11 Jan / 2018
Finding the right wheelchair is like finding the right type of tires for your jeep. There’s so much to consider. The size, the level of support, the tread, the look, the purpose and use. Off-road or highway? Snowy or muddy terrain? So many options!
Let us make the process of finding your next wheelchair a little less stressful with these simple tips!
There are so many options out there but only three types of wheelchairs: Manual, Scooters, and Power.
Manual wheelchairs are self propelled meaning they only move if you move them with your arms or someone pushes you. They are typically lightweight and smaller. Most fold up making car transport a simple step.
Scooters tend to be a little more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and a less expensive option. Unfortunately, they are a little more difficult to transport and do not provide proper back support.
Power wheelchairs are more expensive, heavier, and more difficult to transport. They are, however, powered, so there is no manual work required to make them move. Non-manual wheelchairs also come in standing varieties.
Here are few things to consider when deciding what wheelchair is best for you.
Do your research.
Look at reviews from those who have purchased the wheelchairs you are considering. This website lists their top five manual wheelchairs and gives great unbiased information on why they chose these particular models.
Seek out the advice of an occupational therapist.
Having someone in your corner who helps fit clients in wheelchairs for a living can be extremely helpful; just like having an expert at the tire store fit your jeep with snow tires.
Think through your needs and abilities.
Are you able to self propel a wheelchair? Do you have the space in your vehicle for a larger wheelchair or scooter? Would a motorized wheelchair increase your quality of life? We found this video quite helpful in breaking down all the details involved in fitting yourself for a good chair.
Know your budget.
Insurance will only cover so much. Determine what you can spend if what you want, or need, is not provided through your insurance.
Try before you buy.
Once you’ve narrowed it down, rent the prospective wheelchair. See if it’s right for you before you make the purchase. Your doctor can help you find a rental establishment.
Don’t be afraid to return it.
Your wheelchair affects your physical health and your emotional well being. It needs to be a great fit. Be sure to know the return policy for your wheelchair to save yourself some trouble!
Finding the right chair requires a lot of research and consideration. But we are confident you can find the right one for you and your needs!
03 Jan / 2018
Have you dreamed of a ski vacation this winter, but you need to find a destination that offers adaptive skiing? Don’t worry, you are in luck. Adaptive skiing is now offered more places. Let’s explore.
Where To Go?
There are over 65 resorts in the U.S and Canada that offer adaptive skiing and great ski runs for all abilities. From the Colorado Rockies to the mountains of New Hampshire, you’ll be able a great winter sports destination.
What Sports Are Offered?
Most destinations offer alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, and snowboarding for anyone with a physical, developmental or cognitive disability.
Most resorts offer lessons so that people can learn the basics and become familiar with the adaptive equipment. Look for lessons offered by certified PSIA instructors from the Professional Ski Instructors Association. Many instructors for adaptive sports have backgrounds in medicine or physical therapy, so be sure to ask if you’d like to know more information about the instructors before you book your trip.
Many resorts offer week-long camps or clinics, which can be really fun. You can meet and learn with other people seeking adaptive sport opportunities. If you absolutely just love skiing, you can join an adaptive sports club and go to events and competitions. These clubs are a great way to meet up and compete with new friends.
Bring the usual—gloves, hat, goggles, parka and ski pants, but you can get the rest of the gear once you get to the resort. Adaptive resorts have all the specialized gear you need. They offer monoskis and snowboards that are specially engineered to absorb the extra force and evenly distribute your weight on a sit-ski. Some resorts even offer a special track system that can be added to your wheelchair. It looks like the track on a tank and allows the wheelchair to navigate snowy terrain. It’s great—you can go explore the great outdoors. Most places do offer mono-skis, bi-skis, outriggers, sit-skis and ski-bikes, but call ahead. Some resorts don’t stock these devices but can arrange for them with enough advance notice. Also call ahead if you’d like special equipment. These resorts really strive to offer everyone the full ski experience, and are generally very accommodating.
It’s hard to find a more fun and exhilarating winter experience than adaptive snow sports. These ski runs are open to people with just about any disability, so what are you waiting for? Make that phone call!
