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Big wheels, small wheels ... advice and suggestions please

AbbyGee

Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
262
0
Portsmouth, South Coast
In an effort to get my OH out and about more I'm encouraging him to walk. He is mobile but has COPD and coupled with the Alz Dem he finds it difficult. We don't so much walk as shuffle-stop-shuffle-stop and all at a slow pace. Even a walking stick doesn't help much these days. He's better when pushing a supermarket trolley as it offers some support.
Car parking around this City is a nightmare and we've stopped going to many of our old haunts due to the distance and lack of suitable bus service.
I'm toying with the idea of getting a lightweight wheelchair so we can either go for a toddle (he can sit or get out and use it as a walking aid) or pop it in the back of the car for journeys further afield. But what style would be best? The assisted chairs (all small wheels and pushed by attendant) don't seem very manoeuvrable and I know, through personal experience of having had to use one, that the self-propelled with the large rear wheels to be very good.
As I forsee me being the one pushing it I'm unsure what to start looking at.
He's 5'11 ish and around 13 stone. I'm 5'3" and on the upper end of 11 stone (matronly).
Any advice to offer, please?
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,623
0
@AbbyGee we bought dad a cheap wheelchair by mail order because it would only really be used for hospital appointments. It had small wheels which was okay because it was only every 2 or 3 months but it was hard work going up the small slope to the hospital and dad was a real lightweight also one of the foot rests would fall off frequently although I did eventually get it to stay on. Going up and down kerbs was a bit tricky too but it did fold up and fit in the boot of his car. I frequently wished that I had got a better one, preferably with bigger wheels.

I also remember pushing my son in his pushchair when he was little. His pushchair had little wheels and I remember wishing that I had bought one with bigger wheels because we used to walk round a park with the dog and it was okay on the path but as soon as we went on the grass it became difficult over lumps and bumps.

I think big wheels are better unless the ground is completely flat and smooth.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,369
0
Scotland
Originally we were given the small wheel type by the OT because I had asked for one to go in the car boot. The man who delivered it told me I would have found the large wheel one easier to manoeuvre. After quite a few weeks of struggling I asked for it to be changed and it was. To be honest I found the big wheel one just as difficult to push. I’m 5ft 3 too and my husband was just 9 1/2 stone.
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
3,652
0
West Hertfordshire
Large wheels every time !
If nothing else, it lowers the centre of gravity of the passenger, making it easier to push. Kerbs & etcs are easier too

Most large wheels come off easily for boot storage
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,337
0
South coast
When mum got to the stage of needing a wheelchair I borrowed one from the Red Cross before I bought one, but I dont know whether you can still do this.

The one I bought for mum had big wheels at the back, but they could be removed very easily so that the rest of it could be easily folded to fit in the boot of my car. Wheelchairs are not very easy things to push at the best of times and you really do need fairly flat hard surfaces to push them along. I learned the best places to take mum. Some places had awful pea shingle that were impossible to push wheelchairs over. A little tip if you end up having to push a wheelchair over a difficult surface - it is often easier if you pull them backwards.

@AbbyGee - with you saying that your OH is better with a shopping trolley, it makes me wonder whether a wheeled walker would suffice. My OH has a 4 wheeled walker (rollator) that is nice and stable and has a seat so that he can have a rest when necessary.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
251
0
I agree with @canary , a rollator might be a good solution. Mum got on very well with hers, and they fold easily for transportation. I bought it online for about £45. I also bought a folding, small-wheeled, wheelchair for the odd occasion when we needed it. Again about £45 online. Pre-covid, our local charity shop was a great source of this type of thing too.
 

AbbyGee

Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
262
0
Portsmouth, South Coast
@canary and @lollyc - I suggested a rollator (didn't know they were called that) a while back but the look of horror and odd expletive gave me an inkling the idea wasn't well received. However - I'll try again using different tactics by suggesting the seat could be useful for me as well when we're out. Actually, it could be useful for me as well as it seems my old friend Arthritis has decided to move back home to my knees and ankles since being evicted from both hips back in 2008!
Just have to pick my moment and show him some pics online so thanks for the suggestion.
 

AbbyGee

Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
262
0
Portsmouth, South Coast
Well knock me down with a lettuce leaf!
Decided there's no time like the present so hauled up a few examples from the Amazon site to explain what I was cracking on about. Used the 'would be good for both' suggestion and he's dead keen.
There's a mobility shop within current staggering distance and although I'd be unlikely to buy from them - Robber Barons that they are - we'll go take a lookie to get an idea of decent handle and seat height etc. If they do have something suitable that won't cost an arm and a leg who knows what we may return with simply to try the whole idea out and perhaps upgrade if he gets on with it. Just need it to stop raining and away we go! :)
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
251
0
I must admit we tried them out a the local mobility shop - then bought cheaper online! But at least I knew Mum would actually be able to use it.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,337
0
South coast
OH has two rollators. The basic one was supplied free by the community physiotherapist. Its good and sturdy, but it doesnt fold up very much, so I bought another one that folds up much smaller and it lives in the boot of the car. I already knew when I bought the second one that OH could use it.
 

