patient lifts for home use

Hone In On The Home: Top Tips To Help Facilitate Aging In Place

patient lifts for home use

The majority of seniors (upwards of 90%, in fact) aged 65 and over want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. But certain adjustments need to be made in order for a house to be safe and comfortable for its inhabitants. Whether you are currently experiencing mobility issues or you simply want to plan ahead for the future, here are the most important areas of your home that will likely need some upgrades.

The front door
Long-term accessibility starts with your home’s main entryway. You might not currently be bothered by stairs leading to your front door, but without a ramp, you’ll have a tough time coming and going. If you intend to keep your stairs in addition to your ramp installation, you should make sure to install a railing and stair treads for traction. Once you actually get to the front door itself, you may encounter another challenge: an entry that’s far too narrow for a wheelchair or walker to fit through. ADA door requirements require front entries to be at least 32″ wide with a straight-on approach. You may need to carve out a wider doorway to accommodate you or your visitors.

The bathroom(s)
HomeAdvisor’s 2016 “Aging in Place Report” found that 48% of homeowners over the age of 55 agreed that the number one area they’ve considered modifying in their home is the bathroom. That’s no surprise, considering that it’s a spot we all need to use — and it comes with many safety hazards. Grab bars are definitely a must here, as they’ll often prevent falls in the shower or around the toilet. You may also want to think about installing hand-held shower heads, shower seats, or walk-in showers or tubs. Raised toilet seats (accessibility standards are 19 inches in height) are often a good choice, as well.

The stairs
Of course, the stairs in your home can quickly become problematic if you don’t plan ahead. Make sure you have handrails on both sides of the stairs, rather than relying on a wall for support on one side. You should also consider installing additional traction and low-glare overhead lighting, as these additions can keep you steadier on your feet and give you better visibility. It may also be a good idea to explore patient lifts for home use. Even if you have no current need for stair lifts, you may find you eventually do or have others who might benefit from patient lifts for home use.

The kitchen
In the kitchen, countertops should be lowered to allow for wheelchair use. You should also make sure there’s enough room to maneuver with the added bulk of a chair, walker, or other mobility aid. It’s also a good idea to install faucets with lever-style handles and opt for pull-down or pull-out shelving. You may also want to remove lower cabinets or adding in a motorized sink that can adjust to a user’s height automatically. Finally, be sure to cover up plumbing and other sharp objects to prevent injury.

You may not require safety bars, widened doorways, or patient lifts for home use right now, but if you want to age in place, you’ll need to plan ahead. By focusing on these key spots in your home, you’ll be in a much better position to make the changes you need before you actually need them. That way, you can have the peace of mind you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way — right there in the comfort of your own home.

wheelchair lifts

How To Choose The Right Wheelchair Lift For Your Lifestyle

wheelchair lifts

Despite handicap accessible laws and ADA door requirements in public places, getting around with a wheelchair can still be a challenge. Because public and private staircases and vehicles are designed for able-bodied people before those who are disabled, finding a way around these obstacles can be frustrating.

Fortunately, wheelchair lifts for home life and wheelchair lifts for vehicles can help to make mobility in the public and private sphere that much more promising. However, because there are a surprising number of wheelchair lifts available to those who need them, it can be difficult to choose which kind is right for you. Here are some of the most common wheelchair lift types to help you make the right choice for your lifestyle:

Incline Lift

Incline lifts
Up to 50% of falls experienced by older Americans take place in the home. One of the worst obstacles in a home can be the stairs because of their steep incline. Incline lifts help you navigate the staircase in your home by allowing you to travel diagonally along the stairs in your wheelchair to get from the bottom floor to the top floor or vice versa.

These types of lifts can be incredibly useful if you don’t have a lot of room in your home or if you want a lift that’s able to be lifted up and out of the way for other relatives or friends to use the stairs as well.

Vertical Platform Lift

Platform lifts
Platform lifts go by many names including “vertical platform lift” and “porch lift.” These types of assistive lifts allow for a wheelchair user to be transported from one floor to another. However, unlike the incline lift, the platform lift transports vertically like a personal elevator.

The user enters onto the platform and closes the door. After the user pushes a button, the lift then transports the user to the next floor. The user can then exit the device by simply opening the door and exiting the platform.

 

Scalamobil Stair Climber

Scalamobil Stair Climber

Scalamobil
The Scalamobil is a great mobility device for those looking for a lift that will stay with them while they’re on the move. However, this type of equipment requires the assistance of a relative, friend, or caregiver. A Scalamobil attaches to the bottom of a wheelchair and allows the wheelchair user to essentially “climb” the stairs with the help of the second person.  This is also a great solution for very narrow staircases.

