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Parkinson's Disease and mobility scooters: a guide

Parkinson's Disease and mobility scooters: a guide

Parkinson's disease is a neurological condition in which part of the brain becomes progressively damaged over many years. The main symptoms of Parkinson's are Tremor (involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body), slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles. Difficulties with sleeping ie. Insomnia is also common with this condition so owning a mobility scooter can make life less taxing. Scooters such as a TGA Breeze Midi 3 or Breeze Midi 4 give people with Parkinson's the means to access the outdoors without having to walk. They can spend more time together with friends and family at the park, around the shops or on holiday - helping to reduce possible loneliness or being housebound. The feeling of being independent outdoors when you live with Parkinson's is priceless.

If you have Parkinson's your general mobility and co-ordination can be limited so it is advisable to choose a mobility scooter with simple controls and easy steering. TGA mobility scooters are all designed with responsive, straightforward controls that can be operated with minimal effort and are easy to grab even if you are a little slow to respond or your hands shake. With modern technology onboard you can set the response time of controls so you accelerate slowly and your overall speed range can be adapted to suit. These tailor-made adjustments mean you will feel more in control and comfortable when driving.

If your speech is limited then there is no need to worry about verbally alerting pedestrians to your presence as each scooter has an in-built horn. This helps keep you and other pavement users safe, plus the horn automatically beeps when you are reversing.

The 3-wheel TGA Breeze Midi offers fantastic manoeuvrability and the 4-wheel version gives you greater stability and steadiness when tackling bumps and low kerbs. Both have a slimline chassis so driving in and out of shops or around pedestrianised areas is stress free. With a range of up to 20 miles on one charge, you will have more than enough power for an extended day out. As these compact electric scooters have been cleverly designed, you still have the benefit of a spacious floor well so stretching out stiff muscles is possible along with a non-cramped leg position.

If a more transportable and versatile mobility scooter is preferred, then TGA offers the popular folding Minimo Plus. This 4mph mobility scooter still offers the smooth ride of pneumatic tyres like the Breeze Midi, however it can be folded into a compact shape and stored in a car boot. The Minimo Plus is also ideally suited for use on buses, trams and trains as it can be folded and placed in luggage areas with ease. It is lightweight and easy to lift without the need to dismantle any parts for storage. You do have the choice of removing the seat if preferred and car boot hoists are available from TGA. It offers a stable and supportive ride that reduces the affect of any bumps or jolts that may aggravate stiff limbs.

People with advanced Parkinson's may need a carer and be unable to drive a mobility scooter or propel a manual wheelchair. Nevertheless being able to experience the outdoors can still be pleasurable for people with Parkinson's and their carers thanks to a TGA Wheelchair Powerpack. A Wheelchair Powerpack is a motorised unit that attaches to the underside of an attendant controlled wheelchair so it can be pushed more easily by a carer or relative. TGA offers four different Wheelchair Powerpacks that remove the strain of pushing a wheelchair, especially up slopes, ramps and over uneven ground. These tried and tested models range from a single wheel 'Solo' version for everyday use through to a 'PLUS' Powerpack that can propel a wheelchair occupant weighing up to 32 stone. Quick to charge and simple to operate, a TGA Wheelchair Powerpack has a comfortable top speed of 3-4mph and gives carers a more pleasurable experience. It also helps wheelchair users to feel less guilty when being pushed along.

Case study owner with Parkinson's: Janet Murray, Buckie near Aberdeen, Scotland, Minimo owner:
"I haven't owned my Minimo mobility scooter that long as its design is so new, however I already love it. I've never seen a scooter like this before and as my previous one was impractical for storing in the car boot, my mobility outside of Buckie was very restricted. Now my folding Minimo mobility scooter is sure to travel with me wherever I go and as it is so manoeuvrable, I have been driving around inside at home which is a massive help. The fact that I can get the TGA Minimo into the car in one piece is a big plus for me and also means I can continue being a tour attendant at the local museum. I can negotiate around the exhibits inside the building whilst explaining our nautical history to visitors from all over the world. I am a strong believer in keeping Scottish history alive so being a supporter of The Buckie and District Fishing Heritage Centre is very important to me. Time spent volunteering is a vital part of my life now since being diagnosed with Parkinson's and without my TGA folding scooter, I know this would have been affected as my condition develops. I can also now visit the local shops independently and go out to enjoy the beautiful coastline thanks to my Minimo."

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