handicap door opener button

5 Incredibly Important ADA Requirements Any Business Must Meet

Did you know that older adults are treated in the emergency room for injuries sustained in a fall every 11 seconds? Life can become more difficult as you age. Something as simple as opening a door can cause joint pain from arthritis, and bending over to pick something up could throw out your back. Aging isn’t fun, and many places that you once enjoyed may be difficult to get to. This is the exact reason the United States has the Americans with Disabilities Act or the ADA. For the elderly as well as those with disabilities, this law is essential to functioning in the modern world.

What is the ADA?
There are certain rules the ADA places upon businesses and public infrastructure that allow those with disabilities to access them. These are aptly known as accessibility standards. These include but are not limited to:

  • Handicap door opener buttons are those blue buttons with the stick figure silhouette of a person in a wheelchair that you see outside of a building. They are important for people in a wheelchair who may be unable to open the door, or for elderly individuals who may find the door prohibitively heavy.
  • Wheelchair ramps are fairly self explanatory, but important all the same. If a building is located up a flight of stairs, but you are in a wheelchair, you will not be able to get up the stairs. Wheelchair ramps for stairs circumvent this issue.
  • Elevators must be able to accommodate wheelchairs both in terms of internal dimensions and with regards to the width of the entrance into the elevator.
  • Handrails are very important to those who are able to walk but need something to assist them in the act. On staircases especially, it is common for older individuals to slip and fall. With handrails there to stabilize them, this becomes less likely.
  • Bathroom stalls are too small to fit a wheelchair inside, which is why handicap stalls are a necessary design criterion for public bathrooms. Handrails must be installed as well.

Everything the ADA requires businesses to include in their design, from handicap door opener buttons to more room in a public bathroom stall, is important and in many cases necessary for the handicapped peoples of America.

lift recliners for elderly

Answering Common Questions About Lift Recliners For Elderly Use

According to AARP and the National Conference of State Legislatures, 90% of people over the age of 65 want to live in their home as long as they can. Fortunately, there are many devices designed to improve household mobility and overall quality of life. Lift recliners for elderly use, for example, are devices growing in popularity, which can assist those with mobility issues from transitioning from the sitting to standing position. Here’s a quick FAQ about lift recliners for elderly use to help you make the best decisions regarding your mobility needs.

What specific mobility issues are lift recliners most accommodating to?
There is a wide range of mobility issues that cause people to invest in lift recliners. They’re typically most helpful for people who have trouble going from a sitting to standing position and back again. But there are multiple positions that lift recliners can move to in order to help you stand upright as comfortably as possible.

What are the different lift recliner positions?
While each brand of lift recliner is different, for the most part, they’re two- or three-position devices. The primary position is the default and exactly like a typical chair. The second position reclines in a rearward position to extend and outstretch for leg extension — think of a typical chair in the reclined position. Finally, three-position lift recliners extend rearwards, rising the ottoman and extending further back than the typical recliner.

What type of material are lift recliners made from?
Lift recliners come in many different fabrics and materials, so it’s up to the user to determine which material they find most comfortable. If you’re unsure about the material, think about how long you anticipate spending in the chair at any given time. If it’s going to be a major place of relaxation for you, a more breathable or microfiber material is suggested. But above all, if you have a material that makes you most comfortable, that’s the best bet.

Ultimately, over 2 million senior citizens visit the emergency room each year for injuries caused by a fall. Understanding how lift recliners for elderly use help enhance accessibility is the best way to achieve full mobility and make the best decision for your accessibility needs. For more information about medical lift chair recliners, contact Access NSM.

handicap automatic door opener

3 Benefits of Investing In Automatic Door Openers For Your Home

handicap automatic door opener

Approximately 53 million Americans live with a disability, and according to a recent study, the most common disability is associated with limited mobility. And while there are countless devices designed to help patients achieve full mobility, one of the most difficult aspects of getting around your home in an electric wheelchair often involves opening and closing doors. If you’re struggling to get through doorways due to your limited mobility, it’s important to understand all the advantages that come with installing handicap automatic door openers. Here are just a few benefits of investing in handicap automatic door openers for your home.

