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For Caregivers

June 14, 2016

Give Dad a Lift on Father’s Day! Ultimate gift ideas…

Now it’s your turn to give Dad a lift! Two ultimate gift ideas to make this his best Father’s Day ever.

Remember all those times he picked you up after practice? This Father’s Day return the favor and give him the gift of mobility!  At the top of my “ultimate gift ideas” list this year is the new Buzzaround EX Scooter from Golden Technologies, a Spinlife online exclusive. The Buzzaround Ex is lightweight, and convenient, small enough to take apart and transport in the trunk of a car, but powerful enough to go all day on a single battery charge!

travel scooter with big batteries Ultimate gift Ideas

Buzzaround EX 4 wheel

The secret? The Buzzaround Ex is equipped with U-1 batteries- like you would expect on a full-size scooter- but in a travel scooter body. The cleverly designed two-part battery box eliminates the heavy lifting, but still carries batteries that travel up to 18 miles on a charge.

Two-part Battery Box for easy lifting Ultimate gift Ideas

Two-part Battery Box for easy lifting

A full front and rear suspension makes for a smooth ride, and the 9” tires give the Buzzaround EX 4” of ground clearance – practical for use both inside and out. There are also many convenience features packed into this new model. A bright LED headlamp will light his way if he’s out after dark, and the charging port is up on the tiller- close to the key switch, so it’s handy for charging. This speedy scooter is sure to make Dad smile this Father’s Day!

And here is another ultimate gift Idea…

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June 1, 2016

How to Size a Ramp? Here’s a helpful guide.

size a ramp suitcase style

If you or a loved one uses a mobility aid every day, access over even a small threshold or step can present a challenge.

I’d like to offer some suggestions on how to correctly size a ramp, and discuss different options that are easy, affordable and available.

If you look at ADA guidelines on how to size a ramp, the regulations are based on what would be a comfortable slope for a person in a manual wheelchair to propel themselves up the ramp without assistance.  Under those assumptions the recommendation is 1 inch of rise for every foot of ramp length. That make for very long ramps, indeed! That is the slope that is acceptable for permanent ramps on commercial buildings.

For today’s discussion we’re going to concentrate on Pre-fabricated portable ramps. This is the type you would use to allow access for an individual using a chair or walker going up a curb or a couple of steps. If you are using a scooter, power wheelchair or if you will have the assistance of a caregiver to help you the rules on how to size a ramp are much more flexible.

If someone is pushing from behind, you can easily size a ramp at 2 inches of rise to one foot of ramp length. The calculation looks like this: to get up a 6 inch curb, your ramp would need to be 3 feet long. (measure the height of the step and multiply by .5 to get that slope)  That is an easy size for a portable ramp, and perfect to carry along with you in your car for access when there is no curb cut available. That style is called a suitcase ramp.

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May 24, 2016

Gel Wheelchair Cushions and their benefits

Gel Wheelchair Cushions are a great option to improve your comfort and more!

As you probably know, if you spend longer than an hour or two in a wheelchair you should definitely be seated on a cushion of some sort to relieve pressure, and make you more comfortable. A cushion is a necessity, not a luxury!

JAY Union Gel Wheelchair Cushions

Jay Union Gel Wheelchair Cushion

Gel Wheelchair Cushions are intended to help relieve pressure on your ischia’s (sit- bones) coccyx (tail bone) and the back of the thighs. Relieving pressure in those areas is so important for two reasons:

Gel Wheelchair Cushions

Comfort Company M2

First, because pressure related skin break-down occurs from the inside out. The ischia’s and the coccyx are pressing against your muscles and tissue as you sit for prolonged periods. That pressure results in soreness and redness to begin with, and will progress to actual pressure sores if it’s not taken care of. Nobody wants that to happen, so take measures to relive the pressure using a Gel Wheelchair Cushion as prevention of pressure sores.

Next, Gel Wheelchair Cushions can help you with your posture. A common complaint among wheelchair users relates to back pain, leg pain and muscle strain after sitting up in a wheelchair for too long. A Gel Wheelchair Cushion can offer positioning benefits if you choose one with contoured construction, intended to help you sit straight and square in your chair. Some gel wheelchair cushions also offer advanced positioning options such as foam wedges or build-ups to allow you to tailor the contours to your own body shape. Continue Reading

May 16, 2016

Product Spotlight: Liko power patient lifts by Hill-Rom

Power Patient Lifts can quite literally ease the strain of patient care in the home, yet you’d be surprised at how many caregivers don’t even know this product is readily available for homecare.

My experience in homecare began abruptly in 1987 when my completely healthy Father suffered a massive stroke from which he never recovered. To make matters worse, it affected his right side, and speech center. Both were completely gone, so while he survived the stroke itself, the long term effects were devastating. He was 70 years old and would never walk or speak again. My Mother, ever the devoted wife, was adamant that we would keep him home and care for him ourselves.

Power Patient Lift

Viking Patient Lift

Mom sold their house and had one built close to mine that would accommodate his needs and make it easier for me to help them. It was a ranch, had ramps, a roll in shower, hard surface flooring throughout to make it easier to get all the rolling stock around. I struggle to think of mobility equipment we did not have for Dad. Wheelchairs, lift chairs, commodes, rehab shower chairs, hospital beds, an hydraulic patient lift, you name it. Everything worked together pretty well, except that clunky hydraulic patient lift. I suspect that back in the day it was the only kind you could get.

It had a sling with loud clanking chains attached, and getting it under my 225 lb Dad was a challenge. If you did finally accomplish that, you had to go back around the other side of the lift and crank a handle back and forth to ratchet poor Dad up in the air one crank at a time. It was scary for him and scary for us. Even today Hydraulic lifts are the only type that Medicare pays for, and even then they rent them by the month. Unless you have two caregivers at all times, I don’t recommend them. Continue Reading

May 2, 2016

Giving Mother the Gift of Go

Give mom the gift of Go

Make memories with your Mom

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I would like to encourage you all to make memories with your Mom. Keep her as healthy and happy as possible.  If her mobility is not what it used to be, don’t let that stop you.  Consider giving your Mother the GIFT OF GO this Mother’s Day.

I have wonderful memories of my mother. Having only lost her a year ago, many of those remembrances are glazed over with a bit of sadness. But there are many, many happy thoughts as well.

When she was young and strong her life was a gift to those around her. She was a nurse with a special gift to love and care for the elderly.  She was a mother that was involved in the lives of her children. She hosted youth events for our school clubs in our modest home. Barely fitting everyone in but making all feel welcome.  She and my Dad were youth leaders in our church and I believe they made eternal differences in many of those kids. She was a faithful wife. Always supportive of my Father and close to his side always.

A few years after my father passed she came to live with my family and me. We had almost ten enjoyable years together before her health began to fail.  As odd as it seems I can remember certain stages by what medical equipment we had for her.

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