May 2, 2019
Courtesy of ScootersNChairs.com
Wheelchairs are mobility tools that help people who have difficulty walking or who can no longer walk at all achieve greater independence. The most obvious difference between a manual wheelchair and an electric one is that an electric power wheelchair doesn’t require that you have tremendous upper body strength or someone to push you around in it. That said, the differences between the two types go far beyond this simple comparison.
No one wants to rely on a wheelchair for a temporary or permanent length of time. If you or a love one have reached a point though where you must use a wheelchair, review the information in this comparison guide to help you make an informed decision.
A manual wheelchair offers less mobility than an electric one. These wheelchairs aren’t great for all day or long-distance movement. Anyone who has incredible strength and durability eventually tires while either trying to turn the large rear wheels and maneuver the chair and their own body weight or maneuver and push the chair and the weight of the person sitting in it from behind. On the other hand, electric wheelchairs feature a battery, motor and other parts to make them self-propelled and entirely drivable with little effort. The person sitting in the chair simply moves a joy stick. These wheelchairs are a fantastic solution for anyone who doesn’t have enough upper body strength or a caregiver who can push them. Electric power wheelchairs also make it easier for users to travel to locations near a home or office without a car and up and down hills or around curves without fear of losing strength and control.
Since electric chairs are often designed for long-term mobility, they also typically feature more padding than manual wheelchairs. If a person has a painful chronic condition, they might prefer an electric wheelchair because it offers a softer and more comfortable, thickly-padded seat. A manual chair usually features thinner seat and back padding so that the chair is easier to collapse and transport. Additionally, electric designs have evenly-distributed wheels that move more smoothly along level surfaces. Some electric-powered wheelchairs even feature all-terrain wheels for uneven surfaces. All electric designs reduce the jarring movements that typically occur when someone tries to force a manual chair to move in a particular direction.
Many people choose manual wheelchairs because they’re less expensive than electric wheelchairs. A powered wheelchair has a lot more parts and an electrical system that can break down at any time from something as simple as a dead battery, faulty wire or circuit board or even a lightning strike. Some models have complex systems that require expensive future software or hardware updates. A manual wheelchair simply has a seat, back, handles, arms, leg rests and wheels. As a result, an individual or their insurance company pays a lot more for an electric chair mobility option upfront and during maintenance and repair scenarios than for a manual one.
When comparing mobility products, it’s fairly obvious that manual wheelchairs are easier to transport in vehicles than electric wheelchairs. A manual chair is lightweight and typically folds or collapses in a way that makes it fit well in most standard-sized automobile trunks. An electric wheelchair requires either a special van or large headroom vehicle that features a lift or ramp if the user wants to go somewhere on their own or travel with someone else. Some people use an electric wheelchair at home and a manual one when traveling with a caregiver.
Battery-powered robotic leg braces and exoskeletons have become the next best potential alternative to wheelchairs for people who suffer from leg paralysis. These mobility products are still in early development and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Automobile manufacturers have also come up with new vehicle designs that make it possible for wheelchair users to simply roll into their cars and drive away while still seated without depending on lifts, ramps or trunk storage.
Scooters ‘N Chairs is offering a bi-annual mobility scooter giveaway for Seniors. Click here for your chance to win a mobility scooter: https://www.scootersnchairs.com/pages/mobilityscootergiveaway
Comments Off on What are the main differences between manual wheelchairs & electric wheelchairs?
April 25, 2019
Courtesy of Kara Masterson
Chances are that you know someone who has entered the elderly phase of life. It can seem difficult to watch older members of society struggle to do tasks that younger people take for granted. Fortunately, voice guided technology can help the elderly to function more effectively in their daily lives. Here are three reasons why voice guided technology is involved in servicing the ongoing care of this segment of the population.
When the Elderly Fall
Often, the elderly can experience a major fall when no one else is around. This can be a dangerous situation for many people who live alone. Fortunately, modern advancements in voice guided technology makes it possible for older members of society to reach out for help in these situations. It turns out that a device like Alexa in the home can be a useful tool for aiding a fallen elderly person who needs to call for help in an emergency. Not only is Alexa capable of being voice commanded to do tasks, but it is a very affordable option that even retired persons can take advantage of in their homes as well.
At Home Medical Monitoring
Another area where voice guided technology is beneficial to the elderly arises with the need to monitor and interact with the health needs of these individuals. This is an important area of advancement, because many elderly people cannot easily drive themselves to doctor’s appointments. However, they may still require regular medical care as in the case where a patient uses a Home Kidney Dialysis Machine to perform peritoneal dialysis. Such devices can guide the patient with step by step verbal instructions to ensure the proper outcome.
