Drive-Poly Fly Transforming Wheelchair
Seat Width: 16″, 18″ and 20″
Weight 19 lbs (using 8″ transport chair caster wheels) 29 lbs (using larger 24″ standard wheelchair wheels),
No tools required to convert from Transport to Standard wheelchair
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The easy converting 2-in-1 wheelchair makes accessing narrow doorways possible with decreased overall expense and fall risk!
Many established/existing homes are built with narrow bathroom doorways (28-32″) and standard wheelchairs with the large wheels require >34″ clearance. Until now, this common environmental barrier was solved by either incurring an expensive remodeling bill ($1500+), using less optimal/safe equipment or opting for sponge/bed baths.
Hiring a carpenter or construction company to enlarge an existing doorway or remove the door frame and re-plaster the new opening is very expensive! I have known families to spend $1500 on a doorway remodeling project—GOOD GRIEF!
As a Home Health Physical Therapist, I have resorted to training patient’s and caregivers to use a rolling, office chair to access a bathroom if the doorway is too narrow and he/she does not have a transport wheelchair. Since rolling office chairs are in most homes, the family is not out a large additional expense. However, transferring from a wheelchair onto a rolling office chair takes A LOT of training, patience, and time–definitely NOT my first choice but sometimes it is the only viable/temporary solution.
Transport wheelchairs have in-line casters designed for narrow doorways and tight spaces. However, if you read my page on “WHEELCHAIRS,” you know I DO NOT RECOMMEND a transport wheelchair in the home primarily because 90% of transport wheelchairs are designed with non-removable/fixed footrests and armrests. Transfers are more difficult and dangerous because the patient has to be LIFTED over the height of the armrests while simultaneously avoiding tripping/falling over the footrests. Then there is the final option–reverting to sponge/bed bathing.
Sponge/Bed Bath Disadvantages
Sponge/bed baths REALLY do not APPEAL to me for several reasons. First is the limited overall CLEANLINESS. Think about it. Your loved one has been sweating, possibly eating, and maybe even had to use the bed for toileting. He/she needs a bath. A basin of warm soapy water and another basin of warm rinsing water is brought to the bed. The cloth is used on the body to remove the germs (possibly from a wound), grime, and feces. Then dunked repetitively back into the soapy now contaminated and dirty water–YUCK!!! In addition, those basins of water cool off really quickly–so what was originally warm is now cold within 5 minutes of starting the sponge/bath process–Brrrr!!!
When your joints ache from arthritis, being sick, or working out, does a nice hot shower/bath help? ABSOLUTELY – heat relaxes muscles! Now imagine how good it feels when you can specifically target hot water on those achy, sore, tight areas—AHHH. Well, your loved one is no different. Using a hand-held shower head while sitting on a shower chair or tub transfer bench, the patient can hold/target the constant stream of hot water over his/her shoulders, knees, hips, neck while the caregiver washes his/her hair, back, and feet. Ultimately, bathing in a tub/shower:
- promotes improved cleanliness as the germs, grime/feces wash down the drain,
- provides a steady heat source,
- utilizes the benefits of heat on muscles and joints, and
- encourages out-of-bed activity thereby reducing secondary risks such as blood clots, pressure/bed sores, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections.
So now back to the original problem, you have a narrow doorway and the wheelchair does not fit through the door! The solution–the DRIVE POLY-FLY TRANSFORMING TRANSPORT WHEELCHAIR! This is literally 2 wheelchairs (a transport wheelchair and standard wheelchair) in 1. You get the convenience of using the narrow design to access the bathroom plus the mobility associated with the large-wheeled standard wheelchair designed for easily navigating ramps, uneven terrain (grass, gravel parking lots, dirt) in one piece of equipment that is easily converted without requiring any fancy tools!
When you consider the price of a fall, the increased effort and fall risk associated with traditional transport chairs–or even unconventional rolling office chairs, an expensive remodeling project, and the disadvantages of sponge/bed baths, you should choose anything that is more versatile, functional and safer.
Home care of a loved one often requires various specialized equipment, but when you can use one piece of equipment for more than one task–you win! I have provided a link to Ebay.com where you can get a DRIVE POLY-FLY WHEELCHAIR HERE for just over $300, but make sure you are purchasing the COMBO and the appropriate seat width because the wheelchair comes in 16″, 18″ and 20″ seat widths.
I hope this review was helpful and informative. Please contact me with any questions, concerns or ideas regarding this post or any other ways I can help you make caregiving easier!