Author Archives: EZ-ACCESS Blogger

Fall Facts: Tips to Prevent Falls in your Home

Fall Facts: Tips to Prevent Falls in Your Home

Falls are considered the number one cause of injury for seniors. After falling once, it doubles a person’s chance of falling again and often leads to Post Fall Anxiety Syndrome. Learn how a few simple modifications can help mitigate fall risks in the home and provide peace of mind for you or a loved one.

 

Bathroom: Did you know people over 85 suffer more than half their injuries near the toilet? For those who struggle to get up from the seated position or need extra stability in the bathroom, the TILT® Toilet Incline Lift may be a perfect aid to prevent injuries and falls in the bathroom.

 

Bonus Tip: Add non-slip mats to the shower and bathtub to prevent any slips and falls while bathing. If accessing a shower or tub is too difficult for you or your loved one, consider using our EZ-Shower Bedside Shower or EZ-BATHE® Body Washing Basin for an in-bed bathing experience.

 

Entryways and Raised Landings: Does your home have a tricky entryway or a step down into another room? These can be problematic for those who experience difficulty moving safely throughout their home. Adding a TRANSITIONS® threshold ramp, mat, or plate in those areas can dramatically reduce the number of tripping incidents and create a smooth path for wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, etc.

 

Porches and Stairs: Don’t risk falling or tripping down porch or entryway stairs, especially when it’s rainy or icy. Adding a ramp and/or platform to your home can help eliminate environmental hazards, which is the majority reason people fall. The PATHWAY® 3G Modular Access System could be the perfect solution when it comes to creating a cleared walkway with safe handrails to guide individuals to and from home access points.

 

While not every fall leads to injury, there can still be health risks that are present such as the inability to get up or the anxiety of falling again. Since one-third of those who are over 65 will fall each year, it’s important to take the right precautions to help eliminate the potential causes of injury.

 

If you’re in need of assistance in selecting the right ramps for your situation, be sure to use our Ramp Selector or Incline Calculator or contact us here.

Ways to Honor and Serve Our Veterans

Ways to Honor and Serve Our Veterans

As of 2015, there were 18.8 million military Veterans in the United States. Our Veterans selflessly served our country and fought for our freedom. They deserve honor and to be served not just one day out of the year, but continually. Take a look at these easy and helpful ways you can lend a hand.

Veterans Day is a day to remember and honor those who have served in the armed forces. What better way to assist those who protected our freedom than to build a home for them? You can work with organizations like Home for Our Troops or Building Homes for Heroes. Donations and volunteering can range from monetary, giving your time, donating building supplies, and even hosting a community fundraiser.

Helping Veterans goes beyond just assisting them. If you have frequent flier miles, you can donate those through organizations like Hero Miles Program. Operation Hero Miles is a national program, which provides free airline tickets to families of injured military men and women.

More than one-third of returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans will experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Coping with PTSD can be a struggle for not only the Veteran, but their family as well. There are several programs involving companion dogs that can assist with managing day-to-day life. If you’re unable to assist with sponsoring or training a dog, consider donating food or money to help these organizations like Pets for Vets or Pets for Patriots continue to grow and serve.

Don’t forget a simple thank you can go a long way. Serving in the military can be a thankless job, so stopping and recognizing the sacrifice they have made to protect our country can really make a difference. Next time you see someone in a military uniform or a Veteran, say thank you.

As Veterans return to civilian life, they may require assistance getting around. Make sure your business or home can be easily accessed by using an accessibility solution from EZ-ACCESS. If you live in or near Washington State, come on out and join us at the largest Veterans Day Parade west of the Mississippi in Auburn, Washington this Veterans Day. We look forward to celebrating our Veterans on November 11.

 

Three Easy to Use Tools to Help You Find the Right Ramp

 

When trying to decide which ramp is right for your business or home, you don’t have to do it alone! Our helpful tools can make your buying process simpler. Learn how our Incline Calculator, Incline Calculator App and Ramp Selector can ensure you obtain the correct ramp.

