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    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!

    Diagnosed April 2017

    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.


      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 Spinal (hand) Onset.
      Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.


        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


          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)
          Diagnosed April 2017


            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


              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

              Diagnosed April 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


                  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!


                  Diagnosed April 2017


                    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?


                      Hi Kd;

                      You should be supplied with a chair free if you require one so ask again.

                      You do meet a lot nicer people that try to help you. I have to use a talking machine and that to fascinates people, especially the younger ones.

                      Doug, most wheelchairs feel unsafe on side slopes and are not good on uneven ground.

                      I have a four wheel one that can go over uneven solid ground but I have to go very slowly because of the ride.

                      The six wheel ones look to be possibly better for general use.

                      Love Terry
                      TB once said that "The forum is still the best source for friendship and information."

                      It will only remain so if new people post and keep us updated on things that work or don't work and tips.

                      Please post on old threads that are of use so that others see them and feel free to start new subjects and threads.


                        Thanks Kd1.

                        I hear what you say about the social effects of a power chair. Hadn't really thought about it.

                        Thanks Terry - for the advice on slopes. I'd need to be careful. My garden slopes.

                        Diagnosed April 2017


                          The Salsa Mini looks fab in it's turning circle. I have got a Spectra XTR2. It's not easy manoeuvring indoors. I've scraped several things and took a little piece out of the bottom drawer of my chest of drawers.

                          When I discussed my needs with Wheelchair Services I stressed my desire to go on walking trails with my husband. Since my passion, when I was fit, was hill walking, I wanted to still be able to go out into the countryside, on suitable paths/tracks of course. So the one I was given ought to be the most suitable for that. It has hard arms and two separate foot rests, similar to those on manual chairs. I've now got the back option that 'tilts in space.' They gave me a fixed back first of all that you needed tools to alter. I have only been out of our front door once with it. I drove down my newly widened and lowered ramp (originally it was too high causing a step down into our flat and too narrow so that I couldn't get out with my powered wheelchair and my husband stuggled to get me out in the manual wheelchair. He frequently lifted it and turned it at the same time). I went around to our small back garden. By the way, this is the only way that I can get to our garden since there is a two stage high step from our kitchen. It doesn't go out onto to the garden anyway. It faces the side road. A strange way to build a home. We're thinking of getting a patio window with a flat threshold put into our bedroom. Then with a bit of furniture and radiator moved I'd be able to go straight out to our garden. We'd have to get the councils permission to do this. That's on a back burner at the moment.

                          Getting back to the subject of my powered wheelchair. I have my outside wheelchair test in approximately 3 weeks. I'm looking forward to some freedom.

                          I must also do something about changing my motability car to a WAV. That'll be expensive both because I've only had the car about a year so there will be charges (£250) and the loss of a good condition bonus. Then there's an up front cost to consider. We're going to the Motability Show at Birmingham NEC this Friday, all being well. So I hope to form an idea of what to get. I may be able to get the ball rolling. I've asked my husband to measure my overall height when sitting in my chair. I'll take this with us.

                          Last edited by Lynne K; 26 June 2019, 21:18.
                          ALS diagnosed November 2017, limb onset. For the 4 yrs previously I was losing my balance.

                          I'm staying positive and taking each day as it comes.


                            Many thanks Lynne.

                            I've had a look at the Spectra XTR2 on the Invercare site and it seems to dismantle quite well - the seat from the chassis. In the end, I'll probably have very limited choice of the make and model that is offered, but I will press for an MND neuro version.

                            When you say outside wheelchair test, do you mean with your Spectra XTR2 and does one have to take a driving test for power chairs?

                            Unfortunately, cars aren't something I need to think about. I'm my only driver, so when I can't drive I'll be reliant on taxis.

                            Thanks again!

                            Diagnosed April 2017


                              Hi Doug,

                              I had my outside driving test soon after my Salsa was delivered. It was done in the chair and was so that the Wheelchair Team could check (1) my road awareness and (2) my driving ability in the chair. It took probably only 15 minutes.

                              Oh, and by the way, I had to have had an eye test within the last six months. There was a form for the optician to complete confirming the test. If I hadn't had an eye test I would have had to go and have one.

                              Trying to keep positive, but not always managing.