Clean-up crusader and canine side-kick continue King’s Lynn mission on off-road TGA mobility scooter

Norfolk man cleans up litter on TGA Vita X Mobility ScooterDog owner Steven Cable, 58 from King’s Lynn, is a dedicated Norfolk citizen with many disabilities who continues to clean his local park and campaign for improved facilities thanks to his new, rugged TGA Vita X mobility scooter with off-road capabilities.

Steven was born in King’s Lynn and before having to take early retirement due to major spinal problems, he was a heavy-duty construction machinery operator and international long distance lorry driver. During a period of 30 years, Steven worked on numerous building projects that included construction of the M25, A14 and even the airport on the Falkland Islands. Steven now lives with restricted mobility and multiple conditions that include crushed spinal discs, IBS, Asthma and Basilar Artery Insufficiency. Despite his difficulties, Steven has spent the last few years dedicating every morning to cleaning and maintaining Pepper Green Park. Read more…. 

TGA to launch pioneering new bariatric Wheelchair Powerpack ‘Plus’ at Naidex National

We are delighted to announce the unveiling of the Wheelchair Powerpack PLUS at Naidex National (29th April – 1st May, NEC, Stand B70) which now delivers a significant user weight capacity of 32 stone.

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Capable of propelling an attendant wheelchair with a 32st occupant, the new TGA Wheelchair Powerpack PLUS will be launched at Naidex National 2014.

The TGA Powerpack is first choice for many leading healthcare providers, care home managers, carers and disabled individuals. It delivers the most effective, powered method to propel a manual, attendant controlled wheelchair and occupant. This market-leading product has been totally designed and built in the UK for over 25 years and through decades of TGA development, has evolved into a proven product that is trusted by 50,000+ carers worldwide.

The highly established SoloDuoand Heavy-Duty models, now alongside the new PLUS, drive almost all types of wheelchair, including many specialist tilt-in-space models. They eliminate the difficulties posed for carers when negotiating slopes, ramps or uneven surfaces and significantly reduce manual handling risks. Each reliable model has a lightweight yet robust design, ergonomic controls and compatibility with the majority of wheelchair types through an infinite range of UK manufactured fittings.

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The TGA Wheelchair Powerpack PLUS eliminates the difficulties posed for carers when negotiating slopes, ramps or uneven surfaces and significantly reduce manual handling risks.

TGA is delighted to be launching the new Powerpack at Naidex National 2014. This product innovation from TGA will help protect care teams and wheelchair attendants against back injury, muscle strain and poor posture as the trend towards heavier wheelchair occupants continues. Over and above relatives and friends in the community sustaining injuries from over exertion, staff sickness in the commercial care sector is a major concern in relation to wheelchair propulsion. If carers are subject to undue risks, behavior practices and care levels can be compromised. Care home managers and healthcare groups are also then exposed to higher levels of financial loss through potential lost ‘man hours’ or even costly litigation issues.

The heightened capabilities of the new TGA Powerpack PLUS have been developed in response to significant evidence, that continues to build, regarding the moving and handling risks associated with carers pushing manual wheelchairs. As an example, the ‘Keeping the Wheels Turning’ white paper produced by the University of Dundee in association with NHS Fife, states why powerpacks significantly reduce pain and health-related difficulties for attendant carers: “shoulder pain for example is over four times as common for carers propelling attendant propelled manual chairs as for those where the user has a powered chair. It is also noticeable that carers propelling manual wheelchairs are very much more likely to report heart, breathing or balance problems than those supporting powered wheelchair users.”

This report also highlights that the Health & Safety Executive advises that a carer should not manually propel an occupant weighing more that 20kg – the average weight of a six-year-old child. Hence the manual propulsion of an adult that typically weighs 80kg, plus the weight of a ‘standard’ 12kg wheelchair, far exceeds safe limits for males and females to push. Within the data, it also confirms that without the use of powered momentum, the number of healthcare professionals complaining of back pain increases by 25%. Coupled with statistics demonstrating that the majority of wheelchair occupants and attendants are aged 40+, the health and mobility benefits of fitting a TGA Wheelchair Powerpackare heightened even further.

In addition to its remarkable higher user weight capacity, the new Powerpack PLUS incorporates several additional pioneering features to enhance both the occupant and attendant’s mobility. These include advanced ‘soft-start’ technology, additional safety features, greater battery range and a service performance indicator.

