Well, we’ve been at it for nearly a year now, this manipulating an unsteady person anywhere she needs to go. It’s been a full year since my mother had the first of two nasty infections, from which she’s never fully recovered.
What did change, was her brain. Damaged, and with significant vascular changes. Her physical strength and arthritis has deteriorated to such an extent, that she finds it difficult and painful to walk more than a very short distance. Over the last year, her short term memory had diminished significantly and her confidence to go out is totally shot.
From someone who ‘had’ to go out at least once a day, I’m lucky if I can get her out of the house once a month. It’s not good for her, and it’s not good for me being trapped in the house so much, only being able to leave her for spells that rivalled elderly dog ownership, as her insulin levels have to be checked regularly. She’s not safe with medication or her insulin on her own, and if she takes a hypo, there would be no-one to help her. She cannot manage her testing kit for herself.
Where I thought I’d have an easy time, was finding a wheelchair friendly car, that would also double as our family car. Both our cars are on the way out. The Discovery has given up the ghost and she can’t get up and into it now. anyway, so it would have to go, even if it was still behaving itself. It’s beside the point that it’s leaking water and the electrics are dodgy.
The man could fix it, but he’s never got the time and he won’t pay for someone else to do what he can do, so it’s at stalemate. I do love the Discovery, but if it were garage maintained, we’d need a whole new mortgage to keep it up.
We also have an old Vauxhall family car that has a fault somewhere that keeps draining the battery. The fix would likely cost far more than the car is worth. I do need a car that doesn’t need jumpstarted every second day, and I’d like to find the information I’m looking for online, but it’s harder than it looks. I did consider a Vauxhall Insignia, but they’re too low for her to get in and out of.
All I want is a car that will take a bog standard manual wheelchair, one that’s not too low so that I don’t break my back getting her in and out, and not too high, so that I have to lift her in either. Oh yes, I also need to fit 5 people in the car, and I don’t want to pay a fortune in road tax every year, nor pay a whack on customising a family car.
I also can’t face the Citreon Berlingo, nor the boxy cars. It’s my car. I know we all have different ideas of what is nice and what’s not, but I don’t want to saddle myself with what I see as a horrible looking car, just because I need one that fits a wheelchair in the boot. Selfish, maybe, but it’s my money, and I should be able to spend it on something that suits our family, not something we’re stuck with because there’s nothing else.
Can I find the information I need online? Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places.
There’s a large proportion of the population who need wheelchairs, so I can’t believe how difficult it is to find out if a car boot can take one. You’d think with the money spent on advertising and lovely glossy brochures, that there would be something in them. A line somewhere that gave an indication of suitability for wheelchairs. Yes, I can see boot dimensions, but given the angle of some boots, they can look big enough in theory, but if it narrows in the wrong place, a wheelchair won’t fit in, and I’d like to carry some shopping at times too.
Before I go to look at a car, I want to know it will fit the wheelchair, otherwise I’m stuck to lugging the thing around with me and taking it out at every car dealership, which is a pretty daft way of going shopping. Why do they mention cup holders, bluetooth connection, seat warmers, and neglect to add a pretty basic feature? Perhaps wheelchairs just aren’t sexy enough, or, as I said before, I’m looking in the wrong places, but if I am, then shouldn’t it be easier to find the right places?
I will say though, that I do like the look of the hybrids. I’m tempted to look for a Toyota Prius, or the smaller ones along those lines. I did consider the Nissan Leaf, but the driving range would drive me round the bend, though guess what…I don’t know if they’re worth looking at, as I don’t know if a wheelchair will fit in the boot……..and I can’t be bothered going to find out.
I may just pick up a banger from the car mart to tide me over, because I can’t decide, and don’t have time to visit dozens of showrooms to find out.
Have a good day all, and hope you all stay safe in the windy weather.