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.

 

 

National Seating & Mobility Expands Home Access Business with Acquisition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 1, 2018) – AccessNSM, a division of National Seating & Mobility (NSM), propels the company’s trajectory of growth with the acquisition of Home Safe in Tampa, Fla. The purchase of Home Safe, a preferred home accessibility provider for many third party payers including workers compensation administrators and Veterans Administration facilities, accelerates NSM’s growing position as a national home modification and accessibility leader.

“NSM’s is committed to expand our reach and broaden our capabilities supporting the journey to independence for our clients,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO. “This acquisition not only significantly expands our footprint, but also enhances our nationwide network of branches and mobility experts with the addition of a team of experienced home accessibility experts.”

Home Safe, a national full-service home modification and accessibility provider, was established in 2000 and headquartered in Tampa. The company provides a full suite of home modification construction services, bathroom modifications, room additions, customized ramping, vehicle lifts and modifications, stairlifts, ceiling track lifts, vertical platform lifts, environmental controls, and offers a full menu of services designed to make homes accessible for their medically fragile and mobility-challenged clients.

The company’s co-founder, Ward Farley, will stay on board with NSM after the acquisition and will continue to lead the Tampa operation. Ferenc Moricz, ATP, will join NSM through the acquisition, and will provide support through a CRT lens to ensure a clinically holistic approach to accessibility within the home.

“Home Safe is respected in the industry for the company’s strong focus on quality and reputation for customer satisfaction,” said Mixon. “Their experienced team will play an integral role in driving the growth of our home access business.”

About National Seating & Mobility

National Seating & Mobility is the nation’s premier Complex Rehab Technology Solutions provider, partnering with physicians, therapists and clients across the U.S. to design customized innovative mobility, rehabilitation and adaptive product solutions for individuals with disabilities. Founded in 1992, the company has grown from five locations to a national network of professional Assistive Technology Providers (ATPs). National Seating & Mobility has earned the highest professional accreditation from the independent, not-for-profit, The Joint Commission. As preeminent accrediting body for U.S. healthcare organizations, The Joint Commission maintains unrivaled industry standards. For more information visit nsm-seating.com.

More details to come. Please check back for more information.

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.

Wheelchair solutions for multistory homes

Living in a Multi-level Home in a Wheelchair

If you live in a multi-level home with stairs and someone in your home is in a wheelchair, it might not mean you have to move from the house you love. There are some viable solutions to make all levels accessible to those in a wheelchair. Whether you just have a few steps or several flights of stairs, today’s accessibility market has options for you. Here are some possible ways to stay in the multi-level home you are comfortable in:

Wheelchair Ramp

Wheelchair Ramps

Wheelchair ramps, sometimes referred to as handicap ramps, can be designed to have a safe incline up and down. Most of the time wheelchair ramps are used for raised front entries or back doors to allow easy access for those using scooters, wheelchairs or walkers. National Ramps craft their wheelchair ramps in modular units so they can be fit together onsite to meet customized computer measurements which meet all ADA standards. They are available in three price ranges and materials from warm natural wood, heavy-duty powder coated steel to maintenance-free aluminum.

Vertical Incline Lift

Stairlifts and Vertical Incline Lifts

A stairlift is a rail that is installed along the top edge of a flight of stairs. A carriage system carries a stylish comfortable chair safely up and down along the staircase. Curved stairlifts are required with multiple landings or for a curved staircase. A platform can also travel that rail system to carry an occupied wheelchair up and downstairs. The wheelchair model is often called a Vertical Incline Lift. The stairlifts are available in models for both indoor and outdoor use, giving the person in a wheelchair access both inside and out. Leaders in the field, Bruno, Harmar and Handicare, offer the latest designs with some great options Most of the time, there are even options to rent straight stairlifts.