Voice guided technology is opening up digital access to the elderly. This can be mostly seen in how this technology is helping this segment of the population stay connected with family, friends and access information online. Due to the fact that so many elderly people are blind or visually impaired, voice guided technology can make it possible for these individuals to use modern phones and even successfully navigate and interact on popular social media-based websites. As a result, this provides an elderly person with the ability to access information and communicate with anyone they desire like everyone else. These kinds of barriers have been eliminated by the use of screen reading software that talks to a user and by voice recognition software that gives an elderly user voice command-based control over an Internet ready device.
Growing old is no longer the isolated situation it used to be. Modern devices are using voice guided technology to allow these individuals to live more fulfilling lives. From meeting at home healthcare needs to providing older individuals with a broad range of entertainment and social avenues with which to occupy their time, voice guided technology has truly redefined what it means to enjoy life after retirement.
March 4, 2019
Courtesy of Lizzie Weakley
For seniors, even a minor fall can have lasting consequences on mobility and comfort. Older adults typically have weaker bones, joints, and ligaments, which are more easily broken or strained from slip-and-fall incidents. It’s impossible to completely remove all the risks from daily life in the city, but there are a few effective strategies seniors can use to mitigate common hazards.
Stretch and Exercise Regularly
Senior citizens may not feel quite as energetic as they did in their youth, but even older adults can improve their health and reduce the risk of accidents by staying in shape. It’s a good idea to talk to a doctor and fitness specialist to find a safe routine for your current physical condition. A little bit of aerobic and strength-building exercise can make a lot of daily activities much easier.
Take Your Time and Ask for Help
It’s natural to desire independence and not rely on others for help, but this attitude can come at a high cost. Seniors shouldn’t hesitate to ask for assistance when appropriate, especially when disembarking vehicles, using stairs, or navigating uneven terrain. Rushing is also a sure-fire way to slip and fall, so take your time even if it means being a few minutes late.
Try Shoes with Traction
There are plenty of footwear options specifically designed for the needs of older adults. Getting walking shoes with a solid grip can make all the difference when it comes to preventing needless injury. Seniors also need to ensure their footwear fits properly to avoid complications with foot and ankle health.
Always Check the Ground
A confident, forward-looking stride is a good general practice, but it’s also wise to keep an eye on the ground, as well. Wet or icy surfaces are among the most hazardous for seniors, especially those with diminished balance from age-related issues. It’s usually best to avoid sidewalk and pavement that hasn’t been treated for snow or ice. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if going around treacherous terrain isn’t an option.
Seniors that stay in shape and tread carefully still run a risk of a serious slip-and-fall accident when they travel the city. Even if there’s something they could have done differently, the fault isn’t necessarily theirs. In cases where a property or business owner may be liable for the accident, some seniors turn to a lawsuit settlement funding company to access financial resources they need to press a compensation claim.
Comments Off on Seniors in the City: 4 Ways to Prevent a Slip-and-Fall Injury
January 11, 2019
By: Darleen Mahoney
A few simple precautions can help make your home or senior living community safe for you or your senior from dangerous falls.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the number one cause of injuries among Seniors. A person living with a cognitive impairment such as dementia or Alzheimer’s is two to three times more likely to experience a fall with serious injury than their cognitively intact counterparts. Injuries from falls in seniors are more detrimental as they may result in a more serious injury or even death. These more serious injuries can include hip fractures, cuts, serious head and brain injuries. Even when there is no serious injury, a fall can be very scary for a senior and cause them to avoid activities out of fear of falling.
Due to the high risk of falls associated with this population, creating a safe home environment and living space is extremely critical.
You can make your home safe from falls with a few basic changes. It does not have to be a complete house remodel; a few simple tweaks can make a big impact.
The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in a home. Falls often occur when getting in and out of the tub or shower. Grab bars are an essential part of any Senior’s bathroom. Grab bars reduce the risk of slipping and falling. Grab bars are inexpensive and simple to install. If you have concerns about the appearance of installing grab bars in your home and want to maintain a certain aesthetic appeal, Grabcessories.com offers beautiful safety grab bars that blend right in to your living space. Their products completely blend into a bathroom design while providing a safe environment. They offer 2-in-1 Fall prevention systems disguising grab bars as bath accessories. These fall prevention accessories are not only available for homes but cater to senior living communities as well.
Other important tips to make the rest of a home or assisted living community safer is:
• Removing any tripping hazards – fix any loose carpet, throw away rugs, remove furniture that may block or make maneuvering around a space more difficult.
