It is important to get the right mobility equipment for you. Wheelchairs and scooters may be the solution to help you stay mobile at home or when you are out and about. There are so many options out there and it is important to be sitting comfortably and safely in the wheelchair or scooter as well as being able to move and manage these vehicles safely. During an appointment at the Independent Living Centre, our Occupational Therapists can take you out on local paths and pavements to see how you manage the controls. We can help you find the right model to enable you to get out and about safely and comfortably. We can talk to you about eligibility for a wheelchair through statutory services and where you can purchase locally.
Manual wheelchairs may be self-propelling or wheeled by an attendant. You may be looking for a lightweight, folding wheelchair for outings; like the Karma Ergo Lite or you may need a more supportive wheelchair for long trips if you have difficulty sitting upright without support. We can show you attendant and self-propelled wheelchairs at the Independent Living Centre and give you information about makes, models, manufacturers and suppliers. You can try the wheelchairs for size and ease of use and we can go out in the local area to see how you manage on pavements, paths and tracks, and techniques to help you get the wheelchair into your car on onto the bus.
Power packs are a neat fitting for a wheelchair, with a compact battery and a powerful drive wheel, operated by a simple switch that fits the wheelchair push handle. This pack can be added to an attendant propelled wheelchair; to assist the person who is pushing the chair. We have one that you can try to see if it will help to keep you both safe and mobile when out and about.
Powered wheelchairs can be operated by the person sitting in the chair or by the person accompanying you. We can show you compact models that should fit easily around your home and more substantial wheelchairs that can be used on pavements and paths. We can show you the difference between front, rear and mid wheel drive wheelchairs and help you find the one that is right for you. We can advise on your seating position in the wheelchair and you can have a go at operating them in the Independent Living Centre and on local paths and pavements. We have a small selection here, and we can borrow other models from local suppliers.
Give us a call before you visit so we can make sure we have the right selection available for you to try.
Scooters tend to be for outdoor use, as the turning circle of a scooter is usually too big for use inside a domestic environment. We have a couple of pavement scooters at the Independent Living Centre, which will give you a taste of scooter driving. You may want to try the larger model with its supportive seat and suspension and see how it manoeuvres on sloping pavements, unmade paths, grass and gravel in our local area. Most visitors want to compare this with the smaller ‘portable’ scooter that has a neater turning circle and may fit in your car, but is less comfortable when used long-distance or on uneven ground. We give you a chance to consider what you want from a scooter and can advise you on makes and models that have features that might suit you and suit the routes that you plan to travel. We can also advise on where to buy a scooter and how much it will cost. We have information about second-hand scooters and local hire services too.
If you want to get out and about in the beautiful Devon countryside there is a great network of all-terrain scooters for hire around the county, organised by Countryside mobility and some of our most beautiful beaches can be accessible to you if there is a sand wheelchair for hire on your local beach, check this list to see where they are. If you would rather visit the high street than the beach then we are lucky to have an active and efficient Community transport Service, with lifts around the county and scooter and wheelchair hire in car parks in most towns and cities in Devon.
Accessories are available for manual and powered wheelchairs and scooters. You may need a cushion for comfort or to help you sit upright, or a support strap to help you feel safe when out and about on a wheelchair or scooter. We find the BES universal strap useful in all sorts of places, for support and comfort. You may need a carry bag for essentials, or a bracket to hold your stick, phone, or camera. You may also need a coat or canopy to keep you warm and dry when you are out. We have cushions, straps, capes, gloves and covers at the Independent Living Centre and can let you know where you can buy these and how much you should pay.
Scooters don’t suit everyone and if this is the case, our Occupational Therapists can help you investigate other mobility equipment to keep you safe and active.