Yet Another Wheelchair Test Drive

Below is another video of a test drive I had yesterday of a loner wheelchair using a different kind of mouth control. It is a slightly smaller joystick using what is known as a bib mount. It hangs around your neck like a bib. Although it looks a little bit awkward, it is larger than it needs to be so that it can be fully adjustable. When I get my own we are going to trim it down to make it fit me better. Also note that I’m not using this wheelchair’s headrest because it is way too high. We just stuck a pillow behind my head and I deliberately left my head tilted back so that would rest firmly against the pillow. It made it a little bit difficult to see to drive. When I get the final product I will have a well fitted headrest and my head will be more upright.

As a result of this test, we are definitely going with some sort of bib mounted joystick. The advantage is that it will move with me. Throughout the day as I slip down inside my back brace, I actually get shorter throughout the day. If we mounted it on the armrest on the backrest we would be constantly readjusting it. I really like the solution much better than anything we’ve tried. Now I’m just waiting on some paperwork.

Test Driving a Wheelchair Using My Mouth

My wheelchair guy dropped by today with 2 different sample joysticks to try out. One was like a little button that you deflect with a finger. I could move it forward and backwards with my thumb and I can turn right but I had trouble turning left. Also I was concerned that if I hit a bump I would not be able to get my finger off of the button. Also my fingers are on the verge of giving out on me or I wouldn’t need a new wheelchair to begin with. The other joystick that he brought is a traditional looking joystick only very small and easy to push. I tried moving it was my mouth with him just holding the joystick up to me. He left the devices with us with our loaner wheelchair. This evening dad and I reached together a mount for the joystick using old brackets and other pieces of scrap metal we had lying around. It was all held together with C clamps as vice grips. Here is a video by test drive. Based on this success we are moving ahead and finally ordering the new wheelchair.