Monthly Archives: December 2015

Taking Winter by Storm: Beating the Winter Blues

winter blues

Bears have it made. When the winds howl, drifts climb, and temperatures plummet, they can curl up in their cozy dens and snooze for a couple of months until winter passes. No such luck for you and your daily duties that force you to brave the season, as well as the possibility of developing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Beat the winter blues and make the most of this frigid time of year with a couple of pointers from EZ-ACCESS:

• Exercise: Fitness is key to keeping both physical and mental health top notch. The blast of endorphins from a moderate-intensity workout will give you a boost, and engaging in an activity you love will give you something to look forward to. Try a water jogging or aerobics class at your local gym, or drum up an at-home workout via Youtube to experiment with new genres of exercise.

  • Balance Your Diet: Although the chill may send you reaching for warm, heavy dishes and comfort carbs, fill out your plate with more variety. An overdose of processed foods will make your energy drag and moods swing all over the place. Experiment cooking with winter vegetables like winter squash, brussel sprouts, and parsnips to mix up your meals and add a dash of variety to your day.
  • Follow Through with Resolutions: If you made the annual New Year’s promise, stick with it. Setting daily, weekly, and monthly goals gives you something to work towards, renewing a sense of purpose on blustery days that make you feel blah.
  • Treat Yourself: Look at that, you’ve accomplished one of those resolutions? Celebrate! Whether it’s a weekend trip to explore a new city, a massage, a coffee outing with friends, or a skills class at your local library, finding ways to build yourself up when the weather’s trying to do the opposite is critical. Scheduling a fun activity a week or two in advance will build anticipation that makes the event even more satisfying.
  • Lean On Each Other: Don’t let the season box you into your home and away from those that can help perk you up. Your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers are feeling the winter burn just as sharply as you are, and they’ll be thrilled by a lunch date, quick phone chat, or surprise card in the mail.

If you’re worried winter may reduce your mobility, EZ-ACCESS has a number of ramps and mobility chair accessories to help keep you moving. Take a look through our online catalog to find the daily aids that will help you charge into the cold with head held high!

Foldable Accessibility: Choosing the Right Suitcase Ramp for You

suitcase ramp

Getting in and out of the snow is a hassle on its own, and adding a mobility chair to the mix can add serious chunks of travel time to your schedule. SUITCASE® series portable ramps helps streamline the transport process with lightweight, easy-to-assemble options to get you moving in no time.

We’ve broken down each SUITCASE® portable ramp to give you a look at the highlights and special features of this line’s wide offering:

Singlefold Ramp

Best for: Mobility chair users who need fast access in a variety of locations

Lengths: 2’ – 8’ options

Special features: A single-fold ramp hinge that makes set-up easy and fingers unpinched; durable handles for easy carry; slip-resistant tread to keep your mobility device rolling

Singlefold AS Ramp

Best for: Mobility chairs in need of extra traction

Lengths: 2’ – 6’ options

Special features: Applied slip-resistant surface; easily separates into two lightweight sections with the removal of two hinge pins; both attachments fitted with ergonomic, flexible handles; self-adjusting bottom transition plates adjust to the ground surface from portable ramp position

Singlefold GF (Graphite Fiber)

Best for: Caregivers who can carry limited weight

Lengths – 2.5’ – 7.5’ options

Special features: Lightest folding ramp in the industry starting at 8 lbs; glass reinforced graphite fiber provides impressive weight-bearing capacity of 660 lbs; single-fold hinge that runs full length of ramp for ensured stability and safety

Trifold AS Ramp

Best for: Raised landings, steps, larger vehicles, wider complex wheelchairs and mobility scooters

Lengths: 5’ – 10’ options

Special Features: Tri-fold portable ramp for easy setup and transportation; separates into two sections for easy carry; interlocking hinge reduces pinch points and ensures smoother operation.

The Singlefold, Singlefold AS, and Trifold AS ramp can be outfitted with an additional Top Lip Extension, which increases the transition plate from 3” to 9”, helping ramps avoid vehicle bumpers and providing increased surface area made of slip-resistant aluminum for durability and safety.

EZ-ACCESS strives to provide stability and independence to you and your loved ones with mobility options to improve each day, rain, snow or shine. Take a look at our online catalog and let us know how we can help!

