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July 14, 2016

How to Improve the Comfort of Your Ultralight Wheelchair

This reader wonders how to improve the comfort of your ultralight? Let’s ask Mark.

I have an ultralight wheelchair that I love. It fits perfectly and it meets all of my needs. My only wish is that it could be a little more comfortable. When I say comfortable, I don’t mean “medically,” but just from a normal comfort viewpoint. How do you improve the comfort of your ultralight?

Thanks in advance.


Adding comfort to your ultralight

TiLite Aero Z Series 2


Indeed, when it comes to using an ultralight wheelchair, as you note, there really are two aspects to “comfort.” One is medical comfort, such as a pressure management cushion that prevents pressure sores, and the other is everyday comfort, such as aspects like posture and shock absorption.

In the realm of everyday comfort, there are two primary goals: one is to create a seated environment where you are just that, comfortable. Secondly, the goal with everyday comfort is to reduce fatigue on the body. Both of these obviously make using your ultralight wheelchair far more “comfortable,” and thereby functional.

Let’s look at three ways that you can optimize everyday comfort:



Add comfort to your ultralight wheelchair

Jay Union Cushion

Comfort In Your Cushion

While seat cushions have medical benefits, such as pressure management, they also play a vital role in everyday comfort. A thicker, softer cushion provides more shock absorption from lumps and bumps as you propel than a thinner, harder cushion. Additionally, a cushion can provide a contoured surface that helps with positioning and balance, reducing fatigue. In this way, looking at a seat cushion not just from a medical perspective but also from an everyday comfort perspective can help improve the comfort of your ultralight wheelchair.

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July 12, 2016

Four easy steps to a safer bathroom

The statistics are true, one-third of all accidents take place inside the home, and most of those occur in the bathroom. Take these four easy steps to a safer bathroom.

Four ways to a safer bathroom

Popular Bath Safety Options

The combination of wet, soapy surfaces, lots of obstacles and reduced visibility all add up to an environment that is not very user-friendly at all! Let’s take the opportunity to discuss the four easy steps to a safer bathroom.

The typical bathroom has a cold, hard tile floor so the first thing we do is place lightweight scatter rugs all around the room to keep our feet warm and comfy.

The problem with this is that scatter rugs are a real trip hazard! Catch your foot on the edge of the rug and down you go, right on the hard tile floor. Take up those rugs, and make it a policy to wear slippers that have a grip-type sole in the bathroom. Use a bathmat only as you exit the tub or shower, and make sure it has a non-skid backing as well.

Soap makes everything slick, and if you are still using bar soap, consider the number of times that soap slips out of your hand while bathing. There you are, bending over double to try and regain control over that scoundrel! Eliminate that risk by switching to liquid soap, preferably in a pump-style bottle. Just pump some on your washcloth and make your bath a whole lot safer. Use a rubber bath mat with strong suction cup grips to help keep your footing in the tub or shower, too.

Four easy steps to a safer bathroom

Rubber bathmat with suction cups

Four Easy Steps to a Safer Bathroom

Grab Bar

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July 7, 2016

True Equal Access Means Full Social Inclusion

As we near the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a question remains; just how inclusive have we truly become as a country towards those with disabilities? The answer is a complex one.

On the one hand, we’ve come remarkably far toward equal rights and acceptance of those with disabilities, from employment to transportation. However, if we are to be candid, we still have a long way to go when it comes to full social inclusion of those with disabilities.

Full Social Inclusion

Interestingly, as a country, the major barriers that remain toward full social inclusion are, in large part, physical. The fact is, while the ADA seeks to ensure architectural access for those who use power and manual wheelchairs, as well as scooters, access remains a barrier in both large and small cities alike. From county courthouses to mom-and-pop businesses, as little as a single step still prevents many who use mobility products from accessing businesses and services vital to full inclusion. From entering a county building to obtain a marriage license, to eating at a local restaurant, many public and private businesses still deny those with mobility needs equal access. The question then becomes, if we are to achieve full social inclusion of those who rely on mobility products, how can that occur without ensuring equal architectural access for all?

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July 5, 2016

Changing seasons: When You Become the “Parent”

It’s an interesting, and sometimes wrenching, transition.

When you become the “parent” to your parents…

Anyone with an interest in reading this blog is old enough to know that one of the surest things in life is change. When I was 16 years old I was quite sure high school would never end.  It did.  In my early 20s I started to wonder if I would ever find the husband I was looking for and have the family I desperately wanted.  Found him. Married him 32 years ago. We have two daughters and six grandchildren.

