Get­ting out and about

The Courier-Mail - Weekend Shopper - - WEEKENDSHOPPER - - STEPHEN NADIN

MO­BIL­ITY scoot­ers and wheel­chairs can give a new lease of life to peo­ple en­abling them to get out and about more of­ten.

Weekend Shop­per’s Gen­eral sec­tion in­cludes a range of trans­port op­tions with a scooter, power chair and wheel­chair all giv­ing own­ers free­dom and the op­por­tu­nity to lead a more in­ter­est­ing and in­de­pen­dent life­style.

A spokesper­son for the Queens­land­based Spinal In­juries As­so­ci­a­tion with of­fices at Wool­loongabba, Bris­bane, and Townsville, said for some peo­ple, th­ese pieces of mo­bil­ity equip­ment were vi­tal.

“They are lit­er­ally a life­line for peo­ple with a tem­po­rary or per­ma­nent dis­abil­ity to be able to leave their home, get out into the com­mu­nity, work, so­cialise and shop do­ing the ev­ery­day things peo­ple should all be able to do with the right supports and equip­ment,’’ the spokesper­son said.

There are sev­eral things to con­sider when look­ing to buy a pre-loved wheel­chair and scooter.

“Ad­e­quate seat size is im­por­tant. Your bot­tom and back should rest against the back­rest with a gap of three fin­gers from be­hind your knee to the start of the seat,’’ the spokesper­son said.

“There should be one to two fin­gers on ei­ther side of your hips to the arm­rests as a good start­ing point.

“With the back­rest, the rec­om­mended height is to the top of your shoul­ders.

“If you in­tend to use your pow­er­chair for travel in a maxi taxi or pub­lic trans­port you will re­quire ve­hi­cle tie downs and a chair that has passed Aus­tralian Stan­dards for crash test­ing.

“A head­rest is also re­quired when trav­el­ling in case of col­li­sion to pre­vent whiplash in­juries. Most scoot­ers cur­rently avail­able in Aus­tralia are not crash tested and hence oc­cu­pants are re­quired to trans­fer out of their scooter onto a pas­sen­ger seat in maxi taxis.

“Like any piece of me­chan­i­cal equip­ment en­sure that the chair has been re­paired and main­tained by a rep­utable ser­vice provider.

“Older scoot­ers and pow­er­chairs may be more dif­fi­cult to main­tain due to avail­abil­ity of spare parts.

“If you have lim­ited space at home and need to ma­noeu­vre the chair in tight spa­ces, a mid-wheel drive pow­er­chair may be more suit­able.

“How­ever, if you in­tend to use the pow­er­chair for com­mu­nity ac­cess or have acreage or steep hills near your home, a more rugged chair with a rear wheel drive may be more ap­pro­pri­ate.

“Take your po­ten­tial new wheels for a test drive when pos­si­ble. Make sure you are happy with the avail­able speeds and that it has suf­fi­cient torque to ne­go­ti­ate any ramps or gra­di­ents for your spe­cific needs.’’

If peo­ple in­tend us­ing ei­ther a pow­er­chair or a scooter on the road, they will need to reg­is­ter their equip­ment with Queens­land Trans­port and road rules ap­ply.

Take your po­ten­tial new wheels for a test drive when pos­si­ble. Make sure you are happy with the avail­able

speeds and that it has suf­fi­cient torque to ne­go­ti­ate any ramps or gra­di­ents for

your spe­cific needs.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.