Proper Vehicle & Transportation
This was something I had to “learn” and by that, I mean, “the hard way”! See my post about what can happen HERE!
We were able to borrow a nicely outfitted Permobil C300 for about 1 1/2 yrs. from ALSA. It worked great and we used it at the mall, out to dinners and to walk the dog even though I could still walk. It ensured I would save my energy and wouldn’t fall. Even now I can still get around and do stairs (down being steadied and up without help). But, we still didn’t have a way to get it in the house and it leaked oil. I felt much safer in the house on carpet or near couches, but even this was becoming slow, more difficult and dangerous.
I hated the thought of needing a chair, but by being a burden for someone to hold up, fear of falls and people starring thinking I was drunk, I quickly began to love the chair. People really don’t give me a second look.
Even though the chair was transportable, it was too much work and I knew one day the transitions wouldn’t work anyway. I heard stories of it taking 20 minutes getting ready to go anywhere…. that would NOT work for me!
We knew a ramp van was needed, but at $68,000 new, $22,000-$42,000 used, cost was an issue! http://www.braunability.com/wheelchair-minivans/
We got lucky and found a nice Dodge Caravan with Braun mobility ramp for only $11,600. I used to own new cars, Porsche & Audi… but now life is different …. I finally don’t give a shit about 108,000 miles. It’s insured as a recreational use <5000 mi./yr and added only $18/mo. in insurance. (+ I’ll drive million dollar Ferraris upstairs)
Now I roll out of the house, remotely opening the door and ramp, get latched in and on the road in under 4 minutes. when we arrive, I’m usually out of the van and already headed into the store before it’s locked and the rest of the family is following behind me. No falls and total independence. I can usually stay out & about with less fatigue than anyone around me.
New Permobil M300
We also recently took delivery on an awesome new Permobil M300. I chose silver, height adjustments, easy triggered “hands-free” power and mode, customized 4 profiles, air cushioned 22” seat, attendant controls, increased torque, wrap around head rest, ventilation fabrics throughout, concaved/swivel arm rest and softer suspension. We added the dog walking leas and cup holder.
At first I was going to use our same 8’ ramp to get into the house but quickly realized that it would be too steep and unsafe. I also didn’t want a ramp to stick out into the driveway (unsightly and in the weather) or to be taking up an entire side of the garage. We found a used Bruno lift on Craig’s List that was a fraction of a new one. It was a top of the line model with battery backup for power outages and complete with extra safety interlock gate and dual switch controls.
The lift is very quiet, cushioned door closure with foam, magnetic latch -almost no force to open -auto closing with a spring ... I use foot, elbow or head to push the 4" x 5 " rocker switch up & down... so far no help needed.
check out all the options at http://bruno.com/index.html – Get out! Don’t sit around the house all day! LFTM !