September 20, 2016

Spotlight on the innovative WheelAble shower commode chair

WheelAble Travel Shower Commode Chair

The WheelAble travel shower commode chair is an innovative shower commode chair from Clarke Healthcare designed with your comfort and convenience in mind! While there are other shower commode chairs that fold, no other model folds as neatly and compactly. The WheelAble travel shower commode chair is specifically designed to allow you to take your vital showering equipment along with you on your travels.

wheelable shower commode chair

WheelAble folded

The WheelAble has some unique design features that make it more user friendly than many shower commode chairs. First, the overall width is only 19 inches, so you can get through bathroom doors with ease. It is built with an under-seat height of 18.5 inches, which allows it to slide over any commode. The whole structure is made of corrosion-proof molded plastic, with stainless steel fittings, so it’s easy to maintain, and rust free. The commode seat is padded, and the backrest is contoured for comfort. Armrests raise up and drop down flat for easy transfers.

 

 

Perhaps the neatest feature is the way it folds. Release the latches, and the backrest and seat fold forward and down, then the whole unit folds inward, like a wheelchair would, into a compact 26.13” X 8.97 “ X 21” space. We think that would be pretty handy for storage, don’t you? Folded and stowed, it will really save valuable bathroom space!

wheelable travel shower -commode chair

Folded and in the carrying case

 

If travel plans are in your future, the lightweight WheelAble is the perfect travelling companion.

It’s lightweight design weighs only 25.5 lbs. – making travelling a breeze. Order the optional custom carrying case and take it along on your next adventure! The case has casters on the bottom, so you can discreetly roll the WheelAble along like a rolling suitcase. For complete specifications and to see the product brochure visit the WheelAble at SpinLife.com

September 15, 2016

The Noble Service Dog: an Awesome Companion

Baby service dog in training

September is National Service Dog Month.

National Service Dog Month is an annual fundraising and awareness campaign for the noble dogs that enter a career of service to humans. And it is the perfect time to reflect on the roles that service animals play in our lives. Would you like to help? See our links below for some of the amazing organizations that train these dogs.

Perhaps no other animal has been so universally connected to humans as the the dog. Over the evolution of mankind and canines, countless “working” relationships evolved, from ranching to rescue. The Service Dog program is one of the most remarkable examples of this relationship, supporting individuals with a huge variety of needs.  Some examples are:

Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Seeing eye dogs have provided guiding eyes for the blind throughout history. Guiding Eyes for the Blind trains these assistance dogs to lead blind and visually impaired people around obstacles, making it easier to get around and providing a sense of confidence with their surroundings.Service dog

Physical Assistance.  Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. A physical assistance dog can open doors, pick up dropped items, retrieve items from the fridge, and get help when needed, even picking up the phone when it rings and give it to their person. Simple activities that most of us take for granted can be a major hardship for a person with physical limitations. A service dog helps create greater freedom and independence.

Service dog with his owner in a wheeclchair

   “It’s impossible to overstate how important Service Dogs are in the lives of many people with disabilities.”

Diabetic and Allergen Support Diabetic Alert Dogs of America trains dogs to help prevent the dangerous insulin drops that lead to comas and even death, by notifying a person in the event of a sharp drop in insulin levels. They are trained to prevent a person from attempting to do something while at reduced mental capacity.  Diabetic alert dogs also provide a sense of security for those living on their own who cannot recognize when their sugar is dropping. In addition, some dogs can be trained to alert their companion in the presence of life-threatening allergens.

Sensory Assistance Autism Service Dogs of America provide trained autism dogs can provide tremendous stability for autistic children and developmentally disabled adults, providing them with safety, an outlet for communication and sensory development, and increasing playtime activities.

