A self-propelled electric wheelchair has changed the life of one particular resident at Wilson Lodge aged care in Sale.

The $15,000 wheelchair is a first for the Central Gippsland Health (CGH) Aged Care Network and is now a lifeline for Helmut Blasius, 66. As a double amputee, he relies on a wheelchair in his day-to-day life.

Wilson Lodge Nurse Unit Manager, Caron Mallet, said there was an instant change in Helmut’s demeanor the minute he sat in the chair.

“You just can’t put a price on that,” Ms Mallet said. “When he is in his electric chair, he’s a different person…he zips around and gives all the nurses cheek!”

It wasn’t always like that for Helmut. Prior to the electric chair, Helmut would often prefer to stay in his room where he became quite isolated, not wanting to become a burden.

“To get around, Helmut always needed a nurse with him to push him around,” Ms Mallet explained. “Now, he has total independence. He can go out into the garden with his wife and grandchildren without having a nurse with them.”

Helmut was assisted by a physiotherapist to learn how to use the self-propelled electric wheelchair and now other residents are being taught how to use it.

“It’s really been a game-changer for all of us here,” Ms Mallet said.

For more information contact Tracy VanderZalm of Wordwise Communications on 0447 491 345.


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