Too much reality

Today we had wheelchair services come in with the hugest contraption I've ever seen!

The lady explained the in's and out's of the chair (way too much information) my dad then had to get in it (bloody tricky, but we done it) then, obviously I wanted to see if we could get this monster through the doors, no!

I lost the plot seeing my dad (who looked so frail and tiny) in this contraption and burst into uncontrollable tears, telling the woman the chair is no good! 

She requested we trial it for a week! Seriously? It doesn't get out the house! What use is that? 

For info it's a Azalea Assist

Anyone else experienced this carry on?

Apparently she's going to plan B now, a less bulky chair!

I think today just brought it all home, the truly horrific future we face! 


38 Replies

  • Did they measure the chair for him? If dad is slim there should be a smaller, narrower chair available.  Hubby's was narrow, we had no problem with doors. Insist that the chair is the size he needs, not the one they want to get rid off. Good luck. Maddy

  • Thx u Maddy

    Yes it was measured and no he's not slim..... X

  • I have to say it looks a comfortable chair but no good if you can't manoeuvre it. I had problems and ended up buying an electric one and replacing our patio doors, making the threshold lower, and buying a ramp. I'd advise everyone in the UK to try and get an electric chair while their loved one is able to control it. They won't take it away once they are no longer able to, even if it's a very short time after the assessment. If they can't control it, they don't get one. It doesn't matter that the carer can't push a heavy manual one, it's not taken into consideration.

    Let's hope plan B works.


  • Cricky NannaB replacing doors, omg!

    Let's hope plan B works, if not she's got C and D apparently....X 

  • I replaced the doors as the original threshold was 10 inches high. The OT said we would have to have a 10ft ramp which would end up in the middle of our pond and take up a good deal of the patio. I decided to go it alone. Expensive but I bought a 4ft ramp which is fine as the threshold is only 1 brick deep now. It has been toughend to take the heavy wheelchair. Works for us but I was able to use what was left of my pension lump sum after having the garage converted to a wet room.


  • So maddening that you had to use your pension! Disgusting in fact!

    Big hugs x

  • Our authority said they don't provide electric wheelchairs. It was made clear we need to finance it ourself.

    Jean x 

  • ☹️ X

  • As I have probably said before, we have had a long saga involving the wheelchair service and the electric wheelchair!  It seems quite ridiculous to me that the patient has to be able to steer it himself in order to be allowed to have one.  We were allowed it, after extensive assessments lasting 8 months in total, and it is wonderful and has dual controls (so that it can be controlled by the user or by the carer).  We rely on this chair completely.  D sits in it on getting up in the morning, for all meals and for all outings.  We have had a ramp made at a single door onto our patio, at our expense, especially to accommodate this chair.  We have bought a WAV, at our expense, especially to be able to use this chair for outings, appointments, to get to see our children and grandchildren.  BUT they are now threatening to take this chair away unless D can demonstrate that he can control it himself and can get through doorways inside the house!  Of course there's no chance he can do that now.  They want to do the new assessment in two months time so we have a reprieve for a little while at least. They have yet to make an appointment which, when we want to see them takes three months to get, so hopefully will not be quick!  They say the wheelchair service is to enable disabled people to retain their independence, not for the convenience of carers, but when the disabled person is totally dependent on a carer, how is it maintaining their independence to take away the only thing making it possible to access anything other than their bedroom? I Intend to FIGHT this!!

    Sorry for the rant.  I do hope they will issue you with a more suitable wheelchair for your Dad Satt


  • I can't believe that Vicki. It's ridiculous. After Colin's 45 minute assessment and me telling the woman Colin couldn't manoeuvre it around the house  after she had arranged a visit to do a home assessment, she told me that if he could self steer it then, but two weeks later couldn't, they wouldn't take it away from us but I would have to pay to have the controls moved. Perhaps the rules have changed but at that time, it made the decision to refuse it even worse.

    Let's hope they are as slow at reassessing as they are sorting out other things.  

    I was annoyed when I had to buy a chair but no way could I have pushed him up our drive and we do use it a lot.  It's brilliant on gravel and dry grass so we can still get to go to NT gardens which I would have had to stop doing or be very restricted with a manual chair.


  • Yes I think the rules have got tougher as the budgets have got smaller. D sits in this chair almost all the time except when I insist he transfers to an arm chair for an hour or two just so he has a change of posture.  I have to hoist to do the transfer if I am on my own so we can't do it too often. I couldn't possibly push a manual wheelchair up the ramp from the garden or up the ramp into the car because of past disc problems in my back.  I don't think the manual chairs are suitable for riding in in the car are they? Derek also enjoys visits to NT gardens if the weather ever gets warm enough.  I would like to be able to continue those as there is little enough pleasurable activity for him now.

    I'm so glad you are both still able to get out and about and enjoy the gardens.

    V x

  • So sorry, Vikki. What a pain, just when you felt you were on top. Hope they take their time.

    Jean x

  • When I first got the WAV I still had the manual chair  fitted it into the car the same way.  I got the car as I was able to back it up the drive and let the ramp down and the slope of the drive and car, levelled out the ramp.  By that time he couldn't walk so there was no other way of getting him up he drive.  We have a winch in the car which pulled the chair in.  None of that was as good as the electric chair is though.


  • Thx you vikki

    Can I ask the name of the chair and model please and what is a WAV?


  • The chair is an Invacare Spectra XTR. We have an extra pressure relieving air cushion in it as D sits in it for long periods. It has a head rest and the back reclines. 