How to Make Your Business Accessible for All in 2016

wheelchair accessible business

Whether non-profit or for, businesses that serve the public agree to serve all kinds of publics.  The ADA Guide for Small Businesses outlines a comprehensive list of requirements and accommodations to ensure every customer receives the same care and quality of service, disability notwithstanding. Below, EZ-ACCESS has highlighted just a few areas to double check to make sure your business is providing accessible services to all:

Accessible Parking

  • An access aisle of at least eight feet must be designated to van-accessible parking spaces marked by a sign with the international “van accessible” symbol. This provides plenty of room for mobility chairs and their operators to enter and exit a van with a side-mounted lift.
  • The number of total parking spaces dictates the number of accessible parking options. 25 total slots should have at least 1 accessible space, 50 total slots should have at least 2 accessible, etc. If you can only offer one slot, it must be van – not just car – accessible.
  • When possible, place accessible parking spots as close to handicap-accessible entrances as you can.

Accessible Entrances

  • If you have multiple entrances into your store, at least one must be accessible, and a sign should be provided to direct traffic to the alternative entrance.
  • The slope of ramps to accessible entrances must be no more than 1:12 (for every 12 units of horizontal length, there’s one unit of vertical rise). Handrails are required when the slope exceeds 1:20.
  • Edge protection is required when a ramp creates a drop-off on either side. A raised lip or low railing helps prevent mobility chairs from accidentally rolling off the surface.
  • In some cases, you just may not be able to provide accessible entrances that are “readily achievable” for your business (e.g. reasonable accommodations that can be added without excessive difficulty or expense). To compensate, you’re required to provide home delivery, take-out, curbside delivery, or another readily achievable option to make your services accessible.

Our work at EZ-ACCESS exists to help provide mobility and freedom for all. Our TITAN™ Code Compliant Modular Access System can enable your business to do just that through a reliable mix of ramps, platforms, and steps that meet ADA, IBC, and local code guidelines. If you have questions about this ramp or other accessibility options, give us a call at 800-451-1903.

Wheelchair Organization Made Easy

week1-blog

A jacket, an oxygen tank, a book or two, some snacks, your keys… when you’re out and about in your wheelchair, figuring out where and how to stash all your items can feel like it requires a background in engineering.

Fortunately, EZ-ACCESS wheelchair accessories take the hassle out of transport with a number of organizational options. Take a look at these storage aids to figure out which one suits you best:

  • Wheelchair Underneath Carrier: Discreet storage for a quick stow-and-go outing doesn’t get much easier. Awesome for magazines, keys, wallets, and other items, this large mesh canopy hides underneath wheelchairs with the help of a nifty hanging design. As an added layer of protection, front and back flaps keep your goods from bumping out of place and instead stay safely tucked where you want them.
  • Wheelchair Back: Don’t worry about juggling jackets, magazines, snacks, and keys when you’re heading out for a shopping day. The Wheelchair Back streamlines all your items into one easily-accessible carrier, attached to the back of the chair for quick reach for both you and your caretaker. With three staggered pouches made of durable nylon, you can eliminate bulk and stay organized when you stash your items into multi-leveled, separate pockets.
  • Wheelchair Pack: When you need serious storage, this multi-use product offers room for days. Looped over the back of the wheelchair, adjustable buckle straps allow you to create a custom length for easiest access from where you sit. Big items like books, packages, and laptops stay securely in the spacious main compartment thanks to the hook and loop closure to keep your goods snugly in place. Items like newspapers, water bottles, and phones can slide into elasticized mesh pockets on the side for quick deposit and removal. This pack also doubles as a tote, so you can take it from wheelchair to carrier in a matter of seconds.
  • Wheelchair Oxygen Carrier: With extra-long adjustable straps to accommodate any wheelchair, this oxygen carrier eliminates the hassle of portable oxygen therapy. The single carrier sports a durable, lightweight nylon, and the dual carrier’s lightweight vinyl mesh comes with an added storage pocket for nasal masks and other small items.

Which accessory is calling your name? Let our professionals at EZ-ACCESS know!

When It Comes to Your New Year’s Resolution – Be S.M.A.R.T.

new years resolutions

Every year, you start off so strong, exercising every day, avoiding caffeine like the plague or saving every extra penny to finally get out of debt, but over a matter of weeks, your fancy New Year’s resolution seems to drop off and you’re back to your old self again.  According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, you’re not alone – 1 in 3 resolution makers ditch their promise of the year before the first month is even up!

Well, this year is going to be different, and EZ-ACCESS will help.  Using these proven S.M.A.R.T. techniques, you will stick to your New Year’s Resolution, for at least the first few months – let’s be realistic!

