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    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 10th May 19, 7:58 PM
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    bouicca21
    Finding out stuff
    • #1
    • 10th May 19, 7:58 PM
    Finding out stuff 10th May 19 at 7:58 PM
    Not at all sure this is the right place but hoping someone can point me in the right direction for information.

    A friend is planning on coming on an extended visit. She is currently in a wheelchair. By the time she comes she may have a prosthetic limb but will probably still need a wheelchair as well.

    I need to work out how much turning space will be needed for the chair - will it actually be able to be manoeuvred round my flat. Also how to get in and out of the shower - which is over a standard bath.

    She may not be able to bring her own chair - how easy is it to hire one? How do you get a wheelchair on and off a train, especially if the platform is curved? Is it better to board a train on a mobility scooter than in a chair? She will need to travel into central London at least occasionally. Can one hire mobility scooters?

    As she is a foreign national should she be getting private health insurance rather than rely on the NHS if anything goes wrong?

    What other questions should I be asking that I havenít thought of?

    I appreciate that these are everyday issues for many, but I have never had to deal with them before - and it is not a question of adapting my home as we are talking one or two months not permanent residence.
Page 1
    • venison
    • By venison 10th May 19, 8:06 PM
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    venison
    • #2
    • 10th May 19, 8:06 PM
    • #2
    • 10th May 19, 8:06 PM
    I have no idea about wheelchairs but I would suggest private health insurance just as we would take it out if travelling abroad, is she from outside the EU?
    If you are not part of the solution then you must be part of the problem.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 10th May 19, 8:29 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    • #3
    • 10th May 19, 8:29 PM
    • #3
    • 10th May 19, 8:29 PM
    Not at all sure this is the right place but hoping someone can point me in the right direction for information.

    A friend is planning on coming on an extended visit. She is currently in a wheelchair. By the time she comes she may have a prosthetic limb but will probably still need a wheelchair as well.

    I need to work out how much turning space will be needed for the chair - will it actually be able to be manoeuvred round my flat. Also how to get in and out of the shower - which is over a standard bath. You can get a bath board. This is put across the bath and allows a person to sit safely whilst showering, although she might need you to leave the shower head dangling in the bath before she goes in. A bath mat in the bottom of the bath would be advisable.

    She may not be able to bring her own chair - how easy is it to hire one? How do you get a wheelchair on and off a train, especially if the platform is curved? Is it better to board a train on a mobility scooter than in a chair? She will need to travel into central London at least occasionally. Can one hire mobility scooters? The Red Cross hire out wheelchairs, as well as other organisations. Or look in second hand shops - our local hospiace shop has lots of disability equipment at very low prices. If she contacts the train station before she travels, a guard can put down ramps to help her wheel on and off the train. The guard can also accompany her across to another platform if necessary. This needs to be booked in advance. When I have used this service with my son, there has been no charge. I don't know anything about scooters, although our local Shopmobility hire them out.

    As she is a foreign national should she be getting private health insurance rather than rely on the NHS if anything goes wrong? Definitely. It's not something that I know much about, but I wouldn't dream of travelling to another country without appropriate health insurance.

    What other questions should I be asking that I havenít thought of? *Where will she sleep - upstairs or downstairs?

    * Is there a toilet that she can access easily?
    * Consider buying a Radar key, as this gives access to disabled toilets around the country. They are only a couple of pounds to buy from Amazon.
    * Will she need medication whilst she is here? I don't know anything about this, but I imagine that she is unlikely to be able to get a NHS prescription.

    * You might want to have a look at The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain. It's a free download.
    https://www.motability.co.uk/news-views-and-events/rough-guide-to-accessible-britain/?gclid=CjwKCAjwwtTmBRBqEiwA-b6c__3HNdfCj1u0O9nxnqvHPiR9u4_Cab7GFUOhgwDQDXogMn_ 0jNtyvhoCbcgQAvD_BwE


    I appreciate that these are everyday issues for many, but I have never had to deal with them before - and it is not a question of adapting my home as we are talking one or two months not permanent residence.
    Originally posted by bouicca21

    Hope this helps a little.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 10th May 19, 9:24 PM
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    bouicca21
    • #4
    • 10th May 19, 9:24 PM
    • #4
    • 10th May 19, 9:24 PM
    Thanks, thatís really helpful.

