Platform Lifts, Wheelchair Lifts | In-home Mobility | Sonoma County

For some who have suffered debilitating injuries, one of the biggest joys in life is overcoming the challenge of getting back to nature. The pressure of constantly being surrounded by four walls can quickly give anyone cabin fever, making the pull of nature and open skies nearly irresistible. One of the most popular water sports going right now for injured or disabled individuals is adaptive surfing programs.

Adaptive surfing has a wide range of benefits that go far beyond just getting out and back to Mother Nature. First off, it is not easy and it is a excellent form of fitness. Adaptive surfers will learn early on that both physical strength and endurance will come into play as well as core strength and balance as they develop the skills needed to surf.

Beyond the physical there are the mental benefits as well. Surfing has been said to be a great anti-depressant. The feeling of exhilaration as you skim the surface of the water has a profound effect on most surfers. After a day at the beach, it is hard not to be in a good mood.

With adaptive surfing, surfboards come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the person and their needs as well as their skill level , there are a lot of variable to finding the proper board.

Thankfully, there are a plenty of large and caring groups out there that are more than willing and ready to assist you in learning to surf. In adaptive surfing there are two main methods:

Adaptive Prone

The prone style can be done in an assisted and an unassisted fashion. Prone-assisted surfing often has someone that will assist the surfer in catching a wave. This can be done by paddling or pushing them into the proper position as well as helping the surfer back onto their board after catching a wave.

Prone-unassisted is the adaptive style of independent athletes that can catch their own waves and get back on their own board without assistance. Often the only assistance that adaptive surfers of this level need is help in and out of the water.

Waveski Boards

Waveski boards are surfboards that are designed for the surfer to sit upright and use with a kayak paddle to catch waves as they come in. These are excellent for first-time adaptive surfers as many often have room for an abled bodied person to help with navigating the surf until the surfer has the confidence to surf unassisted.

Installing a stairlift system in your home can be a substantial financial investment that, if cared for properly, will last a lifetime and provide those who need assistance quick and easy access to all parts of your home. There are several things that you can easily overlook that can quickly shorten the life of your stairlift. Many of these things are simple and easy to forget and can result in a broken or poorly running lift. Here are a few examples of things that are often overlooked that can have dire consequences in the long term for your stairlift.

Exceeding Your Stairlift Weight Limit

Probably the quickest way to run your stairlift to an early grave is to run the unit beyond its weight capacity. It can be very tempting to use your stairlift to carry heavy loads from one floor to another. Just ensure that you do so in both a safe manner and do not go over the stairlifts weight limits. Running your stairlift over its maximum weight limit can stress the entire system, potentially resulting in damage to the unit that can both take time and be costly to repair.

Poor Cleaning Habits

Simple cleaning habits can go a long way in extending the life of your unit. Keeping the lifts seat clean and free of dust and debris with the proper cleaning products can help keep the material from cracking or ripping for years to come. Stairlift track cleaning is easily overlooked, and the track can quickly build up dust that will over time make your unit work harder and less efficiently. Dust buildup can also contribute to stiff running tracks that will need to be lubricated to continue to run smooth.

Skipping Services

Skipping regular maintenance on your stairlift for one reason or another might not seem like a big deal. The reality is that each time you put off a scheduled service or maintenance, you are overlooking an opportunity to find any problems that might be addressed before they become larger issues. As is often the case with mechanical devices, problems start as something minor. Maintaining a regular service and maintenance schedule helps catch minor issues before they become major ones, as well as keeping your unit minor issue free.

With regular service and maintenance, attentive cleaning habits, and staying within the maximum weight limits of your unit, you can look forward to your stairlift having a very long life.

We have all experienced that sinking feeling when you walk in a building and head toward the elevator and see that out of service sign. That feeling of annoyance is fleeting once you have left the building and gone about your day.

Now, imagine if it were your home elevator that was broken. That feeling of annoyance would sit with you until it is repaired. Along with that very real emotion that comes with feeling like you are cut off from a portion of your home. Well, with that in mind here are a few simple things to keep in mind with your home system. Not doing these things will help keep it running smoothly for the extent of its life.

Running At Overcapacity

Having an elevator may seem like an easy way to take heavy loads from one floor to the next. Yet one of the fastest ways to shorten the life of your home elevator is by running your system overcapacity. This forces every part of your elevator to work harder to make the lift from floor to floor.

If you run your elevator overcapacity regularly you will likely begin to notice that it will start to run at uneven speeds.

