disability Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Lift and Accessibility Solutions

Over six million people in the United States need to use some type of assistive device to help with mobility. It’s not only the elderly who often need the aid of a walker, wheelchair, or cane. Many young and middle-aged individuals face health issues that make walking unassisted difficult. Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Fibromyalgia are a few of the disorders that affect people’s ability to walk. With the advancements in technology and science, strides have been made in aiding people with disabilities. One such advancement is that of the upright walker. This newer product gives people another option for getting around gracefully. Let’s take a closer look at some of the details of the upright walker.

 Helps you stand up tall

Traditional walkers are constructed to reach right about the waist level. When using a traditional walker, you set it right in front of you and step behind it. This means you must stoop over and lean down into the walker to walk. The upright walker got its name in part because it helps the user stand upright when walking. The handles are elevated to a height that allows people to have the walker at a comfortable height. People have the ability to look straight ahead instead of down at the pavement. This makes them more safe and comfortable.

 Framework for the upright walker provides safety

The framework of the upright walker surrounds the user on both sides and allows for a footstep of room. This means as people move forward, they are boxed in on each side for their entire movement. With traditional walkers the frame is set in front of you so that if you stumble to the side for any reason, there is nothing next to you. The upright walker is beside you every step of the way. If you would stumble to the side, you would have the support of the framework on both sides to help balance you.

 Shock absorbers and brakes

The upright walker is somewhat like a bike with mini tires and shock absorbers. This helps move you along bumpy terrain without all the jostling. Uneven surfaces are no problem with the use of an upright walker. In addition, you grip handles with brakes that extend from the armrests. If you need to stop yourself from moving along or you’re going down a slight hill and need some brake power, you will have it at your fingertips.

Discover the ease and comfort of walking with the upright walker. Whether you need to go around the block or to the mailbox, using this innovative product will make walking so much easier.

As you age, it gets a little harder to do things that you used to be able to do without thinking. Climbing stairs, maintaining your balance while walking, and reading fine print definitely make life harder, but there are ways of compensating for that like a walker, railings and chairlifts, and bifocals and reading glasses. The real struggle for many seniors though is lifting or carrying weight that used to be easy for you to shift on your own, but now feels far heavier than it used to. Unloading groceries from the car and carrying them up from the garage to the kitchen or moving laundry from the second floor to the first or your basement leaves you feeling like you just made a round trip to the peak of Mount Everest and back. Downsizing to a one-story house and moving your whole life to a new place seems even more complicated, expensive, and inconvenient, so what should you do?

Dumbwaiter Is A Solution

One solution that many senior citizens find particularly effective is to install a dumbwaiter in their home to automate carrying things to different floors. A dumbwaiter is like a small enclosed elevator for transferring household items safely and easily.  Simply load whatever needs to be transferred to a different floor into the dumbwaiter, close it up, then go upstairs or downstairs and have it lifted or lowered directly to you. No more worrying about losing your balance while carrying a laundry basket or bags of groceries on the stairs, and no more straining on your own or having to ask for help every time you need to bring groceries in or run a load of washing.

Cost Considerations

Installing a dumbwaiter allows you to live independently in your own home without the need for uprooting your life and moving into a smaller, more convenient home. It may seem like a significant expense given what is involved in the proper installation and setup for a dumbwaiter, but considering the statistic that selling your home and buying a new home often costs in excess of $25,000 in realtor fees alone, the cost of installing a dumbwaiter is significantly less than moving costs. It also allows you to stay in the home where you have probably spent the majority of your life and planned to stay in permanently.

If you are struggling with the day to day tasks of independent living such as carrying items up and down stairs or getting around while carrying things in your home, you should definitely set up a consultation for dumbwaiter installation. There is no reason to upend your life when a simple and effective solution will let you stay independent and in your own home.

It’s summer and it’s time to get out there and have some fun! These days there are more and more adaptive things that people of any level of ability can take part in outside the house. So, take in some fresh air and a bit of sun with a few of these fun activities.

Biking

A nice day out on an adaptive bike can be a great way to spend the day. If you do not own an adaptive bike, many bike stores in most cities sell or even rent them depending on where you live.

Picnic

A lazy day in the shade of a big tree on a warm day can be very relaxing. Enjoying a meal with loved ones and people watching can be a great way to recharge your batteries. Many parks allow pets, so you can even bring the family pet to get some fresh air.

Zoo

Spending the day at the zoo is such a thrill. You can experience the park at your own pace and there are so many things too see. Many zoos also have educational classes and tours that you can take part in during the summer. With the cost of most zoos not being free, it can be a wise and affordable idea to consider picking up a seasonal pass.

Pool

Many pools have exercise classes as well as free and private swim hours. Swimming can be a great way to float away the day, soaking up sunshine as well as building muscle and motor skill development as well. You will be hard pressed to find a more relaxing way to spend a hot summer day.

Start a Garden

Gardening is a fun great way to spend the day getting out and being around nature in your own backyard. The feel of soil in your hands and the pleasure of watching something you have planted grow can be very therapeutic. Come harvest time the food tastes that much better knowing that the meal you are eating came from garden to table.

Visit an Aquarium or Museum

You can easily find yourself lost for the days on end exploring a museum or an aquarium with so much to see at these locations. The downside is that often these locations can be quite expensive. It is worth it to look to yearly or seasonal family pass. If you are local and senior you will likely find that a yearly pass is very affordable as by comparison to day fees.

Photography

You don’t have to be Ansel Adams to thoroughly enjoy taking photos outdoors. It gives a meaning to outdoor activities to search for great photo ideas and can provide a creative outlet.

