Tips and Tricks for Caregivers

Female nurse helding elderly woman in wheelchair at home

Caregiving is a selfless job that usually doesn’t receive all of the accolades it deserves. If you are a caregiver, it can be hard to find the proper balance between work and managing your own life. We know how hard it can be to juggle everything life throws at you. Here are a few tips and tricks that may help you find your happy medium.

Tools for Success

Caregivers can find the right tools to help perform the job safely and easier. Utilizing certain tools will help you work smarter, not harder. Threshold ramps are one way to ease your patient into and out of the house or over difficult thresholds.

Another useful tool is a patient transfer lift. This tool allows you to safely transfer your patient with ease without taking up too much room in the home. Whether you need it in the bedroom or the living room, it allows you to lift without straining yourself.

portable ramp also might be helpful. Whether you are using it for the front porch steps or doctor visits, it’s a valuable asset to have.

Self‐Care

More than just making sure you can comfortably help your patient, it is important to take care of yourself as well. While you are with your patient it is important to give them your undivided attention to ensure their happiness and safety. In your alone time however, make plans to do something you enjoy. Whether it’s reading a good book or going for a long walk, these simple activities can go a long way.

It is also important that while you are caring of someone that you take frequent breaks. Exhaustion can cause you to make careless mistakes. For all parties involved, it’s smart and safe to take short breaks to rejuvenate. You can also use this time to plan fun activities for yourself outside of caregiving.

Taking care of someone else, whether it is a relative, friend, or your career, can be a tiring and often times isolating. Don’t forget to give yourself some credit and make sure you follow these tips and tricks to make each day a little better.

How Much Does a Bruno Stairlift Cost?

older couple enjoying breakfast in their homeDetermining the price of a stairlift depends primarily on the stairway configuration and length. The lift capacity, styling preferences, power options or other upgrades are also factored into the cost.

Factors that determine the price of a stair lift:

  • Is a straight or curved stairlift needed?
  • What is the length of the staircase?
  • Is a heavy-duty lifting capacity needed?
  • Do you have a stair lift styling preference?
  • Are there landings at the top or bottom of the staircase?
  • Would you want power options or other upgrades?
  • Does the state require a stair lift permit?
    • (Yes! Oregon requires all stair lifts to have a permit.)

Price of Straight Stair Lifts

Straight staircases are the most common, and least expensive, stair lift. Prices for Bruno straight stair lifts vary, and a basic installation can start at approximately $4000 for the Elan model. This includes installation and Bruno’s industry-leading limited Lifetime Warranty on major components, the rail, motor, and the gearbox. Bruno’s premium-quality straight chairlift, the Elite model, is a step-up in pricing and features a 400-lb lift capacity and luxury comfort seat.

Personalized customization of a stair lift such as adding a manual or power folding rail, larger seat or footrest, power swivel seat, power folding footrest, or different fabrics and colors will also increase cost.

Price of Curved Stair Lifts

Staircases with curves or landings require a curved stair lift. To ensure a perfect fit for an exceptionally smooth ride, Bruno custom designs and fabricates its curved stairlift rails to precisely fit each unique home.  Because Bruno curved stair lift rails are hand-crafted, prices typically start at approximately $9000 plus installation and increase depending on the length and complexity of the staircase.

While a custom-crafted stair lift rail can be more expensive than a “modular” design used by many manufacturers, it delivers a consistently smooth, quiet, stable ride that is second to none.  This renowned quality has resulted in Bruno being the top-selling curved stair lift in North America for over 20 years.

Alternatives to Stair Lifts

Stair lifts are a simple, cost-effective solution to solve the challenge of climbing stairs compared to moving or remodeling. Moving to a different home results in thousands of dollars in realtor fees, closing and general moving expenses. In addition, remodeling to accommodate a bedroom and shower on the first floor is often impractical and cost-prohibitive.

The cost of a stair lift is even more economical in contrast to an assisted living or nursing facility. In addition to the monetary cost of moving, stairlifts reduce the financial and emotional costs of having to move from the family home.

The Cost of a Stair Lift is Worth the Peace of Mind

Another benefit that comes with the price of a Bruno stair lift, is the confidence you and your family gain knowing you can effortlessly and safely go up and down your home’s steps as long as you choose to live in the home.  Read online reviews about Bruno stair lifts, and you will discover for yourself the life-changing ease and peace of mind a chairlift can bring to your life.