Wheelchair Elevator

Wheelchair Elevators or Vertical Platform Lifts

Vertical Platform Lifts are like a mini elevator, specially designed to carry wheelchair and scooter users straight up and down from level to level. There are multiple styles to choose from to meet either indoor or outdoor use wherever there is a change in levels. Open platform and enclosed units allow the user to simply roll onto the platform and at the push of a button go from level to level. There are options to fit the wheelchair with controls depending on the disability. Most of these wheelchair elevators by Bruno and Harmar take up a small amount of floor space but grant great independent access even in multi-level homes.

Don’t automatically conclude that you need to move from your multi-level home that you have invested in, built memories in and feel comfortable in because you or someone in your family is in a wheelchair. Get advice from your accessibility expert professionals at AccessNSM to see if one of these products will allow you to stay in your multi-level home.

handicap ramps

3 Things to Consider When Determining the Best Wheelchair Ramp for You

With so many different options available for residential wheelchair ramps, it can be hard trying to find the product that’s truly best for your needs.

Besides materials such as aluminum and wood, you should also consider the type and style of ramp and weigh them against your needs. You wouldn’t purchase and install a permanent, multi-stage ramp if you only need a small ramp, right?

Below you will find a process to help you identify which type of ramp is best for you.

Identify Why You Need a Ramp
This may sound redundant, but in order for you to figure out which ramp is right for you, you’ll need to know why you need the ramp in the first place. Do you have a hard time lifting your feet above a certain height? Are you permanently in a wheelchair? These will determine the size and style of ramp that you choose, and if you need more than one.

Ramp Type
For those that are able to move around well enough, but have a hard time getting over the small lip at the base of the door, an entry ramp would be a suitable choice. They provide an easy slope over the bottom of the door frame, thus completely eliminating the hazard. Entry ramps can be used for more than doors as well, such as landings, a short stair, and anything generally under six inches in height. If more than six inches, a suitcase ramp may be needed. A suitcase ramp is much like an entry ramp, although it is able to extend farther and rise higher to provide a gentle slope for taller obstacles, such as two to four stairs.

The other aspect of ramp-type that you should consider is whether you need permanent or portable. If you thought the multi-stage ramp from before was perfect for your needs, then that would be considered a permanent ramp and would need a contractor or professional installation. If you want to remove your ramp and bring it with you to other places, such as a second home, then a portable ramp would suit you well.

Ramp Size
The last thing you should think about is the ramp size. Dependable handicap ramps can come in any size, but depending on your height, and ADA requirements and accessibility standards, you might need a larger or smaller ramp. You will also need to consider weight capacity to ensure that your ramp is able to handle the weight of your needs, which for those with electric wheelchairs, will be higher than just their own body weight.

Even though there are many handicap ramps available, it’s important that you find the best one for you. An older adult is treated for a fall in the ER every 11 seconds, so it’s important for your safety and well-being that you get the perfect ramp.

Looking at wheelchair ramps? Give us a call today to hear what we can do for you.

Aluminum Wheelchair Ramp Installation

Helpful Accessibility Product Solutions for Caregivers

Caregivers are the everyday heroes behind the scenes. Most people prefer to stay in their own home even if they cannot meet all their ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) such as bathing, dressing and eating. It is much more cost effective for people to stay in their private home as opposed to a medical institution when possible. It cannot be done without dedicated caregivers. If you are taking care of someone who cannot get around on their own or has very limited mobility, there are some accessibility tools which can definitely make your life easier. Some may even radically improve fall risks and your own back injuries. Many of today’s accessibility products make the difference in continuing care in your own home as opposed to living in a medical facility. Whether the mobility issue is due to an illness, progressive disease, accident, stroke, war wound, or simply growing older, there are some helpful tools to consider as you care for someone at home.

Lift ChairPower Lift Recliners are a life saver for the patient who spends much of their waking time in their favorite chair. They are able to operate their own remote control to go from sitting to standing, or change to multiple reclining and sitting positions depending on their activity such as watching TV, eating, working on a project or napping. They offer great support, comfort, and style. You may want one for yourself, too!

