Preventing Heat Stroke in your Wheelchair

wheelchair heat stroke

The summer is heating up which means the risk of heat stroke is on the rise. Those who are in wheelchairs are at an even higher risk for heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke. If not prevented, a heat stroke can leave a person with vital organ damage and can even be fatal. EZ-ACCESS wants to help you understand how to prevent heat strokes to protect yourself while using your wheelchair during the hot summer months.

Avoid the hottest part of the day – If you are planning to head outside, it is important to do so at the appropriate time of day. Schedule your outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day such as the early morning or late evening. Stay in air-conditioned buildings during the hot hours of the day.

Stay hydrated – Staying hydrated is important for anybody who plans to be outside in the summer.  It is import to drink plenty of water before, during and after you spend time in the sun. If your body is properly hydrated, it will be able to cool itself off in case you start to overheat. Avoid soda and alcohol as these drinks can quickly lead to dehydration.

Keep a caregiver close – It is important to make sure someone is with you or knows you are going outside.  Having someone close can help remind you to drink water and get you to those cooler outdoor spots, like shade under a tree. Also, in case an emergency did happen, a caregiver would be able to properly and promptly be able to help if you are unable or unconscious.

Remember, if you ever feel dizzy, headachy, muscle cramps, weakness or nauseas get out of the heat and cool down as soon as possible. If you have shortness of breath, hot/dry skin, chest pains or feel confused, call 9-1-1 immediately.

EZ-ACCESS hopes you enjoy your summer staying safe and cool in your wheelchair! Check out our website for more information on our portable mobility ramps and wheelchair storage equipment!

Tips to Travel Safe with Your Wheelchair for National Safety Month

wheelchair travel safety

Are you planning a summer vacation, but you’re unsure what precautions to take to keep you and your mobility equipment safe?  The EZ-ACCESS team understands your concerns.  In honor of National Safety Month, here are a few items to keep in mind when traveling with your mobility device this summer.

  1. Use Your Portable Mobility Ramp Safely

Mobility ramps are our area of expertise and we can’t stress enough how important it is to use your portable mobility ramp in the way it was designed to be used.  This means to only use your ramp at the proper incline, be mindful of weight restrictions and store properly to avoid injury.

  1. Take Along Backup Equipment

Be prepared for anything by remembering to pack replacement parts and backup batteries/chargers.  If your mobility device is battery operated, what is your plan of action in case of a power outage?

  1. Beat the Heat

Heat and hydration is extremely important in the summer, especially for wheelchair users.  Have a plan for staying hydrated throughout the day and know the signs of heat stroke.  Watch for our next blog where we cover the signs of dehydration and heat stroke in detail.

  1. Plan Ahead

Be prepared for any accessibility issues beforehand.  You can do this by calling the places you are visiting to discuss your needs.  This will give you more peace-of-mind and allow the hotel, restaurant or other destination to prepare for your arrival.

Now that you know these four simple precautions, go out and enjoy your summer.  Remember to use your ramp correctly, bring replacements, stay hydrated and call ahead.  If you have questions about how to properly use your portable mobility ramp, contact the helpful customer service team at EZ-ACCESS!

HELP – I Need Last Minute Gift Ideas for Father’s Day!

last minute fathers day gift ideas

We hear you!  Some of us plan ahead and some of us DO NOT.  For those who do not plan ahead, we’re betting you haven’t thought of a Father’s Day gift which is why the team at EZ-ACCESS has you covered.  We’ve come up with a list of creative, thoughtful Father’s Day gifts of differing budgets for the family dad, the traveling dad, the sporty dad, the techy dad AND the assisted living dad!

Family Dad Gift Ideas

  • Subscription to Ancestry.com so he can explore family ties
  • Set him up on social networking and connect him with family

Travel Dad Gift Ideas

  • Gift certificate for gas or an oil change
  • Drive dad to his hometown to explore the past
  • Send dad on a guided tour to somewhere he has always wanted to visit

Sporty Dad Gift Ideas

  • Subscription to premium sports channels
  • Tickets to the nearest game
  • Tee-time at his favorite country club
  • Cover cart rentals if dad already belongs to a country club

Techy Dad Gift Ideas

  • Purchase and install anti-virus software on his computer
  • Gift cards for his iPhone, Android or BlackBerry
  • Research and then help him download some amazing apps that really fit his personality and needs

Assisted Living Dad Gift Ideas

  • Gift certificate for on-site barber at assisted living facility
  • Pay facility car service to bring him on an outing wherever he wants to go
  • Bring family to him for a day of fun
  • Fly his sibling in that he maybe hasn’t seen for years

Whatever Father’s Day gift idea you end up going with, we hope you end up spending the day surrounded by your loved ones.  Unfortunately, EZ-ACCESS doesn’t provide any of the gift ideas listed above, but we do offer an excellent line of mobility ramps to help those with limited mobility get in and out of their home, car or business.  If you need help making your home or business more accessible, visit the EZ-ACCESS website or give us a call today!