Holding The Door

Do not interfere with the doors of your elevator as they close. Blocking your elevator doors might seem like a good idea to “hold” the elevator to get everything or everyone in the lift. But in fact with many newer elevator lift systems you can “time out” the elevator by holding the doors open. The resulting “time out” will then need to have a mechanic restart the system. If you need to keep the doors open longer than programed use the DOOR OPEN button that should be located on the selector panel.

Shenanigans

So, we all have been there as a kid and likely many of us have as adults as well we are in the elevator and it is descending to the ground floor. Just as we sense it is about to come to a stop we jump up and down. Well, it sure sounds fun and it was when were kids but unfortunately this action is very hard on your elevators lifetime as it puts stress on numerous parts of the lift. So, don’t bow to the temptation yourself or allow other people using the elevator to.

Forcing The Doors

Lastly it may seem like common sense but never try to pry open the doors while in the elevator. If you do manage to force the door open you can risk injuring yourself. Additionally, by forcing doors open you can damage the system resulting in the need for time consuming unnecessary repair to your elevator.

Stairlifts are great inventions that can really improve the lives of many people. It can be a strange thing to feel like you are cut off from parts of your own home. However, for those who find it difficult to move up and down levels in their house, this can be exactly the case. People who have trouble with stairs often find themselves adjusting their lives so that trips up or down the stairs aren’t necessary. This shouldn’t have to happen, stairlifts are a way for people in this situation to be able to gain a little bit of their mobility and independence back. But, who really can benefit from something like this?

The Elderly

If you’re thinking of a stairlift, you probably have an image in mind of an older person using it to go up and down stairs. This might be stereotypical, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. As we age, we find that things which were once easy and taken for granted, like stairs, become difficult, if not impossible. For some, downsizing is the answer. For others, though, this is not an option they want to consider. Rather than shutting off the upstairs, a stairlift can provide the solution.

The Disabled

You don’t have to be a senior citizen to need and enjoy the benefits of a stairlift, however. If someone suffers from a disability that makes it difficult to walk, concentrate, keep their balance, or in some other way hampers their mobility, a stairlift can help them gain a small measure of independence. This can help someone whether they are 18 or 80.

The Injured

A third type of person who can benefit from a stairlift is one who has been injured. Maybe it’s a temporary injury, maybe it’s more long term. Either way, while the injury is getting in the way of their ability to move, a stairlift can help. In some ways, those who are temporarily unable to use the stairs are in a worse situation than those who have resigned themselves to it being a permanent condition, because there’s a good chance they haven’t had time yet to rearrange their life to deal with it. This means a frequent need to travel up and down the stairs, which can be difficult, painful, and often dangerous. The good news, though, is that stairlifts don’t have to be permanent, as they can be uninstalled when the need for them is over. Rented ones may be good for situations like this.

So, whether you’re young or old, a stairlift might be the solution you have been waiting for. If you’re tired of not being able to use your entire house, or depending on others to help you get around, then it’s time to look into taking your independence back. Call us today!

Extreme sports are one of the fastest growing areas of sports on the planet. With everything from snowboarding and skiing to bmx biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, and dirtbiking, extreme sports are a massive growing phenomenon in the sports world.

The growing popularity of extreme sports athletes and extreme sporting events like the X-games have exploded the sport to new heights. What’s been incredible is that in many ways they are very similar to the Olympics in that they have a huge community for adaptive athletes. It is absolutely incredible to see what these athletes can do on bikes, skates, and skateboards.

Many people realize that there are Olympic sporting events for adaptive athletes, but are totally unaware that there are extreme sports for adaptive athletes too.

About Adaptive Skateboarding

Jon Comer is one of the many adaptive skateboarders that has built quite the reputation in the extreme sports world. He is a below-the-knee amputee that has been crushing it in extreme sports. From the age of 10, Jon fell in love with skateboarding and never looked back. Jon, who is now 30, has been skating for six years on the Van’s Warped Tour. he is endorsed and sponsored by all kinds of skate brand companies, and has podium and placed at several professional extreme sporting events.

He has traveled the nation sharing his story with extreme sports enthusiasts and other adaptive athletes, and has even helped coach and teach other adaptive athletes on how to skate to their full potential.

The main difference that Jon notes between him and athletes that have two biological feet, is that he only has one foot to actually be able to feel the board beneath him. Skateboarding is significantly easier when you can feel the board beneath you without looking at it. In years of skateboarding, Jon has gotten really good at just being able to use instinct, instead of feel. Another thing that is really interesting about Jon is that he uses the same prosthetic that he has for walking around as he does for skateboarding. Most adaptive skateboarders will have different prosthetics for skating vs. just everyday walking, but he prefers to use the same.

