August 31, 2020

5 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Accessibility for Family Members With Immobility

Filed under: Aging in Place,Mobility,Senior Safety — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 8:55 am

Senior woman being helped with mobility

Courtesy of Anica Oaks

Making your home mobility-friendly is important for loved ones who require the use of special equipment or mobility aids to navigate their living space. Fortunately, your house can become more accessible for these mobility needs by making relatively minor and cost-efficient adjustments.

Widen Doorways

Some homes are structured with wide doorways that accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and other types of equipment used for mobility. Other homes may need to widen the doorways of at least a few rooms for this purpose. Fortunately, doorways can be widened or even removed to accommodate a family member’s mobility appliances as needed. Not all rooms would necessarily need to have a wider doorway, but just those that are used routinely by loved ones with mobility needs. These might include the person’s bedroom, a nearby bathroom, and the living room or family room.

Open Up the Living Space

You can also arrange accessible rooms to be more open in terms of moving furniture closer to the walls or buying smaller furniture pieces. Clear any barriers between rooms that will be accessed with the help of mobility equipment. Wide open spaces make any room or area more accessible, including hallways, foyers, and exits.

Remove Clutter

Everyday clutter like shoes, newspapers, or toys typically don’t bother most of us, as we learn to step over these items or pick them up when encountered. However, family members who are using mobility devices may not be able to easily get around or remove things in their way. Each day check for items that may be incidentally strewn in their path so that you can make the way clear for crutches, a walker, a wheelchair, or a stair elevator.

Designate Specific Areas for Mobility

Remind family members to keep certain areas of the home accessible at all times to loved ones who are mobility-impaired. Get everyone involved in picking up after themselves and clearing the regular pathways of family members who rely on equipment to move from one area to another. Discarded clothes and towels in the bathroom should be placed in the laundry bin instead of left lying on the floor. Pet toys should be kept to a certain area for that location only.

Install Handrails

People who use mobility devices may benefit from installed handrails in strategic places. Hallways, bathrooms, and eating areas are prime locations for handrails that can be used to assist mobility if needed.

 

Caring for loved ones who require mobility assistance can be facilitated with steps like these. Help your family members who depend on mobility aids to navigate the home comfortably and safely.

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May 2, 2019

What are the main differences between manual wheelchairs & electric wheelchairs?

Filed under: Mobility,Senior Safety,Seniors Health — Tags: , , — seniorlivingguide @ 11:43 am

Manual vs Electric Wheelchairs

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.

Mobility

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.

Comfort

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.

Price

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.

Transport

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.

Final Thoughts

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

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