Patient lift

Patient Lifts are available in many models and are a critical safety tool when lifting or transitioning. Many injuries occur both to the patient and caregiver at this time without the proper lift to safely and effortlessly lift the patient from the bed to a wheelchair, toilet, standing or even assist in walking.

Shower and Tub Grab Bars

Bath Safety Accessibility Tools include everything to improve safety and accessibility in the bathroom, which is a high risk area for falls and injuries. Most residential bathrooms were not designed with mobility challenges in mind. However, there are grab bars, shower chairs, walk in tubs and transfer slings designed to cut down on stress and injuries to both caregiver and patient.

Vertical Platform Lift

Stairlifts or Vertical Platform Lifts (Wheelchair Elevators) can solve problems with indoor and outdoor stairs in the home. A Stairlift is a rail system which in installed at the upper edge of the stairs. A chair transports the patient smoothly up and down stairs. There is also a vertical inclined lift that carries a wheelchair up and down stairs. The wheelchair elevators can be installed in small areas and raise the wheelchair up and down levels in a mini elevator. This could help with entry with a raised porch as well.

Wheelchair Ramp

Wheelchair Ramps make entry into the home so much easier. Wheelchair ramps are available in wood, steel and aluminum depending on your need and price range. Some are available for rental. Ramps can also be fitted for thresholds and vehicles.

There is an ever growing list of amazing accessibility tools to help people stay in their own home. These tools make life in the home safer and easier for both the patient and the caregiver. Contact AccessNSM for a free, no-obligation, home assessment.

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.

Patient Lifts– a Critical Safety Tool for Professional and Home Caregivers

Home care patient lifts

The highest rate of injury is found in the healthcare industry by those who lift and transition patients on a regular basis like CNAs, transport techs and nurses. In fact, OSHA reports seven times more musculoskeletal disorders in healthcare than any other industry. Part of that is due to the average age of nurses now being over 44 years old, heavier patients, and the call for speedier work. The high risk of permanent injuries affects not only professional caregivers, but also the paid or volunteer caregiver in private residential settings. Many family members and friends care for someone at home without the training and equipment that might be available for professional caregivers.

Eleven states now require lifting and transitioning in hospitals to be aided by proper patient lifts to protect the caregiver’s health. There are a lot of different models of patient lifts available that not only safeguard the caregiver and patient from potential injuries, but will make for smoother, less stressful lifting and transitioning. Many models are affordable for home use. Careful research and consultation with accessibility experts will ensure the correct patient lift choices for institutional use and residential use.

Professional Patient Lift

Professional Patient Lifts

There is a wide array of patient lifts available to the healthcare industry whether it is in a hospital, nursing home, clinic, or school setting. These invaluable tools will greatly reduce employee injuries, many of which are career-ending. Days off due to injuries will be reduced. Production is increased as the lifting and transitioning takes less time and people to assist. Patient lifts also safeguard the patient from unnecessary falls. Adding the proper patient lifts and making them readily available to each floor is a cost effective, wise and compassionate investment. Today’s technology includes everything from simple slings designed to pull migrating patients back up in bed to sit-to-stand lifts, floor models, overhead lifts, portable and installed lifts, hygiene lifts which aide in toileting, as well as a wide array of therapeutic lifts to aide in standing and walking. There are also bariatric patient lifts for large patients. The wide selection of patient lifts and price range should mean every single medical setting has some sort of lift available. Accessibility professionals can assist with the best choices for safety in your
facility.

Home Patient Lift

Private Home Patient Lifts

Patient Lifts can be just as critical in caring for someone in a private home. Many caregivers are older and are at even greater risk for musculoskeletal disorders from attempting to lift or transition the one they are caring for. With such a great variety of Patient Lifts available, there are many options to aide in lifting patients in the home safely. It could even mean the difference in being able to stay in their private home as opposed to going to a medical facility. Lifts are available to lift from the bed to wheelchair or from sitting to standing, to assist with hygiene, or to transition so the linens can be changed without injury.