Incline Calculator Tool

Our Incline Calculator can help ensure the ramp you’re considering will fit the incline requirements of the installation site. When using the Incline Calculator, you must select your ramp ratio from the following options:

1:6

1:8

1:10 (IRC Acceptable)

1:12 (ADA Standard)

The ADA Standard is a great place to start, but you can confirm the ratio standards with your city or local codes. After selecting the ratio, you’ll need to enter the rise. This is the distance from the top step or landing to the ground. After entering these numbers, the Incline Calculator will generate the required ramp length, along with the slope, and grade of the ramp. However, if the rise is greater than 30 inches a platform may be required.

Our App

In addition to the Incline Calculator on our website, you can download the Incline Calculator app from the App Store for when you’re on the go. It’s perfect for contractors or home inspections. For more tips on selecting the right ramp for your needs, view our incline chart.

Ramp Selector Tool

Now that you know what length and incline your ramp needs to be, you can better select which EZ-ACCESS products are right for you. If you’re looking for a ramp that allows easier access to your home or an ADA compliant solution for your business, our Ramp Selector can assist in your search.

Our ramp selector is built to help you narrow down the selections to meet your specific needs. Because of this, all you need to do is determine what the primary purpose of the ramp will be and the ramp use type. Once you’ve identified these two, the selector recommends the proper products for your needs.

If you have questions about finding the right accessibility solution for you or your business, please contact us here.

Draw Inspiration from These Four Famous Wheelchair Users

Draw Inspiration from These Four Famous Wheelchair Users

See what perseverance, determination, and just a little bit of grit can do. Read the stories of four wheelchair users and draw inspiration from their lives when it comes to achieving great things!

  1. Aaron Fotheringham – Born in 1991 with spina bifida, Aaron has been a wheelchair user since he was eight years old. After watching his older brother at the skate park, Aaron saw a sport that he could conquer, and conquer it he did. Aaron became the first person to land a backflip, double backflip, and front flip in a wheelchair and set numerous world records through wheelchair motocross. He hopes his efforts encourage others to use their wheelchairs in unique and different ways.

 

  1. Franklin D. Roosevelt – FDR isn’t remembered as the president in the wheelchair but as the president that led a country through World War II and the Great Depression. After drinking contaminated water, FDR contracted polio, becoming paralyzed from the waist down. While it wasn’t common knowledge that he was paralyzed, his disability never prevented him from being a great leader and tackling challenges head on.

 

  1. Frida Kahlo – Known for her fiercely painted self-portraits, Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who encountered several physical challenges throughout her life. She was born with a misshapen leg and contracted polio at the age of six. While she was a teenager, she was involved in an accident with a trolley, and became bed-ridden while her broken back healed. This eventually led to her using a wheelchair. While her dream of becoming a physician was derailed, Frida found an outlet through art and became well-known for her work.

 

  1. Tanni Grey-Thompson – Paralympian, TV presenter, and parliamentarian. These are all hats Tanni Grey-Thompson has worn. Born with spina bifida, Tanni never let this keep her from living the life she wanted. Tanni went on to win 16 medals in several Paralympic Games, becoming one of the most decorated athletes hailing from the U.K. Today, you can find Tanni coaching parathlete Jade Jones and serving as an Independent Crossbench Peer in the House of the Lords. She uses this platform to advocate for disability rights, welfare reform, and sports.

 

We hope you find inspiration in these people who continued to live out their dreams and overcame obstacles to take on the world. Who inspires you? Leave a comment below!

4 Quick Tips on How to Prepare for Natural Disasters

4 Quick Tips on How to Prep for Natural Disasters

When it comes to prepping your home for natural disasters you can never be too prepared. Lack of an emergency plan for unexpected events could be detrimental. To help you get started, here are a few tips on how you can plan for a natural disaster.