MEN – Add These 10 Foods to Your Diet Today

mens health foods

We’re sure you’ve already heard that June is National Men’s Health Month.  Maybe you’re wondering why men need a separate month dedicated to their health.  The truth is that the recommended diet for men and women is very different.  Similar to how women have specific nutritional needs to protect against breast cancer, men need specific nutrients in their diet to fight prostate cancer, maintain muscle mass and more.

Since at least half of our staff and our customers are male, the EZ-ACCESS team has compiled a list of the top 10 foods every man should add to their diet today!

  1. Bananas – Reduce risk of stroke and are a great source of quick energy. Bananas also strengthen your immune system, keep your nervous system at peak performance and promote a health metabolism.
  2. Berries – We’re talking blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries and cherries. These antioxidant-rich treats will primarily keep your brain healthy and even enhance brain function!
  3. Brazil Nuts – Prevent heart disease and promote prostate health through the selenium in these large nuts. Just one Brazil nut contains your daily dose of selenium, so keep your intake down, but do get those great nutrients in your body each day!
  4. Broccoli – Another fighter when it comes to heart disease and cancer. A healthy dose of broccoli will help fight prostate and colon cancer as will cabbage, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts – so MAN UP and eat your veggies!
  5. Fatty Fish – We’ve all heard the importance of getting your omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory and help fight against arthritis or common muscle aches. The omega -3s come specifically in salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel and herring, but can also be found in flaxseed, walnuts, soy, canola oil and eggs.
  6. Orange or Red Vegetables – Protect your skin and fight against the dreaded enlarged prostate with orange and red vegetables such as red bell peppers, carrots, pumpkin or sweet potatoes. Just one red bell pepper has 300% of the daily intake for vitamin C!
  7. Oysters – Love oysters and they’ll love you right back. They are rich in zinc which is involved in hundreds of body processes including the production of DNA to repair cells and even increase sperm counts.
  8. Plant Stanols – You’re probably wondering what this is. It is a substance that appears in fruits and vegetables, but are now also manufactured and added to stanol-fortified orange juice!  The power behind plan stanols is that they lower cholesterol.
  9. Soybeans – Again, with the prostate health! Soybeans contain isoflavones which help decrease cholesterol and fight prostate cancer.  Get your soy from soy nuts, soy milk, soy cheese, veggie burgers, tofu and edamame.
  10. Whole Grains – Finally, build your muscles with the right kind of whole grains! We mean the grains found in whole grain pasta and quinoa.

There is no better day than today to start eating healthy.  If you’re a man, celebrate National Men’s Health Month by adding these foods to your diet and if you’re a woman, we wish you good luck in encouraging the men in your life to eat more of these male-focused superfoods!

Achieving the ‘Grand Bod’: 3 Senior Exercises for Limited Mobility

senior exercises

This month, you may have heard the term ‘dad bod’, but have you heard of the ‘grand bod’?  In honor of National Senior Fitness Day, the EZ-ACCESS team is focused on the ‘grand bod’ and has come up with 3 exercises to help you get your aging parent or grandparent feeling great this summer!

Seniors with limited mobility often believe they are beyond help when it comes to exercise.  However, just 30 minutes of simple stretching and lifting will aide in mental alertness, stronger bones, healthier metabolism and tight muscles.

Here are 3 senior exercises for limited mobility to get you started:

  1. Stretching – For this exercise, start with the head and then move to the arms and legs. Rotate the head in slow circles to stretch the neck and back.  Then lift arms over the head and slowly drop to the sides.  Finally, lift and lower legs.  Repeat several times to be sure to achieve full stretch throughout the body.
  2. Arms – To work the arms, start with a punching motion and then complete arm circles and arm curls with or without weights.
  3. Legs – When working the legs, kick legs in front of the body and then try to hold legs parallel to the floor for as long as possible. You can also put feet flat to the floor and lift up the heels, then try to push feet through the floor to work the buttocks and top of thighs.

Once these exercises are safely mastered, get your doctor’s ok to gradually introduce light weights starting at 3 pounds and working your way up.  Other options to introduce into your exercise routine include swimming, yoga or tai chi, with deep breathing and medication as a cool down.

