I have had my wheelchair for 10 years, in that time a lot has changed with regards to my needs and so when I was told that it was time to be reassessed for a new chair, I was a very happy chappy!
A daily wheelchair like the RGK wheelchairs are made to measure, this involves more measurements and options than I thought.
Being my first custom made wheelchair 10 years ago, I wasn’t really sure on what I wanted and what would suit my needs and so I just went along with it.
I was also at the stage where I didn’t want to be made to feel more disabled with certain things and so when they asked about folding push handles, it was a firm “NO”, I didn’t need pushimng, I could do it!
We all go through the stage of trying to not look as disabled as possible, before using a wheelchair I spent years using crutches and thinking that using a wheelchair was defeat and would make me more disabled.
Luckily a friend who is a wheelchair user persuaded me to use one of his old chairs and it was then that I realised that I was actually less disabled and had more freedom.
So when I go for the assessment this time, I will say yes to push handles because years of using crutches has damaged my shoulders and hands and a few times a year they play up and I need some assistance.
The chair I have now has never been right, when I got it they said I was sitting too high and so the Jay cushion was swapped out for a thin foam cushion but even though it helped lower me down, it was soon apparent that I needed a Jay cushion and so I have been sitting too high ever since.
I would also be more comfortable with the seat slopping slight back so my knees sit higher than my hips.
The footplate angles down so my toes would be higher than my heel, this is now uncomfortable and a flat footplate will be something I request.
But the hardest decision will be colour, I went for a bright green last time and then 5 years later they refurbished the chair and I went for white which was a mistake as it shows all the dirt.
So I am very much looking forward to being assessed and then having a new chair about 12 weeks later.
It will mean I will find using the chair easier and I will be able to sit in it for longer as I will hopefully be more comfortable.
It will be the RGK Chrome as that is the entry level and what is offered from my local Wheelchair Service. I would love to go for the Tiga but that would mean we have to pay the extra and that isn’t an option for us.