• Clutter – A neat home free of clutter can help prevent a fall
• Lighting – Inadequate lighting, especially for seniors who may have poor eyesight or may be unsteady, can be detrimental to a senior living space
• Foot wear – While socks and slippers may be the most comfortable, its important to make sure that they are non-slip. If possible, encourage them to wear something with a rubber sole.
• Non-slip flooring – Add non-slip linings to tubs and showers
Falls among seniors are a serious problem and a bad fall can have a huge impact on an otherwise healthy and independent senior. The good news is that falls can be prevented. Following the simple guidelines and doing a little planning can significantly reduce the threat of a fall, giving you or your loved ones many more years of independent living.
Comments Off on Preventing Falls and Senior Safety
November 19, 2018
Christmas can be a very overwhelming time for someone living with dementia. A sudden influx of friends and family can cause individuals to feel stressed, agitated and confused. Active Minds outline their top tips for supporting your loved one through the overwhelming Christmas period, whilst ensuring you enjoy a magical festive time together.
This will help the day run as smoothly as possible, ensuring that both you and your loved ones enjoy the festivities without a hitch.
- Create a schedule, ensure celebrations are planned for earlier in the day to avoid tiredness or agitation.
- Speak to friends and family in advance about plans, and make sure everyone works together to ensure elderly members feel included and part of conversations.
- It may be a good idea to familiarise extended family members with any behavioral changes that they may expect to view in the person with dementia.
- A person with dementia can find large groups intimidating so keep invitations to a minimum.
- Familiarise you loved one with the guests in preparation for the event, talk about them and show pictures of everyone who will be coming.
- Have a quiet room set up where your loved one can go if things become a bit too much, with some activities that can help them relax.
- Plan some simple family activities and games that are inclusive to all generations.
Eating and Drinking
Food and drink plays a big part of Christmas. It’s important to think about eating and dietary requirements for elderly relatives as rather often older party members may have particular needs.
- Those with dementia may struggle to eat for many of reasons, such as a lack of appetite. So it’s best to avoid overloading their plate with Christmas Dinner, as this can be a daunting prospect.
- Keep alcohol to a minimum to avoid arguments or accidents that can agitate a person with dementia.
- Try where possible to serve food that is familiar to your loved one as this will help them feel comfortable and relaxed and may even spark memories and conversation.
- Sometimes people with dementia experience problems with vision. To avoid confusion, place colour-contrasting rugs in front of doors or steps to make sure they are visible (dark coloured rugs may be mistaken for holes).
- If the house is unfamiliar to your loved one, place labels on doors to help them move around easily.
- If possible, limit access to places where injury could occur, such as kitchens or staircases.
- Keep a list of emergency contacts nearby.
- If staying the night, leave lights on in case your loved one gets confused if they get up during the night.
Take time for yourself
Caregivers often struggle trying to balance Christmas plans and looking after their loved ones, meaning it can be an incredibly stressful time of year, so you must make sure you take some time for yourself.
- Pace yourself and set realistic goals so you don’t overstretch.
- Assign another member of the family to also be on hand to ensure that your loved one is ok and comfortable, so the job isn’t entirely your responsibility.
- You may want to have a respite care plan put in place to begin shortly after the festivities have ended. This would ensure to give yourself a well-deserved break.
- Be proud of yourself – Christmas can be a tough time for both a person with dementia and their carer.
If you have an elderly relative or friend that’s not spending Christmas with you, regular phone calls can help elderly people not feel isolated or lonely. Although this can be a very busy time of year, try and make time for a visit, even if it’s only brief, as this will be hugely beneficial for them.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the giving and receiving of gifts. Choosing gifts for people with dementia isn’t always easy, so we’ve put together a few ideas which make the perfect present.
- A DVD of a classic film or TV series from their past, the film may help to spark memories.
- There are jigsaw puzzles available which are created especially for someone with dementia, including illustrations which can encourage reminiscence and conversation, perfect as a stimulating gift.
- Make a memory book or photo album full of special times spent together. Not only will you be creating something that you can enjoy with your loved one, this will be a reminiscent gift, that your family member can pick up and look at any time they want.
- Giving your loved one a board game to enjoy with everyone is a great gift. Active Minds have developed special dementia friendly games such as Animal Bingo and a specially adapted version of Snakes and Ladders.
- Colouring books are a relaxing activity to help a person unwind and focus, as well as giving a sense of satisfaction once the colouring is completed.
Activities are one of the most effective ways to keep people with dementia calm and content over the Christmas period, visit Active Minds to take a look at their resources and activities suitable for those with dementia.