08 Dec / 2017
Osteoporosis is a disease that reduces the density and quality of the bones. It develops over time and can eventually become quite debilitating. But, there is good news, if you have osteoporosis, there are treatments to lessen bone loss and decrease the risks of the disease. The better news is, if you take a few easy precautions, the condition is preventable altogether. Keep reading for helpful tips for treating this condition if you have it, and preventing it if you do not.
Preventing osteoporosis is easy. The key is to make a few lifestyle changes that will not only help to prevent this condition, but ultimately will help your overall health as well. To get you going on the path the healthy bones, try some of these ideas:
- Alter your diet
Preventing osteoporosis is all about strengthening your bones, which starts with the foods you feed your body. Increasing your lean protein intake is a great place to start. Also, add foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium as well.
It is no secret that calcium is a key nutrient in healthy bones. Adults should aim to get about 1,000 mg of calcium every day. Postmenopausal women should increase it to 1,200 mg daily. It is best to get your calcium from food sources, such as dairy. If you cannot get enough calcium through the food you eat, taking supplements can help make up the difference. Be careful not to exceed 2,000 mg of calcium daily.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D works hand in hand with calcium. Older men and postmenopausal women should aim for 800 mg daily. Drink milk that contains this important vitamin or take supplements. You can also get vitamin D through exposure to natural sunlight. Just a few minutes daily can help increase your level of vitamin D without greatly increasing your risk of skin cancer.
Exercise has many benefits, and increasing bone mass is one of them. Engaging in light exercise for 30 minutes three times a week is all it takes to keep your bones healthy.
- Quit smoking
There are many reasons to quit smoking. Improving your bone health is high on the list. Cigarettes can speed bone loss, so, the earlier you stop, the sooner your bones can start getting stronger.
If you already have osteoporosis, follow some of these steps to help manage and treat it.
There are many medications available that help treat the symptoms of osteoporosis. Medications are great for people who already have bone density loss and are already at high risk for bone fracture.
- Add calcium and vitamin D to your diet
These nutrients are just as good at treating osteoporosis as they are for preventing it. So, even if you were not able to prevent the condition, increase your intake of them either through diet or supplementation.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine can have an adverse effect on your bones. Since your bone health is already compromised with osteoporosis, it is best to use alcohol and caffeine in moderation or avoid them altogether. Reducing alcohol consumption also helps reduce the chance of falling, which can be hazardous to those with osteoporosis.
- Exercise and quit smoking
The benefits of exercise and liabilities of smoking will both continue even though osteoporosis has set in. So, ditch the cigarettes and ramp up your exercise regime.
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Hormone replacement therapy is often a good idea for postmenopausal women. Estrogen is known to help strengthen bones and prevent fractures. It can be prescribed on its one or with progestin. There are potential risks with HRT, so doctors tend to not prescribe it just for osteoporosis.
If you’re having or worry you may be having problems with a stair lift, then keep reading. We’ve listed some of the most common problems you’ll run into, and we’ll give you advice on how to troubleshoot these issues and get your stair lift working correctly.
Troubleshooting a Stair Lift – How To Fix 3 Common Issues
Start By Checking Your Stair Lift Power Supply
All troubleshooting starts with the most basic step. In this case, it’s making sure your stair lift has power.
Ensure that the chairlift is plugged in. Test to make sure that the outlet is working correctly. Reset any tripped electric breakers to restore power to your chair
If the circuit your stair lift uses is constantly tripping, then you will have to reroute the chair’s power. The stair lift cannot safely function on an overloaded circuit. If you’re not sure how to properly distribute electricity to your chairlift, be sure to consult a professional.
Stair Lift Stops Running? Check The Upper Limit Actuator Tab
If your stair lift stops running, take a look at the upper limit actuator tab. Sometimes after you’ve been using your stair lift for a long time, this component can come loose.
This is a simple problem to correct. Locate the component that regulates the upper limit of your stair lift. This can be found at the bottom of your stair lift track, at the foot of the staircase. Then, just tap the limiter back into place.
