Author Topic: Housebound woman crowdfunds to be able to buy an electric wheelchair  (Read 56 times)

Fiz

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-berkshire-44122399/housebound-woman-forced-to-crowdfund-for-wheelchair

A woman with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) has been refused funding for an electric wheelchair despite having lost the use of both legs and one arm. So she's trying to raise the money herself on the crowd funding site.

Sunny Clouds

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I saw the news item elsewhere, but what hurt me was my initial reaction of "So what's new?  It's been going on for years."  Then I realised that it no longer shocks me that a news story like this seems to portray a situation like this as new and rare.  I saw it on a site where there were older, similar stories, but even then they did not portray the situation as being other than an extremely rare case.

If only someone would take this whole thing as a Windrush scandal.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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The thing is, this person would be entitled to enhanced mobility so she would be able to use it on that. But I expect she's using the allowance for a motability vehicle whereas what she needs is both, with the vehicle being fully accessible so the motorised wheelchair could go up the ramp and into the van and be locked safely into place. In my home carer years I cared for a client with similar disability and that's what they had, the motorised chair and the adapted van and they could go anywhere. There are DFG's for home adaptions, and I think there should be grants for the second piece of necessary equipment too.

Sunny Clouds

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5,000.  So that's 84 weeks of enhanced mobility.  Except it isn't, because if she tries to save up for it, as the economy is at the moment, interest is likely not to keep up with the price of goods so it will take significantly longer than 84 weeks.  She can borrow the 5000 and pay interest, which could push the cost up significantly.  Maybe her bank would be kind, but if not and she has to go to a high street lender, she could end up paying at least 10,000 back to the lender, i.e. 168 weeks or 3 years.  That, of course, is assuming that a lender would be prepared to take on the risk of her not being able to pay it back.

But as we all here know, that wouldn't take into account the cost of recharging the batteries, and the cost of maintenance and repairs. 

This is why it's such an uphill struggle to get the public to understand why this is a problem.  I bet everyone here could think of another expense that that same enhanced mobiity would be expected to cover, be it the adapted vehicle you mention, or the interest and running costs I've mentioned.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)