The team at EZ-ACCESS deeply cares about the health and safety of your loved ones, which is why we recommend physical activity at any age.  We’re also here to help with all of your accessibility needs.  Explore our residential ramps and see how easy it could be to get you or your loved one out of the house and more active this summer!

6 Things You Need to Start Adaptive Fishing

adaptive fishing

When you became a wheelchair user, did you give up on hobbies such as hunting or fishing?  In the accessibility industry, we have worked with many wheelchair users who believed activities such as fishing were now impossible.  It’s true that you may not be able to reel in the fish in the same way that you did growing up, but we’re here today to encourage you to get back on the lake and tackle your obstacles.  Here are 6 items you may need to get started:

  1. A Disabled Fishing License

For most states throughout the nation, those with disabilities can apply for an annual resident disabled fishing license.  You can find your state’s disabled fishing license application here: http://www.disabledsportsusa.org/fishing/disabled-fishing-licenses/

  1. Automated Caster

Depending on your upper body strength, you may enjoy this hands-free power caster which is push-button controlled to cast your line and reel in!

  1. Fishing Pole Holder for Wheelchair

You may simply need a sturdy fishing pole holder that easily attaches to any wheelchair or lawn chair.

  1. Strong Arm Fishing Pole Holder

For added support when holding your fishing pole, try the Strong Arm.

  1. Electric Reel

If reeling in the big catch is a tough task, check out the Elec-tra-mate Reel.  This product allows you to still set the drag, play the fish and feel the fight, but with a little help!

  1. Portable Wheelchair Ramp

Getting your wheelchair to the lake may also be a problem.  The portable wheelchair ramp can help you load your wheelchair into most vans and SUVs and then, help you out of the vehicle and well on your way to the pier or pontoon boat.

For those who don’t have access to a pontoon boat, just head out to the public lake with access pier.  Most public piers are now required to be ADA compliant with 8 feet of width to safely maneuver your wheelchair.

If you have any questions about how to use your portable wheelchair ramp from EZ-ACCESS or other product that may help you get out and enjoy the outdoors more, contact EZ-ACCESS today!

3 Must-Haves for Summer Air Travel with Your Mobility Device

air travel mobility device

Summertime is quickly approaching, which means summer vacations are just around the corner!  Though summertime vacationing is a great way to enjoy the warm summer months, traveling through airports with equipment for those with limited mobility, such as a wheelchair, mobility scooter or a power chair, can quickly become discouraging or frustrating.

EZ-ACCESS wants to make your time traveling through airports a little easier.  The first step in successfully and comfortably flying with limited mobility is being well prepared.  Start with notifying your airline well in advance that you or your loved one will be traveling with a wheelchair, mobility scooter or power chair.  Next, consider these tips when preparing your equipment to fly hassle-free to your destination.

  • Check to make sure your equipment is in good working condition. Be sure to check and double check any power equipment for warn parts or parts that may need to be replaced. Nothing would hinder a great summer vacation more than having unexpected accidents or break downs with your equipment!
  • Pack a small repair kit. After you have checked your equipment and made sure it is in good working condition, it is a safe idea to pack a small repair kit just in case. Minor tools, batteries or portable parts are just some items that you could bring along in your repair kit while on vacation.
  • Label your chair and detachable parts. While traveling through airports and airport security, it will highly benefit you to label your equipment with your name. This will ensure that your chair will be returned to you when you land at your destination.  Also, consider using a gate delivery tag to be extra sure that your equipment will be returned to you when you land.

Once you have landed at your destination, be sure that all transportation arrangements are ready to go so that you can start your vacation as soon as you arrive.  EZ-ACCESS can help you stay prepared with portable ramps and supplies to make your summer vacation the very best that it can be.

 

8 Most Common Disabilities or Limitations of Arthritis

arthritis limitations

What do you think of when you hear the word “disability”?  Many able bodied Americans instantly think of wheelchair users or individuals with prosthetic limbs, but, depending on your diagnoses, disability can mean many different things.  In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month and all our customers out there dealing with arthritis, the team at EZ-ACCESS is diving into the debilitating effects of this autoimmune disease in the United States.

According to a Center for Disease Control (CDC) study, over 52.5 million American adults are living with arthritis and report a wide range of disabilities or limitations caused by the disease, making it the number one cause for disabilities in the United States.