After you do this, test your stair lift again. If it’s successfully running, then you’ve solved this common problem. Good job!
Stair Lift Still Not Running? Adjust the Upper Limit Cam Switch
You’ll also want to check the upper limit cam switch. This cam switch works with the actuator tab to limit the final positions of the stair lift.
Sometimes this cam switch can come loose and move up the track. When this happens, it knocks the upper limit actuator tab out of position (see above.)
If the problem is a loose cam switch, you’ll need to loosen the switch with a screwdriver, and set its position down about half an inch. Tighten the screw so that it won’t slip again. For a demonstration, check out this YouTube video published by Electric Scooter 4 Less and see how to fix common stair lift problems.
22 Nov / 2017
For many people, depression is synonymous with the holidays. Having a disability or involvement with a disabled loved one can make this depression worse. At this time of year, there is an expectation that everyone will feel merry. That social pressure added to strained family matters and money issues mean holiday depression can quickly get out of hand.
Many disabled people have mild to moderate depression on a daily basis, just from dealing with the disability and the physical and emotional pressures that come with it. Holiday stress can make it much worse.
Alleviate Holiday Depression In The Disabled
Be Around People
Don’t isolate yourself. Make time to be around people that you love and who love you. Unfortunately, disabled people find that friendships change as their disability worsens. As such, disabled people are often very lonely. That feeling worsens over the holidays as they are home alone while everyone else is having fun. Make sure to be around people who enjoy your company and who don’t trigger your depression. Make plans in advance so everyone knows who they’ll see when for the holidays. If you’re alone for the holidays, reach out to others who may be lonely too. Spend time alone to be a little sad, then reward yourself and go have some fun with people. If you’re in a support group, keep going—it may be even more important during the holidays.
If you know someone with a disability, remember they often can feel like outsiders, particularly at the holiday season. Include them on outings or go to their place and have some holiday fun. Volunteer your time to help a disabled group. You will feel personally satisfied, and you’ll lift their moods tremendously.
Keep it Simple
Don’t overdo it on the decorating. A nice tree, some cute stockings and a few lights are festive and fun. Just accept that you can’t do everything. Decorate a little and then be done with it! If you need help cooking or decorating, just ask. It’s more fun as a group anyway! Have fun spending time with people, watch Christmas movies and bake cookies.
Keep your shopping simple, too. If navigating the malls with your disability is too hectic, ask a friend to go shopping. Even better, stay in your warm jammies, shop online, and have everything delivered to you. Many companies offer free or reduced shipping for the holidays.
Many overindulge during the holidays as a way to mask their depression. Keep your typical routine of eating and drinking and be sure to make time to rest and recharge your batteries. A great night’s sleep can work wonders for depression. Get your usual exercise as well—it will lift your spirits.
06 Nov / 2017
The holiday season can be stressful, especially for seniors. As we get older, families become busy with their daily lives and together time is often overlooked. In many cases, the holidays become a time of depression for seniors, who may have lost loved ones, suffer from chronic health issues, or are unable to travel to visit friends or family.
Fortunately, we can take steps to prevent holiday depression for seniors. With a little awareness and compassion, we can turn this time of year back into a cheerful memory for our elderly loved ones and better our lives as well. Caregivers in senior-care facilities can also play a big part of alleviating holiday depression in seniors.
4 Ways to Prevent Holiday Depression in Seniors
Look Out for Signs of Depression
The first step to preventing holiday depression in seniors is knowing what to look out for. While it’s natural to feel a little blue during the holidays, there is a big difference between temporary sadness and depression.
Be on the lookout for symptoms of depression, like change in appetite or sleeping patterns, fatigue or lack of interest in activities your loved one previously enjoyed. To help gauge their depression, use the Geriatric Depression Scale – a list of yes or no questions that can help you determine the level of depression your family member or tenant may be suffering from.
Plan Outings and Activities
In many cases, senior depression comes about by not having enough to do during the holidays. During a season that’s usually considered busy and cheerful, too much free time can cause seniors to feel as if they are missing out on the joy the season once brought them.