Service Dog and the child he serves

Emotional Support  Emotional support dogs provide comfort and support in the forms of affection and companionship for anyone suffering from a mental and emotional conditions. An emotional support dog is not required to perform specific tasks like a traditional service dog would. They are often trained by the owner, but certification programs can be used to designate them as official support companions. They are meant solely for emotional stability and unconditional love. They can assist with conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, mood disorder, panic attacks, phobias, as well as other psychological and emotional conditions. Emotional support dogs often live in nursing and group homes, as a full-time companion for its residents.

service dog offers emotional support

What is the difference between types of assistance dogs?  Guide Dogs assist people who are visually or hearing impaired. A Service Dog is the permanent companion of a person with a disability that enables them to live with greater independence.Therapy Dogs are usually the personal pet of their owner and visit individuals in places such as hospitals or nursing homes to provide comfort or enrichment.

 

Responsibility of Having a Service Dog  Unlike typical pets, service dogs, ideally, are your companion at all times. No matter where you go or what you do, your service dog is with you. Having a service dog is a full-time commitment. Training never ends – service dogs and humans alike must be regularly reminded of the ground rules of their relationship.

The Best Friend You’ll Ever Have  Beyond all definitions, legalities and practices, there’s one universal truth about service dogs: they are the most loving, loyal companion you’ll ever have. Yes, they know when they’re working, but they’re just as quick to protect you when someone’s at the door, or snuggle up with you in bed if you allow.

September 13, 2016

Looking for smooth riding travel scooters? Check out the Buzzaround XLS

Smooth riding travel scooter Buzzaround XLS

Travel  scooters have been around a while.

Their small size and easy to handle weight makes them practical help-mates for nearly anyone with mobility issues. Not only are they transportable, travel scooters are really quite sporty as well. No wonder they are so popular!

If there is ever a complaint about travel scooters, it usually relates to the “stiff” or “jarring” quality to the ride.

After all, they have solid frames, with no shock absorbers (designed to keep the weight down) and solid tires with no “bounce” (no worries about flat tires). The combination adds up to a very stiff ride indeed!

The good news is that Golden Technologies responded to that issue when they designed the new Buzzaround XLS travel scooters! Available in both three and four wheel models, I’d like to highlight some of the features for you.

smooth riding travel scooters

Buzzaround XLS 4-wheel travel scooter

Most standard travel scooters are +- 37” in length. The Buzzaround XLS scooters are longer, but still compact.  The Buzzaround XLS 4-wheel is 41.5 “ long, and the three wheel version is 42.5” long, so they feel roomier and less cramped. The padded seat swivels, folds forward for transport, and can be set as high as 23” from the ground, which is great for taller riders, or those folks who have trouble getting up off of a low seat. The seat is available in the standard 17” width, or it can be upgraded to a 20” width for extra room. A Delta Tiller is standard equipment on the Buzzaround XLS, which gives you a larger area to grip and makes driving possible with just one hand. This feature is especially helpful for anyone who may have issues with arthritis, neuropathy or carpal tunnel syndrome. The charging port is located up on the tiller- no need to crawl around on your knees searching for the plug!

Standard batteries are rated to travel up to 8 miles on a charge, and the top speed is 4 MPH. 3”of ground clearance makes for secure travel over somewhat uneven surfaces, like grassy lawns or smooth paths. There’s an LED headlamp to light your way after dark, and lots of optional accessories designed for your convenience.

Of course, the biggest feature is the suspension. Front and rear “Comfort-Spring” suspension is standard on the XLS. Each wheel is attached to the frame on springs, creating a shock-absorbing effect, much like the shock absorbers on your automobile.

This spring suspension smooths out the bumps of every day travel, like cracks in the sidewalk, thresholds at doorways, the ups and downs of everyday life!

This is not only helpful outdoors, however. The suspension also lessens the degree to which your body “rocks” back and forth when starting and stopping, even as you just move about in your home. Riders with back and neck issues will really appreciate the smoother ride-quality.

Check out the Buzzaround XLS for yourself by visiting our website at SpinLife.com

September 9, 2016

Therapeutic Massage: Improving Body, Mind and Spirit

therapeutic massage benefits

There’s no question that a massage – whether by a partner or a professional – can be the ultimate in relaxation.

However, did you know that therapeutic massage has become a scientifically-studied, proven form of treating many permanent disabilities, including spinal cord injuries (SCI)?

