Summer is here! It’s time for fun in the sun, and as the weather gets hotter, what’s cooler than time in or near the water?
Beach and Pool accessibility is important. Indeed, whether for recreation or therapeutic value, water is a great equalizer for many with mobility impairments. After all, due to buoyancy, we not only weigh dramatically less in water, but because water encapsulates the body evenly, it eliminates such issues as pressure points for those who may use wheelchairs or are frequently seated.
And, therapeutic value aside, simply cooling off in or near the water is a great way to spend a summer day.
However, for those with mobility impairments, both getting to the water and in the water can be a challenge. So, let’s look at some of the water-related mobility technologies available to help beach and pool accessibility.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
My new Spinlife Power Wheelchair was just delivered. In getting used to it, do you have any recommendations and tips on how I can maximize power wheelchair performance? I live in Detroit and plan on using it a lot around town. Thanks. -Motoring in the Motor City
Hello Motoring in the Motor City,
Congratulations on your first power chair. There’s no doubt it’s going to get you out and about, giving you the mobility you need and deserve.
I know it may sound a bit basic, but the first tip toward maximizing your power wheelchair performance is to read the owner’s manual. It illustrates all of the features, including vital ones, such as how to operate the hand control (joystick), use the free-wheel levers (for manual pushing in an emergency), adjust aspects like the seat height, footplate, and so on. Some users simply sit in a new power chair and go, but it’s vital to read the owner’s manual, learning all of the functions and features of your power chair.
Now that you’ve read the owner’s manual, and are an expert on your power chair, let’s turn you into a pro….
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.