• Expert Q&A: Rare dementias - Tues 3 March, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of rare dementias. It will be hosted by Nikki and Seb from Rare Dementia Support. If you have any questions about rare dementias, they will be here to answer them on Tuesday 3 March between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Wheelchair Headrests

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
Sue has had a wheelchair for several weeks. She was measured for it and it was supplied by the LA. It works well but now that we have started to use it in the wheelchair accessible car we've bought I realise that she needs a headrest - not to keep her head in position (as some wheelchair users do) but for the same safety reason that anyone who travels in a car does. The ones you can find online often mention that they are not suitable for travel restraint. Can anyone point me to a suitable headrest for an Invacare chair that has a non-rigid back? I realise that I can ask the LA, and will do so, but I am still interested in what the possibilities are.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
And thanks for the edit. I'd already found that doc. It's not too helpful as it doesn't cover our model and, in any case:

With this document we would like to inform
you about the transport of wheelchairs with
seated users in vehicles that are especially
adapted for this purpose.

First and foremost, we would like to point out
that it is always the safest option for the user
to be transported in the vehicle’s regular seat
fastened with the regular safety belt. Invacare
cannot recommend transport seated in the
wheelchair.


Not very reassuring.:( They're just covering themselves but in a rather bizarre way as the whole doc is about how to do safely, using attachments they provide as standard, a procedure that they cannot recommend.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
I've been in touch with Invacare. After a very long wait I have found that a comfort headrest is available but they do not supply it themselves. They put me in touch with a local supplier. I have explained what we need and been told that someone will get back to me. I realise that a comfort headrest will not provide as much support/safety as a headrest on a vehicle seat would but it may be the best we can do. I remember that much of my motoring was done in cars which had no headrests at all.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
I'm also chasing up the LA as they may provide one. But I'm up against their 'system' which, I was told last time, may involve one person, without a switchboard, trying to deal with five phones that may ring simultaneously.:( Probably the result of the favoured 'back office cuts' designed to protect front-line services.:confused:
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,739
North Manchester
"I realise that a comfort headrest will not provide as much support/safety as a headrest on a vehicle seat would but it may be the best we can do."

It may provide the support, it may not be certified as providing it.

It would cost the manufacturers mega bucks to have it tested and certified, or rejected, against a range of wheelchairs. There is also a problem that they have no control over any design modification of the wheelchairs.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
Yes, nitram. Now I've realised that all the manufacturers are covering their backs it does mean that we just need to find one that looks likely to provide the support Sue needs and, in the very unlikely event of an accident, might provide some protection.
 

7dayweekend

Registered User
Feb 21, 2015
5
Wheelchair headrest.

If you go to unwin safety (googleable!), they make all sorts for wheelchair use in cars.

Click on the products tab, then wheelchair and occupier restraints, then wtors accessories and it'll take you to a page that has wheelchair headrests on it.

These have been designed specifically for wheelchair use in moving vehicles and go over the handles on the chair providing you dont have a crossbracing bar or really chunky handgrips on the chair.

There is also a youtube video showing you how to adjust it.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
Many thanks. Interesting site but sadly nothing appropriate listed for Sue's chair except the chair restraints already fitted in the car. There are some generic headrests for sale at about 3x the price elsewhere online.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
I think I might finally have cracked it. I found the RHealthcare Superhead Adjustable Wheelchair Head Rest on ebay at a 'reasonable' price, given that a similar-looking one is selling at £300+. Better still, it states that, unlike most of the others you see advertised, it is -suitable for use as head support in a transportable situation' and it's suggested that you try before you buy at the mobility shop selling which turns out to be about 25 mins away by car.

We went over yesterday with Sue in the wheelchair. There was a little hiccup when the salesman told me that it was only suitable for an RHealthcare chair but I see looking again at their own ad that they say it's suitable for all standard chairs. Anyway I managed to convince him it was worth a try and they are ordering one in next week so we can make sure it fits.

Now I'm looking for a way to support her chin when she nods off and it drops forward some way away from where the support would be.