How Will You Get In and Out of Your Home in Your Wheelchair?

How Will You Get In and Out of Your Home in Your Wheelchair?

How Will You Get In and Out of Your Home in Your Wheelchair?

Just because you’re in a wheelchair does not mean you have to stay at home—even when there are steps involved. There are multiple accessibility tools to help you go safely in and out of your own residence as independently as possible. Ask your local AccessNSM professional to help you decide which solution is the best fit for your unique space and mobility limitation. There are some great choices to give you and your caregiver more freedom to go where you want when you want.

Wheelchair Ramps

Wheelchair Ramps

Wheelchair Ramps are the most universally-used product to grant easy access in and out of your home. The highly rated National Ramps we carry are available in wood, heavy steel, or lifetime aluminum which offers different price ranges and benefits. All our ramps meet all ADA safety codes to give the safest slope, measurements, and anti-slip flooring. Our ramps are designed for function and beauty. The wood can be stained or painted. The steel and aluminum are available in choices of powder-coated colors to complement your exterior. There are small portable ramps to access a single step outside your home. Whether you need to rent a ramp for a short recovery or purchase for long-term use, our professionals can measure and install the perfect ramp to help you have the freedom to enter and exit your home easily and safely.

Vertical Platform Lifts

Platform Lifts

Perhaps you don’t have room for a ramp or you want a solution that is even easier to get you in and out of your home. Ask about our line of Vertical Platform Lifts also known as Wheelchair Elevators. Choose from open or enclosed platforms which lift the person in a wheelchair or scooter (and their caregiver, if needed) up and down to give you easy access to your home at the touch of a button. Most require very little, if no, changes to your structure since they are self-contained. These elevators are available for indoor or outdoor use.

Incline Platform Lifts

Incline Platfrom Lift for Stairs

There are also platforms designed to carry a person seated in a wheelchair up and down a rail system installed along your exterior or interior stairs to help you get safely in and out of your home with any kind of elevation change.

Door Openers

Door Opener

Another great tool for granting easy access is an automatic door opener which can be installed on exterior or interior doors. The control can be mounted on the wheelchair or a nearby wall. The door opens long enough to let the wheelchair pass safely through then closes.

4 Essential Questions for a New Wheelchair User

Contact your local AccessNSM professional who is dedicated to helping your find answers to all your mobility questions.

We are honored to deliver thousands of new wheelchairs a year to people across the country at National Seating & Mobility. It’s important to us that you gain the most accessibility possible with your wheelchair. This could be the first wheelchair you or your loved one has, or perhaps you just updated to a more innovative model. Either way, there are four critical questions you should ask to ensure you get the optimal mobility from your new manual or powered wheelchair.

1. How will you get in and out of your home?

Aluminum Wheelchair Ramp

Stairs or changes in elevation are the biggest obstacle in your own home. There are some amazing solutions for both indoor and outdoor stairs. Wheelchair Ramps are one of the most widely used solutions. We have Ramps available in wood, heavy duty steel and lifetime aluminum. Wheelchair lifts are another solution. The Vertical Wheelchair Lifts are like small elevators. Inclined Platform Lifts carry a person in a wheelchair up and downstairs on a rail system. We even have simple solutions like threshold ramps for slight steps or rough thresholds, as well as Automatic Door Openers. Learn more about these possible ways to make it easier to get in and out of your home in a wheelchair.

2. How will you transfer in and out of your wheelchair?

Patient Lift

It is important to make it safe and easy to get in and out of your wheelchair. Having the correct Patient Lift can give you more independence, make the transfer less stressful and time-consuming, and prevent serious injury to both the user and caregiver. There is a great selection of portable, overhead, bariatric, and hygiene lifts. Ask one of our accessibility professionals to help you find the perfect Patient Lift for your unique situation.

3. How will you manage your hygiene and bathing needs?

Grab Bars

Most bathrooms are not designed with wheelchairs in mind. There are a host of solutions for making the smallest but most important room of your home safer, easier to use and more accessible without taking out a loan. One of our experienced professionals can consult with you to see if one of our many styles of Grab Bars, Overhead Lifts, Patient Lifts or Sliding Transfer Systems might be just the answer you need to safeguard against falls and lifting injuries while offering greater independence and privacy in the bathroom.