Ease of Use
Automatic door openers do come in multiple models and designs, but for the most part, they’re incredibly simple to use and maintain. They typically operate using either motion sensor technology or with a simple remote control or button. Whichever your preference, rest assured that as long as the doorway meets ADA door requirements, your wheelchair will comfortably fit through without any extra hassle or maneuvering on your part.

Preservation of Privacy
The difficulty that many people experience when opening and closing doors in an electric wheelchair often leads them to do it only when necessary. This can negatively impact privacy, and everybody deserves to feel comfortable in their home. Installing handicap automatic door openers throughout your home can ensure that you always have a comfortable level of privacy in your home.

Flexibility During Installation
Finally, many people are often deterred from installing devices designed to improve mobility simply because they assume the installation process is difficult. However, the professionals that install these devices in homes typically have years of experience doing so and are fully trained on the latest safety procedures and accessibility standards, so you can rest assured that they’ll be in and out of your home in just a few hours, and your device will be up and running and ready for use.

Ultimately, approximately 6.8 million Americans use assistive devices to aid their mobility, and handicap automatic door openers are just one device that makes lives easier every single day. For more information about devices designed to improve mobility, contact Access NSM.

ada door requirements

3 Tips To Improve Accessibility Based On ADA Door Requirements

ada door requirements

Approximately 53 million Americans live with a disability today, and according to a recent study, the most common disabilities are all associated with limited mobility. While many patients make alterations to major rooms of their homes to make mobility easier, it’s important to understand that doors and doorways themselves can also be modified to accommodate any type of mobility-related issue.

If you’re trying to make your home or business compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, here are just a few pieces of advice for understanding ADA door requirements and modifying the doors and entryways in your home or commercial building.

Ensure Leveled Entrance
Checking the level of the floor in between rooms is a crucial aspect of increasing mobility of common household doors and entryways. Many doors have a strip of wood on the bottom that serves as part of the door’s frames and separates the rooms. However, it isn’t strictly necessary and can be easily removed to return the floor to its leveled state. Similarly, if there is a discrepancy in the level of the inside and outside flooring, it’s simple to add a piece of scrap wood to the lower leveled side to ensure a flat surface all throughout.

Widen Doorways Themselves
This may not be a feasible option for all financial or architectural situations, but it’s worth considering for those who do have the investment. Traditional door frames tend to be about 32 inches wide. However, most wheelchair designs require a high level of precision and accuracy to properly navigate through that tight of a space. That’s because many modern wheelchairs have a wider design that needs a full 36 inches of space in order to move through doorways comfortably and safely.

Similarly, depending on your living situation, it may be easier and more logical to simply remove certain doors completely. Make sure to consider even small modifications, such as ADA door opener requirements, which can improve access and mobility in many ways.

Don’t Forget The Doorknobs
Finally, it’s important to remember to adjust the type of doorknobs in accordance with your mobility needs. Traditional doorknobs do require a certain level of dexterity to operate with ease. If you have wrist-related mobility issues, arthritis, or certain types of paralysis, door handles can be a major barrier. When trying to improve mobility and access in your home or commercial building, consider installing door handles designed for maximum ease of use.

If you’re trying to meet ADA door requirements or simply make your home more wheelchair friendly, then keep these accessibility standards in mind and be aware of even small changes you can make. This is a great way to invest in quality of life and overall wellbeing.

For more information about complying with ADA door requirements or to order wheelchair lifts for vehicles, door openers, and other mobility devices, contact Access NSM today.

wheelchair lifts

Guide To Understanding Types Of Wheelchair Vehicle Lifts

wheelchair lifts

According to the AARP and the National Conference of State Legislatures, 90% of people over the age of 65 want to live in their home as long as they can. While aging in place is extremely popular, it’s not always practical. That is, unless the right steps are taken to prepare a home for seniors with mobility challenges.

