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Lightweight Wheelchairs

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  • Lightweight Wheelchairs

    My husband was injured as a child (almost 40 years ago) and have a T4 complete injury. He has always used quickie folding chairs. He is very resistant to change. However, his preferred chair is so old-school that they have to special order parts...its 35 lbs!

    He is having arthritis in his spine now, and its getting harder to even find cars that he can pull the chair in behind. So we are researching options that are lighter weight, easier to get in and out of cars, etc.

    Can anyone give me the pros and cons of ridged frames (and how you get in cars without lifts), or any other options that might be helpful.

    I have noticed people lately with the really light weight chairs, they just move so much quicker then my husband could (which would help with our 5 and 7 year olds).

    Pretty much starting from scratch here, so any help is much appreciated.
    - Moody

  • #2
    The Mazda minivan might be a good choice as the transfer is just slightly uphill from chair seat. The manual, sliding rear door can accommodate a chair w maybe only removing one quick release wheel. The van woukld offer adequate room for the kids although if the whole family goes together you might need to stow chair by rear hatch. There is a company that offers modifications to make the transfer easier on this van - they offer both a power seat that folds out from driver seat as well as a winch type chair loader. Any titanium, rigid chair would be way lighter alternative to the current chair. Invest in good Spinergy wheels w tires like Schwalbe Marathons or Right Runs.

    Use assistive technology that makes life easier, then hubby will have more energy and less pain to have fun w you and the kids.

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    • #3
      If possible tell him from one old butt to another, go try some of the new chairs. If he just sits in his and lifts one of the new ones up, he'll see the diff. If he gets in a new one and pushes it a bit, he'll set his old one on fire.
      Does he still write with a pencil? Use a rotary phone with a cord? Time to move into the next century.

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      • #4
        Its funny because I was talking to my therapist about this and I was sure she was going to be like "oh butt out" but it was the opposite. She was like "he isn't good with change, make him". lol

        Well this morning I did research and presented a) why new chairs are better and b) how he has no real choice in the matter and he has actually agreed to see if he can get help with this at TIRR (he is a pt there, and we live in Houston). So good news there. Still would love to hear any advice. I will make sure to give him the message about trying a new one (he would use all old stuff if he could...)
        - Moody

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        • #5
          Visit a seating clinic, too. Chairs have changed so very much (for the better mostly ) over the last decade. A few chairs exist now that aren't so good
          Chas
          TiLite TR3
          Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
          I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

          "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
          <
          UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

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          • #6
            I have a TiLite TR and I put the wheels in the back seat and the chair in the front passenger seat by way of going between me and the steering wheel. I drive a sedan and it's not bad at all putting my chair in.
            SCI Birthday: April 25, 1993
            T4,5,6 Incomplete
            Chair: TiLite TR3

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            • #7
              Remember, amazon isn't just for books anymore! I've seen lots of lightweight wheelchairs there which are just a few hundred dollars with lots of positive feedback and reviews.
              Hi there, I'm only 20 years old but I'm creating my own disabled driving organization - it's growing rapidly everyday and currently features hundreds of pages of useful content you can't find elsewhere.

              Visit my hand controls website for more information.

              Or you can visit my website's blog where I outline what's happening and my plans for the future.

              You can also see my story here.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jonny Bell View Post
                Remember, amazon isn't just for books anymore! I've seen lots of lightwieight wheelchairs there which are just a few hundred dollars with lots of positive feedback and reviews.
                I'm pretty sure what they're looking for is a custom ultralight. No full time user should be using an off the shelf 'lightweight' wheelchair. I'm also thinking he currently has a custom chair but a heavier folding one (like a quickie 2 for example) and buying a 'lightweight' chair from amazon would be a step down not up.

                if price with a lack of insurance was a concern the best bet would be a used or former demo custom chair of the correct measurements from ebay or the like.
                Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

                I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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                • #9
                  I have used nothing but rigid and would not consider folding.

                  Here is a video of a person loading a rigid
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faZDdhOUWAs

                  That is sort of how I do mine.

                  If you don't have insurance, get some measurements and wait for one to come up on ebay. I would get an adjustable one too.

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                  • #10
                    Cost isn't really an issue. We have good insurance and we can also afford to buy a chair as needed. I am super excited he has agreed to try it out!
                    - Moody

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                    • #11
                      If he wants rear suspension (or lots of adjustability), looking at the Icon is a must!
                      Chas
                      TiLite TR3
                      Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
                      I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

                      "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
                      <
                      UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

                      Comment

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