Get a Free, No Obligation Price Quote

At Mobility Access Options we offer a free, no pressure price quote.  Most of the time we can collect the information over the phone and via email and give you a proper estimate. However, sometimes we will need come to your home to learn about your needs, measure your steps and recommend the best stair lift for your needs.

Call us today at 971-304-7464

Accessibility in Schools

Many students have special needs, some of those are mobility related. It is easy to make a school more accessible. You know you need to meet codes, but what can you do to really go above and beyond to optimize mobility for students?

Even if a school is on a budget, there are many simple upgrades that can be done over the course of time to create a good space for students.

Any school needs to have ramps for wheelchairs and scooters. When choosing a ramp, keep in mind ADA specifications and the amount of area you are working with. Building a ramp into the building is one way to go about it and will give you a more permanent structure. If you are on a budget, an aluminum ramp is just as effective. If there is limited space or you are working with a tall ledge like a stage, your school may consider a vertical lift. When choosing a vertical lift, be aware of the noise it causes. You don’t want to be disruptive to other students or bring unnecessary and potentially embarrassing attention to the student using the lift.

Desks that can be adjusted for height are also necessary. If a student is uncomfortable in their space, they will have trouble learning at the level they should be. To create a more conducive environment for learning make sure classrooms are easy to navigate, and learning spaces such as desks, group tables, and computers are easily accessible to everyone.

Bathrooms are an area that is easily overlooked. Go beyond just making a bigger stall for handicapped students by adding assistive rails to help with transferring from wheelchairs to toilets. Adding automated features will also help students who have trouble with knobs. Add automated flushing, sinks, soap dispenser, and paper towels or hand driers to make the bathroom a more comfortable place for students with these troubles.

Everyone deserves to have a fun and comfortable learning environment. Here at Mobility Access Options NW, we install mobility solutions in residential and commercial settings. If you are looking to make your space more accessible, call us at 971-304-7464!

Managing Your Arthritis

While there are many different types, arthritis can be generalized as the inflammation of joints (sometimes other parts of the body too!) that can cause pain and stiffness for those affected. Are you a person who suffers from arthritis? We know pain relief is important. If you are looking for a way to manage the pain from arthritis, here are some helpful tips from Mobility Access Options NW.

Helpful Tools

Many daily tasks that we take for granted can irritate arthritis. Cooking, gardening, doing your hair, even holding a phone can cause flare ups in pain. These pains can be avoided by changing the way you approach these tasks. You don’t have to change much, there are many tools specifically designed to work with your arthritis and avoid pain throughout the day.

Alternative Medicines

If you want to avoid relying on prescribed pain medications because of troubling side effects, you may want to talk to your doctor about different ways to combat pain. Many patients have seen success in acupuncture. If you want to go down this path, it is very important that you talk with your doctor first.

Herbs & Supplements

There are many anti-inflammatory supplements you can add to your diet to help naturally bring down the inflammation that causes arthritis pain. You can find these in herbal teas, add them to meals, or take them as pills.

Some well known anti-inflammatory herbs are:

-Turmeric

-Cayenne

-Ginger

-Cinnamon

-Cloves

-Sage

-Rosemary

You can also easily find supplements available with mixtures specifically designed for reducing arthritis pain. These are available where supplements are or online.

If your pain and stiffness is causing you problems with mobility and getting through your life the way you want it, call Mobility Access Options NW at 971-304-7464. We specialize in all types of mobility products. We make sure you get the freedom you deserve.

Vertical Platform Lifts

Gain easy access to raised entries, decks, or different levels in your home with a Bruno residential vertical platform lift (VPL). Bruno wheelchair lifts are available up to 14 feet and provide a cost-effective access solution to your home. Enjoy a smooth quiet ride, easy operation, and maintenance-free reliability. Bruno vertical platform lifts, also called porch lifts, can be installed indoors or outdoors, are code compliant and offer American-built quality.

Features of a Bruno vertical platform lift:

  • Automatic self-lowering folding ramp
  • Non-skid platform, ramp surfaces
  • Weather-resistant unit coating and controls
  • Continuous pressure rocker switch control
  • Emergency stop switch on platform
  • Safety sensors in platform bottom stop unit if obstruction sensed
  • Quiet, smooth ride
  • Affordable AC power in 4- and 6-ft units
  • Reliable DC battery power available in all travel heights ensure operation even during a power outage (standard in 10-ft and above)
  • Bruno stairlift Gold Warranty: two year major components; one year parts

Having problems accessing raised areas? Decks, raised entryways, and multi leveled homes can all be difficult for those in wheelchairs or scooters. Ramps work well, but sometimes they are not the right fit for the space depending on what your needs are and the amount of room you have to work with.

