Self-propelled wheelchair

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Self-propelled wheelchair

Post by Phil White » Thu May 18, 2017 5:41 pm

Having gradually coaxed my elderly mother into a care home near me, I am now able to visit her regularly and occasionally take her out. I can borrow a wheelchair from the home and took her down to the riverside yesterday. Unfortunately, there is quite a steep hill down to the river, and after I had pushed her back up, I was quite knackered.

Leaving aside the entertainment value of someone who is registered blind pushing someone else who is registered blind and hardly able to walk more than a few steps around in a wheelchair, the episode set me thinking. There must be some attendant-operated electric chairs to take the burden out of pushing the chair up hills. So I started googling.

"Self-propelled wheelchair", I saw. And at a very reasonable price. But on looking at it, it did not seem to have a motor. Neither did the next one.

Apparently, a "self-propelled wheelchair" is one that is propelled by the occupant, which struck me as being very odd.

A straw poll among colleagues showed that about half agreed with me and about half understood it the way it was intended.

Very strange.
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Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: Self-propelled wheelchair

Post by trolley » Thu May 18, 2017 8:16 pm

That is strange. I guess it boils down to who is the "self" that is being referred to. Is it the chair or is it the occupant. To me, a self propelled vehicle is something that is capable of moving under it's own power. Something that is a part of the chair, itself, is providing the motive force. A self-propelled lawn mower is a type of mower that rolls forward by means of its own motor. I find it hard to imagine that any normal person would call a regular push mower a "self-propelled" mower.
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Re: Self-propelled wheelchair

Post by Phil White » Thu May 18, 2017 9:28 pm

I have just come across the counterpart: the "attendant-propelled wheelchair".
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Signature: Phil White
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Re: Self-propelled wheelchair

Post by BonnieL » Thu May 18, 2017 10:46 pm

The topic made me curious as I, too, thought of self-propelled mowers. Apparently, a wheelchair that is not self-propelled is motorized, electric, or battery powered. There may be more options.
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Re: Self-propelled wheelchair

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri May 19, 2017 5:12 am

Just now I found about a thousand Google hits for "occupant-propelled wheelchair". Hardly a deluge, but not entirely insignificant either.
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