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Electric wheelchair

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    Electric wheelchair

    Last month I had an occupation therapist visit, she said I would be eligible for an electric wheelchair. Then a letter arrived, I have to fill out some form/questions. Also I need an eye test and that part of the form filled out by an optician.

    I didnt realise I would need an eye test for an electric wheelchair that max speed is 4 miles per hour.

    Anyone had this ?? Surely it's not like I'm gonna run people over. Well not the nice ones 😉. How come you can drive a mobility scooter without an eye test 🤔 which is much faster.

    Perhaps if you can drive over them quickly you don't need to be able to see them but if you go over them slowly you need to know they are there.

    when i can think of something profound i will update this.


      Seems a bit strange. Not had to have an eye test, just had to demonstrate that I could handle it safely.


        No way! Very odd. Can you email them asking if really necessary 🤔
        Diagnosed May 2021 bulbar onset als.


          Thanks guys, so as I thought it isn't standard practice to have an eye test for getting an electric wheelchair. The Occupation therapist didn't mention having to have an eye test either.

          Why on earth is everything a battle to get any help or equipment.

          They can stick the wheelchair where the sun doesnt shine 😬 sorry having a bad day xx


            SAMMY88. Sounds like someone has dreamt up the eye test as a way of reducing the number of applications 😡. Ask your OT to challenge it.

            Hope tomorrow’s a better day


              SAMMY88 It's not a legal requirement but it seems that some NHS areas have a jobsworth on their staff making an eye test part of the application process.

              Given that undergoing an eye test can be extremely challenging for those of us with an MND - getting to an Optician without a wheelchair, sitting upright, actually reading the letters, and having an eye exam - so I'd appeal that requirement using every possible 'excuse'. xx
              ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
              Significant bulbar impairment - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV - Eye gaze user


                Ellie Thanks, it is such a hassle asking for help getting anywhere. How i miss being able to just get in a car and walking down the road. I hate having to keep asking hubby for help especially after him saying he never signed up for being a carer xx


                  Hi Sammy, an eye test seems incredibly excessive and it’s not something I’m familiar with people being asked for before. When I was referred a few years ago my doctor did have to fill out a form to say that I was fit to be able to control the chair, particularly for when out and about. In fairness to AJM who are the wheelchair provider in my area they have disposed of this part of the process because it was taking too long and now just take the OT referral as sufficient.

                  As Ellie says I would avoid having to do one if you can but if you do then Specsavers will now come to your home if you have a disability that prevents you going to one of their stores

                  Foxes Never Quit 💙


                    Hi James, I to was asked to get my GP to fill out a form. I flatly refused, I can't get hold of my GP let alone get him to fill out a form.

                    The OT said she would deal directly with the GP. So I thought that's the hard part out of the way.

                    I appreciate your reply, but I'm not gonna bother now. The forms I have to fill out are ridiculous. Asking about the layout of my home. It was their OT who stated my home is unfit for me.


                      SAMMY88 - sorry to hear the trouble you are having. When I got my wheelchair I was asked to read a number plate a certain distance ahead (similar to on a driving test) to check my eyesight was OK. But I don't recall anything on the form itself.

                      As Ellie says, its so difficult for us to access eye tests (or dental treatment) this is just another seemingly impossible and frustrating hurdle for you. I'd challenge it.
                      Diagnosis confirmed as atypical ALS Jan 2022 (age 46) after several years misdiagnosed.

                      Symptoms began in left foot 2017. Now widespread. Powerchair user, useless left arm and clumsy right hand but generally positive!


                        How weird! My OT just made a referral to ALAC and an assessor came to my house. They filled in the form there and then. They did check I had a driving license which I thought odd but other than that it was straight forward. It seems everything is subject to a postcode lottery.

                        I’m sorry you seem to hit brick walls with everything, it must be exhausting and demoralising 😞
                        Hi, I’m Pauline. Keeping positive, working through a bucket list with the love of my life, my husband Gareth.

                        Diagnosed July 2022 Bulbar onset ALS. PEG fitted but not used yet. Speech poor, some swallowing issues, right arm weakness and loss of dexterity, left arm getting weaker. Starting to feel unsteady on feet but still mobile.


                          The powers that be have to make sure that we who use powerchairs can do so safely. My chair weighs 130kg and then with my carcass in it we are pushing towards a quarter of a ton in weight. The chair will then zip along on its higher settings at around 4mph, which should I collide with something is potentially going to do a lot of damage to me and whatever/whomever it is that I hit.

                          Not only did I have to have a GP referral to say that I was fit enough to operate the chair, but when it was delivered I was only allowed to use it indoors on the lowest settings for the first few weeks….. I then had to have a bit of a driving test outdoors to make sure I was safe x
                          Foxes Never Quit 💙


                            This is a really interesting thread which shines a light on the difference between the public and private sectors.

                            We bought our own power chair from an accredited disability shop. In truth we only went into buy a cushion but came out after buying a riser recliner, power chair oh and a cushion ( a sales persons dream day ). The point is apart from taking a few measurements and Ann taking a test drive round the shop ( she had never driven anything in her life ) we actually loaded the chair into the car and drove home ( it wasn’t brand new but had barely been used and was £500 cheaper than new 👍)

                            okay I now know we should have had a proper assessment of Ann’s needs however she used that chair for a good couple of years around shops, villas in Spain and even on ferries without any bother apart from the one time she caught the corner of a toilet roll display with a back wheel in Superdrug. She always maintained the aisles are particularly narrow in there 😁


                              JamesW My physical strength has obviously been affected but my mind is clear as ever. Surely we can gauge ourselves if we are up to driving a power wheelchair.

                              I find it highly patronising having to jump hoops for the local authority in order to get an electric wheelchair which their own occupation therapist says I need.

                              I've seen two occupation therapists, one from the hospice I believe and the other from the local authority .

                              I might add I've never seen a MND nurse yet 🤔.....