4. How to transport your wheelchair to activities outside your home?

Vehicle Lift

Don’t limit your life to your home just because you use a wheelchair. There are lots of models of Vehicle lifts designed to make it as simple as pushing a button to lift and load your wheelchair in your new or existing van, SUV, car, or truck. Models are available to transport your wheelchair inside or outside your vehicle. We even have valet seating that lifts you up into the vehicle.

Contact your local AccessNSM professional who is dedicated to helping your find answers to all your mobility questions.

Gifts Ideas for mobility challenged

Gift Ideas for the Mobility Challenged

Gifts Ideas for mobility challenged

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift that could truly aide in greater independence, safety and accessibility for someone you love who has challenges moving freely through life? Maybe your loved one is in a wheelchair or power scooter uses a walker or cane. Perhaps they are simply growing older and need a little help moving about. Maybe their disability has left them with a lack of mobility due to a stroke, heart issues, traumatic injury, genetic disability, or from a progressive disease.  Here is a list of possible gift ideas:

Automatic Door Opener 

Door Opener Wall Switches

Installed in your home to make entry and exit easy as a push of a button.

Stairlift 

Stairlift

Can be installed on your existing indoor or outdoor staircase to give a power ride up and downstairs

Power Lift Chair 

Lift Chair

A multi-positioning recliner that comes in up to 10 sizes that lets the user change positions with an easy control from sitting, napping, lying flat, watching TV, to assist in standing. Give them their new favorite chair.

Wheelchair Ramps 

Wheelchair Ramps

Come in various materials to give independent access anywhere there is a change in elevation.

Portable Ramps 

Portable Ramp

Can be folded and taken with you to provide access where there is no permanent ramp.

Wheelchair Vertical Platform Lift 

Platform Lift

A mini wheelchair elevator that can be installed in your home to access another level inside or outside.

Valet Seat

Valet Seat for Trucks

A power lift seat that lowers and swivels to aide in entering a vehicle.

Walk in Tub

SafewayStepWalk-InTubTub-Door

There are various models that allow safe independent access to showering or bathing. Give the gift of privacy and independence. There is even a Safeway Walk-in Door that can add a door to your existing tub.

Bath Safety Products

Grab Bars

Grab bars, sliding shower chairs and toilet seats all make thoughtful gifts to make the bathroom safer and more private.

Transportable Commode/Shower Chair 

4I8A0431_400_267

For the person on the go, this foldable chair can double as a shower chair or commode that travels.

Stocking Stuffers

Reacher or grabber, bedside tray, a hanging organizer for wheelchair or powerlift chair.

Remember that your loved one will not only enjoy the gift that adds to their independence and accessibility, but they will treasure time with you.

Residential Vertical Platform Wheelchair Lift

Options for home access with limited landing spaces

If your home has stairs or changes in elevation that are impossible for you or your loved one to navigate any longer, there are some great solutions available. Even if you have limited landing space, there are still options to grant access to those stairs or raised levels. Stairlifts or Vertical Platform Lifts (also known as Wheelchair Elevators) are worth looking into to grant access for any type of mobility issue.

Stairlifts and Vertical Platform Lifts are both available for interior or exterior use. That means that whether you are in a wheelchair, use a power scooter, a walker, cane or are unable to navigate stairs due to injury, health or growing older, you can still use all parts of your home. One of these amazing solutions may even keep you from moving from the multi-level home you love.

Stairlift

Stairlifts

  • Take up very little room with a rail system installed along existing stairs
  • The attractive supportive chair folds up out of the way when not in use
  • Available in models for indoor and outdoor use
  • Can be fit for use on curved, straight, spiral and multi-landing staircases
  • Have a second power source in case of an outage
  • Offer a safe, smooth, easy lift up and down existing stairs
  • The low-profile rails and the comfortable chair are available in choice of colors
  • There is a platform model which can carry a wheelchair in use up and down the rail system
  • Some models are available to rent

Vertical Platform Lift

Vertical Platform Lifts

  • Take up a small amount of floor space
  • Self-standing mini Elevators that lift a person, wheelchair or scooter straight up and down
  • Available in models for interior or exterior use
  • Great for raised decks, second floors, lower basements, apartments…
  • Choose from open or enclosed platform lifts
  • Safe, reliable lifts to encourage independent access and movement to upper and lower levels
  • Great solution for home, office, church, and business use
  • Offers access for those in wheelchairs, scooters, using walkers, canes, or for anyone who cannot safely navigate stairs.

