.

    Now that I no longer have my old collection of wheelchair seats, I need to find instant makeshift.   That's  where forums often beat everything.  It's  real people with real experience, and  often their own ingenuity with a work-round solution to all problems. 

    Once, I was shocked to find an experienced o.t. just about to retire.  Only for that reason,  she risked passing on information which she said was the solid gold fact, which she had seen transforming lives of chronic pain.  Secret, because it was only some people who had stumbled on it, by themselves.   She knew, and she had many a time hated herself  for not telling. 

    But, she risked her career and pension if she went round letting people  know what would help them.  She must at all times keep to the rule. The rule is this:  Never, never mention what isn't in the store room.  Commodes and perching stools for all.  Crutches, but not forearm crutches, and never with shock absorbing grip or ferrule, never with antislip ferrule, never let drop a hint about the Ted Fetterman site (it was a crutches user, in u.s.a. and his products were the equivalent of a 'crips porn site' )

    The fear of nhs and councils is that, if one of their staff stupidly keep up with  disability exhibitions and latest advances, even a ferrule costing a fiver, and let those pesky cripples know the information,  then, next thing, they might start actually asking for better stuff.   My answer is the assessing and advising should be from an independent outsider.  Maybe the council or nhs could give a voucher to part fund. But at least don't  hide information.   The stupid thing is, saving pain, further injury and degeneration is probably cost effective. 

    The solid gold life transforming information was about pure down duvets, you had to find out and then buy from your own savings, a couple of hundred pounds at the time, horribly costly in those days,  and sometimes  entire families  had chipped  in to  help auntie  ease her agony,  but for those who cannot turn, can't  keep warm, can't bear the weight of bedcovers,  it was pure magic. 

    In u.k. , personal washing loos are a rare, peculiar and costly thing. In Japan,  they are perfectly normal installation in any home or hotel, and therefore economies of scale make them cheap.   So, in u.k, anyone with trouble managing in the loo will need a nurse or attendant each time, or be forced into nappies and still need an attendant.  In  many cases, even if not all, his counterparts in Japan can live anywhere,  visit anywhere,  and merely need to do the same as they always  were accustomed  to do, the same  as non disabled  people do,  when they use the loo, just sit waiting for the automatic wash and dry.    Even if they needed a little  help with clothes,  it is dignified for them and their helpers only to need to  carry out clothing assistance, nothing more personal or unpleasant. 

  • Namaa_ScopeNamaa_Scope Member Posts: 34 Connected
    @newborn I totally agree and I agree with you that  dignity is a basic human right and if that is a personal washing loo, that it should be made available. 

    Take care and I take care of your precious spine.
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 722 Pioneering
    Thank you Namaa  One of the campaigning roads l was involved with was disabled access, being in the front of any architecture,  design, scheme, update, proposal,  right from the first back of the envelope mention, and at all stages. 

    The DDA  is included in the single Equalities  act, not revoked by it.  It requires meaningful consultation including with hard to reach, isolated disabled  people.  It emphasises  tokenistic  consultation  is not lawful. Instead,  it should  be with a realistic likelihood of influencing the outcomes. 

    The screamingly  obvious fact is, you can exclude by design.  Or, include by forethought.   Retrofit is never satisfactory and  always costly. So, if you ensure all built  (and other planned and managed) environments are  disability friendly,  you exclude  nobody from using it in future.  Doorways wide enough for bariatric wheelchairs  don't  stop thin people getting in.      Level access doesn't  stop athletes, or delivery men, or staff, or anyone else.     Carefully  chosen  lighting and contrast door surround paint  colours assist people with weak sight, but don't  stop anyone else.  Accoustic considerations at planning stage don't  make a building unpleasant for anyone, but neglecting  them makes the  space unpleasant for most, and unbearable for hearing impaired, for  certain autistic and certain stress sufferers. 

    If, as in Japan,  the  wash dry loos are fitted as standard,  they hurt nobody and would be only marginally different  in price.    Floor to ceiling  windows and balconies and green walls and solar panels and heat and water recovery and maximum heat and sound insulation  don't harm the planet,  or the bill payers, or the users of the buildings,  and the best standards often cost  surprisingly manageable percentages extra, to the builders.  Allowing every corner to be cut makes a minor improvement on a builder's profit margin, at cost to every future user and to the planet. 

  • Namaa_ScopeNamaa_Scope Member Posts: 34 Connected
    edited December 2019
    @newborn it's amazing that you were involved in activism that changed our society, that's absolutely fantastic. 

    Your post  about accessibility by design was a delight to read and left me asking for more.

    practical and insightful, thank you very much for sharing it.

    and Yes to accessibility by design, it makes sense.

  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    Amazing insight Newborn.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @newborn, how are things going?

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