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Hi everyone I feel like I run to this forum for a lot of answers. Here I am again. I’ve been avoiding taking mom out alone or letting caregivers take her because of the wheelchair weight. Finally said “duh” it’s a quality of life & care issue to purchase a lightweight one. Well I researched & settled on 3 but each one had reviews saying the person tipped backwards! Is this really that common? Does someone have experience with one that doesn’t? Also I see they sell anti-tipping devices, anybody have experience with those? Wondering if that would deal with the issue on these lightweight chairs. Thanks

We bought Mom a Drive Transport Chair. She's able to walk with a rollator, but for longer distances, where she might tire and it's easier for her to sit and be pushed, the Drive Transport is a great. Frequently she uses it just as she would a rollator, but it does have the added benefit of being a wheelchair when she's tired, or we go to the theater, or it's late and too dark and just safer if I "drive." They're not expensive, I bought mine, used (once, by a little old lady), for $50. www.amazon.com/Drive-Medical-Lightweight-Transport-Wheelchair/

Since it's not an actual wheelchair, meaning someone needs to be pushing it rather than a typical wheelchair which a patient can drive by themselves, I've had no issues with tipping at all. Of course, Mom is pretty small (125 lbs).

jodi
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Reply to jshdoff
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I just recently purchased a transport chair for my 89 year old mother. I only use it for drs. visits when she has a flare and for around the house when necessary. It is on the small size, but is very lightweight and seems to be pretty comfortable. Please note these are for convenience and won’t take the place of a full size chair.
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Reply to Abby2018
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Thank you everyone for your answers, too. I'm going to look up a couple of the chairs which are mentioned in the posts above. Hubby's new wheelchair is very bulky and heavy, and his old standard wheelchairs that followed him home from the hospital are falling apart. (I took one of them to the wheelchair vendor for repairs and they said it was so old they couldn't get parts! The price was right, though...) I'd like to get something lighter for trips out and about.
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Reply to superstring
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TIPPING! Yes, this is a danger. Hubby with dementia was on hospice & they provided wheelchair and transport chair. It never occurred to me that either would be dangerous. He'd been using two old beat-up wheelchairs that came home with him from various hospital visits & we'd been humping them in & out of the car & I just thought transport chair would be easier. But one day hubby had been out, caregivers wheeled him back inside & up to lunch table & locked wheels as they always did with regular wheelchair & started making his lunch. I looked over and he had pushed himself back from the table but since the wheels were locked he was tipping himself backwards! I screeched, caregiver got behind him and stayed there until he was done eating. We then gave the transport chair back to hospice. (There were directions that came with the chair, but it didn't occur to us to look at them until this happened. The manual merely said not to lean backward in the chair. It also said you could get anti-tippers--this was the first I'd ever heard of these. Although both the hospice chairs were brand new, neither chair came with anti-tippers.) But now we have a custom tilt-in-space chair (BTW Medicare paid for it in full) which came with anti-tippers--the vendor said these are REQUIRED to be sold with the wheelchair. (They are removable.)
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Reply to superstring
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Our mom does not use a wheelchair at this time - she did start using a walker, but for certain medical trips, waiting for her to get there so slowly makes us late for the appointment and wears her out. I opted for a transport chair as there is no way a wheelchair would fit in any car I have nor would I be able to manage it!

The one I got was about $80 (I think it is a medline) from Walmart, free shipping and except for the one footrest that likes to detach itself when putting it into the car, I am happy with it. I believe it is about 15 lb - less if you remove the footrests before putting it in the car.

Transport chairs are exactly that - transport. It is not a substitute wheelchair, nor is it a substitute walker, but it can make life easier for those times it can be used. They should NOT be left unattended, whether the person is in it or not, no more than a stroller should be. If the person tends to "plop" down, someone needs to hold it from the back (don't just trust the brakes) - this would mean a second person would be needed if they need assistance transitioning from sitting or walker to transport chair. Yes, some "obstacles" can make pushing it challenging - getting up some speed helps, or pulling rather than pushing can help get over those as well. We have not had any "tipping" issues.

They should also not be used to assist anyone walking. Without weight in the seat, it WILL tip, very easily. So, if one approaches use of these with proper knowledge and precautions, they are of great assistance!
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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I cringe when I see people using a rollator as a substitute wheelchair, unless they are specifically designed for this (and most aren't) it is not safe.
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Reply to cwillie
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Speaking from my experience as a PT, a person can tip backwards in any wheelchair if they are very top-heavy. So if the user is very tall or has lost one or both legs, anti-tipping devices are necessary. Such a person would not be very comfortable in a transport chair. It also helps to use a proper wheelchair cushion.