Gather Medical Supplies and Necessities

Be sure to gather and keep track of medicines, oxygen tanks, battery packs, extra medical supplies, and other daily care necessities. If you have to make a quick exit, having everything together could be the difference between continuing your care or not.

Have Cash On Hand

During these emergencies, ATMs may be overrun or not working, meaning there is no way for you to get cash. Power can go out, leaving debit and credit cards useless. By having cash on hand, you will be able to purchase necessities when an event occurs.

Document Storage

Be sure to have a fireproof and waterproof box with documents you will need in order to pick up the pieces after a disaster. These documents should include numbers to and information about your bank, creditors, health insurance, and property insurance. Specific documents should include passports, birth certificates, health records, social security cards, bank routing numbers, deeds, income tax information and more.

Plan, Plan, Plan.

The best thing you can do is put together a team of people who can assist you during a natural disaster. It’s important to review your plan with these people so they’re also prepared. You’ll also want to plan escape routes and practice using them once or twice a year. In the event of a tornado, most basements aren’t wheelchair accessible so having a back-up plan if you or a loved one use a wheelchair is important.

While we never hope a natural disaster will strike, it’s better to be prepared if something does occur. By taking these steps to prepare, you will have a plan to help aid in your safety and recovery.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by the recent hurricanes, and are looking for accessibility solutions to temporary housing, we can help. Visit our Disaster Relief Page by clicking here.

Four Creative Wheelchair Halloween Costumes

Four Creative Wheelchair Halloween Costumes

Ghosts, goblins and witches galore! Halloween is near and if you’re like most people you’re waiting until the last minute to come up with what you or your child is going to be this year. Stop your procrastinating because we’ve come up with some Halloween costume ideas that are sure to be winners in the costume contest and help your kids collect the most candy!

  1. Oscar the Grouch – Dress up as Oscar by using green fur and making your wheelchair or powerchair look like a trashcan. All you need to do is perfect your best Oscar the Grouch voice and you are dressed for the part!
  2. Kayak – With a little bit of elbow grease, you can turn a wheelchair into a kayak. All you need to do is cut the shape of a kayak out using cardboard. Decorate it how you want and get a couple of paddles to attach to the kayak. Grab your kayak clothes and hit the sidewalk to collect all the candy you can.
  3. A Car – Customize your set of wheels! If you or your kiddo are a fan of cars, racecars, tractors, – anything with a set of wheels – make it into an awesome costume for Halloween. Much like the kayak, you’ll need a little ingenuity and creativity when it comes to making these costumes.
  4. A Drum Set – Become the drummer for your favorite band by covering a hula hoop in paper, which will be your bass drum! Next, attach two large cylinders at the side of the bass drum to create your snare drums. Grab your drumsticks, put on your best rock star outfit and rock that costume down the sidewalk.
  5. A News Anchor or Late Night TV Show Host – Channel your inner Jimmy Kimmel or David Muir, by giving your chair a news desk and making yourself into a news anchor or TV show host. Put on a suit, have your note cards ready and deliver the news or jokes all night long!

We hope you found some inspiration for you or your kiddo’s next Halloween costume. If you dress up this Halloween, share your photos with us on our Facebook page. We’d love to see you all decked out!

Out of the Box Ways to Use Your EZ-ACCESS Accessibility Solutions

Our access solutions may seem like their use is pretty straightforward, however, with a little creativity our products can be used for many things you may have never thought about! Here are some “out of the box access ideas” to consider with EZ-ACCESS products:

