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!

 

Saving for a Rainy Day: Mobility Ramp Financing Options

ramp financing options

They say April showers bring May flowers so in April we are focusing on the issue of saving for a rainy day.   We know that many of you need better home accessibility, but don’t have the budget to cover it.  In fact, Disabled World reported that about half of all American wheelchair users must navigate steps just to get in and out of their home each day.  This is why our team at EZ-ACCESS has come up with a large variety of ramp funding options.

Visit our Funding Sources page and read on to get an overview of funding options that may work for you:

Private Organizations

Private organizations are a great place to start when you’re looking for home accessibility funding.  Depending on your diagnoses, you could look into the National United Cerebral Palsy Association, the American Cancer Society, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Muscular Dystrophy Association and more.

Local Programs

Local communities also offer great funding for home accessibility.  Check with your local government, church or community organization to see if they offer a special home program or volunteer project for local low income families.

Bank Funding

If you have a great relationship with your local bank, you may want to explore options in a second mortgage, home equity loan or reverse mortgage.  Simply, contact your bank and weigh your options.

Insurance

We realize Medicare doesn’t typically cover mobility ramps.  However, some private insurance plans do cover home accessibility products and home modification.  Contact your insurance agent to check into this.

Tax Deductible

One final area to look into is tax deductions.  As a homeowner, you can take advantage of tax deductions for certain home modifications as capital expenses with the main purpose of medical care for you, your spouse or your dependent.  Read more about tax-deductible accessible home modifications.

Do you have any suggestions for ramp funding programs that you’d like us to add to our Funding Sources page?  We’d love to hear your suggestions!  Share funding ideas on the EZ-ACCESS Facebook page or submit your ideas through our contact us page today.

 

Home Accessibility is No Joke: Home Safety Evaluation – Part 2

home safety evaluation

In honor of April Fool’s Day, we started this two-part series on home safety evaluations.  In the previous blog post, we covered home safety evaluations for the entryway, floor and electrical.  If you’re visiting this page from the previous post, read on to continue your home evaluation with kitchens, bathrooms and basic maintenance!

Kitchen

When evaluating the kitchen, keep in mind that most kitchen injuries are caused by reaching for something.  Look at how your loved one will access and operate common appliances like the fridge, microwave and stove.  Controls placed at the front of the stove prevent your loved one from reaching over burners.  Also, take a look at the ventilation in the kitchen.  Poor ventilation can lead to kitchen fires.

The next step in the kitchen is to review countertops.  Are countertops at the right height to allow your loved one to complete their tasks?  Do you have the most commonly used items on the countertop to avoid lifting and carrying?  Are utensils easy to grab without moving around the kitchen?  Check for all of these items when examining the kitchen.

Bathroom

According to the National Institute on Aging, 80 percent of falls each year in seniors over age 65 occur in the bathroom, making this one of the most important rooms you will evaluate today.  Just like rugs, you’ll need to make sure bathroom mats are secure to the floor, and just like the kitchen countertops, make sure all commonly used items are easily reachable.  You’ll also want to examine the tub and toilet areas to be sure there are enough grab bars and proper footing.

Basic Maintenance

Basic maintenance is another commonly missed issue.  Many falls in the home occur because the individual is trying to change a light bulb or complete other standard home maintenance.  The easy fix for this is to make sure your loved one has a sturdy stepladder.

For more on home accessible solutions and proper home evaluations, reach out to our EZ-ACCESS customer service team.  Our customer service representatives are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to home accessibility and would be happy to offer advice or connect you with a home accessibility expert in your area!

Home Accessibility is No Joke: Home Safety Evaluation – Part 1

home accessibility evaluation

Happy April Fool’s Day!  We, at EZ-ACCESS, are taking this opportunity to remind you that accessible home safety is no joking matter.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released statistics stating “one in three adults aged 65 and older fall each year and 20-30% of these falls lead to moderate or severe injuries” so take action now.  Evaluate your home or the home of your aging loved ones for safety concerns and get these issues address immediately.

Here are a few tips for evaluating a home today:

Home Entryways

For entryways, you are focused completely on what it takes to get into the home safely.  Take a close look at how well lit the entrance is, how easy it is to get to the front door, how easily can the individual unlock and use the door handle and what the welcome mat situation is.  A common hazard we come across is welcome mats that easily shift around, making them easy to trip on.

Inside the entryway, predict what your loved one will be doing.  If they take off their shoes and hang up their coat, evaluate how they can safely do this.  You may consider adding a sturdy bench.

Concerned with your home entry?  Check out EZ-ACCESS’ line of door threshold ramps for smaller transitions, semi-permanent ramps or wheelchair lifts for higher entry solutions.

Floors

Just the floor alone can be highly dangerous.  If your home has wood or tiled flooring, the surface can often be slick, and if you’ve placed throw rugs or mats down, go ahead and call the ambulance.   When it comes to rugs or mats, either use adhesive strips to stick them to the floor or remove them entirely.  For carpeting, make sure the carpet is in good shape and not balling up or rolling in areas.

Electrical

While you are down evaluating the floor, make sure to check the outlets, cords and extension cords.  We typically discourage the use of extension cords or cords running under walkways as these can be dangerous tripping hazards.  If you’re willing do a little electrical work on the home, consider installing outlets at mid-room level for easy access, less bending and less cord hazards.

Also, use this time to evaluate the indoor lighting.  Check that hallways and doors are well lit, and that light switches are accessible and easy for your loved one to use.

Continue walking through your accessible home evaluation by reading our next blog post “Home Accessibility is No Joke: Home Safety Evaluation – Part 2,” covering kitchens, bathrooms and basic maintenance!

10 Reasons to love the Passport Vertical Platform Lift

love the passport vertical platform lift

Even though everyone claims they don’t have a favorite, you know they do.  We aren’t afraid to admit that we love all our products, but we are a little more in love with the Passport® Vertical Platform Lift.  With its sleek design, easy operation, lightweight frame and enchanting safety features, who wouldn’t love the Passport!

  1. Lightweight Lift – Coming in at a slim 380 pounds, the Passport® Vertical Platform Lift is the lightest residential platform lift on the market. That’s 300 pounds lighter than most comparable vertical platform lifts!
  2. Prewired for your Convenience – Both the lift tower and gate come prewired so that the Passport Vertical Platform Lift is extremely easy to set up. Just plug in and start it up!
  3. Tested and Approved – This Vertical Platform Lift has passed its tests and carries the ETL Listed Mark for safety.
  4. DC-Powered – The Passport is DC powered and can complete about 30 cycles!
  5. Amazing Strength – This VPL can lift up to 750 pounds, almost two times the weight of the entire lift!
  6. Comes when you call – Using the Call-Send control with a mushroom-head design for your convenience, you can easily make the Passport come to you from top or bottom of the landing!
  7. Go wireless – It even offers a wireless remote to operate the Passport Vertical Platform Lift from inside your house or in the car!
  8. Super safe – The Passport comes with a variety of safety options such as the platform safety rail, interlock system, top landing gate and safety pan weather guard.
  9. Weather Strong – With waterproof controls and arctic-rated greased screws, the Passport Platform Lift controls will not erode and can handle wide temperature ranges.
  10. Ready for anything – The Passport Vertical Platform Lift has several power options including DC power and manual lowering capability through a hand crank.

Do you own a Passport Vertical Platform Lift or carry them through your home accessibility store?  Let us know what you love about the Passport by leaving a review at on the Passport Vertical Platform Lift product page today!