 

Contact your accessibility professional for a no-obligation consultation to help you see how we can make your home, office, church or business accessible on all levels.

stairlift rentals

Should I rent or purchase a stairlift?

StairliftsWhen looking for a stairlift to grant access to upper and lower levels in your home, people often ask if they should purchase or rent a stairlift. The answer depends on your particular situation, duration of need, and of course, the stairs in your home. A stairlift consists of a rail system, carriage unit and chair that transports the user safely up and down existing stairs. It is an affordable way for you or a loved one to be able to access all areas of your home when the stairs cannot be safely navigated.

Almost any type of stairs can be custom fit with a stairlift—straight, curved, spiral, multi-landing, exterior and interior. However not every type of staircase can be rented. If you have one straight single run of 10-14 steps, you may be able to rent a stairlift. However, curved, spiral and staircases with turns or multi-landings need very customized fittings for the rail system. Most of the time, straight staircases are the type which can be rented. Check with your accessibility professional to set up a free consultation to evaluate and measure in your home. They can determine if rental is an option. There are times you can rent to own, rent for the duration of recovery, or for a house guest.

Make sure to use a reputable brand like Harmar, Bruno and Handicare. All three of those manufacturers are highly rated and exceed all safety and ADA standards. They stand behind the modular designed parts which make up the stairlift system. Make sure the stairlift you purchase or rent meets these requirements:

  • A backup source of power to ensure operation in case of an outage
  • A seat belt for the chair
  • A lock to keep children from playing on the stairlift
  • The weight capacity should meet your individual needs
  • A swivel seat that locks in place at the top and bottom of the stairs for easy seating.
  • An overload detector and governor to regulate speed
  • Ask about a maintenance plan to cover any repairs

Some companies have a minimum rental period of about 3-4 months to cover cost of installation. Ask about a buy-back program if you sell your home or no longer need the stairlift. The value of gaining the independence and safety of going up and down stairs is a big consideration when thinking about buying or renting a stairlift for indoors or outdoors in your home. Sometimes it means the difference in staying in the multi-level home you love and feel comfortable in.

AccessNSM Holiday Specials

Stairlifts – the Perfect Gift of Safety and Independence

Stairlifts

Give the perfect gift of safety and independence this holiday with a professionally installed stairlift. When your loved one can no longer manage the stairs in your home and feels confined to the lower part of your home, you can give them complete access to any upper level. For someone who is mobility challenged, this could be the greatest gift you could give them. A stairlift can grant them a safe way to independently go up and down any stairs in your home whether it is indoors or outside.

A stairlift consists of a rail system which is professionally installed along the top edge of the stairs (on either the wall or railing side). The rail is attractive yet low profile since it is available in colors to blend with your décor. The comfortable supportive chair is carried up and down the rail system on a carriage unit. At the touch of a button, the stairlift smoothly transports the user with ease to the next level and back. The seat comes in a variety of colors and fabrics, and can be inconspicuously and easily folded up out of the way when not in use. A back up power source is built in for those rare occasions there is a power outage.

There is also a stairlift rental program available if you want to make sure your home offers full access to visitors over the holidays. Perhaps your loved one is in a wheelchair. Explore the possibility of a platform for the user to simply wheel on and lock in place. The platform lifts the wheelchair-in-use up and down the rail to grant access to other levels.