Comments Off on How best to celebrate Christmas with a person with dementia
May 31, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
As the rate of Alzheimer’s Disease increases and we seem to be on the brink of a cure or treatment. It still seems all too futuristic to those in the here and now fighting for loved ones with the disease.
As the idea that there may be a cure around the corner lingers, the disease is still growing in numbers and being aware of the signs at home in order to get treatment as early detection are keys to potentially living more independently longer, subsiding the symptoms.
Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes the slow decline of memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Let’s review basic warning signs. These signs may be experienced differently by each person to varying degrees.
- Memory loss – One might forget recent information like dates or events. Asking the same questions over and over. Using things like post it notes, reminder notes, electronic devices, or even family to remember things they used to remember on their own.
- Problem Solving – One might have problems developing and following a plan or working with numbers. They may start forgetting to pay monthly bills, work electronics like phones, stoves, and remotes, etc. that were everyday routine devices.
- Losing Track of Times and Dates – One might start losing track of dates and time. They may start forgetting how they got somewhere or even where they are.
- Visual Changes – Some Alzheimer’s patients have experiences changes in vision with judging distance, color, and depth perception. These are problematic to those who may still be driving.
- Problems with Speech – One might have trouble following or joining a conversation, they may stop in the middle of a conversation or have no idea how to continue, repeating themselves. They struggle with their words and sometimes are unable to find the right words, calling things by the wrong names at times.
- Misplacing Things – One might start putting things in odd places, losing things, and unable to recall steps to find them. Some may accuse others of stealing those things. This may start occurring more frequently as they may appear to be paranoid.
- Poor Judgment – One may start having poor decision-making and changes in their judgment. They may not be able to deal with money, giving large amounts away or handling it improperly. This makes them more vulnerable to people who may want to take advantage. They may start bathing less and not taking care of their hygiene.
- Withdraws from Family, Social, and Work – One might begin removing themselves from their social activities, hobbies, projects, and even their own family. They start avoiding these situations because of the changes that they are experiencing.
- Mood Changes – The mood and the personality of someone with Alzheimer’s changes as they become confused and become experiencing depression, fear, and anxiety in their daily lives. They are no longer able to find a “comfort zone”.
Clearly, many of these signs can be normal in aging adults. Recognizing multiple and ongoing signs in someone you love should not be ignored, schedule a doctor’s appointment.
There is treatment available with early detection, relief of the symptoms and will help them maintain a level of independence longer.
Comments Off on I Know This Is My House, But How Did I Get Here
May 24, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
The decision has been made to keep your aging parent at home a little while longer or they are living with you, but you cannot be there 24/7 and need to take a few safety precautions when you cannot be there.
As 1 in 4 adults over the age of 65 takes a fall, safety is important. This is typically the primary safety concern along with each senior having their own individual health and mental concerns.
Having a plan and exploring what options fit your family, your senior, and the home is always a great start.
If getting a full evaluation of the homes safety is a goal, you may want to contact a certified aging-in-place specialist, occupational or physical therapist, or a geriatric care manager. They will be able to make safety recommendations.
A few quick and easy solutions:
- Raised Toilet Seat
- Shower Chair
- Textured no-slip strips in the bathtub and shower
- Stair climber
- Waterproof seat in the shower
- Controls and switches near bed and/or wheelchair
- Remove throw rugs
- Add monitors and alarms to the home
- Remove locks from doors inside the home
- Change doors to the outside of the home to levers
- Hallway and stairway lighting is efficient
- Adjust thermostat on hot water heater to avoid water getting too hot
Another option in the form of preventative safety when your aging parent or senior is unable to be alone or alone for long periods of time, consider a home healthcare service. They can provide a range of services including: transportation, cooking, light housekeeping, dispensing medication, and other services. Home Healthcare services vary on their offerings, visit www.SeniorLivingGuide.com‘s Home Health tab in your area to find out what specific services that fit your family’s needs.
You have followed all these steps to be proactive with safety, but accidents and emergencies still can happen. What then?
Remember the commercial with the catchphrase, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”? Since this commercial became a pop-culture phenomenon in its 80’s debut, personal response and medical monitoring devices have been the answer to in-home senior safety and security especially as technology has progressed over the years.
Medical Alarm Monitoring such as, Bay Alarm Medical, may be a turn key and inexpensive solution providing you peace of mind. If your senior has an accident, gets frightened, or has a need for any type of medical attention, a touch of a button alerts the company, authorities, and specific contacts easily.
Whatever your home situation is with your aging parent; keeping safety and security top of mind is key. There are many solutions to consider, but there is a magnitude of resources available both online and offline. Make sure that you do your research and utilize what is available.
Comments Off on Keeping Seniors Safe At Home