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Wheelchair Headrests

Discussion in 'Equipment and technology' started by stanleypj, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,679
    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.
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,264
    Male
    North Manchester
    #2 nitram, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  3. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,679
    North West
    Many thanks nitram. Good idea.:)
     
  4. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,679
    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.
     
  5. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,679
    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.
     
  6. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,679
    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:
     
  7. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,264
    Male
    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.
     
  8. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,679
    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.
     
  9. 7dayweekend

    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.
     
  10. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,679
    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.
     
  11. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,679
    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.
     

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