And while there are many assistive devices designed to aid mobility, wheelchair lifts are some of the most useful and versatile in helping people with limited mobility get where they need to go and live a comfortable life. For seniors living in large or two-story homes, these lifts are especially important for making aging in place possible.

However, for transportation purposes, wheelchair vehicle lifts are also incredibly beneficial to maintaining quality of life. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the various types of wheelchair lifts for vehicles available today.

Exterior Wheelchair Lifts for cars, trucks, vans and SUVs

Exterior Wheelchair Lift Example

Outdside or Exterior Vehicle Lifts
Outside wheelchair vehicle lifts are used to secure a wheelchair to a vehicle’s exterior. It’s usually attached using a trailer hitch receiver so that it can be safely and securely transported from location to location. Exterior wheelchair lifts for vans and other vehicles are growing in popularity because they can be used with vehicles of almost any size. They’re also beneficial because they don’t take up valuable space inside of the vehicle itself.

Finally, it’s important to know that these outside vehicle lifts can be moved from vehicle to vehicle using a relatively short and simple process. It should also be noted that outside lifts are generally best for those who can stand for two to three minutes while the lift is operating. But once the wheelchair is strapped down and covered, moving it from place to place is made much easier.

Interior Wheelchair Lift for vehicles

Interior Scooter or Wheelchair Lift Example

Inside or Interior Lifts
Finally, interior lifts are cost efficient and improve mobility, although they are a bit more difficult to operate for some users. They’re similar to hybrid lifts, but instead of operating with the push of a button, indoor lifts swing outward in order to lift and load the wheelchair or scooter.

Check out the video playlist above of Harmar and Bruno scooter and wheelchair lifts that are available.

Ultimately, being able to differentiate between the benefits of outside lifts, hybrid lifts, and inside lifts can help you make the most informed decision regarding your mobility needs.

AccessNSM provides various types of the scooter and wheelchair lifts for cars, trucks, vans and SUVs, manufactured by Bruno and Harmar. Contact an AccessNSM branch today for a free evaluation.

stair lift

Answering Common Questions About Harmar Lifts: Part 2

stair lift

In the last post, we answered some of the most commonly asked questions about Harmar lifts. However, there are still a number of questions that need to be addressed in order to properly determine the right product for your mobility needs. Here are some answers to some more common questions about Harmar lifts.

Is a stair lift the same as a vertical platform lift?
No, the two are very different products that serve very different purposes. While a stair lift is designed to carry the patient up and down full flights of stairs, a vertical platform lift, sometimes referred to as a VPL, is designed to transport a scooter, wheelchair, or power chair up and down distances ranging from two feet to 14 feet.

 

Vertical Platform Lift for Wheelchairs

Vertical Platform Lift

Harmar explains, “A VPL can be used inside or outside the home to move a mobility device and its user from ground level to an elevated porch, deck or second level. A VPL has a much smaller footprint than a ramp which would require a gradual slope and much longer space.” The biggest difference between stair lifts and vertical platform lifts are their capabilities.

I have a curved staircase; is there a Harmar lift for me?
Yes! Unlike some accessibility product manufacturers, which only design stair lifts for straight staircases, Harmar developers have designed high-quality curved staircase lifts that work as effortlessly as their straight stairway counterparts. If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to contact a local AccessNSM branch. We are a certified Harmar lift dealer.

Harmar Curved Stairlift

Harmar Curved Stairlift

What if my stair lift malfunctions?
If you feel as though there is a mechanical problem with your Harmar wheelchair lift or stair lift, stop the machine and remove any attached vehicles. If there is a footrest equipped in the device, fold it in. Unplug the system and plug it back in, and this should correct the issue. If you’re still having problems, consult the Harmar lift manual for specific troubleshooting suggestions.