Now, he uses a special prosthetic for both skating and everyday walking that has allowed him to take his athleticism to new heights. He says that with his new prosthetic, he can do tricks that he never thought were possible.

Knowing when to recognize the signs that your San Francisco, CA home elevator is in need of repair will save you lots stress and frustration. Thankfully, most mechanical things begin to show signs of wear long before something actually breaks. If you know what you are looking for, you can take steps to make the repair as painless and prompt as possible. The first thing that you need to understand is that an elevator is a machine and machines break down. Therefore it is not a matter of if your elevator will break but when. Now here are a few tips that you can look out for that will keep you on top of things and aware that there is an issue before you find yourself or a loved one stuck in a broken elevator that needs repair.

Uneven Stops

The elevator coming to a stop below or above the floor is a clear sign of brake wear. This is known as Mid-Leveling, this wear, like that of your car’s brakes, will occur over time and is natural. At first you might not notice it but it can in time become a hazard. Passengers might trip or stumble causing them to fall and wheelchairs may not be able to enter or exit the elevator. Once you become aware of any significant repetitive stoppage, you need to call a professional to have the elevator fixed and inspected.

Uneven Speeds

We have all been there, you hop on the elevator and it has that jerky movement or takes way too long to come to a stop and allow the doors to open. This is a sure sign that you are likely due for an elevator replacement. This is more common when overfull elevators when people pile in and overwork the elevator. Day after day it becomes taxing and reduces the overall lifetime of your elevator. This will only get worse with age so get out in front of this or everyone will be taking the stairs.

Break Downs

If an elevator begins to regularly break down, the situation is only going to get worse. At this state of constant repair, you need to ask yourself when it becomes more affordable to repair the existing machine and replace it with something more reliable.

Once you do decide to repair or replace your elevator, make arrangements to do it in such a way that it impacts the users mobility as little as possible. Schedule the repair or replacement when they will be away or when someone else can be in the home to assist them.

 

Living with a disability brings challenges. We all realize and recognize that. Challenges also create a desire to rise above and feel as though a win has been accomplished. It’s easy to get caught up in attaining what we might call “big” victories throughout the process of overcoming challenges. However, don’t underestimate the “little” victories.

It’s not always the Paralympics: Celebrate little victories

When you allow yourself to revel in the smallest of achievements, it builds your confidence. Why is confidence important? Because it creates belief that “I can do it.”

When you have a belief within that you can overcome obstacles, you gain a sense of power that snowballs over time. If you only focus on the obstacles in front of you, it’s easy to begin feeling powerless and lost.

Take the time to celebrate your next little victory in life and add another nugget to your “confidence bank”.

Multiple little victories lead to larger wins

Don’t underestimate this point. When you have a big goal in front of you, it can seem as though it’s so far away that ultimate achievement is impossible.

Instead of focusing on the larger goal, break up the big goal down into parts. Then, simply focus on the first part that must get accomplished in order to then move on to the next. A great way to do this is to think backwards. Ask yourself what you need to do right before the large goal is done. Then, what would have needed to happen prior to that? And so on…

Know the big goal is out there but don’t focus on it. Back up the process into steps. Then, simply start hacking away on that first step. Each time you finish a step, celebrate it!

Celebrating little wins changes your mood

It’s true that how you feel affects how you act. If you’re depressed because your overall goals seem too far away, it’s unlikely that you’ll do anything toward accomplishing them.

On the other hand, if you feel good, or inspired, then you’re going to take more action. Further action brings another little victory. Another small victory raises your confidence just a bit more. More confidence in yourself makes you feel more happiness…

For people facing mobility issues at home, one of the best solutions available is to install a stairlift. However, depending on your situation, a permanent stairlift installation might be a difficult thing to consider. While it’s not as expensive as, say, an elevator, it still comes with a price tag that’s difficult for some people to handle. For other people, a short-term, not permanent, disability means you don’t want to spend all of that money for something that you might not need in a year or two. If you find yourself in a situation like one of these, the good news is there still might be hope. This is because, in addition to buying and installing a new stairlift, you can also find and buy used ones, or even consider renting them. While each one of these options comes with its own things to consider, the bottom line is that they can give you the mobility you need while not sacrificing your wallet.

