A few months ago, Peter’s 93 year old dad was attending a doctor’s appointment with his daughter, Peter’s sister. There was no parking available near the office entrance so they had to walk a short distance across the parking lot. Peter’s dad made it part way and then he ran out of steam and needed to stop and rest. It was pouring rain. That’s when Peter and his sister agreed – the time had come for their father to get a wheelchair.
Peter, who works in the mobility equipment industry, knew exactly what his dad needed – a Helio. “I was so adamant. I knew exactly what we needed. I know it’s supposed to be all about the patient but for the geriatric patient it’s so much about the caregiver.” Peter’s sister is a nurse and so the responsibility of accompanying their father to his doctor’s appointments falls on her shoulders. Put simply, those shoulders need to be able to lift the wheelchair in and out of the car. “With the Helio my sister can lift the wheelchair into the car without even taking the wheels off. She couldn’t lift the other wheelchairs…even with the wheels off”.
When Peter’s dad trialed the Helio, the Occupational Therapist needed to evaluate if his dad could propel the wheelchair independently. Peter recalls the OT being a little skeptical. “When my dad sat in the Helio he immediately rolled across the high pile carpet in the living room. And then, when he got to the hallway, he was gone. The OT turned to me and said “Sold!” She was surprised”.
When I ask Peter what he likes most about the Helio he doesn’t hesitate. “It’s so light and easy to maneuver. The chair did everything we could have asked a chair to do. For my dad and for my sister and for me…it’s the perfect chair. And for my mom too. My mom is 90 she can push him in the chair!”
Peter feels strongly about the benefits of the Helio for any user…regardless of age. “Everybody knows this chair [Helio C2] is great for young, active people but I wish more people would consider this chair for the geriatric population. The chair is perfect for older people and their caregivers”.
Thank you Peter for sharing your family’s story.