For most of us, going up or down the stairs is part of our everyday routine. However, for elderly and mobility impaired individuals, the mere task of moving to another floor of their home can be both painful and difficult. Oftentimes, that person decides that the best course of action is to move into a one-story house or apartment. However, for people looking to stay in their original home, a stair lift will make for the perfect home modification. Here is why:
Modern stairlifts are comfortable and safe. A height adjustable seat guarantees a comfortable ride up or down the stairs. That same seat will swivel outwards in order to facilitate you getting off and on the stair lift problem-free. Moreover, when the device starts and stops, it will do so at a slow and gentle speed.
A new stairlift puts safety first. They usually come equipped with two batteries which in case of a power outage, will allow the chairlift to continue to operate. These devices also feature obstruction sensors, meaning that if a person or an object gets in the way of the stairlift, the device will come to a safe stop. An adjustable seat belt will also ensure the safety of the person using it.
A stairlift will be easy to use. Most stair lifts in the market are extremely simple to operate. A rocker switch on one of the armrests allows you to control the stairlift’s movements at the simple touch of a button. In addition, a wireless call/send — available in some models– will allow for simple operation by a family member or caregiver.
In addition, there are two types of stairlifts: straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts. Straight stairlifts fit most standard, straight stair cases. Often times, home modification experts will only have to know the number of steps and distance between the first and last step in order to quote you a price for the project. Curved chairlifts however, are more complex as they need to be custom fitted to your space. If you have a curved staircase at home, it is most advisable for a stairlift installer to visit you at home in order to generate an adequate quotation. In terms of pricing, the curved stair lift is always pricier as it requires the aforementioned customization.
Mobility scooters are a great way to reclaim your freedom and increase your mobility. However, with the great variety of medical scooters for sale currently in the market, it is often hard to pinpoint the perfect device for you. Below are some important questions you should ask yourself if you are looking to buy a mobility scooter for yourself or a loved one.
How portable do you need it? Depending on how you plan to use your mobile scooter, you need to consider which kind of device you truly need. If you are looking for a scooter to fit in the trunk of your car and easily pack away on a plane, you will want to consider a travel scooter or a folding mobility scooter. A travel scooter will allow you to dismantle it into 4 or 5 pieces for easier transportation and storage. A folding scooter will be your lightest and most convenient option as no dissasembly is required. On the other hand, if you think you need a mobility scooter with a larger range and more comfort features — and you plan to use the device in and around your home– a mid-size or heavy duty scooter will be a better choice.
Will you be using your scooter indoors, outdoors or both? If you are planning to use your mobility scooter to get around your home, you will need to choose a compact device that has a tight turning radius– a fundamental feature when it comes to making sure that you’ll be able to properly navigate your home while keeping your furniture and belongings intact. If you live in a condominium or apartment building, a smaller scooter will be crucial as you might want it to fit into your elevator in order to reach your unit. If you live in a house and plan to use your scooter mostly outdoors– think of taking it to the store, to a nearby park or to visit friends or family in your neighbourhood– you may benefit from a larger mobility scooter. They come packed with features that will keep you safe and comfortable on the road– like LED lights, cup holders and even USB chargers.
What kind of comfort features do you require? Portable scooters come equipped with stadium seating. It is a comfortable and light-weight option for individuals who have good upper body support. If you are looking for added neck support and a cushier seat which will be ideal for longer rides, a mid-sized or heavy-duty mobility scooter will offer the comfort of a Captain’s chair, which includes an adjustable headrest. Another comfort feature you must consider is suspension. If you are looking to ride your scooter on uneven terrain, a scooter with stability control features will improve your experience and relieve you of any possible pain that rough movement could inflict on you.
How far and how fast will you travel on your scooter? Whereas an average travel scooter will travel between 6.5 -8 km/h and have a range of about 20-25 kilometres, a heavy duty scooter will travel at about 18 km/h and go as far as 60 kilometres. That is a big difference and a factor that you should definitely take into account when looking at your mobility scooter choices.
What’s your budget? The price range for mobility scooters is just as diverse as the product choices. As you start your research into a brand new scooter to buy, make sure that you find out if you qualify for government help or for any other programs that provide financial aid to people living with disabilities. It is also possible that your health insurance may pay for a portion of the device if deemed medically necessary. This kind of information will help you make the ultimate decision much easier.
As a person ages, few home health care products become as life-changing as a reclining lift chair. When we speak to our customers, especially those experiencing leg, hip and back pain, they often tell us that one of the hardest movements for them to make is to sit down on a chair and eventually get back up. The mere action of sitting demands that a person use her core muscles, hips and legs to complete the movement. That is where a lift chair can be of great assistance.
Below, are 5 benefits that you should consider if you are in the market for a lift chair for yourself or a loved one.
A helping hand: Individuals who have a limited range of mobility, often experience lack of balance when it comes to sitting down and standing up. In some cases, another person is required in order to help that person carry out those movements safely. The lift recliner introduces a whole new level of independence. At the simple touch of a button, the seat can be lowered or raised in order to gradually, help the person achieve the position they desire.
The most comfortable sitting surface: Whether you are looking to read a book, entertain friends, watch TV or knit, the lift recliner is the perfect sitting surface for you to carry out any of those activities. Beyond their ability to help the person sit and stand, lift chairs have adjustable backrests and footrests. Three position and infinite position lift chairs, particularly, give you the option of operating those two sections independently. Imagine you have a friend over and need to have your legs raised in order to reduce swelling. Your back can be upright while your footrest comes up to offer the perfect level of comfort.
