Wheelchair vs. Scooter vs. Powerchair

Mum’s had PD for around 7 eyears, gave up her driving licence last year, and is at the point where her mobility is leaving her housebound on her bad days. I’ve bought her some walkers which are fine on the better days, but think it’s time for a wheelchair or scooter.

I was thinking of a wheelchair now - to be pushed by me when I’m around - and a scooter in the longer term. But have just found some powerchairs which might save on the space needed and give her her all she needs - ability to get to the shops alone on her bad days, can be pushed when she has some around.

What do others do? Have a wheelchair and scooter, a powerchair, or something else?


Hi @p-k firstly sorry to hear of your Mums decline and welcome to the forum… You will find us a friendly lot and willing to share our experiences.

I was recently in a position where my mobility was affecting mine and my OH quality of life and had similar thoughts and discussions about what is best. Through my PD nurse I got a wheelchair assessment carried out by the NHS. You can or should also be able to get referred by your Mums GP.
They gave me a lot of good advice and assessed me for various things before suggesting in my case a self propelled wheelchair for my bad days would be the best option for me as I currently am.

Just a thought and one that may be worth looking in to. Take care and best wishes :blue_heart::sunglasses:


My wife and I are going through this exercise at this precise moment. My wife is disabled with MS and I have PD. We have both driven our own scooters for some years but have recently been considering whether a powered wheelchair might offer some benefits, We have had a powered wheelchair delivered to our home this morning. After trying it out in the house and outside, we have concluded that we do not wish to keep it. In comparison to a scooter it is not as substantial and does not provide the same feeling of safety. The wheelchairs also appear to have a maximum speed of 4mph which seems very slow. We have already decided the scooters are much more preferable and we are returning the wheelchair. The advice we have been given is that a powered wheelchair should only be considered when you have lost the use of your legs. These comments only apply to a "Powered " Wheelchair. We have manual wheelchairs which are indispensable.

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It’s a funny old disease, this Parkinson thing, 'cause when i am sitting down , i am told that no one could really tell that i have the dreaded thing, and i dont have any symptoms when driving ( none at all ), but when i get up from a period of sitting, i stumble and fall ( a lot), and absolutely need and rely upon my rollator, and the occasional walking stick!

Sometimes, however, i also struggle even with the rollator, and I am forced to use my Pride Quest ( same as TGA minimo ) fold up portable mobilty scooter to get about - it is quite compact, but really is too small for me, so i am looking at purchasing a TGA Maximo , which is larger and more suitable for me!

The only problem with these mobility scooters is the ‘non’ swivelling seat, which makes sitting at a table more awkward !

I have also looked at electric wheelchairs ( fold up lightweight travel chairs ) which are great for home, shopping malls, airports etc, but not so good for curbs, obstacles, grass etc etc. Except for the Front Wheel Drive versions with the larger wheels at the front such as the Powa10 made in Sheffield, which is expensive at around £2500 ish, although i have seen a Chinese made version for about £800 ish, which can tackle curbs and grass and gravel etc?

The alternative, of course is to use your existing lightweight wheelchairs with the front power and steering removable attachment such as the Comfi Life which you can get for about £850?

Mike, Not sure exactly what you mean by ‘non’ swivelling seat. My wife has two scooters - a “Freerider Mayfair” for general use and a smaller “Invercare Colibri” for portability and indoor shopping. Both have swivelling seats which can be turned in either direction to facilitate sitting at a table. I suspect that all modern scooters now have this facility.
I resonate with the comments in your last paragraph relating to “Wheels”. The wheelchair we have just tried was - I understand - a Middle Wheel Drive with a large wheel in the middle and two small wheels at front and rear. This was selected as being suitable for both Indoor and Outdoor use. We concluded that in trying to satisfy both needs. it wasn’t ideal for either. After some years of experience with Manual Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters.
Our general conclusion is that small wheels present problems and are best avoided if possible…

Unfortunately most of the small folding travel scooters have fixed seats, ie no swivel, which can make sitting at a desk or table a problem.

I also have another scooter, which is larger, non folding , but it has a swivel seat

(sorry for the very late reply - but updating in case anyone has a similar query)

I took the advice about a scooter being a different beast to a wheelchair and ended up buying just a wheelchair. In the end I went for a Excel G-Logic Lightweight Self Propelled Wheelchair - a bit pricier than some, but the quality is fantastic, and the ability to pop the wheels off means it fits nicely in my car. Have taken mum out a few times and she’s taken to it better than I’d hoped, and even uses it at home alone.

Thanks everyone.

I had a wheel chair about ten years ago when the freezing & balance deterioration was getting a bit concerning. Eventually I gave it back as I hated sitting in it (I’ve got akathisia) and I was confident I could manage with a walker and later I got a recumbent trike too – a second-hand Hase Kettwiesel.
Some people might have trouble getting it in the front door. I have to turn it on it’s side & drag it in. Some people might have trouble sitting down so low. I just have to be careful to lift my leg enough getting on so I don’t trip. It is very stable and such fun to ride.
Below is a youtube clip of a 70 year old who got himself a recumbent trike with a motor. You can see how happy he is to retain his independence. I think the motor can be used as and when you feel you need it.

I’m so jealous he can ride in the woods. I tried to get in my local woods – managed to get in the turnstile by upending the trike but I don’t have a motor & the gravelly path was too difficult

The lady in this next clip is demonstrating her kettwiesel. She has an enormous bag on the back - great for shopping. I make do with a small bag over my shoulder so for a big shop I use my walker (a Trionic) which saves me carrying bags

If you type “electric tricycle” in youtube you can find all kinds of tricycles being demonstrated/reviewed. This one below is narrow enough to fit through a normal door so much easier to manhandle when you are going in & out. ( Pretty long clip & technical)

These motorized trikes must be much more expensive but whatever suits you, preserving independence and retaining the ability to exercise are very precious things.

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I agree with you Appletree. My husband’s Travel Pro Premium mobility and independence have always been very important to him and the scooter solved all his problems. In addition, is very easy to assemble, The only thing I will suggest to the vendor is to make a point of letting buyers know that in order to charge the batteries, the battery pack has to be opened to connect the battery which is shipped disconnected to protect them. There are many more verities of walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters with complete guidelines on this website that you can read and check it out.