Here are the most common limitations individuals with arthritis have reported:

  1. Grasping small objects – Of the 52.5 million American adults with arthritis, about 2 million have difficulty grasping small objects. These individuals typically experience stiffness in their fingers or lumps under the skin in their hands.
  2. Reaching above the head – Individuals with this limitation experience difficulty brushing their hair, putting on a shirt or reaching for objects on high shelves.
  3. Sitting for more than 2 hours – Those experiencing this limitation eventually have difficulty sitting for even 20 minutes without their knee or hip getting stiff.
  4. Lifting over 10 pounds – This limitation is found in over 3 million American adults and makes many household chores very difficult to complete.
  5. Climbing a flight of stairs – This task is extremely difficult for individuals dealing with arthritis in their knees, which make up about ten percent of those with arthritis.
  6. Pushing a heavy object – Arthritic inflammation of the hands or wrists make it extremely difficult when pushing or pulling heavy objects.
  7. Walking ¼ of a mile – According to the CDC, 1 in 10 American adults experience this limitation.
  8. Standing for more than 2 hours – This limitation is defined as 2 hours throughout the day and includes activities such as standing in line at the supermarket.

If you or your loved one has difficulties similar to these, encourage them to seek medical attention as many of these symptoms can be treated.  In addition, EZ-ACCESS offers many accessibility solutions that make home entry and mobility easier and safer.  Explore these options at www.ezaccess.com today!

EZ-ACCESS® announces Lifetime Warranty for residential ramps!

Algona, Washington: EZ-ACCESS, a division of Homecare Products, Inc. is pleased to introduce a Lifetime Warranty on its entire line of residential ramps. Their new warranty, which goes into effect on May 1, 2015, covers the original purchaser for the life of the product. “EZ-ACCESS ramps are designed to the highest quality standards and are tested for safety and durability. This warranty expansion demonstrates our dedication to the product line and our confidence in its durability,” said Dave Henderson, Product/Brand Manager for the company.

Ramp product lines that are covered under this Lifetime Warranty include GATEWAY Solid Surface Ramps; SUITCASE® Portable Folding Ramps; TRANSITIONS® Threshold Ramps, Mats, and Plates; and the PATHWAY® Modular Access System.

To view the entire warranty statement online, please go to www.ezaccess.com. Additionally, dealers looking to offer a quick, long-lasting solution to help their customers get around easier and safer are encouraged to contact EZ-ACCESS at 1-800-451-1903 or by visiting the “Become a Dealer” page on their website. All EZ-ACCESS residential ramps are proudly made in the USA.

Best Portable Wheelchair Ramps for Spring Travel

best portable wheelchair ramps

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you are all chomping at the bit to get out and enjoy spring.  But those of you in wheelchairs may be nervous about accessibility issues you may encounter on your spring outings.  The team at EZ-ACCESS understands and wants you to be comfortable leaving the house to enjoy the spring weather, so we’ve come up with several portable ramp solutions that will make most local outdoor destinations safe and accessible.

  1. Suitcase Singlefold AS Ramp

The Suitcase Singlefold Ramp is our lightest and most compact portable ramp option.  Most mobility users can easily carry the ramp sections, which weigh 6 to 15 pounds each, depending on the size of the ramp.  The ramp is available in 2’, 3’, 4’, 5’ and 6’ lengths, with the 5’ and 6’ being suitable for some minivans, crossovers or SUVs.

  • Length 2’ to 6’
  • Weight of each section 6 to 15 pounds
  • Usage – 1 step to some minivans & SUVs
  1. Suitcase Singlefold Ramp

Our Suitcase Singlefold Ramp differs from the Suitcase Singlefold AS Ramp because of its extruded slip-resistant tread and also because it comes in all the same sizes available above as well as a 7’ and 8’ version.  Sizes ranging from 5’ to 8’ are suitable for some minivans with the 8’ design being suitable for 2-3 steps.

  • Length 2’ to 8’
  • Weight 11 to 47 pounds
  • 1 step and some minivans & SUVs
  1. Suitcase Trifold AS Ramp

For the largest portable ramp available, look to the Suitcase Trifold AS Ramp.  This portable ramp goes up to 10’ in length, which can safely provide accessibility for minivans, SUVs and 2-4 steps.

  • Length 5’ to 10’
  • Weight of each section 16 to 30 pounds
  • 2-4 steps and some minivans & SUVs

These portable ramps can all be easily transported in your vehicle and set up with a few easy steps to make most businesses and local outdoor destinations accessible.  To discuss these portable ramp solutions or to find a portable ramp dealer in your area, reach out to the EZ-ACCESS customer service team today!