Twenty SCI patients, with injury levels between C5 and C7, were involved in a therapeutic massage study. Half were randomly selected to participate in massage therapy for 40 minutes, twice per week. The other control group participated in typical rehab exercise routines twice per week. After five weeks, both groups showed physical improvement. However, the massage therapy group not only showed significantly higher physical improvements, but also lower anxiety and depression scores. Put simply, massage therapy proved dramatically more beneficial than traditional exercise with this SCI study.

So, what specific areas does massage therapy help with?

Circulation

Among those with spinal cord injuries and other movement-restrictive conditions, proper circulation – especially in effected limbs – is among the leading causes of secondary health issues. These issues can range from as seemingly mundane as a tingling sensation to as deadly as blood clots. Therapeutic massage can dramatically improve blood flow as muscles and tissue is stimulated. And, again, with as little as two sessions per week, improved circulation can be sustained.

Range of Motion

For those with a loss of movement, muscles and joints can become limited in range of motion (ROM). At its most severe, limited ROM can lead to contractures, meaning parts of the body become fixed in position – for example, limbs that no longer straighten. Therapeutic massage reduces muscle tension (which even for those with SCIs, muscles may still involuntarily contract). This reduction in tension can allow joints and extremities to have increased ROM, decreasing the likelihood of contractures.

Spasticity and Tone

For those with spasticity and tone, the constant muscle extension and contraction can be fatiguing, painful and frustrating. Through therapeutic massage, the relation of the muscles can decrease these symptoms. Fatigue often exacerbates spasticity and tone, whereas relaxation can decrease it. By relaxing the muscles through therapeutic massage, the adverse effects of spasticity and tone are often dramatically decreased, allowing improved muscle control.

Emotional Well-being

Getting back to the aforementioned study, therapeutic massage has proven benefits beyond the physical. Disability experience can be difficult and stressful. Knowing the mind-body connection, relaxing one can relax the other. Those undergoing therapeutic massage universally express lower anxiety and less depression, a correlation to releasing endorphins and other chemicals that improve emotional mood and mental health.

Therapeutic Massage as Modern Medicine

When it comes to therapeutic massage, it’s no longer a mystery: modern medicine proves its benefits not only for the physical, but the emotional and mental. More and more outpatient rehabilitation facilities offer therapeutic massage, and it’s recommended for many with spinal cord injuries and other conditions for dramatic improvements in quality of life – mind, body and soul.

New technologies in therapeutic massage products can provide the next best thing to your own personal massage therapist. For soothing, kneading massage to ease sore neck and shoulder muscles, try the Osaki Kneading Massage Belt.

Kneading Massage Belt

Kneading Massage Belt

OmKnee Foot Massager

OmKnee Foot Massager

 

 

 

 

 

 

The OmKnee Foot Massager offers shiatsu massage to the feet and legs, and heated air-pressure massage to your calves and knees to increase circulation and ease knee pain.

 

For the ultimate in massage and relaxation, check out the Refresh Massage chair. Recline, relax and enjoy a full body compression massage any time! See our full range of therapeutic massage products at Spinlife.com.

therapeutic massage chair

Refresh Massage Chair

September 6, 2016

Employment Among the Disabled: Challenges and Progress

Employment and disabilities

Employment rates among the disabled community are a topic of much discussion.

When it comes to employment, socio-economics and those with disabilities, we often hear grim statistics. For example, 28.1% of those with disabilities live below the poverty line compared to 11.6% of the general population.

However, such statistics, while unfortunately true, don’t reflect other, brighter socio-economic dynamics of the lives of those with disabilities. Employment rates are one of them.

It’s often touted that those with disabilities have an astronomically high unemployment rate of around 70%. Yet, when we look at the actual statistics, the realities are both revealing and encouraging.

Cornell University performed a landmark study that gathered employment statistics on those with disabilities. In 2014, 34.6% of those with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 64 were employed. Further, an additional 9.2% of those with disabilities were actively seeking jobs. That data puts those with disabilities in the workforce at a remarkable 43.8%. That’s astonishingly better than the 70% unemployment rate that’s often inaccurately touted.

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