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Thread: Scooter vs Wheelchair

  1. #1
    Forum Member Mr W's Avatar
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    Jul 2016
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    Scooter vs Wheelchair

    Hi

    I was diagnosed with MND (ALS) about 6 months ago (the symptoms started 12 months ago). It mainly affects my legs, my speech and my balance. At the moment I can manage to walk a few hundred yards or so (with 2 sticks). Sooner or later I'm going to need some sort of mobility aid, but which would be most suitable - a Scooter or a Wheelchair?

    I live in a village with no pavements and the main road thro' can be quite busy at times (a lot of rat-runners). Most of the friends I visit live 1/2 a mile or so out of the village accessed via narrow country lanes. I would prefer to visit them in my car. I think the main use for the mobility aid would be shopping trips etc into town, thus it would have to be portable enough to lift into the boot of my car (Ford Focus) for the journey into town. I live alone so I would mainly have to lift it in on my own.

    I've had surf around the web, and the very many choices are confusing.

    Any tips & advice would be most welcome.

    Happy Christmas

    Richard

  2. #2
    Forum Member JAY TEE's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
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    Halesowen, West Midlands
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    Mr W. your diagnosis sounds familiar I was always fit and my dog liked going for run. I was formally diagnosed MND ALS in May 2014 and few months before did have walking stick then got walking frame with seat and used that and easy to put in car boot. That was ok for six months. I retired two weeks before formal diagnosis. I used walking frame on family cruise to the Med and by January 2015 decided needed scooter and got one that broke down and was easy to put in boot. It was ok for few miles on smooth surface and low kerbs. As I got bit worse was struggling to get out of seats and was using a zimmer in the house. In May this year went on cruise and hired a wheelchair. It was great it rose up so could stand and it reclined as well so could sunbathe. It was good on all surfaces and managed to ride into Gibraltar and all around the town. Know it well my sister lives there.
    I now have wheelchair provided by local Council and does everything as one I hired.
    Where I live in the Black Country all pavement acces ok. Your location you might need to look at more powerful scooter. I now have WAV Citreon Berlingo and fine to get into.
    Best wishes have good Xmas
    Jay Tee

  3. #3
    Forum Member Ellie's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    Hi Richard,

    For a start, get the ball rolling on the power wheelchair (pwc) by contacting your OT. It can take a while to get one, depending on where you live.

    Both have pros & cons:
    PWC gives neck, back and side support and good seating cushion options. Joystick to the side is easyish even with weak hand function.
    They recline and tilt for comfort and most combine indoor & outdoor driveability.
    Of course the only way of easily getting a pwc into a car is if it's a WAV.

    Scooters are much lighter, generally not supplied by OT, have no proper body support and can be difficult to drive if hand/arm function is weak.
    They do fold up to fit in a car boot.
    Popular brands are Pride Go Go and Luggie.
    Maybe go see some in a shop, but don't be pressured into buying one on the spot!!

    Get OT's advice; not much point in spending lots if it's only going to do you for a short time. Sorry to be blunt!

    Ellie.
    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Limb Onset.
    Eye gaze user - No working limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Barry52's Avatar
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    Hi Richard,

    A few issues to consider. I have both a power wheelchair and a 4mph mobility scooter which goes into my car via a hoist. I use mostly the scooter as I feel less vulnerable than I do in the wheelchair unless I am accompanied as the chair has a "carer" control also. If you want to use the road then your scooter needs to be the higher rated 8mph version. This makes it heavier and larger and probably would not fit in your current car.

    You can get portable scooters weighing around 25kg but like you, my balance is poor and I would hate to think of the consequences if I toppled over whilst lifting it.

    Best wishes.
    Barry
    Iím going to do this even if it kills me!

  5. #5
    Forum Member WendyWooG's Avatar
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    Oct 2015
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    Stevenage
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    Hi

    I have used both, my power chair from the council took a while to arrive we applied in October and it arrived the following June. It's wonderful and I spent a very comfortable full day at the zoo in it thus week. It's a beast though and we don't have a WAV so arranging transport is difficult.

    While I was waiting I bought a scooter that would take apart and go in the boot of our focus. This was great for shopping trips and smooth pavements it gave me several months of extra independence. I can't use it any more as it's not supportive enough, it really depends on your core body strength. We bought it from eBay but you do have to be careful my husband checked it out very thoroughly before handing over money. Others on the forum have been caught out! The only thing I would say is the battery doesn't last very long but that may be a fault rather than a characteristic of the chair.

    The one I had was a Shoprider Vienna.

    Wendy x

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