Manual v Electric

On this trip, I’ve chosen to bring my manual chair only, but it was a close run thing. I generally only use my manual chair at home, as I’m now very slow in it. But for bathroom transfers, it’s the only way to go. Water and powerchairs don’t mix. But getting around the hotel, and the city generally, in my powerchair is far easier.

I also understand airlines often struggle with powerchairs and they sometimes arrive damaged. That would be a disaster. In my view, better to have a limited manual chair than a damaged, or worse — non-functioning — powerchair.

Another thing that influenced me was how often I find a single step or two when I’m away. In my manual chair, that’s no issue. Someone can tip me back and it’s done. In the powerchair, I need a ramp. Just one more thing to carry…

Finally, taxis in Singapore are not like Australia. Every wheelie cab I’ve used is just a Mercedes Vito, unconverted, and the driver simply places a set of ramps beside the side sliding door. There are no tie-downs and no seat belts. That’s always struck me as odd in such a regulated country. A non-converted Vito has only limited headroom. I doubt I would fit in my powerchair, even if I could get in via the makeshift ramps.

So, I’ve gone for the manual option, and will report my retrospective here in the coming days.

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