Moggymad

Registered User
May 12, 2017
586
0
Rollators are height adjustable. Remember to apply the brakes before sitting...something my mum never got the hang of. On the subject of wheelchairs, we got the small wheeled one which was a transporter type which we managed with quite well but found it harder to push on inclines & gravel or grass. We had to borrow a large wheel type one once as the carehome misplaced mums wheelchair & found it to be much smoother to push. My only concern was whether mum might hang her hands over & catch the wheels.
 
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AbbyGee

Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
262
0
Portsmouth, South Coast
@lollyc We did look yesterday - the rollator models in the shop had no seat and the show model outside was a monster that didn't fold up too well. The chappie at the shop said there's been a flurry of purchases recently and he's getting new stock on Tuesday so we'll go back next week.
I was of a mind to get the OH try them out and then leave with the 'We'll think about it" line but quite honestly if we do find one that suits and the OH gets on with it then I feel it would be best to go for it straight away. Their prices seem to have become more reasonable since I last visited and there's a decent shower seat and a loo frame that look good. Our current ones could do with replacing so I'll see if I can do any wrangling on the total cost.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
251
0
Glad it seems to be an option. Mum was always on board with the idea, but I agree with the strike-while-the-iron-is-hot, if OH may change his mind.
 

AbbyGee

Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
262
0
Portsmouth, South Coast
Went back to the shop today - sadly no new Rollators delivered. There was, however, one rather spiffy looking one in a sexy black that my OH tried and wheeeeee! Off he trundled, round the shop like a wind-up mouse on amphetamines. The seat's comfortable and the height is good so we decided to give it a good home, despite paying far more than I'd planned. I guess it will be worth every penny if our shortish walk home was anything to go by.
Now planning some route marches round the local area to get some distance built up. Just need a wee bit of decent weather again and off we'll go.
(I did get the shower seat and non-slip shower mat I'd seen last time we visited but can't get so excited about those.)
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
251
0
Went back to the shop today - sadly no new Rollators delivered. There was, however, one rather spiffy looking one in a sexy black that my OH tried and wheeeeee! Off he trundled, round the shop like a wind-up mouse on amphetamines. The seat's comfortable and the height is good so we decided to give it a good home, despite paying far more than I'd planned. I guess it will be worth every penny if our shortish walk home was anything to go by.
Now planning some route marches round the local area to get some distance built up. Just need a wee bit of decent weather again and off we'll go.
(I did get the shower seat and non-slip shower mat I'd seen last time we visited but can't get so excited about those.)
How our lives change - bet you didn't imagine a life where a rollator would cause so much excitement!
Mum definitely walked much faster and more upright with hers, rather than hunched over a walking frame, although I never let her loose with it in the house - the paintwork has enough scars from the zimmer!
In the words of Derek Trotter , the world is now your lobster.
 

AbbyGee

Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
262
0
Portsmouth, South Coast
@lollyc Oh how right you are. Not quite what we'd planned for our sunset years, not at all. Travel ideas are dead in the water. Theatre and concert trips are a thing of the past. My little budding self-employed business floundered and I need to try and sell or give away a couple of grand's worth of stock. The garden is a jungle.
However - no point looking backwards.
My next plan is to get the OH to the optician. His specs are in a shameful condition - one nose pad and its fitting has disappeared completely and the arms are bent having been sat on. The appointment I've made is for a double slot as, obviously, he needs extra time to process questions etc. I've asked if I can be in the exam room with him but we'll have to see what happens.
I really need a GP appointment but that's just a wild dream. Can't get a booking for love or money. Hope I can get something sorted out before my mental health deteriorates any further and my angry and destructive thoughts become reality. But hey-ho, getting something practical sorted out is a step forward.
Then - maybe - a Carer's Assessment to try and get even just a couple of hours on my lonesome. I don't mind if it's at home (I could do so much if left to it) or perhaps go grab a coffee somewhere in the real world.
Onwards and upwards...
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
5,227
0
Southampton
@lollyc Oh how right you are. Not quite what we'd planned for our sunset years, not at all. Travel ideas are dead in the water. Theatre and concert trips are a thing of the past. My little budding self-employed business floundered and I need to try and sell or give away a couple of grand's worth of stock. The garden is a jungle.
However - no point looking backwards.
My next plan is to get the OH to the optician. His specs are in a shameful condition - one nose pad and its fitting has disappeared completely and the arms are bent having been sat on. The appointment I've made is for a double slot as, obviously, he needs extra time to process questions etc. I've asked if I can be in the exam room with him but we'll have to see what happens.
I really need a GP appointment but that's just a wild dream. Can't get a booking for love or money. Hope I can get something sorted out before my mental health deteriorates any further and my angry and destructive thoughts become reality. But hey-ho, getting something practical sorted out is a step forward.
Then - maybe - a Carer's Assessment to try and get even just a couple of hours on my lonesome. I don't mind if it's at home (I could do so much if left to it) or perhaps go grab a coffee somewhere in the real world.
Onwards and upwards...
having a carers assessment was helpful to me.