AccessNSM Holiday Specials

Ask about our Super Holiday Special on stairlifts which can be quickly installed by our trained crew. One of our accessibility professionals is ready to offer a free in-home evaluation. Give your loved one a stairlift for the holidays because it offers:

  • Independent access up any stairs—indoors or outside.
  • Custom fit for curved, straight or spiral staircases.
  • An attractive solution for inaccessible stairs to multi-leveled areas
  • A safe, easy way to travel up and down stairs which have become impossible to navigate
  • Access to basements, raised decks, lower level garages, upper stories, raised entries…

Outdoor Stairlift

Give the gift that will help your loved one stay in the home they love, give them complete independent access to all levels and help them to fully enjoy your home. Contact us at AccessNSM to help you give the gift they can truly use.

home modifications for disabilities

Home Modifications for the Disabled

home modifications for disabilities

There may need to be some changes made in your present home to accommodate the use of a wheelchair. Often a few simple changes can make life so much easier and allows the disabled person using the wheelchair to be as independent as possible. These modifications can be as simple as installing grab bars in the bathroom or as detailed as building an attached apartment for the person in the
wheelchair or possibly for their caregiver. These modifications could be temporary if the patient is expected to regain strength and use of legs, or the changes to your home may need to be more permanent to provide long-term accessibility for someone with more permanent disabilities. Here a few possible Home modifications to consider when planning for a child, adult or aging person who uses a wheelchair to move around:

  • Install lever faucet handles which can be easily reached to flip on/off instead of turning a knob on/off by twisting.
  • Put in grab bars to help with safe movement in the bath and by the toilet. Grab bars can even be installed to assist in getting out of bed.
  • Use automatic door openers so the person in a wheelchair can use controls to open doors. These automatic openers can be used for interior and exterior doors, as well as gates.
  • In some cases, doorways need to be widened for easier passage through with a wheelchair. You can place a threshold ramp over a rough or bumpy threshold to make for smooth passage.
  • Wheelchair ramps are one of the most common modifications where there is a change in elevation. They are available in various materials, for residential and commercial use and allow easy entrance and exit.
  • Increase lighting and remove throw rugs to reduce falls.
  • Consider putting in a security system to protect and to be able to call for help if needed.
  • Where existing stairs make certain areas inaccessible to the person in a wheelchair, you can install a stairlift, an inclined platform lift or a Vertical Platform Lift which is also referred to as a Wheelchair elevator.
  • Kitchen counters can be lowered for easier access for the person in a wheelchair or a Jazzy Air Chair can be used that raises and lowers the person in the actual wheelchair.
  • Walk-in tubs, and transfer benches and lifts can all be considered to make bath time easier and safer.

When considering home modifications to make life more accessible for a disabled person in a wheelchair, remember aging and some diseases are progressive. So plan modifications remembering that what they can do today might not be a capability 5-10 years from now. It is helpful to have an Occupational Therapist or an accessibility professional evaluate your home for your particular needs. There are a lot of changes that will make life so much easier in your own home.

 

AccessNSM was excited to be part of the Surprise Squad to help woman gain mobility in her home

Our very own Matthew Butterfield was excited to be part of the Surprise Squad on the Western Mass news channel. He worked with the team to provide Sandra Dudek a stairlift, so she could access her entire home.

CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) –

A medical condition threatened to force a Chicopee woman out of the home she’s lived in for the past 30 years.

After learning about her situation, the Western Mass News and Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad decided to step in.

Sandra Dudek has spinal stenosis which is narrowing her spine.

After seeing her sister go through her fair share of emotional struggles, Cynthia Sayre wants nothing more than for Sandra to be happy in the place she’s always called home.

“Sandra Dudek is my only sibling. In her 76 years, she’s run into many difficulties like losing her dear husband, her only child, and now she has spinal stenosis,” said Sayre.

As Sandra becomes less mobile she may need to move out of her two-story house which holds her final memories of her husband and son.

“I lost my husband 18 years ago and I lost my son two years ago, and it was beautiful here. I mean this is home,” said Dudek.

Dudek’s home that has become difficult to get around since she’s had some serious surgeries.

“I had one in the front where they replaced some of the discs and they had to go in through the back and do it again,” Dudek noted.

It’s also been hard on her sister Cynthia, who lives 45 minutes away, along with her next door neighbors.

The Western Mass News and Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad, along with Matthew Butterfield with AccessNSM in Chicopee was able to gift Sandra with a brand new stair lift.

