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Discussion in 'off topic' started by awkwardbydesign, May 25, 2023.

  1. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    I have recently started pushing my wife around in a wheelchair, as it is faster and less tiring than trying to walk holding her arm. But a couple of days ago we saw a woman in a CareCo Zora Carbon powerchair. I didn't know they existed, so we started looking at them. Tried a Pride I-Go Lite folding chair in Plymouth, which my wife quite liked for the single foot rest, but at 19kg + battery it is heavier than our manual chair at 16kg. So we are off to Exeter today to try the Zora Carbon, 13kg + battery.
    As we are flying to Barcelona on June 14th for 4 nights, we have decide what to do fairly quickly. The manual chair is already booked in, so we would need to change that.
    Does anyone have experience of powerchairs in general, and either of those two in particular? What should we look out for, pitfalls, advantages, kerbs, hills, rough surfaces, reliability and so on?
  2. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    Are you able to take these power chairs on the plane then ? i wouldnt advise rushing such an important decision. make do on holiday till you make a good decision. there may well be a waiting time for something appropriate . let us know how you get on. there is a brilliant place on babbacome road in torqauy that does all these . cavendish i think
    Wolfmancatsup likes this.
  3. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    Apart from other considerations definitely check with the airline - they may not like the batteries.
    cctaylor and hifinutt like this.
  4. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    You could rent one in Barce and travel with the push job
    hifinutt likes this.
  5. Ward

    Ward pfm Member

    There is no problem taking a foldable powered chair on a flight, though you will be required to remove the lithium batteries and take them onboard with you, the chair will then be placed in the hold so it is also advisable to remove the control joystick as well. It has to be said that my wife always worries what condition the chair will be returned to her as in the past some damage has occurred and on one occasion it took over two hours for the ground staff to remove her chair from the hold and return it to her. Make sure to book assistance at the airport as this will include transfer to and from the plane so that you and your wife will not need to climb any stairs and also specify if your wife will need an onboard narrow wheel chair to transfer to her seat if she is unable to walk down the aisle.
    My wife said on getting her first powered (Fold & Go) chair that it gave her back her independence so definitely a worthwhile investment.
    Comments from my wife are to be aware of the camber around dropped curbs as they can throw the chair off line and towards the road, finding dropped curbs when crossing the road can be an issue and also can catch the front wheels and bring the chair to an abrupt halt if they are not sufficiently low. Not likely to be an issue immediately but be aware that the range will drop significantly in cold weather and don't forget to take an international adapter so that you can charge the batteries in your hotel room. Barcelona has the reputation of being one of the most accessible cities in all of Europe so a perfect opportunity for your wife to get accustomed to her new chair, hope you have a wonderful time.
    Rockmeister and Joco like this.
  6. Rodrat

    Rodrat pfm Member

    The disability equipment market is generally a complete ripoff and especially mobility scooters. Might be worth looking around for a used version if you can find one but assume it will need new batteries. My brother in law worked in a mobility retail shop and the owner drives a lamborghini, enough said.
    hifinutt likes this.
  7. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart Avoiding Stress, at Every Opportunity

    I suppose you’d need to know what other businesses the owner has, whether he has inherited anything, whether he’s an extremely hard working businessman….

    I’ve not looked at a carbon fibre wheelchair, but making CF parts in even fairly simple shapes is labour intensive.
  8. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    Thanks everyone.
    Ward, we have assistance booked, she can walk, even climb stairs but slowly. And she can still drive, but needs practice as she almost forgot how to! We always carry adapters for UK plugs, and the points about kerbs, etc, are helpful. She won't be using it alone, in fact I may push it some of the time to save the battery.
    We just went over to Exeter this morning to try the Zora Carbon, and she liked it, it was easy enough to use. And it is very light. They suggested insurance, inc. 3rd party in case she kills someone with it!
    It is made in China, of course, and out of stock until the 1st of June. The salesman said CareCo had to order around 2,000 more as it has sold so well. But he is a salesman, of course.
    We will check with EasyJet, but I think we will go for it, unless something crops up to deter us. After all, it's only money.
  9. mikeyb

    mikeyb pfm Member

    Just checked the price - gulp!
  10. Rodrat

    Rodrat pfm Member

    I other business just eye watering profit margin.
  11. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    Rockmeister likes this.
  12. wow&flutter

    wow&flutter pfm Member

    Absolutely, margins are huge on these items with selling tactics akin to double glazing in the 70’s!

    Decide what your looking for then search local auction houses online, these places usually have a selection from house contents being sold. Got my father a four wheel Rolator with seat and a three wheeled one for indoor for about £30 for the pair maybe ten years ago.
    Gumtree, eBay and local papers is another option. There are always aids that are “no longer required”!

    He got a riser recliner from his sister when she died, I maintained it for around fifteen years but there is only so many times you can reattach the metal chassis to the wooden seat frame. Picked up a replacement from a local auction house for under £40 and got £40 for it when he died!

    He once called a company who had advertised in the back if one of the disability mags he used to get sent and
    I popped in to visit him one afternoon to find Del Boy unloading a scooter from the back of his van.
    Dad tried it but the guy wanted seriously big bucks for it then of course came the discounts, usual pressure selling tactics (you can use you mobility allowance to pay for it sir!) I pulled an ad for a local auction house that had two that had gone for less than £100, looked almost new. No sale there then!

    My neighbour picked one up for peanuts a few years back due to batteries being goosed. Their son had two direct replacements in his van that had been “ timed out” on one of the commercial instals his company does maintenance for. Pretty sure it’s still running still.

    As always if you can hold off till the right model appears used you’ll likely make substantial savings.
  13. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    These are too new to be found second hand (I have looked), and I wouldn't trust a used one. And our holiday is on 14th June, so no chance of holding off.
    Anyway, thinking further, and having trouble getting a useful response from Easy Jet (phoned them and was then cut off!), going with the old wheelchair looks the most likely. Too little time to change the booking, obtain the chair and get used to it, make sure it can't get damaged in transit, etc. I will just have to push!
    We will probably get the Zora Carbon, but not with the time pressure we have now. These days I have to do all the organising on my own, so less is better. Still, we have the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batllo visits booked, I have a new Aeropress to play with and the music players are loaded. Let's hope there is a some water left in Spain!
    Barrymagrec likes this.
  14. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    The lovely instructions say not to be used by unconscious persons! :D
  15. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    i think you should get your lovely wife one of these :D

    [​IMG]kawasaki buggy by , on Flickr
  16. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    Gets over the Lithium battery problem too.
    hifinutt likes this.
  17. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    We're Moto Guzzi people. :D

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