I grew up with great parents in a secure and loving home. We were not “well off” but we had what we needed.  My parents worked hard to provide for us.  When I was a little girl riding my bike and playing in the dirt, I never considered that life would ever be any different.become the "Parent"

I could always count on my Mom and Dad to be there for me. They were there to be strong and nurturing, loving and supportive.  My rocks….always.

In 1995 my father passed away from kidney cancer. He was only 66 years old.  This was the beginning of change in our lives.

Mom did quite well for several years. Some of the grandchildren lived with her off and on so she wasn’t alone a lot. Eventually though, the kids moved on and she began getting depressed. She wouldn’t get out and about much and I was worried about her being alone.  My husband and I convinced her to move in with us.

She lived with us for ten years. During that time we saw her go through many changes. The first few years she did a lot of cooking, her own laundry, and pretty much whatever she wanted to do.  She drove her own car to town when she wanted to go. It was an enjoyable time that I miss very much.

A few years later she started forgetting to turn the heat down when she was cooking. Or would walk away and forget she had something on the stove. We were afraid of her catching the kitchen on fire.  So she had to be restricted to using the microwave only.  Imagine restricting your own mother from anything!  Not fun at all.become the "Parent"

As time went on she became less stable on her feet.  She progressed from a cane to a walker to a power chair.  She could no longer get up by herself to go to the restroom.  She would call me from her cell phone and wake me at all hours to help her up. Sometimes she didn’t remember why she called.  Many times she fell when she did try to get up by herself.become the parent




The tide was turning quickly. I was now the caregiver, the safety police and become the parent to my parent!  It seems this is the natural cycle of life. But when you are in the middle of these changes it feels anything but natural.

Almost daily as I speak with customers here at SpinLife I hear the same kind of stories. There are many daughters and sons finding themselves in a new and scary place.  What is best for Mom or Dad?  Is she going to be mad at me if I get her this walker?  What will he think if I tell him he shouldn’t do that?  Can we take care of them at home?  Do we need help? And who can I go to for advice?

becoming th e parent to you parent


When I was a child, there was more than one time that my Mom or Dad grabbed me by the shoulder to stop me from walking out into the road without looking. They gave me cool baths when I ran a high fever. They made me study and learn how to take care of myself.  Not fun at the time but necessary and valuable lessons.  They did what they had to do to keep me safe, healthy and feeling loved.


That is what we all have to do as the cycle of life continues, and we become the “parent.” Do what you must even when it is difficult.  Only you can decide what that “must” is and it won’t be easy.  You may cry some tears when she doesn’t know your name.  Leaving her in a facility because you can no longer keep her safe yourself rips your heart out.  Sometimes love is hard.

My husband and I live two houses away from our oldest daughter and her family. We walked down there for dinner last week.  When it was time for us to go home, she and her husband walked us home!  Like we couldn’t find our way home two doors down! We aren’t even 60 yet!  They walked up our sloped driveway with us to make sure we were on flat ground in the garage.  My CHILD was making sure we were safe.  It has begun.  And I feel loved.

June 30, 2016

The Independence that Mobility Brings

When we celebrate Independence Day, we officially recognize our country’s liberation from Great Britain in 1776.

However, many – from those born with disabilities, to those with later-in-life injuries and conditions, to those who are aging – celebrate another, more personal type of independence day: The day they receive a new mobility product.

Mobility products for independence


Mobility products – albeit, a manual or power wheelchair, scooter, or even a lift chair – play remarkable roles in our lives. If we look at the history of mobility products, our understanding of them has profoundly, rightfully changed. Whereas decades ago, a wheelchair, for example, had a stigma attached, that’s no longer the case. Yes, societal changes have brought tremendous level of awareness, inclusion and acceptance surrounding disability and mobility products.


However, the real evolution has occurred with each of us who rely on mobility products. Every individual’s experience is different when it comes to making the transition to a mobility product – from a 4-year-old using a manual wheelchair to a 79-year-old using a scooter. Yet, the realization is the same: We go from knowing some form of confinement to a life of liberation through the use of a mobility product.


Happy July 4th from your friends at SpinLife!

Happy July 4th from your friends at SpinLife!


The desire for independence is universal, and the fact that mobility products contribute to our independence is profoundly life-changing.



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