I rented a transport chair to take my mother out to some appointments because it was too far to walk to the car. Best idea I had that year. A rolling walker (aka Rollator) is not a good substitute for a wheelchair as there is no back rest and the seat is small.
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Reply to Bigsister7
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We've used a transport chair for my mom for about 8 years. It never tipped or came close. We go over threshholds backwards, with the larger wheels first.
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Reply to Linda22
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Momshelp: I don't have experience with transport wheelchairs, but I do with "Rollator" walkers. The patient sits on the seat of the Rollator while a person pushes them from the rear. We purchased one of these for my late mother and never had a problem with tipping backwards because it had a locking mechanism. Some of these medical devices have pockets on each side so that the patient can put items in the pockets. They even have a drink holder on the front.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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It’s important to remember not to hang anything on the handles. If you put a bag or a purse on the back, it will increase the tendency to tip. I’ve never seen it happen with someone in the chair, but as someone was standing up, the bag hung on the back caused the chair to start to tip.
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Reply to Dandelion
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Have three years experience with husband using in-home and transport wheelchairs and have never had with tip over. My husband is a small man - six may make a difference. Ours have all been DRIVE and we now have a VERY light weight one which sure saves my back.
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Reply to SueLyn1
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I have a transport chair I use just for transporting Dad to medical appointments and the like. It folds easily and fits in my trunk, which is not the case for the Medicare issued one he uses regularly. I haven't had any tipping issues, but I do pull it backwards going over thresholds. Most of the time he is in his standard chair.
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Reply to Weary418
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I bought a transport wheelchair for my dad. It weighs 23.5 lbs so is easy to load in the car. The foot rests can pop right off and the handles fold down (to fit in a smaller space). The capacity is 300, though my dad only weighs about 1/3 of that so I can't vouch for that. There's little steps on the back that can help when you have to lift the front over a small curb or something. Oh, and there's also a very sturdy seat belt if you need that. And another thing I like is that it has handbrakes like on a 4 wheeled walker.

I can't seem to get the link to post but I got mine on Amazon for about $135. It's Medline Lightweight Transport Adult folding Wheelchair with handbrakes.
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Reply to Keepingthelove
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I bought a transport chair for my 150 pound mother. I think it is a Karma or something like that. We never had a tipping issue. The front wheels are 10-12 inches so yes, it wheels better than most other transport chairs with small wheels. However, need to go in backwards over door thresholds and sometimes elevators. I can handle this because it weighs 18 pounds.
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Reply to Enshope
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I found a beautiful Nova transport wheelchair for my dad. It weighs 24 pounds and folds up and opens up with basically one hand. The top of the back folds down for making it more compact when putting it in the car. It has two sets of brakes, one set on the handgrips in back and one set by the wheels. The rear wheels are oversized making for a much smoother ride. When using a transport wheelchair, technique is key. Make sure all brakes are on and preferably using a gate belt help your loved one find the arm rests and ease down to a seated position. Don't let them "fall" into the seat as they could tip back. Even with the larger rear wheels, I always backed into a bump or curb cut of any kind. I chose to get the full arm type because dad needed that, but it meant that he couldn't roll up completely to a restaurant table. So, I would transfer to a chair or booth (which he could do.) I knew he wouldn't be keen on sitting in a wheelchair in public, at least at first, but the Nova, as many chairs and rollators, came in the most beautiful cranberry red so it looked like a beautiful shiny new bike. Success! I was able to go to an actual store to test out the different models to get a sense of whether I could lift it and gauge how comfortable it would be for him. If you can do that, I would suggest it.
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Reply to lynina2
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Airgo Fusion Transport Chair Rollator Walker Combination-
Ours has been in heavy use for a few years now and really holds up to the abuse! We are on our 3rd person using this and it still is holding up! I used for months with ankle fusion recovery, my mom used it, and now my dad. That thing has been used and abused - pushed through small doors, lots of doctors appts, and even up north at cottage. But you made a good point - The one caution I would give is that when my mom did use it as a walker - she occasionally would fall and when she felt herself falling she would hold extra tight the handles & as a result she would pull it over with her. But it folds up nicely, is light, durable, and looks better than any wheelchair. Easy to fold up footrests, and fold up unit, and is both walker & wheelchair. Not sure you will get one that’s easy to transport & untippable, but if these anti tippers work may be the way to go.
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Reply to Kingsbridge
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I'm not a believer in keeping immobile people in wheelchairs at home unless they are with it and can correct their posture themselves. People with end-stage Alzheimer's will sink and lean toward a side, which means they will slide off, so they are just better off staying in bed if they are immobile and put on hospice care. Toileting is another consideration--you don't want them to sit in stool or urine too long and cleaning will be an enormous chore if kept in a wheel chair. But even a harness is NOT safe because they can choke to death if they are not watched every second. I'm sure even safety belts have their issues. That's why it is best to try to walk them everyday and not lose their mobility. Wheelchairs will also cause skin breakdown if kept on there long enough. You may want to consider a gerichair which are safer than wheelchairs for the immobile...but it will be very back breaking to get them out of it and into bed. and toileting them will be next to impossible without a team of people to help you.
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Reply to cetude
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cwillie Feb 1, 2019
You can insist on walking as much as you like but there will come a time when their ability fails. A basic wheelchair is everything you say it is and seeing anyone sitting in one at the nursing home is one of my pet peeves, but there are higher end wheelchairs that tilt in place and can be customized with stability backs, pressure relieving seats and head rests that can provide a comfortable and safe place to spend time.
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if your mom is like 180 pounds or over don't get a transport chair--too difficult to push and maneuver.
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Reply to cetude
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I’ve always used transport chairs in the house for my husband because the doorframes are too narrow for a regular wheelchair. We never had an issue with tipping. (I removed the anti tippers because they prevent us from negotiating up a ramp we have.) He stays put, though, and doesn’t lean or try to stand like your Mom. You might consider buying a seatbelt!

