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.

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.

 

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.

What is a patient lift?

man with disability being transferred in a patient lift

man with disability being transferred in a patient liftA patient lift is a device that helps a caregiver transfer a patient with limited mobility from the bed to a chair and back. Patient lifts are operated either manually or automatically. A manual lift is operated by hydraulic-manual pumping. An automatic lift is operated by an electric motor. All of our patient lifts are designed to be operated by a caregiver or family member at home.

At Mobility Access Options NW, we offer different types of lifts:

  • Floor Models
  • Freestanding Units
  • Ceiling Mounted Units
  • Travel Units

The type of lift you need will depend on the size and layout of the room. It will also depend on what your needs are. We understand that one solution cannot accommodate everyone’s unique situation.  To supplement this demand, we offer a full range of lifts and other home care safety products. The products are designed to provide you or a loved one with independence. Let us provide you with the right lift that will fit your unique needs and care environment.

We just put a lift system in a home for a woman whose taking care of her husband. It got to the point where she couldn’t lift him anymore. Having an automatic patient lift installed in her home has really helped make both of their lives much easier.

With patient lifts, private insurance will sometimes pay for these lifts and so will the Veterans Health Administration. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Choosing a Company in the Mobility Industry

mobility access options nw is experience in the mobility industry

You need to make your home more accessible. Now what? Find a company to make the modifications. When you are looking for a great company in the mobility industry there are a couple things to consider.

mobility access options nw is experience in the mobility industryLook for a company that has been around for a while. Mobility Access Options NW has over 30 years of experience in the mobility industry. We have a good idea of what customers need in their home.

Look for a company that has a good reputation. A company’s reputation speaks volumes to their knowledge. And shows how well they take care of their customers. We have many positive reviews from companies and customers.

We pride ourselves on the quality of work that we provide to you. Sometimes you may need carpet removed or an electrical outlet for specific modifications. If an installation requires any kind of renovation we can help set you up with a professional contractor. When it comes to the installation of your products we only use products and companies that we believe in and trust. We’ve done our research and know that the products we choose are going to last.

We work directly with our manufacturers. Our technicians are trained to install their products professionally. We do not provide products to customers that can be purchased online to install themselves. Having a professional team like us ensures that your lifts and ramps are installed properly. When done properly everyone is safe. If you are in the market for a mobility device or accessible modifications for your home, look no further than Mobility Access Options NW.

What is the process for getting a stairlift in your home?

a bruno stairlift or chair lift demo unit in Salem Oregon

Are you wondering what our process is for getting you the perfect stairlift for your home? Getting a stairlift is easy. First, we will come and do a free evaluation of your home and determine your needs. We have stairlifts for all kinds of uses. Sometimes we will use vertical platform lifts in a home to help an individual who cannot use the stairs because they’re using a wheelchair or scooter. Once it is determined that a lift is needed, we will look at your stairway to make sure there is adequate space for a stairlift or vertical platform lift.

Here are some of the things we consider when evaluating your needs:

  • Are you able to sit/stand?
  • Will the home accept a lift? (are the stairways wide enough, etc.)
  • Can you operate it by yourself?
  • How many lifts do you need?

Do you have an outside stairway? That is not a problem as stairlifts and vertical platform lifts are built to handle outdoor conditions. At Mobility Access Options NW, we carry Bruno lifts which are made in the United States and very reliable. We have a long-standing reputation with the company and while we can repair just about any brand, we prefer to install reliable Bruno products.

People living in their home for decades don’t want to move, but a disability might force them to. Stairlifts can help people who suffer with:

  • Weak knees
  • Back Problems
  • Vertigo
  • Balance Issues
  • Diabetes
  • MS
  • ALS

Contact us to find out more about getting a stairlift and other services we offer.