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Thread: Powered wheelchairs

  1. #1

    Powered wheelchairs

    Perhaps prematurely, I hope, my OT is talking about powered chairs.

    Does anyone have experience of a Salsa Mini, which is one that might be offered?

    Many thanks!


  2. #2
    Forum Member Gillette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Greater Manchester
    Hi Doug,

    I have the Salsa Mini 2 powered chair. I find that the tilt function is really useful as I have lost my core strength. When I get tired I find it hard to keep myself upright so I simply tilt it back further. One thing to remember is that, if you tilt it a long way back, it will only creep along.

    The Salsa is great moving along a smooth surface, but it gives a very bumpy ride on uneven ground. It may just be me, but when moving along the pavement, particularly past dropped kerbs, the way the chair leans makes me nervous of it toppling over.

    It is easy to manoeuvre but, occasionally, the two centre larger wheels get stuck (when loading or unloading from a WAV).

    I have found that the chair is quite tall so it can be a squash trying to get in to wheelchair accessible taxis. I've had to travel with my head tilted far over on several occasions.

    The four anchor points on the chair mean that it is stable when fixed properly in a WAV. I feel very about its safety when those four points are used.

    I am finding the chair uncomfortable to sit in after just a couple of hours. However, the wheelchair team are due to bring me some other cushions to try.

    The chair has small side panels which are awkward to refit after they have been removed.

    The footrest is in one piece and folds down. It is fairly narrow and does not have any side supports, although the engineer in the wheelchair team was able to make and fit some. It is also thin - probably less than 1/4". I find that if my feet catch on it when I am being put in the chair, it is painful.

    The overall length of the chair is longer than I expected but it didn't take long to get used to that.

    The Salsa can supposedly go up and down fairly deep steps but I don't feel safe or comfortable attempting anything more than around an inch. That may well be my inexperience in a wheelchair or my lack of self confidence when driving the chair.

    If there's anything you'd like to ask, please feel free.

    Having six wheels, instead of four, makes it easy to manoeuvre and it turns on a sixpence, which is really useful.

    Trying to keep positive, but not always managing.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Ellie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Hi Doug,

    It must have been hard to hear your OT raise the issue of a powerchair, sorry But sometimes it can be quite the process to actually get the chair, it needs to be thought of before it gets to crisis point...

    The Salsa Mini is one of the powerchairs with a 'Neuro Spec', in collaboration with the MNDA, designed to best meet the needs of those with MND.

    If you want to take a look, see

    I hope you won't need it for a while, but it's good that your OT is proactive.

    Love 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
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Hi there Doug,

    It's hard when the OT or physio are raising the subject of some equipment we aren't ready to think about but I guess they are being proactive.

    I have a salsa mini powerchair and we got a WAV from mobility which I got a month ago. I resisted this, despite expert advice until my transfers to the car became very unladylike!! They rushed it through for me and were good enough not to say " told you so !"
    You might not need it Doug for a long time but it's good to know it's there if you ever do a d you dont have to use it all the time.

    The chair means I go out far more often because it's not so much effort and there is less equipment to put in the car. I went to wheelchair services in Leeds, which is adjacent to the MND clinic. I was able to choose the footrest, cushion and the position of the armrests. They then come to the home after a month to make any adjustments. I am quite tall so they raised the seat and the foot rests but it does feel quite near the roof in the car, especially if we go over speed bumps so I might get them to lower it. It does clear small kerbs and go up and down slopes.. initially i thought it would tip up but I have got used to that now. The turning circle is great and it's really easy to manoeuvre in small spaces ( even for a girl racer !)

    I am a fine one to talk because I have waited until everything has become a minor crisis but it is probably best to get the ball rolling before you need something.

    Love and hugs
    Debbie x

  5. #5
    Many thanks, Dina, for all the detailed experiences with the Salsa Mini 2. I like the sound of the manoeuvrability particularly. The footrest is clearly something to watch.

    Yes, Ellie and Debbie, it was a bit of a shock that came rather out of the blue. I thought I’m fine stumbling about with crutches or a walker. But forewarned is forearmed and all that, I guess.

    Thank you for the link Ellie. That is very helpful. I’d vaguely heard about neurochairs but knew little.

    It’s good to hear, Debbie, that there are people who will check and adjust it.

    I can see a power chair has its advantages. It will certainly give a different perspective on life, as I found out when I had a sort of trial run with a manual chair last year in Australia, with colleagues pushing me round a university campus at a conference. Sitting down – how can I put this politely – I found I was no longer looking attractive women in the eye…….

    Seriously though, ladies, I’m extremely grateful for all the really helpful information and your kind words of wisdom. Thank you!


    Doug x x x (only one each mind)

  6. #6
    Forum Member JAY TEE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Halesowen, West Midlands
    Doug the Salsa M2 is good chair plenty of power and will go up low kerb rises. My MND is all down my left side and the controls very easy. Got good settings for speed my little grandkids like it when I can go faster than they can run. I am in it all day and the settings for leisure very good as back goes back and seat goes back and good neck support. It also goes up and I managed to change the bulb in the roof. I have been in it for four years now and used it on two cruises �� and it went up the ramps very well. Best wishes John

  7. #7
    Many thanks, John.

    That's really helpful information. It does sound a good piece of kit.

    I like the sound of the fact that it will lean back, which I'm sure will be comfortable. Changing a light bulb - amazing!

    All the best


  8. #8
    Forum Member Newbie17's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    I have the salsa mini power chair too. Like you I asked for any advice from the forum and Ellie- thank you! mentioned that I should make sure that I got the MND spec.
    My chair has padded armrest, separate foot resets, tilt and up and down function.
    Please don’t take any of these for granted. An MND friend of mine has just got her chair after a long wait. The chair doesn’t go up and down neither does it have padded comfortable arms.
    Trust me it’s pretty impossible to tip up or fall sideways. I have come close!
    It’s also incredibly heavy!
    The seat raiser also means that you will be able to chat to the young ladies at eyelevel or whatever!!

    Love Helen

  9. #9
    Thanks Helen!

    That's really helpful information. Clearly I'm going to have to discuss the detailed spec with my OT. It's good to know about the stability, because I'll need to go over uneven ground.

    Thanks for the tip about raising the seat!



  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Hi Doug,

    I can't comment on the model - I had to buy my own which is simpler in function - but while I hope your acquisition may indeed be premature, I can say I was every bit as reluctant to use a power chair. I still rarely use it indoors but it has truly been liberating out. I can do much more (you may not be in the same position of course) and frankly I feel much safer. I have met with much more overt kindness and oddly people speak to me a lot. i reckon it changes our relationship with the woirld around us but not all for the bad. I am also an object of fascination to small boys! Who knew?

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