Transport chairs are no fun to push outside on any surface with ridges or bumps. What I did a few years ago was buy the Medline Hybrid 2 wheelchair. It is a light transport chair with large wheels that can be added. It’s very easy to transform it into a wheelchair for outside (push a release button and pull the wheel off) and still is light enough to lift into the car. The large wheels do make it easier to push, but it still takes some effort. Bonus: the back can bend down to make it even easier to store.
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Reply to JuliaRose
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Momshelp Jan 31, 2019
Thank you, that is the chair I’m leaning towards. I see it has those anti tippers too, did you remove them? Are they easy off & on also? Im so glad to here from a user.
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I’m leaning away from transport chair because of the safety issue. Mom will scoot herself forward, if for example, she wants to see something just out of reach from the line at a register, & I can’t push her over fast enough for her liking. Sometimes she just stands up forgetting it’s her wheelchair. Reviews also say to be careful going over sidewalk berms, elevator strips etc & my mother has always said I’m very “bull in china shop”. Never had a worry in her stable heavy chair. I guess I need to weigh her chair & then get something lighter, but still with big wheels. I’m finding standard ones at 31-35lbs. Hopefully,chair we have now weighs over 50lbs & 31lbs will be great. I’ll report back.
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DrBenshir Feb 1, 2019
We had transport chairs for both Mom and Dad, and used them only as needed. When they were immobilized with illness they used them in the house but someone was always there. We never had a problem with tipping. We also never had a problem with the light weight chairs carrying them up a few steps. Tipping will only be a problem for a large person with poor muscle tone, but you can't leave someone who is chair-bound alone so even that is a question of supervision and neglect.
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I have never heard a transporter tipping backwards. It always has to be pushed. Medicare ones are heavy but lighter than the big wheel ones. There are some the handles collapse for easier storing. There is a very light one you can purchase at Walgreens. If you wait for a coupon, you can get one for about $100. If Mom isn't heavy, you may want to go this route if only using it to go out.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I never used a transport chair for mom but I can sympathize with wanting one, hauling the standard chair in and out of the trunk definitely takes some muscle. I think that where you want to use the chair would make a difference, most transport chairs have tiny little wheels that do best on very smooth surfaces for short distances. The only way I can see them tipping backwards would be if you are trying to get up a steep slope or over a curb, they may also be less stable if the person is over the weight limits. The anti tipping devices are standard on regular wheelchairs and they do help when you need to tip the front wheels up over an obstacle like a curb or door threshold, but then with a transport chair it would be just as difficult to get the small back wheels over so you would probably need to avoid anything like that. My advice is to get the most expensive one you can afford, and I think it is a benefit to get one with somewhat larger wheels for sidewalks and uneven areas.
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Reply to cwillie
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cetude Feb 1, 2019
I had a transport chair and they are not much more difficult to put in the trunk than a Medicare wheelchair as the foot rests are detachable. Medicare chairs are slightly heavier, but the added stability and ease to push make them better. Besides Medicare chairs are entirely free.
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