Spend some time with your family member or senior residents by planning holiday-centric activities. Drive through a light festival, make gingerbread houses or take them to complete some holiday shopping. Involve your other family members too, if they are able to join.
Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
If your senior loved one has recently undergone some life changes (the loss of a loved one or relocating to a care facility), they may need some perking up during the traditional season.
Encourage them to share stories from their youth about the holidays and ask them questions to keep them engaged. Look through old photo albums or home videos and share some memories of your own. Rekindling old memories can help seniors cope during this nostalgic season.
Make New Traditions
Many seniors experience sadness during the holidays due to lost traditions. In many cases, the people they may have once celebrated with are no longer here.
To help your loved one, offer trying a new tradition that everyone can enjoy, while still paying respects to those you may have lost. Building new memories will help depressed seniors find joy during what otherwise could have been a bleak season.
20 Oct / 2017
Alzheimer’s disease is a serious condition that affects many aging and elderly people. This disease is quite insidious, so many doctors and scientists dedicate their careers to researching the condition in an effort to eradicate it, or at least lessen the severity of it. Some of the most recent advances in Alzheimer’s research are outlined below.
New Treatments Are Being Tested
Several of the new treatment methods scientists have developed failed once they reached the phase 3 trial stage. However, that is not uncommon. New drugs are being developed all the time and improvements are being made to them as a result of those failures.
Right now there are over 120 Alzheimer’s treatments that are in clinical trials and more than 20% of them are supported by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF).
Inflammation Has Become A Target Of Drug Therapy
Inflammatory responses increase with age. Since aging is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, it stands to reason that inflammation is associated with cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Those who study Alzheimer’s know that inflammation in the brain damages neurons and contributes to the condition. Scientists are now developing medications that specifically target inflammation to help reduce the negative effects it has on the brain and the progression of the disease.
The Breakthrough of Epigenetics
Epigenetics is the study of the idea that environmental factors not only affect the health of a person who is exposed to them, but affect the health of the person’s descendants as well. Epigenetic treatments are designed to alter how much genes work. Last year, clinical trials for the first epigenetic treatments for neurodegenerative diseases entered clinical trials. The developments in this area will help doctors see epigenetic changes in the brain and determine how effective drug treatments are.
Physical Activity and Dietary Elements
Not all Alzheimer’s research is drug-based. Other research has indicated that changes in physical activity and diet can have a profound effect can help to maintain cognitive ability and reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly. Increased physical activity and adding Vitamin D and antioxidant- rich foods such as walnuts benefit brain function.
06 Oct / 2017
For those who have limited mobility, a wheelchair is often times the only solution for difficult days. While some people need a wheelchair all the time, others can walk for short periods of time such as those with Multiple Sceloris. Other times the use of a wheelchair is temporary while recovering from a stroke. Fortunately, in today’s world the advancements in science gives people with disabilities several options for comfort as well as a healthy productive life. One such advancement that those with mobility issues have seen is that of the standing wheelchair. At first glance, the term standing wheelchair may seem like an unusual concept, we’re so used to the traditional sitting wheelchair. However, the standing wheelchair is a real benefit for its users. Here is why it’s such a great product.
Good for your health
According to the Mayo Clinic, sitting for extended periods is not good for your health. In fact it contributes to metabolic syndrome, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and more. The standing wheelchair allows users to change from a sitting position to an upright one by the use of hydraulic-powered mechanisms thereby improving their health.
Change of scenery
The upright wheelchair allows riders to change their position to enjoy scenery they may not otherwise have seen sitting down. In addition, if there is something they need to reach, they can easily press a button and the chair will lift them to a standing position thus allowing them to get access to whatever item they need.
Enhances social interactions
Often times when people in wheelchairs meet friends or acquaintances, it can be difficult to interact socially. The person in the wheelchair may feel awkward or inferior having to look up the whole time. There is something so empowering for the disabled person to be able to be upright and have a face to face conversation with friends. The standing wheelchair encourages social bonding by allowing both parties to have closer contact with each other.