    Not sure whether her US medical insurance works in the UK. Will have to check. I suspect she will bring a stack of medication with her so not too worried about prescriptions. Though, come to think of it, I will need to check out accessibility at my GPís surgery or maybe suss out the one in a new purpose built centre thatís way further away.

    The toilet and high sided bath are my worst worries. Iím on the ground floor so getting in and out of the flat will be ok with some sort of mini ramp to cope with a shallow step. But once inside, my hallway is quite narrow so I need to measure up and calculate turning space to make sure she can access the rooms.
    • B_G_B
    • By B_G_B 10th May 19, 9:36 PM
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    B_G_B
    • #5
    • 10th May 19, 9:36 PM
    • #5
    • 10th May 19, 9:36 PM
    Almost impossible to work out wheelchair manoeuvrability. Two slightly different chairs can be miles apart in this aspect.
    • soolin
    • By soolin 11th May 19, 9:07 AM
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    soolin
    • #6
    • 11th May 19, 9:07 AM
    • #6
    • 11th May 19, 9:07 AM
    Thanks, thatís really helpful.

    Not sure whether her US medical insurance works in the UK. Will have to check. I suspect she will bring a stack of medication with her so not too worried about prescriptions. Though, come to think of it, I will need to check out accessibility at my GPís surgery or maybe suss out the one in a new purpose built centre thatís way further away.

    The toilet and high sided bath are my worst worries. Iím on the ground floor so getting in and out of the flat will be ok with some sort of mini ramp to cope with a shallow step. But once inside, my hallway is quite narrow so I need to measure up and calculate turning space to make sure she can access the rooms.
    Originally posted by bouicca21
    As US citizen she will not be entitled to free NHS care so will need to either check with her own insurers that they will cover her costs or take out additional insurance. Due to possible costs she might find it best to make enquiries about this before she spends money on booking flights etc, it might not be cheap

    As for the GP, it is likely that she will need to check that they will take a non NHS patient, each practice can make it's own decisions as to which temporary patients they will register and which they will not, so check that as well as asking about access. Make sure she has good credit in cards or access to cash as well in case she needs any form of treatment, depending on her insurance she may have to pay upfront and then reclaim later from her insurance, so travelling with plenty of access to money is imperative.
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    • M_Python
    • By M_Python 11th May 19, 10:34 AM
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    M_Python
    • #7
    • 11th May 19, 10:34 AM
    • #7
    • 11th May 19, 10:34 AM
    Can she not use crutches to get around in your flat?
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 11th May 19, 1:52 PM
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    sheramber
    • #8
    • 11th May 19, 1:52 PM
    • #8
    • 11th May 19, 1:52 PM
    Check the width of your doorways as a wheelchair might be too wide to go through.
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 11th May 19, 4:28 PM
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    GlasweJen
    • #9
    • 11th May 19, 4:28 PM
    • #9
    • 11th May 19, 4:28 PM
    How does your friend manage transfers (getting in and out of the wheelchair?)

    If she uses a hoist you'll need to hire one that you're both familiar with using, if you've never used one before you might want to familiarise yourself with "moving and handing" techniques before your friend arrives.

    If your friend is "in a chair" then of course she's going to bring her own, she's hardly going to bum shuffle around an airport until you bring the hired one to her is she? All this will need to be arranged with the airline.

    The airline, despite your friend possibly being otherwise as fit as a fiddle will probably want a "fit to fly" note from her doctor and another from a U.K. doctor for the return flight if they're not close together, this will not be covered by either the NHS nor by travel insurance.

    Anyone should have adequate travel insurance and obviously make sure any pre existing conditions are covered as well. The NHS will only treat emergency cases in A&E and won't help a flare up of a pre-existing condition. They're also not cheap when the bill arrives at the end, much to many overseas visitors surprise.
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    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 12th May 19, 3:13 PM
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    sheramber
    You need to ask your friend how she manages at home. How does she get about, use the toilet, shower etc. There a re disability aids available but you most likely need to buy them, unless somebody like the Red Cross hires them out in your area.