By 2030, older adults (seniors) will account for roughly 20% of the U.S. population. And ultimately, being aware of the basic benefits that come with stair lifts can help you make the best investment in your mobility, your health, and your overall quality of life. For more information about Harmar commercial and home stairlift solutions, contact AccessNSM.

harmar lift dealers

Answering Common Questions About Harmar Lifts: Part 1

harmar lift dealers

According to HomeAdvisor’s 2016 Aging in Place Report, home service professionals say the top aging-in-place projects they’ve been hired to do include installing grab bars (71%) and adding entryway wheelchair ramps (54%). But when it comes to accessibility standards, lifts are also an essential piece of equipment for mobility assistance. Before you reach out to Harmar lifts dealers to invest in your own personal Harmar stair lift, however, it’s important to understand the basic capabilities that these lifts have to offer. Here’s part one of our FAQ regarding Harmar commercial and home stairlift solutions.

What is a stair lift?
A stairlift is a motorized device that has the ability to carry a person up or down a stairway. The person sits on the chair as it glides up or down the stairway’s steps. Stairlifts come in models that are designed for indoor or outdoor use; outdoor use stairlifts are designed to withstand even severe weather conditions. Consult with Harmar lift dealers to hear about which model is best suited for your mobility needs.

Harmar Lift

Harmar Lifts for Stairs

What type of maintenance do Harmar wheelchair lifts and stair lifts require?
Harmar products are designed and manufactured with low-maintenance features in mind. They are tested for quality assurance and therefore should not need much maintenance whatsoever. For specific details regarding the maintenance needs of your lift, consult the Harmar lift manual.

How do I determine which types of lifts are compatible with my mobility device or vehicle?
Contact an AccessNSM branch to hear about which products are most suitable for your needs. We are a Harmar lift dealer  There are such a wide range of Harmar products available, and there’s bound to be a solution that works perfectly for you.

Can my Harmar lift be plugged into the electrical wiring on my current vehicle?
No. All Harmar lift devices are powered by electrical harnesses, which come fully supplied with each lift. The harness is equipped with full-length leads that are designed to be directly attached to the lift’s battery.

Ultimately, knowing the answers to these common questions surrounding Harmar lift products can help you make the most well-rounded and informed decision regarding your mobility needs. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we’ll answer some more common questions about Harmar lifts.

vertical lifts for home

Curved Stair Lifts vs. Straight Stair Lifts: What’s the Difference?

vertical lifts for home

From not understanding modern technology to having trouble hearing, getting older comes with its fair share of challenges. But if you’re approaching your golden years, then there might be another issue you experience frequently: limited mobility. And considering that over two million senior citizens are admitted to the ER annually for fall-related injuries, safety should be high on your list of priorities as you age.

If you want to ensure your personal safety while living in the comfort of a familiar place, vertical lifts for homes are an excellent option. But when it comes to choosing between curved stair lifts and straight stair lifts, you’re left with a difficult decision. Is there really a difference between the two? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Straight Stair Lifts

Straight Stair Lifts

Straight Stair Lifts
When you look at your typical stair lifts for homes, the majority of your options will be straight. These platform lifts for home use are designed purely for the safe mobility of people who may not be able to get up and down the stairs of a multi-story home anymore. Some benefits of a straight stair lift include:

  • Safety when moving between floors
  • Independence as you grow older in your home
  • Convenient installation
  • Affordable prices

Straight stair lifts offer all of these benefits and more. But what happens when your main stairwell isn’t a single set of straight stairs?

Curved Stair Lifts

Curved Stair Lifts

Curved Stair Lifts
Fortunately, you have multiple options when it comes to mobility in your own home. If your home’s main stairwell is curved (or you have multiple connected stairwells) a custom curved stair lift is an excellent option. Unlike straight stair lifts for homes, the rails of curved stair lifts are fitted specifically to the contours of your stairwell, whether it’s curved or it turns at a sharp angle. Some homeowners may be tempted to invest in two straight stair lifts rather than a curved stair lift, but ultimately it becomes an issue of safety. When two straight stair lifts are installed, the user must transfer from one seat to another in the middle of the stairwell. Not only does this open up opportunities for mechanical complications, it puts the user’s safety at risk.

