Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lift Chairs: Good for more than just lifting!

Did you know that lift chairs do more than just lift the user from sitting to standing?  There are many benefits to having a lift chair in your home including the customized size, ability to target specific pressure points on the body and ability to recline to positions that elevate the body. Specific physical issues lift chairs target: [caption id="attachment_436" align="alignright" width="210" caption="Lift chairs do more than just lift!"]Lift chairs do more than just lift![/caption]
  • Circulation Problems
  • Arthritis
  • Mobility Problems
  • Weight
  • And Preventative Measures
Do you think you're a good candidate for a lift chair?  Leave a comment or complete our contact form to find a lift chair provider in your area!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Avoiding the Fall: Walking Aid Fitting

Every year over 50,000 individuals end up in the ER due to falling while using a walking aid.  Most of these falls occur because of improper fitting of the walking aid.  If you or your loved one is using a walking aid, we ask that you take these quick and easy steps to make sure the walking aid is on the correct height setting to prevent major injuries from falling. [caption id="attachment_433" align="alignright" width="395" caption="Fitting canes"]Fitting canes[/caption] Fitting a Walker or Cane
  1. Your first step is to get your favorite pair of shoes on that you wear most often.
  2. Then stand straight with your arms down and your elbows slightly bent, the way you would normally stand.
  3. Your friend will then measure from the middle crease of your wrist to the ground.
  4. Finally, set your walker or cane to that exact measurement.
If your walker or cane does not set to that exact height, do not keep the walking aid.  It is very hazardous to use a walking aid that does not fit.  Also, keep in mind that you should not have to bend down for the walking aid to support you.  You should be able to stand up tall and still have the walking aid supporting your body. Fitting a Rollator Fitting a rollator is very similar to fitting a walker or cane.  You will still need to be wearing your favorite shoes and stand with elbows slightly bent.  Your friend will then measure from your hip joint to the ground.  The top of the handle grips should be the same height as your hip joint. Have you tried other measurement tricks?  Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Adaptive Sports for Wheelchair Users

As a wheelchair user, have you thought about getting involved in your local adaptive sports?  There are many options out there for competitive and athletic wheelchair users that allow you to engage with other wheelchair users in the community and also keep you in shape. [caption id="attachment_430" align="alignright" width="400" caption="Wheelchair Tennis"]Wheelchair Tennis[/caption] The most popular adaptive sports are wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.  Both wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis are established sports with modified rules and highly competitive tournaments held on the local, regional and national level.  You can get involved through the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in their USTA Wheelchair Tennis program or through the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) for leisure or competition. Sport Wheelchairs For most adaptive sports, athletes will need a sport wheelchair.  These adapted wheelchairs have extra wheels to prevent falling backwards, enhanced center of gravity and low backs to get those touch shots.  Overall, the sport chairs help to make you more agile, stable and quick on the court. If you've participated in adaptive sports, please share your experience with us in the comments section below.  We'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Traveling with Respiratory Issues: Do I need Portable Oxygen In-Flight?

Is traveling with portable oxygen in your future?  While traveling with oxygen is possible, there are several factors to take into account.  You will first need to check that if you need portable oxygen while in-flight.  Once you discover you need portable oxygen, you'll need to check with your airline to see which portable oxygen devices they approve and also how much oxygen you'll need. [caption id="attachment_427" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Traveling with Portable Oxygen"]Traveling with Portable Oxygen[/caption] Since 1986, airlines have been prohibited from discriminating against passengers with disabilities, including those who need portable oxygen.  While regulations vary between airlines, the Air Carrier Access Act assures that passengers needing portable oxygen will be allowed a certain amount of supply and devices aboard their flight. Another challenge faced by travelers is the question of whether or not you need portable oxygen on your flight.  As most of you know, the air quality diminishes as you ascend from sea level so on standard commercial flights that cruise between 30,000 and 40,000 feet above sea level, the cabins must be pressurized.  The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires air pressure to be equal or lower than 8,000 feet above sea level which is sufficient for most of us.  However, for passengers with respiratory problems, the air pressure may not be enough to keep them healthy. Consult your healthcare provider before travel if you are suffering from emphysema or COPD, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis or interstitial lung disease or have difficult time breathing during normal everyday activities. Please share with us your experiences in traveling with portable oxygen.  To find an oxygen provider in your area, click here!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Man Behind the Mask: Health Benefits of CPAP Treatment