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The Powerpack PLUS hardware and software have been re-engineered to ensure powered activation is smooth and gradual, irrespective of how the control lever is operated

The Powerpack hardware and software have been re-engineered to ensure powered activation is smooth and gradual, irrespective of how the control lever is operated. This will now provide a more comfortable and relaxing transfer experience for occupants. The PLUS has a reduced top speed of 3mph so that steering heavier occupants is safe, manageable and strain-free even on cambers. When the Powerpack reverse gear is selected, an automatic restrictor limits power output to 60% so that manoeuvring is hassle free. The new 24v motor and high-grade tyres deliver greater torque for better traction and the 2 x 14ah batteries provide an impressive range of up to 10 miles, even with a bariatric occupant. In the unlikely event that maintenance is required, the new integrated service indicator displays the Powerpack’s historic performance so faster repairs can be completed. Each PLUS is supplied with a two-year warranty and when off board charging is required, the battery pack can be quickly removed from the chassis without the need to disconnect complex wiring.

The clinical benefits of the Powerpack for wheelchair attendants have been clearly recognised by numerous leading Occupational Therapists. Ailsa Reston of RKS, a Private OT Practice in Chester, has already commended the launch of this new 32 stone user capacity model. Ailsa said: “When we have previously prescribed the TGA Powerpack, we have had complete confidence it is the best solution for propelling an attendant wheelchair. It is obvious from a clinical point of view, its design has been carefully considered to ensure unhindered walking as all TGA models fit further underneath wheelchairs than competitors’ versions. It is fantastic to see that this new PLUS will greatly reduce moving and handling risks for carers attending to bariatric clients – a major issue faced by many of my peers in the sector.”

Ailsa continues: “We receive countless visits and enquiries from people with disabilities and their carers who are looking for powered assistance with propelling a wheelchair. With the growing trend towards larger care home residents and private individuals requiring propulsion, the new more powerful TGA model will make a significant difference. As Occupational Therapists, we are fully aware that there are many benefits for people to be able to access the community they live in. The ability to socialise with other people improves their well-being and lifts their mood. This pioneering TGA Powerpack PLUS will enable far more members of society to access these facilities and therefore improve quality of life for countless larger people. I would recommend it to all fellow healthcare professionals, care home managers and carers.”

Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director concluded: “The TGA team and I are extremely proud to be launching this new, 24v Wheelchair Powerpack PLUS at Naidex National. We have pro-actively listened, reviewed and understood the needs of both wheelchair users and their carers so that a trusted solution could be introduced to solve bariatric mobility issues. This new product is the culmination of extensive R&D and investment that will now resolve a current challenge healthcare professionals face on a daily basis. The new PLUS will once again further reiterate our engineering prowess and 30-year proven heritage for manufacturing quality products, which deliver mobility with peace of mind. The TGA Powerpack is regularly copied but will never be equaled.”

MOBILITY CHOICE DISABLED PHOTOGRAPY COMPETITION WINNERS ARE ANNOUNCED

Winners of the 2013 ‘On the Move’ national competition for disabled photographers, have been announced at the NEC during The Photography Show.

Pictured from left to right: Tom Molloy, DPS; Jacqui Jones, Mobility Choice; Ben Newnham, 12-18's winner; Jon Warner, Calumet MD; Sue Geary, over 18s winner.

Pictured from left to right: Tom Molloy, DPS; Jacqui Jones, Mobility Choice; Ben Newnham, 12-18’s winner; Jon Warner, Calumet MD; Sue Geary, over 18s winner.

This competition, now in its third year, is jointly organised by Mobility Choice, the charity responsible for delivering The Mobility Roadshow, and the Disabled Photographers’ Society (DPS). Entries were received from enthusiastic photographers located all over the UK and with a variety of disabilities.

With the theme focusing on ‘Travel and Leisure’ this year, the organisers received a high number of impressive and engaging images depicting days out, holidays, sports, transport and local and international destinations. The standard was so high, the panel of expert judges had to overcome significant challenges to select a winner for each of three age categories.