  1. SPECIFIC – Don’t be flighty with your goal. Be clear and concise, assigning a direction, a date or a target for you to reach for. “I want to run a local 5K in the spring at an 8:30 pace” gives you a target to aim for that goes beyond a hopeful thought.
  2. MEASURABLE – Set mini goals to achieve along the way that lead to your overall goal. Don’t forget to determine your metrics or how you will assess that you’ve reached your milestones.  Identify concrete ways to assess your goal so you know if and when you’ve reached it.
  3. ATTAINABLE – Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t lose 50 pounds in a week. Make sure your goal is practical and within reach.  Make as much of an effort as you can, but don’t set yourself up for failure with a goal that’s actually impossible to meet.
  4. REALISTIC – Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. If you want to knit baby blankets for preemies in the NICU, could you knock out 30 in 30 days? Technically, probably, yes. However, how realistic is that goal when you factor in everything else on your plate? Don’t burn yourself out with a goal that pushes the boundaries of reason.
  5. TIME-BOUND – When life stressors appear, personal goals are the first thing to go. If you’ve given yourself concrete deadlines, however, skipping out on what you set out to do becomes much, much harder. Whether you follow a daily timeline or strive towards a date a few months down the road, a time-bound goal helps keep you on track and moving forward.

Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Choosing and meeting a goal gives you just a taste of all you’re capable of accomplishing. Let us know at EZ-ACCESS if there’s a goal we can help you conquer in 2016.

 

4 Snowy Ramp Must-Haves for 2016

snowy ramps

If you read last month’s blog, “Winter is coming. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, Is your ramp ready?”, then you already know whether your region of the country is likely to be pummeled with snow or not.  If you are one of the unlucky ones and LOTS OF SNOW could be headed your way, preparations are in order, and EZ-ACCESS is here to help.  Use this list of must-haves as your guide to keep your aluminum ramp open for business.

Snowy Ramp Must-Haves:

  1. Ice Melt – This is a great item to have on hand in order to break up those thick chunks of ice that form right at the end of your roof overhang. If you happen to hate the white, chalky residue that Ice Melt leaves behind, we also recommend cat litter as a worthy alternative. For the best cat little, choose extra-coarse, non-clumping from your local hardware store.

Another great benefit of using cat litter to give you traction or slippery surfaces is that you can simply sweep it away in the spring!

  1. Broom – To reduce scratching or damaging your aluminum ramp, use a broom instead of a metal or plastic shovel. The hard bristle broom will be just as effective when clearing away light, fluffy snow.
  1. Welcome Mat – You may also want to consider an extra welcome mat to prevent you or your guests from tracking snow, Ice Melt or cat litter into your home.
  1. Slip Resistant Footwear – Finally, footwear is key. If you are on your feet at all, even with the help of a walking aid, you must wear proper footwear for winter weather.

Quoting the United State Postal Service creed, “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleep, nor hail” shall keep you from using your EZ-ACCESS PATHWAY Modular Access System this winter.  Stay safe out there and be sure to contact us at EZ-ACCESS for any questions on the care and maintenance of your PATHWAY Modular Access System!

Does Thinking Positive Really Make Life Better? Try These Tips in 2016 & See

positive thinking

Did you know that the key to a brighter future could simply be changing your mindset?  Recent studies have shown that positive thought can actually lead to a better life.  In our industry, the team at EZ-ACCESS comes across individuals every day who have had hardships, yet improved their life dramatically by the way they look at their life.  Going in to 2016, we hope you try these tips for positive thinking and make it your year!

Never Say Never – Did your mother ever tell you, “The mood you have for the day is up to you”?  As it turns out, she was right!  The words you let bounce around in your head dictate the actions you do or don’t take.  Keep those words like “can’t”, “won’t”, and “never” in check, and embrace your positive self-talk, even if you have to fake it ‘til you make it!

Keep Those Eyes Open – If you close your eyes as a car slides towards you through an intersection, will it still hit you?  Most likely, it will.  The same goes for your stressors.  Keep your eyes open and confront your stress.  Don’t let it drag you down.  You must acknowledge the negatives in your life in order to create a plan of attack.

Be Happy Optimistic – To feel happy is to feel everything amplified: the sky looks brighter, your day looks less stressful, and everyone looks a little kinder. However, happiness is situational and based on an emotion that fades fast. Optimism, however, is in your hands. It’s believing that you’re responsible for creating and maintaining your own happiness. Look at a situation, identify all the positives and negatives it can reap, and choose to hold onto those positives.

A happier you isn’t discovered overnight, but embracing positive thinking today gives you a longer lifetime to find it. Reach out to us at EZ-ACCESS and let us know what we can do to help improve your life today.