The standing wheelchair is a comfortable innovation that brings the user many benefits. Enhance your overall well-being with this unique product. The powerful motor does the work while you lean comfortably on wide cushioned armrests. Most designs are convenient to tote around with easy folding and storage options. Adjustable armrests and leg rest options come with many models. Enjoy the freedom of being able to stand up whenever you like with the standing wheelchair.
25 Sep / 2017
Adaptive archery is just like regular archery. The athlete uses a bow to aim and propel an arrow to hit a target. Archery is an adaptable sport, and people of all ages, genders and abilities can participate. Archery athletes with various physical or cognitive impairments can easily compete alongside other athletes.
Benefits of Competing in Adaptive Archery
Participation and competition in adaptive archery can be a way for athletes to be active and socialize. It can be an opportunity to learn something new and a way for athletes to spend time with others who have similar impairment issues or no impairment issues at all. Athletes must learn not only the fundamentals of the sport, but also how these fundamentals apply to them. For individuals who aspire to do more, there may be the option of making a U.S. Paralympic or World Championship Team.
When selecting a bow there are two choices: recurve and compound. Both styles of bow offer advantages and disadvantages, and both options can be modified for use by adaptive athletes.
A recurve bow, also known as a traditional bow, consists of a single bow body and a string that connects to the ends of the body. This is a very simple and effective design. When starting out in the sport of archery, it is recommended to begin with a recurve bow. Modern recurve bows are made from fiberglass or carbon for strength and durability.
Compound bows feature an updated, more modern, design. The bow body is smaller and constructed from aluminum or carbon fiber. Pulleys are located on the ends of the body and strings are run through the pulleys. The pulley system requires less strength to use the bow, while also delivering more power in the delivery.
How to Make Archery Adaptive
For prospective archers, it is necessary to work with a trainer who can assess their ability and skill level and create a teaching and training plan structured to fit the individual’s needs. Specialized equipment may be necessary in order to train and compete. A bow can be modified to make it possible for easy operation by an adaptive athlete.
Getting Started in Adaptive Archery
Training and practicing can be a fun activity for adaptive athletes interested in archery. Learning the proper techniques and skills can build discipline and self esteem. This is an activity adaptive athletes can learn and practice alongside other athletes of different abilities and skill levels. This can create understanding and give the athletes something they can learn more about and grow into. In some cases, athletes can go on to compete.
15 Sep / 2017
Over six million people in the United States need to use some type of assistive device to help with mobility. It’s not only the elderly who often need the aid of a walker, wheelchair, or cane. Many young and middle-aged individuals face health issues that make walking unassisted difficult. Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Fibromyalgia are a few of the disorders that affect people’s ability to walk. With the advancements in technology and science, strides have been made in aiding people with disabilities. One such advancement is that of the upright walker. This newer product gives people another option for getting around gracefully. Let’s take a closer look at some of the details of the upright walker.
Helps you stand up tall
Traditional walkers are constructed to reach right about the waist level. When using a traditional walker, you set it right in front of you and step behind it. This means you must stoop over and lean down into the walker to walk. The upright walker got its name in part because it helps the user stand upright when walking. The handles are elevated to a height that allows people to have the walker at a comfortable height. People have the ability to look straight ahead instead of down at the pavement. This makes them more safe and comfortable.
Framework for the upright walker provides safety
The framework of the upright walker surrounds the user on both sides and allows for a footstep of room. This means as people move forward, they are boxed in on each side for their entire movement. With traditional walkers the frame is set in front of you so that if you stumble to the side for any reason, there is nothing next to you. The upright walker is beside you every step of the way. If you would stumble to the side, you would have the support of the framework on both sides to help balance you.
Shock absorbers and brakes
The upright walker is somewhat like a bike with mini tires and shock absorbers. This helps move you along bumpy terrain without all the jostling. Uneven surfaces are no problem with the use of an upright walker. In addition, you grip handles with brakes that extend from the armrests. If you need to stop yourself from moving along or you’re going down a slight hill and need some brake power, you will have it at your fingertips.
Discover the ease and comfort of walking with the upright walker. Whether you need to go around the block or to the mailbox, using this innovative product will make walking so much easier.