  • Raised Floor – If you’re in an industry with data centers or manufacturing plants, where you’d need a raised surface to protect cords and pipes or prevent tripping hazards, our TITAN™ platforms and steps are the solutions you’ve been looking for. This product can be configured to meet to site-specific criteria, has been reinforced for added strength, and features an extruded slip-resistant surface to ensure safety.
  • Access to Activities – The FORTRESS® OSHA Stair System makes for the perfect elevated solution to access activities that require some added height, like mounting a horse, accessing carnival rides, or even getting up on stage. With height options ranging from 23” to 42.5”, this stair system can easily be configured to meet your needs.
  • Create a Deck – Use the TITAN™ system to create the perfect temporary deck or porch for your RV or travel trailer. Add some patio furniture and your grill – and maybe even a few plants – to create a charming and peaceful setting at your home away from home.
  • Platform to Your Work – The TITAN could probably be called the jack of all trades. In addition to the examples mentioned above, this system can also be configured to create a work platform to machinery. Never worry about finding a ladder or accessing machinery in an unsafe manner; the TITAN can be your safe solution.
  • Access to Your Show Floor – While our TRANSITIONS® entry ramps are usually thought of as a way to overcome doorway thresholds, we’ve seen them used creatively to provide access to an indoor/outdoor display that has a slightly raised floor.

If you’ve used your EZ-ACCESS products in a unique way, let us know. We love seeing what our products can do for you.

Must Visit All-Accessible Playgrounds

No one should have to sit on the sidelines of the playground because they’re not able to maneuver the landscape or access the playground equipment. We’re not the only ones who have identified the need for all-inclusive, accessible playgrounds for kids; a majority of the reason we see these parks today is because a community member saw a need. Take a look at these five parks all across the nation that you should add to your travel list!

  1. Brooklyn’s Playground – Pocatello, Idaho: Built with the love and support of the community, Brooklyn’s Playground was created to give the gift of play to children of all abilities. Brooklyn’s Playground is a community-wide volunteer effort to build the first fully-inclusive playground. Chock-full of fun, a visit to the park is a must for anyone in the area!
  2. Hope Park – Frisco, Texas: Not only accessible for those in power chairs and wheelchairs, Hope Park was designed for children with a wide variety of special needs. There are sensory engaging elements of the park including Soundplay accessible instruments. Next time you’re in the DFW Metroplex, take a break and play at Hope Park!
  3. Tatum’s Garden – Salinas, California: After a family stopped during their road trip to play at Brooklyn’s Park in Pocatello, Idaho, they were inspired to create the same thing for their young daughter with Spina Bifida. From there, everything was set into motion for Tatum’s Garden. Next time you’re road tripping near the Salinas area, stop by to play at the county’s first fully-inclusive and accessible playground.
  4. Taylor’s Dream: A Boundless Playground – Fort Wayne, Indiana: When a girl named Taylor saw another student who wasn’t able to enjoy the playground equipment, she decided to take action. Along with her friends and the Parks & Recreation Department, they worked together to create a 42,000 square-foot playground. Designed with age-specific play pods and a splash pad which serves as a hub for all of the play pods, this playground was named as one of the top 50 playgrounds in the nation.
  5. Jake’s Place – Cherry Hill, New Jersey: Jake’s Place was created to honor Baby Jake’s memory after he left this world all too soon as a result of a rare cardiac condition. Jake’s family chose to honor him by creating a specially designed, all-inclusive playground based on their belief that EVERY child deserves a chance to play, regardless of physical limitations. With synthetic surfaces, wide ramps, sensory and implements to work on coordination, this playground has something for everyone!

We hope you feel inspired and ready to take your kids out to play! If there’s an all-inclusive park near you be sure to leave us a comment – we’d love to see it! For more information about our options to make those with limited mobility more independent, contact us today!

Making EZ-ACCESS Products Work for You: Maintenance and Facilities

If you’re looking to increase efficiency, bring an enhanced culture of safety, and provide an overall better solution to access for your organization, this is for you. Our accessibility solutions for those who work in maintenance and facilities are designed to help create a safer and simpler process for you to do your job well. Take a look at several of our products designed with you and your work in mind.

TRAVERSE™ Walk Ramp – If you’re moving office furniture or cleaning supplies out of trucks or up a set of entry stairs, the TRAVERSE™ Walk Ramp is just what you need to reduce stress and strain on your body. The ramp is heavy-duty but was designed to be lightweight so that it’s easily transported and can be set up in a matter of seconds. Offered in a wide range of lengths, you can find the appropriate ramp for your needs.

