How vehicle transfer systems can help you regain your independence
- Credit: Disabled Care & Mobility
If you or your loved one has a disability and struggle to get in and out of a vehicle, everyday tasks like popping to the shops or going on day trips can seem like a chore.
We spoke to Matthew Seed, adaptations manager at Disabled Care & Mobility in Cheltenham, about how vehicle transfer systems can give you the independence and freedom to go where you like, whenever you like.
Q: What are vehicle transfer systems?
A: A transfer system is a type of adaptation which helps a disabled person, or someone with limited mobility, access a vehicle with ease. We offer three types of transfer system:
- Milford Person Lift – this system allows easy transfer from a wheelchair into the driver or passenger seat using a sling.
- Swivel Seat System – this allows the user or carer to swivel the seat out of the vehicle which then lowers to a suitable position for simple transfer into a wheelchair.
- Carony System – this is a wheelchair base that can be docked with the vehicle seat when swivelled. The car seat then becomes the wheelchair seat, which makes it easy to then transfer the person back into the vehicle without them ever leaving the seat.
Q: Who are transfer systems suitable for?
A: Transfer systems are suitable for wheelchair users or anyone with limited mobility who struggles to get into or out of a vehicle. They can be used by all ages from children to elderly people. The purpose of the transfer system is to make everyday life easier for both the user and their carer or partner.
Q: How do I know which transfer system is right for me?
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A: This will depend on the specific requirements of the user or the carer. Some people may be able to stand and transfer themselves into a seat, while others may be more restricted and require additional assistance. Here at DC&M, we will carry out an assessment using our demo vehicle to determine the correct system for you.
Q: Will I need to buy a new vehicle?
A: Not necessarily. Your current vehicle may well be suitable to be adapted. Again, this is all part of the assessment process. Should your current vehicle not be suitable we will recommend one that is. We work closely with all the main local car dealerships to advise on new vehicles or alternatively we can supply a second-hand car which we will adapt for you.
If an adaptation of a standard vehicle with a transfer system is not the answer for you, then an alternative solution is a WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle).
Q: What is a WAV?
A: A WAV is a vehicle that you can access via a ramp while still sitting in a wheelchair. The wheelchair is then strapped down with a 4-point fixing so the person can safely travel in the vehicle. The position of the chair is dependent on the person's requirements and can be in the rear of the vehicle or in the front passenger seat or even the driver’s position.
We have a stock of several very good second-hand WAVs at Cheltenham which are ready for test drives.
Q: How are transfer systems installed?
A: We offer a comprehensive assessment and demonstration of all our adaptations systems before installation. This can take place either at our showroom in Cheltenham or at your own home. Many adaptation installations can also be carried out at your home by one of our mobile fitters although the majority would need to be done in our Cheltenham workshop.
Q: What other solutions do you offer?
A: At DC&M, we are Motability Accredited Suppliers of a wide range of specific and bespoke vehicle adaptations, including wheelchair or scooter stowage, hand controls and other driving aids. We only work with the industry’s leading suppliers, including Autochair, Autoadapt, Bekker, Elap, Jeff Goslings, Cowals and Lodgesons.