A safe napping surface: Lift recliners– especially those with infinite position capabilities– are a perfect spot to rest. Their ability to achieve a Zero Gravity position helps to align your spine, allows you to breathe better and improve your circulation while you rest in a perfectly horizontal position. Individuals who live with respiratory issues, like COPD or other lung conditions, can benefit from sleeping with the backrest in a slightly raised position (another option for those individuals is a home hospital bed).
Make it your own: When we think of home health products, we often think of institutional-looking devices– crafted from very simple materials in sad and monotonous colours. But when it comes to lift chairs, that is definitely no longer the case. Lift chairs come in a variety of colours for you to choose from– which you can easily match to your decor. They are also manufactured in different models and fabric materials. Are the couches in your living room leather? You can definitely find a matching, upholstered lift chair to suit that style.
Quality and durability: Lift chairs by factories like Golden Technologies and Pride are made to last. They think of the lift chair recliner as a device you will use several times a day, on a daily basis. That is why they are built with ultra-durable and easy-to-clean fabric materials and come with limited lifetime and 7-year warranties respectively.
If you are looking for a great medical lift chair at an unbeatable price, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts at Vital Mobility. If you are looking for a recliner lift chair for recovery from surgery or injury, feel free to look at our lift chair rental options— ideal for short term needs if you live in Toronto and the GTA.
That is a question that prospective customers ask us on a daily basis. When most of us think of a wheelchair, we envision two large wheels and two small casters affixed to a comfortable seating surface. However, due to the large variety of wheelchairs available to accommodate individuals’ very different needs, we can begin by telling you that the cost of a wheelchair can run from $300 all the way up to the many thousands of dollars. What determines a wheelchair’s price? We need to find out what you’re looking for, but the two main factors are construction and features.
Basic wheelchairs, which are mostly catered to recovery and occasional users, are often built out of steel. Steel wheelchairsare economical and durable — that’s why you’ll find that most rental wheelchairs are made from this material. Their main advantage is that they come at the smallest price-tag, but the largest deterrent for owning and operating a steel wheelchair is the weight (between 35-40 lbs). Their heavier frame isn’t particularly easy to fold and transport. The most popular wheelchair material without a doubt, however, is aluminum. Aluminum wheelchairs and combination Aluminum-Carbon Fiber wheelchairsweigh around 20 lbs, are extremely sturdy and resist corrosion very well. All these features make them ideal for everyday and outdoor use. In the upper range for wheelchairs, are Titanium wheelchairs and Carbon Fiber wheelchairs. Whereas these models are extremely durable and light, they are seldom employed for everyday use. These kinds of wheelchairs are the perfect choice for playing sports like wheelchair basketball or racing.
Once you begin to learn about wheelchairs, you also start to realize that the variety of features available in these devices is nothing short of overwhelming. A basic, steel frame wheelchair will have the option of elevating footrests and armrests that can be removed or lowered. As you move up into the aluminum and carbon fiber categories, wheelchairs can be customized to the users’ exact needs. An everyday user will need customized cushioning in the buttocks and back areas. A person with little to no mobility will need additional support for their body– including the head and neck. They will also be able to tilt or recline their chair to better position their bodies.
With so many options to consider, the cost of a wheelchair will vary quite a bit depending on your needs. When considering the use of a wheelchair, it is always most advisable to visit a registered physiotherapist or occupational therapist to make sure that your mobility requirements are being addressed. They will also recommend any government funding that could help finance your device. The team at Vital Mobility is highly knowledgeable about the entire range of wheelchairs and can help you, along with that information, to find the perfect device to give you the mobility you need.
During the winter season– and especially for elderly individuals and people who live with limited mobility– it is easy to lose the motivation that is so often needed to keep us moving. With snow and ice-covered roads, it is challenging to operate a manual wheelchair or take your rollator walker around the block. However, maintaining even a bit of physical activity is a crucial tool for living life to the fullest– and healthiest extent.
Some ideas for remaining active during the cold months are:
Invest in an exercise peddler: Portable mini-cycles are foldable and can be stored under your bed or sofa. They are an excellent way for you to exercise your legs or arms in the comfort of your own home. Just place the peddler in front of the couch as you watch your favourite show or read a book, and pedal away! Your leg and abdominal muscles, as well as your cardio and blood circulation will thank you. For arm use, place peddler over a table.
Use resistance bands: Resistance bands are an economical and safe way of adding some weight to upper body exercises at home. Whereas heavy hand weights can pose an injury risk for seniors, resistance bands are soft and flexible. The level of effort one must input is determined by each individual.
Lift your groceries: This is a quick and easy alternative to hand weights and resistance bands. Instead of storing your groceries right away, try taking a little more time to lift and lower the items as you organize them in your pantry and fridge. The weight of those items- like canned beans or a 1L carton of milk, can give your arm muscles the challenge they need to stay strong.
Get out to the mall: Transportation services like Toronto’s Wheel-Trans, can get you over to the mall when it isn’t safe for you to go outside on your own. Mall hallways — especially during early morning hours– are a great place for exercising with your manual wheelchair, rollator or walker.
Use the stairs: Steps can be great exercise tools that adapt to different mobility and fitness levels. If you can climb steps– even if slowly– you can try going up and down one or more flights of stairs every day. If your range of mobility is more limited, you can find support in the stair handrails and practice going up and down a single step repeatedly. This will strengthen your leg muscles and bring up your heart rate.
Not only is winter-time exercise crucial for your physical well-being, but adding movement to your daily routine can help you combat depression (including the winter blues). In addition, you can add a social aspect to your daily exercise by making arrangements to exercise with a friend and/or neighbour. You won’t only be preventing feeling down but you will also avoid feeling isolated when it is hard to get outside.