Birdwatching

You can sit on your porch or go to a specific locale away from home to watch birds. Learn about different kinds of birds, identify them by their calls, and take photos if you like. You can even share your findings at ebird and help scientists monitor bird populations.

For some who have suffered debilitating injuries, one of the biggest joys in life is overcoming the challenge of getting back to nature. The pressure of constantly being surrounded by four walls can quickly give anyone cabin fever, making the pull of nature and open skies nearly irresistible. One of the most popular water sports going right now for injured or disabled individuals is adaptive surfing programs.

Adaptive surfing has a wide range of benefits that go far beyond just getting out and back to Mother Nature. First off, it is not easy and it is a excellent form of fitness. Adaptive surfers will learn early on that both physical strength and endurance will come into play as well as core strength and balance as they develop the skills needed to surf.

Beyond the physical there are the mental benefits as well. Surfing has been said to be a great anti-depressant. The feeling of exhilaration as you skim the surface of the water has a profound effect on most surfers. After a day at the beach, it is hard not to be in a good mood.

With adaptive surfing, surfboards come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the person and their needs as well as their skill level , there are a lot of variable to finding the proper board.

Thankfully, there are a plenty of large and caring groups out there that are more than willing and ready to assist you in learning to surf. In adaptive surfing there are two main methods:

Adaptive Prone

The prone style can be done in an assisted and an unassisted fashion. Prone-assisted surfing often has someone that will assist the surfer in catching a wave. This can be done by paddling or pushing them into the proper position as well as helping the surfer back onto their board after catching a wave.

Prone-unassisted is the adaptive style of independent athletes that can catch their own waves and get back on their own board without assistance. Often the only assistance that adaptive surfers of this level need is help in and out of the water.

Waveski Boards

Waveski boards are surfboards that are designed for the surfer to sit upright and use with a kayak paddle to catch waves as they come in. These are excellent for first-time adaptive surfers as many often have room for an abled bodied person to help with navigating the surf until the surfer has the confidence to surf unassisted.

Whether as youths, adults, or seniors, people with disabilities or special needs find it difficult to engage in many activities that would otherwise allow them to interact with other people. It can be easy to feel left out because you don’t think you can participate in the same things non-disabled people “typically’ do for fun. But at the same time, it’s important to recognize that many of the things holding you back from socializing are mental, and can be overcome. If you have a disability and want to know how to socialize better, here are a few tips:

1. Understand your limitations, but don’t let them hold you back.

If you have a physical disability, you may not be able to necessarily participate in sports the same way as others, or go hiking or dancing without having to make special preparations. But at the same time, don’t let that hold you back from the things you can do – like finding another way to play your favorite sport, or meeting new people at an activity that doesn’t require a lot of physical activity.

2. Build your socializing experience around activities.

The best way to build relationships with people is around shared interests, and this stands true for those with disabilities as well as those without. If you want to socialize, try doing something you love, whether that be volunteering, taking a cooking class, or touring a museum. That way you can talk to people who are interested in the same thing you’re doing, and have a conversation starter if you’re unsure where to begin.

3. Answer questions if people genuinely have them.

If people that you talk to are curious about your disability, take time to answer their questions, as long as they are being respectful about it and show a genuine interest in understanding you and your perspective. This will help facilitate easier and more natural conversation that you can both be comfortable with.

4. Look for special mixers in your area.

If your area has mixers specially for people with disabilities, consider going to one. You may be surprised at who you meet there, and you don’t need to feel like you disability is your identifying marker, either – have a conversation with someone without thinking about how you are different.

It’s true that caregivers, especially family members, can play a crucial role in the long term health of a disabled loved one, but it also takes a lot of responsibility and effort. There are different levels of caregivers, such as a child taking care of a parent, or a parent taking care of a child.  Spouses can tend to each other, as well, if the needs arise.  If you have a disabled loved one, and are planning on being a caregiver to them, there are some things you need to know to provide the care your loved one needs.

Tips To Provide Quality Care-giving To A Disabled Loved One

Research

Conducting some research on their disability can give you some insight on how to be an efficient caregiver.  Finding out symptoms of a disability will give you an edge in providing your loved one’s needs.

Network

Finding other people who are caregivers can be a huge relief, especially to those without previous experience.  They’ll be able to support you and give you advice on their experiences to help you become an excellent caregiver.

Encourage

You should encourage and support your loved one’s independence as it is extremely good for their attitude and health. Talk to them about what they feel you really need to do for them and how best to support them in what they can and can’t do. If you are concerned that you need to step in, broach the topic in the most respectful manner possible. 

Keep Up With Advancements

New technologies become available every day to make disabled loved ones remain independent more easily. Join mailing lists and message boards to stay up to date on advancements and new techniques regarding your loved one’s condition. 

Accept Your Feelings

Care-giving can be a roller coaster of emotions, and it’s important to understand those feelings and accept them for what they are. You should put yourself in a position where you are effectively caring for your loved one. Build a support system and allow times for you to take care of yourself so you can better take care of them.

Ask for Help (When You Need It)

Though you may be a primary caregiver, you should be aware of your limits.  You should ask for help from other family members or doctors that are dependable.  Make sure to find out your other family member’s needs before you ask, so you can both make plans you can stick to.

Provide Availability

If you’re the primary caregiver, but you don’t live near your loved one, you can set up a system so you’re notified of any emergency.  You can set up an alarm system, manage doctor appointments, find a case manager, or hire local services.


Care-giving is a difficult task for anyone to take on, and it’s best to be prepared as much as possible.  If you’re unsure about care-giving, or need some extra advice.  Don’t forget to maintain your own health, for yourself and so taking care of a disabled loved one will be much easier.


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