CPAP Mask ManA common misuse of prescriptions is the act of halting treatment when you start to feel better.  Most of us know that this is not effective and your symptoms will come back.  For many new CPAP users, the reaction is the same.  The device seems like an annoyance so when they start waking up feeling refreshed again, they simply stop using it.  This reaction is understandable because for many, it is difficult to see the major health benefits of the CPAP until they go back for a sleep study to see the actual proof. Today, let's review the health benefits of CPAP treatment for sleep apnea to keep you using your CPAP faithfully every night! Simply from the CPAP giving patients a full night's rest, they find themselves more alert, more able to concentrate and more emotionally stable.  Everyone knows that when you don't get enough sleep, you can be irritable and unable to concentrate, but there are many more benefits. A major health benefit of CPAP treatment is weight control.  In many cases, sleep apnea is actually caused by obesity so when they start treating their sleep apnea, their improved sleep patterns tend to cause them to make better eating decisions during the day.  Many eat during the day when they are feeling drowsy so without the drowsy feelings, they are less likely to indulge. One more, although there are many more health benefits to talk about, is hypertension.  Use of CPAP treatment has a direct correlation to improvement of blood pressure.  Sleep apnea causes high blood pressure so the reaction after continued CPAP use is lower blood pressure and much healthier heart. You may have noticed that all of these health benefits are dependant on one another and in some cases, caused the need for a CPAP in the first place.  We'd love to hear from you so if you have thought on your own sleep apnea or treatments, leave a comment below!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Many Forms of the CPAP Mask

Whether you sleep on your side, back or stomach, there is a CPAP mask for you.  Your CPAP mask should be secure and comfortable, allowing for maximum quality sleep for the entire night.  There are many CPAP masks to choose from including the nasal, nasal pillow and full face mask. Nasal Mask [caption id="attachment_419" align="alignright" width="280" caption="CPAP Nasal Pillow"]CPAP Nasal Pillow[/caption] Your nasal mask fits securely over the nose with headgear fastened at both the top and the bottom of the triangular shape attachment.  This mask is most commonly used for people that sleep on their side and need a lightweight mask for comfort. Nasal Pillow A nasal pillow fits securely to the base of the nostrils with two small pillows that are attached by headgear on either side of the pillows.  This mask has the least amount of contact with the face and is most effective for patients who only breathe through their nose while sleeping. Full Face Mask Many CPAP users require a full face mask which covers the nose and mouth.  This mask is most effective for patients who breathe through their mouth during sleep. There are endless options in CPAP mask designs and we recommend discussing these options and your preferences with a local respiratory provider.  Complete our form to find a provider in your area! Please share with us your thoughts on CPAP masks!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Portable Ramps: Exploring your options for accessibility!

As a wheelchair or scooter user, you may feel limited in the accessibility within your home and around your community, but you don't need to.  There are very effective portable ramp designs available to make your home and places you visit more accessible.  Read on to learn about the different designs and uses of portable ramps! [caption id="attachment_413" align="alignright" width="236" caption="Trifold Ramp from EZ-Access"]Trifold Ramp[/caption] Rubber Threshold Ramp The rubber threshold ramp is great for outside doorways in your home.  These ramps are lightweight, but sturdy options to get your wheelchair or scooter through an outside threshold safely and easily. Learn more. Portable Pathway Ramp The portable pathway ramp is a sturdy option for front door steps.  This ramp fits an entrance with several steps.  There is no assembly required, just simply position the ramp and it's ready to use.  Learn more. Suitcase Ramp This ramp is a convenient accessibility solution for raised landings, vehicles and multiple step entrances.  The simple one fold design makes it easy for storage and travel and is also very sturdy and safe to use.  Learn more. Trifold Ramp The trifold ramp is much like the suitcase ramp only it folds up into a smaller, more convenient ramp to have with you when traveling to turn any difficult passage into an accessible entrance.  There is some assembly required.  Learn more. As always, we believe the best home medical care you can receive should be close to home which includes specialized evaluations for mobility ramps.  To find a qualified mobility ramp specialist in your area, simply complete the form here. Which mobility ramps have you found useful in your home and around your community?  If you're a provider, please share how mobility ramps have helped your customers.