    There is a GOV.UK site about travelling with a wheelchair.
    https://www.gov.uk/transport-disabled
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 12th May 19, 6:21 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    Is it better to board a train on a mobility scooter than in a chair?
    Originally posted by bouicca21
    Acceptance of mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs on trains is varied, depending on the train type and the scooter type. Some train companies have a permit system where they can pre-approve individual scooters. Some don't accept scooters at all (including Heathrow Express).

    https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/44969.aspx

    For baths, local social services may have a day care facility with a roll-in shower or bath hoist which could be used occasionally. They may also operate an equipment loan facility which might include bath boards, bath lifts etc. The problem is they will usually need to 'assess' the 'client' and that involves a delay.
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    • MightMouse
    • By MightMouse 15th May 19, 3:48 PM
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    MightMouse
    Do you know any one local who uses a wheel chair? They may be willing to come round your house and point out issues that you may not be able to see and that may be hard for people to anticipate over the net.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 17th May 19, 7:39 PM
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    bouicca21
    Thanks all. I must admit that I nearly went up to a couple of complete strangers to ask how they managed with their wheelchairs but when I measured my doorways I realised that no way will a chair go through them. So she will have to be able to manage on crutches.

    Although she has had limited mobility for a long time, the need for a wheelchair is recent - she is on a learning curve too - but I’ll ask her what aids she uses at home and try to duplicate them here. I’ll suss out a Red Cross shop. Sounds like the staff at Red Cross and the local station need to be my new best friends.

    I wasn’t expecting that she’d get NHS treatment, her situation is way too complicated and chronic for that, but I need to make sure she has checked her insurance and extended it if necessary. Not sure whether my GP surgery takes private patients but even if it does, parking must be very limited (assuming there is any, I’ve not spotted it).

    I’ll also pass on your comments - I don’t think it has occurred to her that she will need a fit to fly note, and she was uncertain as to whether she could bring her own wheelchair or whether I’d have to organise one for when I meet her at the airport.
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 18th May 19, 11:33 AM
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    GlasweJen
    Thanks all. I must admit that I nearly went up to a couple of complete strangers to ask how they managed with their wheelchairs but when I measured my doorways I realised that no way will a chair go through them. So she will have to be able to manage on crutches.

    Although she has had limited mobility for a long time, the need for a wheelchair is recent - she is on a learning curve too - but Iíll ask her what aids she uses at home and try to duplicate them here. Iíll suss out a Red Cross shop. Sounds like the staff at Red Cross and the local station need to be my new best friends.

    I wasnít expecting that sheíd get NHS treatment, her situation is way too complicated and chronic for that, but I need to make sure she has checked her insurance and extended it if necessary. Not sure whether my GP surgery takes private patients but even if it does, parking must be very limited (assuming there is any, Iíve not spotted it).

    Iíll also pass on your comments - I donít think it has occurred to her that she will need a fit to fly note, and she was uncertain as to whether she could bring her own wheelchair or whether Iíd have to organise one for when I meet her at the airport.
    Originally posted by bouicca21
    She needs to inform the airline that she's a passenger flying with her own wheelchair, there will be a special assistance phone number with her airline for this. One you make the booking you phone the number and talk through what help you need.

    As a wheelchair user you'll be boarded first onto the plane and usually seated in the bulkhead. They'll take her wheelchair and put it in the hold. During the flight they'll take the crutches away during take off and landing and return them when the plane is cruising.

    When the plane lands they'll bring your friends wheelchair to the plane door and she'll be last off the aircraft to give them time to get the chair to her.

    The fit to fly note is pure ignorance but everyone assumes the chair means other underlying health problems. Make sure she insures her wheelchair too.
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    • Misslayed
    • By Misslayed 18th May 19, 11:54 AM
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    Misslayed
    You can get extra narrow wheelchairs - the arms come off - I believe they use them on some aeroplanes to get disabled passengers down the aisle to their seat.
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