This is where vertical platform lifts (VPL) can be a huge help. They can take up less space than a ramp and be extremely helpful in helping you gain easy access to higher levels you would not be able to with a ramp alone. They can be easier to use than a stair lift for transporting scooters and wheelchairs.

At Mobility Access Options NW, we like to install Bruno vertical platform lifts or porch lifts. They can be installed indoor or outdoors and are durable and reliable. All surfaces of the platform are non-skid and have safety sensors on the bottom that will safely stop the unit if there is something detected underneath, as well as an emergency stop switch for the user. There is even battery power available in case of a power outage. Contact us today for additional information.

Making Your Home More Wheelchair & Scooter Accessible

Elderly woman sitting in Pride Mobility Jazzy Select Power Wheelchair

Do you want to be more mobile in your home? There are a few quick things that you can do to make your house more friendly and fit your needs. Mobility Access Options NW is here to help you be comfortable in your home.

Clean Up

It seems simple, but having your home free of clutter can help you navigate around with more safety. It will help keep obstacles out of your way and give you more space and range of motion. It will also help if you have a home with an open floor plan. This will give you more room to move in and is especially helpful if you use a wheelchair or scooter.

Accommodations

There are easy things you can install yourself to make your home more friendly to those with lack of mobility. Putting rails and bars for someone to hold on to in the bathroom is a good example of this. You can also make sure there is designated space for vans and portable ramps.

Repositioning

If you or someone in your home uses a wheelchair, simply lowering certain parts of the house to make them easier to reach. You can have light switches, appliances, thermostats, and other controls lowered or placed in range of the person using the wheelchair. The opposite applies to sinks. If you have a sink with cabinets underneath, you may want to remove those to allow room for a wheelchair to fit under it.

There are many things you can do on your own to make a home more welcoming to people with limited mobility. For the things you can’t do yourself, let us know. Mobility Access Options NW can help you using our years of experience and trained staff.

Choosing Summer Activities

Ready for some fun in the sun? Don’t let disabilities hinder you. Here are some tips for summer activities from us.

Asses Yourself

What is the activity you are trying to do and what are your limitations? Know your body and what activities could be problematic and harmful. Is it a hike with steep inclines and a lot of elevation gain? How long can you walk without needing to take a break? This also applies to wheelchairs or scooters.

Do Your Research

What kind of accommodations are there at the location? This is especially important at events such as festivals or concerts where you might be severely limited if there aren’t proper standards in place for wheelchairs and your experience might be less than ideal. Make sure the event fits your needs. For example if you know you probably will not be able to walk around and stand all day, plan times and spots to rest. If you have a wheelchair, pick routes around venues with the least resistance, or pick seating at concerts where your view won’t be blocked by people standing.

 

Check Reviews of Locations

You can find reviews or trip reports very easily on the internet. These can be helpful to getting a more personal and realistic account of the location or event you are thinking about going to. If you are really worried, it can help to call someone in charge and ask specific questions. Following along these lines, you yourself should leave a review to help people in your position in the future know what to expect.

 

 

Lack of mobility does not have to mean lack of fun. Just plan ahead and do it! If you need mobility access in your home, or want some more helpful advice from experts, get a hold of us here at Mobility Access Options NW! We are happy to assist you in any way we can.

 

Choosing the Best Ramp for Your Needs

 

You want a ramp to add convenience to your life, and this means helping you with mobility as well as not needing maintenance. Taking a look at your home and where you want to place the ramp can help you make sure you get the most out of it. Here are some things you need to assess before buying and installing your ramp.

Angle

The ADA recommended slope for public access & walking is a 1:12 ratio or 4.8 degrees. There are some cases where a steeper slope is okay for residential use. Make sure your ratio is comfortable and you don’t have too steep of a slope for walking or for your wheelchair. Your ramp should be about three feet wide.