TRAVERSE™ Singlefold – Our TRAVERSE Singlefold Ramp is the perfect companion for transporting heavy equipment. Built with durability and safety in mind, the ramp can withstand daily use, has a slip-resistant surface for traction, and raised curbs to prevent your cargo from slipping off the edges. Don’t worry about finding somewhere to store the TRAVERSE Singlefold, the ramp can be folded up to 15” wide, making it the ideal solution for on-the-move jobs.

TRAVERSE™ Curb Plate – Curbs can be an inconvenience and are oftentimes overlooked. You’ll no longer have to worry about straining your back getting heavy carts or other equipment over a curb when you use our TRAVERSE™ Curb Plate. Much like the TRAVERSE Singlefold Ramp it has raised sides to prevent equipment from slipping off the edges and also features two stops that prevent it from sliding or moving during use.

TITAN™ Code Compliant Modular Access System – Raised access points to warehouses, loading docks, dumpsters, or other difficult to reach areas are exactly what our TITAN System was created for. The system can be configured to best fit your area, meeting all of your site-specific needs. Another great thing about the TITAN is that it’s easy to install and is ADA, IBC, and OSHA complaint.

FORTRESS® OSHA Stair System – If you’re in need of access to dumpsters, recycling containers, or large machinery, you’ll want to employ the use of our FORTRESS OSHA Stair System. The FORTRESS was created to be adjustable to the height you need with features to ensure safety and OSHA compliance. This access solution can solve both permanent and temporary needs.

Next time you’re looking for a reliable, durable, and safe solution for maintenance and facilities, think EZ-ACCESS. We can help you find just what you’re looking for to make your work easier and reduce strain on your body. Contact us today to get started on finding your access solution.

Ways to Get Ready for National Preparedness Month

As National Preparedness Month comes into full swing, it’s important to take steps to keep your family safe. Disaster can happen anytime or anywhere so planning ahead and being prepared is always a good approach. EZ-ACCESS has created this list of simple steps to take in order to keep you and your family safe.

  1. Create a first aid kit.

Be sure to keep a first aid kit in your car, at home, at work, etc. Although we hope it’s never needed, this kit will be your next best friend and provides temporary support until you can get help. You should also have food and water in your kit in case you are stuck somewhere without access to essentials.

  1. Know where community shelters and food banks are near you.

If you are without food, water, or shelter, knowing where to find the necessities is extremely important. It’s also a good idea to check the shelter’s protocol for disasters so you know what to expect if you need to go.

  1. Sign up for phone alerts and warnings in your area.

These alerts will warn you of impending tornados, floods, or other natural disasters. It’s a great feature and can prevent injury and save lives. To be effective, these alerts need to be heard so be sure to set your phone settings to receive them at all times, no matter the time of day or night.

  1. Have an escape route or evacuation plan for your home and community.

Practice with an emergency drill and be sure to include your pets. Knowing how to get out of your home the quickest and safest way, along with knowing which roads to take as you leave town, will help you safely get out of harm’s way.

  1. Identify a safe point where everyone can meet if you get split up.

In the event someone gets lost or groups get split up, have a planned meeting place and a way to stay in communication with each other. One solution is to be sure that everyone has a walkie talkie in case cell service is lost.

  1. Take care of others during a disaster.

If you are able to go around and check on others safely, then do it. Look out for your neighbors and know which ones may not be able to leave their homes safely. Our elderly neighbors are particularly vulnerable, so please include them in your planning.

  1. For the upcoming cold weather, be sure to have extra supplies.

In your vehicle, make sure you have blankets, coats, hats, and gloves for each person in the car. If your vehicle breaks down or you are involved in an accident, you will be prepared with warm clothing to keep everyone safe and comfortable.

It’s always important to remember that disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can. We hope you never have to encounter a natural disaster, but if you do, being prepared can reduce panic and keep your friends and family safe. How do you plan to engage in preparedness actions this month?