Keep 'Transport Mobile' with Your Partner
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
Earlier this year I met Denise*, the loving wife of John* who is slowly losing his mobility as a result of a neuromuscular disorder. He is now using a wheelchair and mobility scooter.
Denise expressed her concern about the closure of gyms due to COVID. She explained that the closures meant that she could no longer attend the weekly weight training sessions that gave her the strength to help seat John in the car and lift his wheelchair into the boot.
Denise is 75 years of age.
I put the scenario to Ali Akbarian, CEO of Mobility Engineering. Started by mechanical engineer Morrie Akbarian (Ali’s father) in 1988, this Australian company sources leading products from around the world to give Australians greater transport mobility.
Before presenting a solution, each client’s circumstances are carefully considered in an in-person interview at the company’s showroom in Asquith, Sydney, with the client’s occupational therapist invited to attend.
Looking at Denise’s circumstances on paper, Ali puts forward two options for both scenarios - transferring John from his wheelchair to the car and placing the wheelchair into the car.
Moving the passenger into the passenger seat
The two recommended options are:
- The Tip-Up Plate. The plate bridges the gap between the wheelchair and the passenger seat of regular sedans or hatchbacks. It can take up to 150 kgs in weight. There is a manual and electronic version available. The more expensive electronic version adjusts to differences in height from the wheelchair to the car seat at the press of a button. Refer to this video for a demonstration from Ali:
- The Turny Seat. The passenger seat of a regular sedan or hatchback is either adapted into a Turny Seat or wholly replaced with a Turny Seat. As the name suggests, the seat turns out of the car and allows the passenger to slide themselves off their wheelchair into the seat with the seat then turning back into the car. There is a manual and electronic version available. Here’s Ali demonstrating its operation:
Placing a collapsible wheelchair into the car
The two recommended options are:
- The Carolift 40. This pillar hoist is installed in the boot of a regular sedan or hatchback. It has a loading arm that swings out from the car boot. Its adjustable pully straps attach to the wheelchair (of 40kg or less) and, with the press of a button, loads the chair into the boot of the car. Here’s a demonstration:
- The Wheelchair Roof Hoist. The hoist comprises of a cargo carrier attached to the car roof by roof racks and a hoist operated using a wired remote control or via Bluetooth on your Smartphone. It is suitable for larger cars such as SUVs and is best explained by Ali in this video:
Back to Denise
Taking into account that Denise drives a low-to-the-ground Subaru hatchback and Denise and John are both in their 70s, Ali recommends the electronic version of the Turny Seat to help transfer John from his wheelchair to the passenger seat and the Carolift 40 to transfer the collapsible wheelchair into the boot.
Having fitted these two solutions for many older Australians, Ali foresees many happy outings ahead for Denise and John.
* Names have been changed for privacy.
If you need support and guidance on seeking care assistance for your loved one, please feel free to contact me, Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions.
Let’s have an initial discussion on how to set up the right care, support and assistance at the right time and in the right place.