What would usually take Sandra five to ten minutes, will now only take seconds.

See full story here.

 

 

straight vs curved stairlifts

Stay in Your Home with a Straight vs Curved Stairlift

If your present home has stairs, there is a way to stay in your multi-level house when, and if, the time comes when you can no longer navigate those stairs. A curved or straight stairlift might make the difference in whether you can stay in the home you love. Sixty-six percent of Americans over the age of 55 years old plan to stay in their present home indefinitely. You’ve invested in your present home. Most people hope to stay in their own home as they grow older. It’s conveniently located. You are surrounded by neighbors you know and trust. You feel safe in your own home. It may be close to family, stores, doctors and your church. There are some age-related home upgrades that can prepare for that long stay. A very viable option is to consider installing a stairlift to give you easy access to upper levels.

The vast majority of falls occur in one’s own home. According to National Council on Aging statistics, every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the ER for a fall. Every 19 minutes, one dies from a fall. Some simple improvements made to your existing home can make it safe enough to stay in for years to come. If you have a staircase in your home, putting in a stairlift could make a lifetime of difference. Stairlifts are low-profile and are fitted along the upper edge of your existing stairs. A rail system is professionally installed inconspicuously against either the wall side or rail side of your stairs. The carriage unit rides smoothly along those rails carrying the user in a stylish comfortable chair safely up and downstairs at the touch of a button. Colors and fabric option offer styles for any décor. There is also a vertical incline platform option which can carry a wheelchair to ride on a platform up and downstairs.

Straight Stairlift

An example of a straight stairlift.

The straight stairlifts are the least expensive and easiest to install. They fit one single flight of stairs where the carriage just rides the rail, carrying the user up and down along one single line. Curved staircases are required where there are multiple landings where the rail has to bend to go up the next flight, or when the staircase itself is curved or winding as in a spiral staircase. Curved stairlifts must be custom-fit for each particular staircase. Straight staircases can often be rented since they are interchangeable with all single straight flights of stairs. However, curved stairlifts have to be designed and installed for each specific curve. There are straight and curved stairlifts available for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Curved Stairlift

An example of a curved stairlift.

It is always best to have a consultation with someone who has been factory-trained to measure and design your stairlift system whether it’s straight or curved. Their installers are also factory-trained to quickly and professionally install your stairlift. You also have the added peace of mind of factory service available. Whether you need a straight or curved stairlift, it is an investment in being able to stay in your own home.

fitted stairlift

Keeping Your Stairlift Clean: What You Need to Know

Approximately 53 million Americans live with a disability, and according to a recent study, the most common disability is associated with limited mobility. There are countless products available that were designed to improve mobility and elderly independence, but a fitted stairlift is the main product intended to move the user between the various levels of their home quickly and easily. If you’ve recently purchased a fitted stairlift, it’s important to know how to maintain it properly, which includes keeping it clean. Here are just a few quick and easy steps for cleaning your stairlift.

Dusting
If your stairlift is indoors, it needs to be dusted at least once per week using a dry cloth or a feather duster. Preventing dust buildup is important to keep your stairlift running smoothly on the track and up to accessibility standards. Every year, over two million senior citizens visit the emergency room for injuries caused by a fall, so don’t forget to only clean your stairlift when it’s at the bottom of the stairs in order to prevent falls.

Track Lubrication
This is a job that’s often better left to a professional, but it’s another important step that contributes to a safe and smooth stairlift ride. Make sure the stairlift is powered off, then make sure it’s lubricated at least once every few months, depending on how often you use it. Start with a damp cloth and use a very small amount of lubricant so that the rollers don’t start sliding instead of rolling.

Read the Manual
Finally, remember that each stairlift is different, and different manufacturers have varying recommendations for cleaning and servicing. Your stairlift’s manual may contain important information about other cleaning processes or maintenance processes as well as how often they need to be performed for maximum stairlift lifespan, safety and durability. The manufacturer knows best, so always use the manual as a primary resource.

Approximately 6.8 million Americans use assistive devices to aid their mobility. Understanding how to clean your easy to use stairlift is the key to maximizing its safety and usability. For more information about stairlift rentals for seniors, contact Access NSM.