5 Tips for Seniors to Stay Active in the Winter

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:

  1. Exercise Peddler

    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.

  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

 

Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer’s at Home

If there is one fact regarding individuals  living with Alzheimer’s that doctors and nurses all agree with, is that maintaining familiarity in their everyday surroundings is key for them. As the disease progresses, and a patient’s memory deteriorates, choosing to provide care for the person in the comfort of their own home — when possible– is often a wise choice.

Whereas some individuals choose to hire a care-giving agency for support, others decide to make the care of a loved one their full-time work. Whichever the situation though, there are several assistive devices and home health care products that can make the ordeal of preparing your home for an Alzheimer’s patient a smoother experience.

young and older womanHome Hospital Beds: Home hospital beds can provide a great level of comfort and safety for the patient.  In earlier stages of the disease, when the memory and sense of time/place are compromised, the beds’ side rails can help deter the person from wandering around their room or home and possibly hurting themselves. For patients with later-stage Alzheimer’s who begin to experience physical symptoms, a home hospital bed is also a great idea. As their ability to walk becomes compromised, the home hospital bed provides a great and versatile surface for them to rest. Fully adjustable backrests and legrests are ideal for caregivers to better position the patient. The bed’s adjustable height settings are perfect for helping a patient on and off the bed.

Transport Chair: Doctor’s appointments are a routine part of the life of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s. A transport chair can be a great tool for facilitating those quick trips. Unlike a regular wheelchair, the transport wheelchair has four small wheels– meaning that the caregiver is in charge of propelling the patient. With convenient foot-brakes and lightweight construction (most are built in aluminum), the they can be easily stored in the trunk of the car.

Bath Lift:  This fully electric bathing surface can be placed inside the bath tub.  It is ideal for a patient who doesn’t have a big range of motion and needs help in order to be lowered into or lifted from the tub. With convenient height and tilt controls, bath lifts can help ease the care giver’s experience  and provide extra comfort to the patient as they go about their bathing routine.

Rolling Commode: As toileting becomes a challenge for individuals with Alzheimer’s the commode is an excellent option to tend to their needs. The wheeled commode comes equipped with a built-in toilet sit and removable bucket. Many of them include a lid which helps double their functionality– they can also be used as transport chairs inside the home.

Caring for someone you love throughout their journey with Alzheimer’s isn’t easy. It’s filled with heartbreak and laughter, moments of hope and challenges. Mobility stores like Vital Mobility are here to help– with top notch equipment and dedicated staff that’s 100% committed to helping you and your family, every step of the way.

Not all Canes are made equal: What you need to know if you’re looking for a cane

The “modern” walking stick or walking cane, has been in use for hundreds of years. Ever since the 18th century, gentlemen began to replace their swords with canes– not for use as a mobility aid; but as a fashion accessory and status symbol. Walking sticks‘ trendy appeal dissipated in the 1940s, but their alternate use– as a walking aid– continues to maintain the popularity of canes among the mobility-impaired and elderly population in present days.

However, the modern cane has come a long way since its origins in polished wood. Throughout the years, manufacturers in the mobility industry have come to understand the staying power of canes and worked incessantly to improve  users’ experiences.

Nowadays, you can find many different kinds of canes to suit your condition and taste. For example, many are divided by the type of handle they offer:

Round Handle Canes: Usually equipped with foam grips, these canes are true originals. But beyond looking great, a round-handled cane is also utilitatian– the hook-shaped handle allows to easily hang the cane– from shopping carts and chairs for example.

T- Handle Canes: These canes also preserve the classical styling of days past and often come equipped with wrist-straps to help secure the cane to your hand. Many of them come in combinations of wood, metal and printed aluminum bodies. Their short, horizontal handle keeps your hand on the cane’s centre of gravity.

Offset Handle Canes: This more modern type of cane has a handle that is ergonomically designed to lessen the pressure on your hands while increasing stability– making them also ideal for heavier individuals. With grips made of gel or foam, offset canes offer the ultimate in comfort.

Then there are canes divided according to features:

Folding Cane: For some individuals, finding walking aids that are highly portable is a top priority. That’s where the folding cane comes in. These durable devices can fold into four pieces for easy storage inside your purse or suitcase.

Cane Seat: A convenient travel accessory, the cane seat is a device that when unfolded, provides you with a comfortable seating surface that stands on three, secure aluminum legs.

Quad and mini Quad Cane: Individuals looking for increased stability and balance need look no further than these revolutionary canes. Equipped with four legs (instead of a single tip), quad canes re-distribute your weight onto four equal points. They are ideal for individuals who need extra-help when climbing the stairs.