    A WAV is a Wheelchair Accessible (or adapted) Vehicle.  Ours is a VW Caddy Maxi which we got second hand.  It has a ramp which unfolds at the back and a lowered floor so that I can drive the wheelchair straight in with D In it.  It has straps to anchor it to the floor and a seatbelt.  The Caddy Maxi is a bit longer than some so that we still have the rear seats in place when the wheelchair is in - useful for dog, grandchildren etc.  Having it is vital to us now as D cannot walk at all or transfer to the passenger seat.  My only criticism is that It is a bit cumbersome to drive, visibility is not great and it is difficult to park - all small inconveniences compared to the advantages!

    V x

  • Thank you

    I'll google it now


  • Good idea, Bev

  • I asked for an electric wheelchair and eventually got one. It was tricky to guide even for me on our pot holed pavements. Eventually, I bought a scooter which cost as much as a small second hand car( pension pot) but as Bs sight was getting worse, he didn't use it much. After a lot of persuading, we now have a wheelchair that I can push but which has a removable battery in the back. It has been such a help as if the going is tough, the battery will turn the wheels and I just guide it. I used my arthritic back as a reason for the request. Try asking for one, they're great. X



  • I asked that and they said I must do that and pay for it myself. I think it must be the cuts as our authority is pretty good,in general.

    Jean x

  • I asked the Occupational Therapist to ask for one, quoting my arthritic back and Bs poor quality of life as I couldn't get him out as often as he would like to. Maybe you could try that route?

  • Thanks Robbo

    As I asked Vikki can I kindly ask the

     Name and model please? X

  • The chair's name is Lomax and it has a TGA power pack on it. It came from Sunrise Medical but we got it free from the NHS. I think that the pack can be fitted to any suitable chair. The battery is like a solid handbag and can be lifted off by the handle and recharged. X 

  • Thx u

    Again I'll google it x

  • So sorry for you both its so upsetting even if the wheelchair is suitable. I know its hard  because we all feel so helpless and need people to be understand and solve our problems. Take care and I hope plan B is better, otherwise kick up a fuss. xxx

  • Thx u and I will!! X

  • poor you 

    when my dad was becoming less confortable in his "normal' wheelchair 

    the wheelchair people recommend a more comfy bulky model - my mum said to them that if she couln't push it or it wouldn't get through the doors it was no good for my dad. 

    she got  a "normal' wheelchair which could recline a bit more and with headrest and more cushioning 

    dont let them win - it has to work for him and the caring team 

    good luck - stay strong - big hugs 


  • Thx Gwen 

    I totally agree x

  • Hopefully the plan B is easier.  The wheelchair service have given me 2 chairs thankfully did not take first one away, as the electrically assisted one (a Spectra Plus) has push handles that for me are far too low and control box even lower especially when chair tilted so crippling for my back.  So it is back to original beast (a REA Clematis)  which in the nursing home is much easier to manoeuvre.  Reason they provided an electrical assisted machine was to allow me to take M up slopes on our walks.  Both are fairly large but the Clematis can manoeuvre through normal doors if there is swinging room.

    Problem is they will not take the electrical machine away saying I must trial it for at least 6 months as specially ordered from USA.  All I can say is US Carers must be a lot shorter than I thought, I am not tall, 5ft 9ish and the push handles that cannot be adjusted seem to be for a 5ft 4 person.

    Best of luck getting the chair that suits you as well as your dad.  Tim

  • Thx u Tim x

  • Why do you have to jump through so many hoops to get the help and equipment needed to give some quality of life to a PSP sufferer and carer, unbelievable. I thought that the Government wanted to save money by keeping people in their own homes, seems they want to keep them prisoners too. I do hope that you get a suitable wheelchair sorted soon. Very best of luck. Kate xx

  • Agreed they are total tossers! X

  • Hi. Forgot to mention, indoors we used the commode chair to move around. It was easier to manoeuvre than the wheelchair. I pushed it backwards and held on to hubby's shoulder with one hand to make sure he was not tipping out. Just used it to move from bed to chair, it's not suitable to sit in for any length of time. Take care, maddy

  • Thx u

    We have a shower chair/commode which I agree is easier  x

  • My wife's  wheelchair was condemned as unsafe at a recent hospice respite break so now bedridden. Have been assessed for a tilt in space chair, now waiting delivery. We're  not happy. Peter.

  • Oh dear!

    Sooooo wrong!!


  •  New chair arrived, guess what, it's  an Azalea Assist. A monster but very adaptable.  Very supportive but you have to take some arm supports off to fit a sling.

  • Just went to Azalea site. ...have a cry, scream shout whatever you have to do , but take the chair...that thing looks nice! If you take it now it will be easier to get him in and out as he gets more and more in need of your only good advice about your doors, take them off their hinges and put them where they won't be in the way.  My husband has difficulty going through a door way.  Bathroom door the worst.   We had to take the door off to get a new washer in....I was amazed at how much better dad (B, my husband) could manage getting through without falling!!!! We live alone so I put up a dark curtain for times we do have the kids over  and It works GREAT!

    The door takes up about  two or three cms of space from door edge to trim and then theres about a meters worth of trying to get around door once through the door.  Just think of going through without having to manipulate around the dang door!!!! I hope it works for you keep trying it , in 6 months you will be wheelchair master!

    Many Hugs your way


  • Love it!

    Take door off hinges, hadn't thought of that!!!!!

    Thank you, worth a go x

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