When it comes down to it, chair lifts for seniors are often essential tools in maintaining mobility and independence. But where safety is concerned, a curved stair lift offers a better sense of security in homes with custom stairwells.

handicap bathroom requirements

Your Guide To Transforming Any Bathroom To Meet Handicap Bathroom Requirements

handicap bathroom requirements

Many people think that transforming their bathroom to be handicap accessible requires significant time, money, and other resources. But each year, nearly 235,000 people experience injuries in the bathroom, according to the CDC, and taking some small steps to make sure your bathroom meets accessibility standards can make all the difference in transforming it into a room that people of all abilities feel safe and comfortable using. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the specifics of the ADA’s handicap bathroom requirements.

Space
Before we discuss specific bathroom accessibility products, it’s important to address the issue of space. Handicap bathrooms must be able to accommodate a wheelchair rotating 90 degrees, which is typically about 60 inches in diameter. Keep in mind that certain fixtures may be accounted for in this required space, i.e., if a bathroom counter is high enough off the floor and has empty space under it that would allow for a wheelchair, that space can count toward the 60 inches.

Toilet
The height of a toilet seat should be between 17 and 19 inches to comfortably accommodate a wheelchair. There should also be 60 inches of space around the toilet for wheelchair rotation purposes. The Balance states that an accessible lavatory should extend a minimum of 17 inches from its back wall with an additional 29 inches of space “from the bottom of the apron to the finished floor.” Keep in mind that the maximum height of a lavatory should not exceed 34 inches, and if it is placed on a counter, there should be no more than two inches of space from the front edge.

Grab Bars
Another major component of creating a handicap accessible bathroom is the installation of grab bars. These are not intended to be used as towel racks, but rather, to aid those with limited mobility in getting on and off of the facilities. The diameter of a grab bar should measure between one and a quarter inches to one and a half inches, according to ADA guidelines. It should also be placed between 34 and 38 inches off the ground for maximum usability. The grab bar should also be rounded and have a large enough gap to be comfortably grabbed.

Ultimately, understanding these ADA bathroom requirements can help you transform your bathroom into one that is safe and easy to use for people of all ability levels. For more information about handicap bathroom requirements and wheelchair vehicle lifts, contact Access NSM.

stair lift

Considering Investing In A Stair Lift? A Quick FAQ To Help You Get Started

stair lift

Approximately 6.8 million Americans use assist devices to aid their mobility. One of the most popular types of mobility aids for those residing in homes with multiple levels is a stair lift. Before you invest in your own personal stair lift, it’s important to understand its capabilities. Here are some answers to common questions about stair lifts.

How does a stair lift work?
A stair lift is simply a chair-like lift installed with a motor to transport riders between the various levels of their home. The stair lift typically lifts along the railing of the stairs while keeping the rider safe and comfortable. Various models have been used through the years, but the current and most popular design is proven to be safer, more reliable, and easier to maintain.

Does a stair lift only work with straight staircases?
No — again, stair lift technology has greatly expanded to meet accessibility standards over the years and can now be installed on virtually any type of staircase. Even if your staircase is longer, narrower, or more winding than most, stair lift professionals can almost always help to find a solution that works for you and keeps you comfortable.

Does installing a stair lift cause damage to your staircase?
When installed properly, a stair lift should not cause any damage to your staircase or the surrounding area. The two to three hour installation process has been optimized to be as minimally invasive as possible while providing safety, comfort, and mobility to its users.

How do stair lift users get off at the top or bottom of the stairs?
Stair lifts come equipped with a swivel mechanism in the seat to allow for quick and easy motion. This mechanism allows passengers to exit at either the top or bottom of a stairwell with ease, and without risk of tripping or getting stuck in the seat. Rest assured these products are some of the safest of their kind.

What electrical components are required for stair lift installation?
Typically, all that is needed to get your new stair lift working is a nearby electrical outlet of standard size.

Ultimately, understanding these essential answers about stair lifts is the best way to make the right decision regarding your mobility needs. For more information about outdoor stair lifts or curved stair lifts, contact Access NSM.