PWC, doors and hallways

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Doglady

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For the past month I've been using a power wheel chair loaned to me by the local ALS Association that is exactly the same as the one that is being ordered for me. My wheel chair is a little less than 25 inches wide and if i go slowly it does fit through all of my 28-30 inch doorways and maneuvers the several turns in the hallway.

However, this is working now with the chair completely upright. I'm a bit worried what will happen if I need to be in a reclined position in the future, so, am wondering from the more experienced PALS on this wonderful forum - is it definite that some point I will need to be in a reclined position as I move from one room to another in the PWC? It would be so nice if I could at least be upright for the short time it takes to get through the doors and hallway.

There are many doorways in my house that it would be really hard if not impossible to widen because of the layout. Help!?! :confused:
 

Nikki J

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It will depend on how you progress but yes my sister had to be reclined all the time for probably over a year She lived 4 years from diagnosis and was hand onset.
 

Doglady

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Thank you Nikki. My onset was in my legs.
 

lgelb

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No, it is not definite. Many PALS tolerate tilt better than recline, apart from specific situations like using a urinal or transferring, where it's helpful. And you can choose where those moments occur. But I am not sure how recline relates to the width of the chair, though it would certainly relate to length. Is that what you meant?
 

Doglady

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Yes, I’m worried about the wheelchair being longer as a couple of doors require a right turn in the hallway to get to the bathroom. I think tilt and recline will do that.
 

lgelb

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There are several ways to deal with length. They include smaller footplates if practical, a shorter back if workable, and of course being prepared to adjust tilt/recline as you might have to do even in an elevator or van. Adequate postural support such as a belt or harness reduces loss of positioning while upright, likewise a midline mount for your joystick and/or a half tray.

For short distances, like making that turn, it is more likely that you can be more upright.

That said, this would be a good time to test a 20% recline/20% tilt and see if the turns are possible, so you know what your thresholds will be and can apply strategies to stay within them.
 

Doglady

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Thank you! That is very helpful. I’m not sure what 20% means though. 😐
 

lgelb

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A 20% angle (likely more than you might need). If you were sitting straight up, that is a right angle, 90 degrees. So if you went back about a fifth of the way to being flat on your back, that would be about right.
 

Doglady

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Great, I will try that tomorrow and let you know. ��
 

Atsugi

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Modifying a house can be easier than it seems, especially if you just need a few more inches in the hallway.


My landlady refused to allow modifications to the house we were renting, so I just took an axe, sledgehammer and reciprocating saw and tore down the walls on either side of the bathroom. A year later, I paid a guy to fix it up back to normal. Looked great.



Priorities.
 

Doglady

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Two replies in one if that's ok...

to lgelb - Just tried the 20% tilt trip through the pathway from back of house to front (through that crazy hallway and 3 doors) and back again - twice. And it works! Thanks so much what a great idea. I feel so relieved. I don't think we will have to change any doorways. Yeah!!!

And to Mike - you're a go getter! Thanks for the suggestion but I think I'd be in hot water with someone closer to home (hubby) than your landlady if I pulled out the chainsaw! LOL!
 

KarenNWendyn

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Offset door hinges are the cheapest and easiest way to widen a doorway because the door hinge swings away. This can easily add at least an inch to your doorway width without having to reconstruct the doorway,

I’ve also seen these clear plastic bumpers that can be placed on wall corners to protect them from dings that could be caused by a wheelchair.
 

KimT

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I had some of the doors in my condo widened. Master bedroom out to living area and master bedroom in to master bathroom. I took off the closet door and it's wide enough to drive my PWC in and park it. I put two outlets in there so it also serves as a charging station for all my portable electronic devices.
 

lgelb

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Glad it worked out! And yes, multiple replies in one post are appreciated, as they make for easier scrolling.
 

Doglady

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Offset hinges didn't work for us as the hinge side of the 5 critical doors off that goofy hallway are too close to a perpendicular wall so the offset hinge actually prevents the door from fully opening. I contacted the company who made them and they said that 3-6 inches are needed behind the door to allow the hinge to clear the door from the frame. Glad we only bought one set. I wish they would have worked out! Good idea about the corner protectors. I think I will be ok without widening doors. If need be later we can just remove a door or two. Thanks everyone!!!
 
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