Wheelchair Lift For Vehicles

Auto lifts
Auto lifts come in a variety of options and can enable you, as a wheelchair user, to drive any type of vehicle you want while taking your wheelchair along for the ride. However, the type of car you drive determines where you can store your wheelchair. For instance, you may either store the wheelchair externally on the outside of the vehicle (as in a truck bed or platform) or internally via an auto lift.

Wheelchairs are incredible assistive devices that allow those who use them to maintain their independence and mobility. With a wheelchair lift installed in your home or vehicle, you can improve your independence even more by getting rid of the limits set against your wheels.

medical lift chair

Hospital To Home: Helping Your Senior Loved One Transition

medical lift chair

After a surgery or medical procedure, having impaired mobility can be difficult for an aging individual. This can be especially true when they transition from the hospital or rehab center back into their home. As a family member, you have an important role in helping to ease this transition. By helping your loved one use medical lift chairs and other mobility aids, you can ensure both their independence and safety.

Step 1: Speak with their doctor and healthcare team.
Before your loved one leaves the rehab center or hospital, take the time to speak with their doctor and healthcare team over their specific medical needs. You may even request want to request a home evaluation.  Understand the extent of their mobility restrictions and the details of their medications. The healthcare team may also have recommendations for accessible products for the home such as a wheelchair ramp, stairlift, porch lift, bathroom accessibility products or other solutions for the home.

Step 2: Identify household hazards.
For older adults, over 50% of falls happen at home, so it’s important to prevent them as much as possible. Whether your loved one is moving in to their own home, or they are living in yours, take the time to identify the risks in every room. These can be everything from slippery areas, rugs to wires on the floor. Clean the home and remove these hazards before your loved one moves home.

Step 3: Purchase the necessary equipment.
Look into home accessibility standards and purchase the appropriate equipment to help your loved one get around the house. Find a trusted provider and schedule installation of grab bars, lift chairs, handicap door opener button, and other equipment ahead of time. Test out the equipment ahead of time to ensure that it is working properly.

Step 4: Teach your family on how to use a patient lift.
Lifting a person without the ability to assist can be a challenge. If a patient lift was provided, be sure to learn how to use it and help your family members learn how to operate it as well.  As soon as your loved one arrives home, you can get them feeling comfortable right away. Be patient and practice using the lift multiple times.

Step 5: Take care of emotional needs.
Mobility equipment is all about monitoring physical needs, but remember to take care of your loved one’s emotional state as well. Sit and chat with them regularly to check in about their recovery. Having impaired mobility can be detrimental to their mental health, so be aware of this.

By taking your loved ones mobility needs and independence seriously, you can help them feel in control as they recover from their procedure or come to terms with a permanent disability. No matter their physical ability, your loved one will certainly benefit from appropriate accessibility products and a safe home environment. The feelings of safety and independence will help them feel more in control of their life.

lift sling for elderly

Answering Common Questions About Patient Lifts and Lift Slings

lift sling for elderly

When it comes to maintaining a safe home environment, an appropriate patient lift and sling application is an essential for your safe home environment. 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, and the perfect lift sling used along with the appropriate patient lift is one of the main components of maintaining a safe home environment during transfers throughout the home. If you’re considering investing in a patient lift for home use along with the perfect lift sling application, it’s important to know the facts. Here’s a quick FAQ about patient lifts for home use.

What are some uses for patient lifts?
Patient lifts are very versatile in their uses. They typically allow for patients to be transferred between many surfaces such as beds, wheelchairs, commodes, bath tubs or other places throughout the home. They use electric or hydraulic energy to safety lift patients with limited mobility or the ability to transfer on their own and relocate them while keeping them comfortable.

What are some types of patient lifts?
Patient lifts come in many different varieties and designs. Some are suspended from the ceiling with overhead tracks, some are mounted to the wall, and some simply rest on the floor. The two main categories of patient lifts are known as floor lifts and overhead lifts.

What are the main benefits of patient sling lifts?
A patient lift sling comes with significant benefits for both patients and caretakers. It enables heavier patients to be lifted and transferred without putting stress on the patient or caretaker. It also minimizes the number of caretakers needed to assist in a typical transfer. It greatly lowers the chance of orthopedic injury for both the patient and the caretaker(s). As you can see below, there are dozens of different types of lift sling applications that can be used to lift a person depending on the individual needs, so it is extremely important to work with a company and your healthcare professional that understands your goals. Feel free to view the video by Prism Medical (an AccessNSM supplier) to see an overview of lift sling technology.

Scroll Sling Images>>>

 


Are there any risks associated with the use of patient lifts?
As with most devices designed to improve mobility, improper use can result in injury. Always consult the owner’s manual and/or any documentation that comes with your patient lift as well as lift sling, and if you have questions or concerns, consult your doctor or caregiver or supplier of the lift.