Used Lifts

If you are facing the prospect of long-term disability, but can’t handle the price tag of a new lift, it is possible to find used lifts available. Depending on location, there are companies that actually deal with used stairlifts, or you can also go the tried-and-true method of an internet search. While you can probably get a much better deal buying from an individual, companies that deal in used lifts are going to be able to offer more in the way of options and guarantees. If you do decide to buy from an individual, however, make sure to have the lift thoroughly inspected by a professional before you buy. The last thing you need to do is spend money on a system that’s going to break down, or worse, put you back in need of medical care.

Rental Lifts

A much more convenient option for many people is to rent. This is a great choice if you are facing the prospect of temporary, rather than permanent, problems. By renting a lift, you are paying for the lift only when you need it, and not paying for it for the rest of your life.

If either one of these options sounds intriguing to you, you probably have some questions. If so, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to send us an email or give us a call. We’d like to be able to help you figure out what’s best for you and your situation in the immediate and long-term future!

If your home’s stairway chair lift or in-home elevator suddenly stops working, it would be natural to assume that something has gone wrong. Your first inclination may be to call a company professional to repair it, and really, you can’t go wrong with that option. Regardless of what the problem ends up being, an expert will be able to quickly identify the source of the malfunction, and troubleshoot it with little difficulty.

There are some circumstances where you may be able to investigate and address the problem yourself, depending on your technical skill level and the complexity of the issue. A word to the wise on this point: take care not to void your lift’s warranty! Review the warranty documentation that came with your lift carefully before attempting repairs of any sort by yourself. If you come to a point where any further attempts at troubleshooting would potentially render your warranty void, stop immediately and call a professional.

If the problem is simple, on the other hand, you may be able to resolve it quickly without any need for a service call. Some common problems that are easy to identify are whether the battery is charged or whether the safety switch is turned off. If the battery is the issue, you’ll be able to know it because there should be an indicator light somewhere showing whether the battery is charged or charging. If that light is turned off completely, the battery is not charged at all, nor is it recharging. This is a point where you should call for repairs under warranty. If the safety switch or key is turned off, it would automatically prevent the lift from operating, as it’s designed to do. Check the switch and make sure it’s turned on, then attempt to operate the lift again.

If the lift still isn’t working, then there may be a problem with one or more of the lift’s safety edges designed to prevent the lift from running into damaging obstacles. Make sure that, in fact, no obstacles are blocking the lift, then see if any of those safety edges are stuck or otherwise unmovable. If they are, it may then be the location of the problem. If all of these common features of your stairlift appear to be in working order, but the lift still isn’t moving, then it’s very likely that it will need the attention of a repair professional from the original installation company.

Architects have long debated how important a building’s design is. Some have come to the conclusion that the appearance of a building is just as important as its purpose, or perhaps even more so. Others hold the opinion that form must follow function- a drafty and leaky building will fail to adequately protect its occupants, regardless of its visual beauty. A related principle stands out either way: if the intended occupants of the building can’t access it easily, then the building has clearly outlived its usefulness. This is as true for individual houses as for grand civic structures.

All buildings are a means to an end- that of shelter from the elements- but there’s something special about a home. Most of us spend the majority of our time in our homes, and frankly, we’d rather be there than in the office, because home is where the heart is. It’s where family is, and where many of our best memories are made. It’s a place that we want to associate with rest and enjoyment.

Of course, we don’t remain the same during our entire lives. People grow and change, and adapt to new circumstances. Often our homes start to represent something different in the context of those changes. Buildings don’t simply adjust themselves in the way their occupants need. Many buildings that were once of great use to thousands of people are for this reason abandoned to the elements, but who wants such a fate for their beloved home? Anyone who has invested so much time and effort in the beautification of their home would hardly feel satisfied with such an end, even if the staircase has lately become more of a burden than a help.

Fortunately, human ingenuity has now made it easier than ever before to adapt a home to the changing requirements of life. Technologies like motorized chair lifts can bypass the steps of any staircase, regardless of shape. That key feature of a multistory home no longer need imply the wearing down of its user’s knees, or demanding the assistance of another resident. A more attractive but more design-intensive technology like a home elevator can accomplish the same useful purpose of improved accessibility, while adding a customized touch of architectural sophistication. Above all, they provide a home’s occupants with that cherished feeling of independence. Having outdoor steps turned into a ramp, installing swing away doors, widening doorways, lowering thresholds, and installing grab bars are also important and simple ways to adapt the home.

Our houses are, as one architect put it, “machines for living.” They should serve us, rather than wear us out. Even so, we feel attached to them, and we want them to be places where we can be happy and comfortable for many years. A proud and independent homeowner would therefore do well to consider the value of these adaptations that can help a house remain a home.


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