New to forum/travel wheelchair question

Landis02

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My husband, Chuck, was diagnosed in June 2021 after 3 months of symptoms. We’re being treated at the Duke ALS clinic. Chuck is a slow progressor with involvement only with his left foot, though he is slowly becoming more immobile and very fatigued. We want to get a lightweight travel wheelchair. Any suggestions? Money is not an option. We want to continue getting out and I think a wheelchair will help in some situations.
Oh, we got our first shipment of Relyvrio today; he’ll start taking it tomorrow!
 

lgelb

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Welcome, Landis. We'll support you however we can.

If you mean a folding manual wheelchair that you can push him in, SpinLife has a good assortment. If you will be outdoors on anything but pavement, or if he's a big guy, choose one with the big wheel in back (lightweight wheelchair vs. "transport chair," which has the two small wheels). Take the weight limits seriously. A slight angle option for the back is nice.

You will probably want full length arms and height-adjustable/folding/detachable footplates with heel loops. Handrims add bulk and are not necessary if he won't be pushing.

Best,
Laurie
 

grounded

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Airhawk is a powered option. Folds small. Weighs 41 lbs.
 

Tomswife

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Landis. Sorry you are in the boat with us. But this group has been helpful to me as CALS. I talked to the ALS Association and was given advice. I ended up purchasing this on Amazon.

NOVA Lightweight Transport Chair with Locking Hand Brakes, 12” Rear Wheels, Removable & Flip Up Arms for Easy Transfer, Anti-Tippers Included, Black​


Do not go too lightweight. You may have trouble going over all those small transitions that now seem to be everywhere....but never noticed before.
 

lgelb

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Just a caution about folding powered chairs that do not tilt, recline, allow for footplate adjustments, change heights, etc. They will likely not be comfortable or safe for very long, unless a PALS is progressing unusually slowly. That is why most often it's best not to spend a lot of money on a folding power chair, but to start with a folding manual wheelchair and then order the full-boat power chair.
 

Tomswife

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Lgelb. Agree. I talked to ALSA about the lightweight power wheelchairs. They advised against. Too lightweight for 190 lb PAL and no functions for the future as you mentioned.
 

Landis02

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Tomswife, the chair you suggest has very small rear wheels than others we’ve been looking at. Is there a benefit to that?
 

Tomswife

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Tom cannot self propel. If you are referring to very large rear wheels they are for people who can self- move. The ALSA told me to get something like what I selected. I have used it a bit on bumpy side walks, transition areas and also up NYC sidewalks with slopes and pitches. etc. And we never get stuck. It rolls smoothly.
 

Tomswife

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Someone at our ALS clinic suggested this.
It does have the larger rear wheels. But to me...its all about the front wheels, and nit getting stuck on sidewalk changes. And i have to get it in and out of the CRV. This is on Amazon.

HomyKing Lightweight Transport Wheelchair, Multifunctional Wheelchair for Adults Foldable, 18.1" seat, Armrest Adjusted for Easy Transfer, Locking Hand Brakes Chair​

 

lgelb

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I'm glad you found what works for you, TW.

Just for others, large rear wheels are not only for self-propellers. My husband never was, but he was 6'1"/250# and did better with my pushing him with the large rear wheels on trails. So it's not just who's in it but where you're going.
 

Tomswife

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I am so glad you are there lgelb! I repeated what I was told by an expert....but with me, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! :)
 

Smjacobsdmd

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This has been a great thread for me as well. I am still ambulatory but use a hiking stick when out walking to reduce chance of a fall. The pt at clinic (I have only been once) said I might want to get a rollator with seat for our 54 day cruise, especially for some of the port days to have a place to sit and rest. Browsing Amazon I have found two different products that I was considering: one is a rollator that switches to a transport wheelchair and the other is a standing roll at or that you rest your arms on rather than reaching down. Anyone have knowledge or an opinion? Steve
 

MupstateNY

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Hi there. Did you mean the opposite of "Money is not an option"?

If you really meant that you guys can't pay (unlikely, I guess), you could do what I did as a temporary solution. I borrowed a transport chair from my county office that lends medical and assistive tech equipment. That has been working for us with the addition of a cushion, because getting a heavy loaner wheel chair in and out of the car was putting my husband in a bad mood (even though he is pretty strong!), and then neither one of us looked forward to him helping me shop for this and that. (He does the groceries, thank goodness.) I can walk some, slowly, currently, but I would wear myself out by ambulating around on my own around a good-sized store like Target .
 

ReginaS

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Another viewpoint: Tom was OK in a manual wheelchair (we had one with big wheels in the back and needed that too) but they are really not too comfortable. Once he had his electric wheelchair it was way more comfortable and he had so much fun with it bc he liked to drive it, was very good at it and could finally move himself again. Sometimes he would go top speed (outside 😅), hair flying in the wind - I could not keep up of course and he had his big smile on the face.
These are great and super helpful ... except when they have issues w. the cables and it took days to get support. That's a long time when you really depend on this thing to work. It's been said here often - better to get it sooner rather than later for people with leg involvement.
 

Cowboybob

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