My new powerchair arrived the other week. It is a Quickie Salsa M (mid wheel drive) which I have nicknamed ‘Ruby’
I was disappointed that the big wheel didn’t have the chrome hubcaps as I was shown on the demo model but the NHS said these are quick release ones and will make it easier to push if someone has to push it for me as the chair is very heavy!! It is heavier than my old one but this one does also have seat riser and tilt mechanism under the seat which I guess also makes it very heavy as the lifting mechanism is metal.
The footplate makes it much easier to quickly flip out of way to get closer to cupboards in kitchen and get in and out of tight spaces. It is noiser outdoors than the other one. I don’t know if that’s because all 6 wheels have independant suspension so as they are bobbing up and down (3″ ‘give’ each way, in each wheel) going along roads they make a rhythmic clunk, same kind of effect as train going over tracks!
This does also mean though that I can get over some terrain better than my standard RWD did, its better over gravel for a start and I can get up a small uneven path into a field behind my house which I couldn’t do with other chair as its wider than the path and if one side is lower than other at all it will tip.
It does help with fatigue levels too as jobs like putting the shopping away, and hanging the washing out which used to be exhausting, is done a lot quicker and I still have energy to keep going and doing some other things. Today I have to wait for a courier delivery and they never give you a time, if I’ve gone to lie down, its hard work getting up and getting to the door before the person has left thinking no-one is in… now I can just stay in chair and tilt it when my back needs a break.. like whilst I’m writing this at the computer. It is comfy to rest in.
The arm rests flip up and the controller is on swing-away arm. The actual Joystick is a special design I’m not sure of the name. it’s similar to my T-bar on my Joystick plus except the middle curves down like a ‘U’ shape and you can rest your hand on it. The idea is it supports your hand and you can use your arm to drive it.
The cushion cover I had made by Covers Plus, as the chair only comes in a standard red and I wanted a bit of pink on it somewhere! I’m looking for a bag with pink/red in it now to go on the back!
Overall I am happy with it, but still using scooter also for Inca’s longest walks as that does do better over playing fields, in wet weather and can handle light snow. ‘Ruby’ will be used mainly indoor areas and getting to local appointments on my own, as with the extra features I imagine it will be expensive to repair/replace if seat riser or tilt mechanisms are damaged.
As for reliability, we’ll have to wait and see.. but I hope she doesn’t break down too often!!.. watch this space! 😀