When caring for those with mobility challenges, having a patient lift is critical for both patient and caregiver both in private homes or medical institutions. Patient Lifts are a critical tool. Contact us for a no obligation assessment. AccessNSM has branches located across the country.

elderly independence

Stairlift Issues? Use This Troubleshooting Guide Before Calling A Technician (Part 3 of 3)

In the previous two posts, we’ve been discussing some of the most frequently experienced issues involving stairlift solutions, as well as how to go about solving them. And while most stairlifts operate safely most of the time, it’s important to have an understanding of the right steps to take if something does happen to go wrong. Here’s the third and final installment of our guide that will address some more commonly experienced stairlift issues and how to solve them to meet accessibility standards.

Check the Joystick
Many safe stairlift models have joysticks that, while designed to improve convenience and elderly independence, can sometimes malfunction or otherwise become faulty. If the stairlift continues to operate when you use the remote control or wall switch but the joystick doesn’t, you’ll most likely have to consult a mechanic or engineer to diagnose the exact problem. Fortunately, in most cases, the stairlift can still be used if this is the issue.

Check Warning Panel
Finally, if you’ve exhausted all of the possibilities thus far, check the warning panel of your stairlift, if there is one. Keep in mind that it’s mostly newer stairlift models that are equipped with this capability, but if yours has one, it can often tell you when a certain part is breaking down or about to malfunction. This can often help to provide insight on the issue, though you may still have to consult a mechanic. And as a preventative measure, it’s always a good idea to listen to your stairlift as you use it and take note of any odd sounds.

“Listen particularly for grinding noises which might indicate that the rollers have become worn. Should your stairlift be running slowly then this may also be a problem with the rollers indicating imminent failure. In all of these cases, you should call an engineer,” writes Jason Tate on HelpMyMobility.

Approximately 53 million Americans live with a disability, and according to a recent study, the most common disability is associated with limited mobility. Taking the time to inform yourself about the devices you purchase and the mechanical issues they may experience is essential to knowing how to best solve any issues that arises and regaining your level of elderly independence as soon as possible. For more information about dependable stairlifts, contact Access NSM.

versatile system

Stairlift Issues? Use This Troubleshooting Guide Before Calling A Technician (Part 2 of 3)

In the last post, we talked about how to solve one of the most common issues associated with stairlift malfunctions. Of course, key and power issues aren’t the only sources of stairlift malfunctions, and understanding the full range of troubleshooting steps to try before calling a mechanic can help save you an immense amount of time, money, and frustration. Here’s part two of our guide to stairlift solutions, which will include steps to solve some more commonly experienced stairlift issues.

Check the Safety Edge Switch
While there are many different types of stairlifts, most of them have elements known as safety edge switches. These are designed to stop the versatile system of the stairlift in its tracks if it encounters a problem. In most cases, these switches can be located at both the top and bottom of the carriage as well as on the footplate and its front cover. Sometimes, stairlifts that have seats with swiveling capabilities are equipped with springs designed to move the seat back to its default position when the chair is not being used. With this in mind, if your stairlift fails to automatically move back to its original upright position when you’re done using it, it’s very plausible that the springs are broken. If this is the case, it’s usually best to consult a mechanic or engineer.

Check the Rack Hinge Rail
Most easy to use stairlifts have a part called a rack hinge rail, which can sometimes be obstructed by irregular carpet or other flooring. It may sound surprising, but this alone can actually cause the stairlift to stop functioning entirely. Take some time to evaluate the flooring surrounding the stairlift and see if it may be in the position where it has the possibility to impact the versatile system of the stairlift in any way.

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. Making sure your stairlift solution meets accessibility standards is the key to helping you achieve elderly independence. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we’ll conclude our stairlift troubleshooting guide.