What are some other types of equipment designed to improve mobility?
There are plenty of devices with variables uses designed to make someone more independent in the home. Patients who use a wheelchair for mobility can utilize various accessibility products such as wheelchair platform lifts, ramps and stair lifts for home use. Similarly, a automatic door opener can increase access and allow the wheelchair user to remain independent by eliminating the need to turn and pull a doorknob.

Ultimately, knowing the answers to these common questions about patient lifts and sling application can help you make the right decision regarding your home environment. For more information about how to improve access throughout your home, contact AccessNSM.

handicap accessible bathroom

3 Handicap Accessible Bathroom Products That Enhance Safety And Mobility

handicap accessible bathroom

Approximately 53 million Americans live with a disability, and according to a recent study, the most common disabilities are all related to limited mobility. For those with mobility issues, simply completing everyday errands like going to the grocery store or taking the bus to work can be a logistical nightmare. At the same time, they may also have trouble doing important tasks around their home.

Recently, Home Advisor’s 2016 Aging in Place Report found that 48% of homeowners over age 55 say that the bathroom is the top area in the home that they have considered modifying for aging in place. Fortunately, there are many simple steps that can help make your bathroom safer and more accessible than ever before.

Here are just a few suggestions for transforming your bathroom into a room that anyone can feel safe and comfortable using.

Step In Showers

Step-In Shower
Bathing and showering can be difficult for many people with mobility issues, especially if they require a wheelchair. While typical showers have an edge to keep water off the floor, installing a handicap accessible bathroom shower without an edge makes it possible to simply ride a wheelchair into the shower and back out again without little to no difficulty whatsoever. Of course, this does require the user to have a shower chair intended for submergence in water or a bench that one could transfer onto.

Shower and Tub Grab Bars

Shower Grab Bar
Another aspect of bathroom accessibility standards is minimizing the risk of slips and falls while in the bathroom. Installing a shower grab bar is one of the best ways to stay safe while bathing. In fact, Home Advisor’s 2016 Aging in Place Report also found that 71% of home service professionals say the top aging-in-place projects they’ve been hired to do included installing bathroom grab bars. These bathroom accessibility products are minimally invasive, easy to use, and drastically help to reduce the risk of slipping or falling while bathing.

Sinks for wheelchair users

Wheelchair Accessible Sink
When considering handicap bathroom requirements, many people neglect to realize that the sink could pose accessibility issues as well. How high should bathroom sinks be for wheelchair users?

Here’s what the Spinal Cord Injury Zone recommends:

A bathroom vanity with space under it for a wheelchair can make it extremely easy for a handicapped person to wash their hands and brush their teeth. An ideal sink height for a wheelchair bound person is 30″, and a 34″ height should not be exceeded. For a very tall person who is not wheelchair bound but has trouble bending, a 40″ sink height is recommended.

Ultimately, taking these handicap accessible bathroom products and installation services into consideration can help you or someone you love stay as safe and independent as possible. Contrary to popular belief, there are relatively simple and cost-friendly ways to make the bathroom both safe and accessible.

For more information about bathroom accessibility products or complying with handicap accessible laws in your area, contact AccessNSM.

AccessNSM Now Open In Dallas Texas

The acquisition of Mobility Healthcare marks second NSM branch and first AccessNSM location in the area

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 26, 2017) – Complex Rehab Technology Solutions provider, National Seating & Mobility (NSM), is expanding with a new location in Dallas-Fort Worth. The new North Dallas branch is an acquisition of Mobility Healthcare in Carrollton, Texas and includes a retail location in Lewisville, Texas that will be the first AccessNSM location in the area.

“We look forward to expanding our services in Dallas-Fort Worth and providing mobility solutions to more individuals with disabilities in Texas,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO.

Six rehabilitation technology (RTS) suppliers and additional staff formerly with Mobility Healthcare will transition to the NSM team at the North Dallas branch location at 1545 Capital Drive in Carrollton. Staff from the 211 S. Stemmons Freeway location in Lewisville will also remain on as a part of the AccessNSM team serving the home accessibility needs of the community as well.

“Mobility Healthcare has a longstanding reputation for quality, personal service,” said Mixon. “We are pleased to add this experienced group of professionals to our family of branches.”

The North Dallas NSM branch is the seventh in Texas for the premier provider of customized complex rehabilitation technology solutions. The Lewisville AccessNSM retail location, offering a full range of indoor and outdoor mobility and home accessibility products, is the second currently in Texas.

Welcome to the new AccessNSM website

We are excited to launch our new website!  AccessNSM looks forward to sharing many great resources as well as highlighting our multiple branches across the country. AccessNSM is a division of National Seating and Mobility which has providing complex rehab products such as power and manual wheelchairs, standing frames, seating and positioning products and many more high end mobility products for residents across the U.S.

Stay tuned as we will have weekly posts covering many topics such as:

Make sure you check out the latest information at the branch in your area