Length

Look at your space and see how much real estate you have to work with. The length of your ramp will be related to the angle of your ramp. If you have a limited amount of space, you will have a steeper angle to your ramp. For this reason, you should decide what you want your angle to be before you look at length. Once you have your angle, look at the height of the top of where you want your ramp to be. From there, some math will help you. For a standard ADA Recommended 1:12 slope ratio, for every inch of rise, you will need one foot of ramp. So if you want the top of your ramp a foot above the ground, this would be 12 inches and require 12 feet of ramp. This can be altered up to a 1:6 ratio if there is a problem with space and you are comfortable with that angle.

Material

What do you want your ramp to be made out of? The two main options are wood and metal. Traditionally, ramps were made from wood. It has become more convenient and cost effective to install an aluminum ramp. Aluminum ramps also hold up better in the weather we see in the Pacific Northwest, where wood requires a lot of maintenance. Weather and environment are huge factors in choosing your materials, so take that into heavy consideration when looking at ramps.

If you are looking for a ramp to help improve your mobility, look to Mobility Access Options NW. We are experienced experts in mobility and will be happy to help you with finding your perfect solution to accessibility.

Why make your home more accessible?

woman in wheelchair exiting Bruno vertical platform lift on the porchLiving with a disability can make regular daily tasks more difficult. Most homes and buildings are not built with accessibility in mind. This makes it a challenge to get around and live your life. Thinking about a renovation for your home can be overwhelming and seem like a lot of work. There are actually a lot of options for making your home more accessible while keeping it safe and doing it right.

According to the last national census, about 56.7 million people in the United States are living with a disability. It’s important to make sure that the home environment for those with disabilities provides the support they need to lead safe and happy lives. Many people need some modification of their home to make sure that they can get around comfortably.

Creating a safe, accessible environment for those who are aging or who have mobility challenges often means structural changes in the living environment. Well thought-out and professionally planned home additions have several benefits.

Benefits of modifications:

  • Add resale value to your home
  • Simplify activities of daily living
  • Create safer surroundings
  • Maintain a normal routine for individuals
  • Keep loved ones in familiar setting
  • Delay expense of residential care or related facilities
  • Increase independence and quality of life
  • Decrease the potential of falling

By seeking professional advice now to evaluate your unique needs, you can prevent costly modifications later. Doing it right the first time may be more of an initial investment but in the long run it will be worth it to have everything you need in order to live comfortable.

Whether you’re in an older home that needs significant changes or are looking for ways to make your newer home more accessible to your needs, we are here to help. At Mobility Access Options, we have a team of experts ready to make your home comfortable and accessible for you. After all, a home is only really a home if it brings comfort to all who live there.

Stairlifts: What You Need to Know

Senior woman is climbing stairs with home caregiver

Are you or a family member having trouble getting up and down the stairs at home? It may be time to consider an alternative option. Stairlifts will make it much easier and safer to navigate the stairs without having to move to a more accessible home.

A stairlift, also known as a chair lift or stairway lift, is starting to become the most common solution for those who are no longer able to safely navigate the stairs. Most people prefer to stay at home because of the comfort and security it provides them.

Installing a stairlift takes away the stress that comes with living in a two story home with family members that are unable to climb the stairs. Here are some of the other benefits:

Safety

Safety is often the most common reason why people have a stairlift installed in their home. Aging or living with a disability makes it difficult to navigate stairs. The installation of a stairlift will instantly provide a safe way to access all levels of a home. Some may think that walking up and down the stairs is a good way to exercise, but that is not true for people who have limited mobility. One missed step while climbing up or down a staircase can result in a serious injury.

Independence

Everyone enjoys being independent, especially at home. When the stairs are no longer manageable for people, their independence is taken from them. Bedrooms are often moved to the first level and the basement is no longer accessible.  However, with the addition of a stairlift, independence can often be restored and folks don’t have to feel like they are a burden to their family.

Convenience

In addition to increased safety, a stairlift also provides convenience and comfort. You don’t have to stress about climbing the stairs. A chair lift will give you a safe, relaxing, and smooth ride to the upper level of your home. If something is forgotten upstairs, you won’t have to worry about how you’re going to find enough strength to climb back up the stairs. These lifts are most commonly used by people who need to safely get between the levels of their home; however, stairlifts can also be used to move laundry baskets up and down the stairs or boxes that are hard to carry.

If you are considering getting a stairlift in your home, give us a call to schedule your free consultation. We can evaluate your needs and answer your questions. Installation time is quick and non-disruptive. At Mobility Access Options NW, we will help you make the decision to make your life easier with the help of a stairlift.