All-terrain Cane:  This specialty cane largely looks like an ordinary single-tip cane. But if you look at its tip, you will notice that it comes with four, retractable metallic spikes to give you added stability when walking on uneven or tricky terrains.

Today’s cane’s are definitely not your grandfather’s. They are mostly made in light-weight aluminum and come in hundreds of colour and print configurations to match your style. Contact the team at Vital Mobility today and they will happily help you track down the perfect cane for you.

 

Find the support you need from a SuperPole

When your mobility is restricted for one reason or another, the simple act of finding the stability you need to get up from resting surfaces like your bed or couch can present a significant challenge. Not only do you need a device that provides you with stability—but you also require something that can bear the weight of your body as you move into a standing position.

The team at Vital Mobility has scoured the home healthcare industry for a device that just that—and we can say we are proud to retail the sturdy and easy-to-install SuperPole. This expandable floor-to-ceiling pole is ideal for individuals who need help coming to a standing or sitting position. Whether you require a SuperPole right next to your bed, besides your favourite sofa or in the bathroom, this handy device will provide you with the reliability you seek.

superpole with superbar at vital mobilityInstallation is quick and mess-free. In order to set up the SuperPole, all you need to do is turn a screw at the base of the device in order to expand it. The pole will be ready for use once there is sufficient pressure between the floor and ceiling of your room—enough of it for it to bear the weight of your body without moving.

Many customers ask us if the SuperPole will damage their floors or delicate ceilings due to the pressure it places on both surfaces. Luckily, that is not a concern as the pole comes equipped with protective ceiling plates and rubber pads for the floor.

The SuperPole line also features handy accessories that can be purchased for added functionality. Take the Super Bar for example. This horizontal, rotating extension for the pole functions as a sort of grab bar. It provides support as you step around the pole and can lock in eight different positions.

Another great accessory is the SuperTrapeze extension. When attached to your SuperPole, the trapeze becomes a handy tool to help you into a sitting position while in bed. The device’s handle doesn’t look like your typical triangle—instead, it simulates two rungs on a ladder. This award-winning design enables an improved use of your arm strength to help you sit up.

Vital Mobility offers the entire line of SuperPole at great prices. Visit our website today to discover more about it today.

Feel better and heal sooner with cold therapy

The team at Vital Mobility is proud to offer an excellent selection of cold therapy devices for post surgical or post traumatic treatment. Cold therapy, otherwise known as cryotherapy, is the use of a cold to diminish the pain and swelling located in a specific area of the body.

Cold therapy device by aircastTraditionally, cold compresses– whether they be gel packs or ice packs, have been placed on affected areas to diminish pain and swelling. However, both methods of cold therapy are of limited duration. After a few minutes, an ice pack– for example– will begin to warm up and lose its therapeutic effects. That is why in recent times, cryotherapy systems have become the preferred treatment choice for patients looking for a continuous flow of cooling combined with steady compression for treatment that can go on for hours at a time.

Cold therapy systems are comprised of three main components:

1. The cooler: a thermos-like structure that holds a combination of water and crushed ice. Electric cold therapy systems have their pump located on the lid of the cooler.

2. The tubing: the spill-proof conduit for the cool water to circulate form the cooler to the cuff.

3. The cuff: Users will pick the cuff that’s most suitable for their condition. Someone who’s undergone knee replacement surgery will require a knee cuff for example. Individuals also have the choice of shoulder cuffs, wrist cuffs, ankle cuffs, foot cuffs, thigh cuffs, elbow cuffs and more. The cuff not only provides a slight level of compression for the affected area, but their spill-proof construction also handles the circulating water that’s necessary for effective treatment,

Breg Polar Care CubeAfter initially setting up the cold therapy system, patients will be able to use the device– uninterruptedly– for 5-6 hours at a time. Imagine setting up your cryo-cuff in front of your TV or computer and being able to quickly detach the cuff from the cooler in order to make a quick trip to the washroom or to warm up lunch? That’s easy to do with a cold therapy system as its spill-proof tubing allows for mess-free and quick activation and deactivation of treatment.

Recovery has never before been so easier. Study after study continues to shed light on the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that continuous cold therapy offers– especially in the days following surgery or trauma to a joint or extremity.

Both the Aircast Cryo-cuff and Breg Polar Care Cube system are excellent choices that Vital Mobility offers for retail. The Aircast cold therapy system is also available for rent– starting at a one-week period. Visit our website (www.vitalmobility.ca) or call our experts to inquire about this great device today.