The overall winning images were showcased at The Photography Show and were taken by:

Sue Geary from Bristol, over 18

Ben Newnham from Southport, aged 12

Archie West from Devon, aged 9

The impressive winners’ prize packages included Calumet photographic accessories and vouchers and a Merlin Annual Pass for a disabled person and carer. This pass now gives the three winners entry to a range of top UK attractions such as the London Eye, Legoland Windsor and Madame Tussauds for 12 months. Sue, Ben and Archie also won £150 in cash.

Announcing the winners at The Photography Show, Calumet Managing Director, Jon Warner commented: “I am delighted that Calumet is associated with this annual competition which promotes the accessibility of photography to anyone with a disability. We have seen some excellent entries in the three years since it began and we look forward to continuing our support in future.”

Jacqui Jones of Mobility Choice added: “Once again I have been overwhelmed by the talent demonstrated by so many of the On the Move entrants. The three winners thoroughly deserve their prizes and I look forward to judging this year’s competition which will, I’m sure, include even more superb compositions.”

The winning and short-listed entries will be on public display later in the year at Calumet Photographic in central London – dates will be posted on the DPS and Mobility Roadshow websites shortly.

Details of On the Move 2014 will be announced later in the year.

On the Move is generously supported by Calumet, Merlin Entertainments, the Mouth & Foot Painting Artists and Future Publishing.

www.mobilityroadshow.co.uk

ABACUS HEALTHCARE TO UNVEIL NEXT GENERATION AQUANOVA BATHS AT NAIDEX NATIONAL

Abacus Healthcare will launch updated versions of its popular Aquanova assistive baths at Naidex National (Stand D150, NEC, 29th April – 1st May).

The latest generation of Aquanova assistive baths from Abacus Healthcare will be launched at Naidex National 2014.

The latest generation of Aquanova assistive baths from Abacus Healthcare will be launched at Naidex National 2014.

Now part of the Care in Bathing Group, Abacus Healthcare shares a 30-year heritage for assisted bath provision that has delivered maximum dignity, comfort and safety for vulnerable individuals. Abacus works closely with Occupational Therapists to support the specialist needs of disabled adults and children within domestic, educational and residential care settings. Continuing with its tradition for product innovation, Abacus has invested extensively in the re-development of three leading products that will debut at Naidex National. Utilising the latest components and manufacturing technologies, its popular Gemini, Pisces and Aries baths now offer even greater levels of performance and durability. Each model is considerably smoother in operation and far quieter resulting in a more enjoyable bathing experience for both user and carer. These new baths can also be installed and serviced more efficiently than previous models.

The second generation Gemini is part of the leading Aquanova Platform Series from Abacus and has been fully re-engineered, with upgraded platform and bath height adjustment technology. It’s integrated variable height platform, delivers a 3-in-1 solution for bathing, drying and changing so that the number of transfers is reduced. Moving and handling risks are minimised for carers as they can operate at a safe working height and the user’s bathing experience is more comfortable and dignified.

Gordon Farmiloe, Care in Bathing Managing Director commented: “We are extremely proud to be introducing the next generation of Aquanova baths at Naidex National. They promise to deliver impressive benefits to therapists and their clients along with carers themselves. These new baths will also be available for demonstration and trial allowing end users and therapists to properly assess product suitability. We believe face-to-face client assessment is essential to ensure the right product is recommended and hence the individual needs of each and every bather are fully met.”

The Pisces bath, again from the Aquanova Platform Series, has also undergone an internal redesign with enhanced lifting technology – making it quieter and smoother in operation. As a compact bathing solution with integral bathing platform, it is ideal for ambulant bathers or for individuals who require some assistance transferring from a wheelchair or hoist.

Designed for use with hoisting systems, the latest generation Aries 1700 Series bath is surprisingly compact yet it offers an impressive 150kg safe lifting weight in addition to variable height adjustment. The Aries 1700 combines unobtrusive, stylish design with significant levels of care for a safer and more dignified method of bathing adults or children with disabilities. Slightly larger in size, the Aries 1800 Series is designed for the larger bather or for care environments with multiple occupancy, where bathers and carers have a more diverse range of needs.

In combination with the next generation Aquanova baths, Abacus also provides a range of postural supports to customise each bath to the specific needs of the bather. Designed for individuals requiring specialist care, the range includes Knee Breaks, Back Rest Cushions and Net Postural Supports.

www.abacushealthcare.co.uk