Author Archives: EZ-ACCESS Blogger

4 Ways Someone with a Disability Can Benefit from Having a Pet

service dogs pets and disabilities

National Dog Week has been observed the last full week of September for the past 87 years, celebrating what dogs mean to people and our society. Dogs, as well as many other pets, can provide a more fulfilling life to many. Not only are they wonderful companions, but they can help meet the needs of individuals living with a disability. We’ve compiled a list of four ways a carefully chosen pet can provide extra benefits:

Natural Companion
There is power in the relationship between a pet and their owner. Pet owners tend to be less lonely and receive much needed affection from their pet. This bond can lend itself to more social interaction and less isolation as well. Animals in public tend to be a social magnet, creating a means for daily interaction with other people, which otherwise could be uncomfortable.

Motivation and Learning
Owners push themselves to strive harder for their pet. Pets provide a means for exercise, whether it be grooming, training or simply playing fetch and other games. In addition, pets increase mind stimulation; they promote curiosity and exploration.

Emotional Support
Often a person with a disability hides difficult emotions and pain they are dealing with inside them, but a pet gives an unconditional love that provides stability. A successful relationship with a pet boosts confidence and fosters a positive mood. A pet could be the difference between a good and bad day.

Service
Pets can act as guardians to their companions. They reassure their owner’s comfort with being alone. Pets can be trained to assist if fallen or alert help if necessary. A pet can increase self-sufficiency and promote freedom. It’s like having a personal assistant 24 hours a day!

Dealing with the day-to-day challenges of a disability can be made more bearable with the assistance of a pet. Pets can lessen the feelings of isolation, lack of motivation, and dependency. Join the team here at EZ-ACCESS in celebrating National Dog Week and show your thanks for all the canine companions you know!

Top Wheelchair Safety Tips for Fall Outdoor Activities

outdoor wheelchair tips - autumn leaves

As fall approaches, daytime temperatures decrease and trees begin to shed their leaves. These crisp fall days make for some of the best outdoor activities. Don’t let your wheelchair stop you from taking advantage of the season! The team at EZ-ACCESS is here to help with a few outdoor wheelchair safety tips:

Preparing for the Weather
Be sure to check the weather in your area before heading for your fall outing. Keep your eye in the sky, but also on the surface your navigating. Precipitation of any kind will make the ground you are traveling slick and prone to slipping. Remember that when using ramps, a wet surface makes uphill wheeling difficult and downhill wheeling dangerous. Most importantly, take your time.

Balancing Off-Road Surfaces
When participating in fall festivities outdoors, thicker tires work better for traversing difficult terrain. Be cautious of potholes, large rocks, and sandy areas. These hazards create an imbalance for your wheelchair. As soon as you are over the off-road surface, clean off your tires to avoid unwanted tipping or spinning.

Navigating Nighttime
Making yourself visible is the number one priority, especially in parking lots or along roadways. Keep in mind, a dimly lit wheelchair shape is unexpected for motorists, thus their response time to your presence is delayed.  Be proactive by attaching lights or reflectors to your chair before heading out on any fall excursions that may carry into the night.

Keep in mind, EZ-ACCESS can provide many wheelchair accessories to make your excursion even easier such as chair packs and covers, and welcome the fall season safely by following these tips!

Comparing Aluminum and Wooden Wheelchair Ramps

aluminum wheelchair ramp

For years, home modular ramps were constructed of wood. They helped people access their homes and allowed for custom carpentry to match the surrounding landscape. However, when aluminum ramps came on the market, the cracks in wooden ramps were exposed! Today, the team at EZ-ACCESS will walk you through a fair comparison of aluminum ramps and wooden ramps:

  • Contractors—Wooden ramps require that you hire a contractor, contact your utility provider and get permits.
  • Upkeep—Wooden ramps are a lot like wooden decks—they need regular maintenance and upkeep in order to maintain their appearance and not deteriorate. If you’re not in the position to do this sort of maintenance on your home anymore, you will need to hire someone to take care of it.
  • Time—Wooden ramps take longer to install. The construction process typically lasts two to three days, depending on the size and layout.
  • Cost—You’ll need to purchase quality lumber in order to prevent the wood from warping, in addition to any staining or waterproofing materials.
  • Maneuverability—Once built, a wooden ramp is not easy to remove, expand or reconfigure.

Aluminum ramps can address many of the issues you may experience with wooden ramps. For example:

  • Aluminum ramps are easy to install and don’t require permits.
  • They’re low maintenance, simply needing the occasional spray washing for cleanliness.
  • They can be installed in less than a day.
  • They are traditionally a more affordable option and are better for the environment.
  • They can be quickly and easily reconfigured.

Now that you know the facts, check out the best and most versatile aluminum wheelchair ramp on the market – the Pathway Modular Access System!

Best in the Industry: Everyone’s Raving About the EZ-ACCESS Suitcase® Ramps

suitcase ramps

The Suitcase Ramp collection is specifically designed for people who need immediate, secure access, no matter the situation. Because of its sleek, light-weight design and easy-to-carry handles, people are raving about this ramp!

Check out what actual customers have said about the Suitcase® Ramps:

Sturdy and Secure

“This ramp is extremely well built: extruded aluminum ramp sections, the welds, the hinges etc. I’m a retired engineer, and I would recommend this product to anybody. Did I mention that this product is proudly MADE IN USA?”
– Anonymous

“It is sturdy and well-made and accommodates my husband’s 407.4 lb. power chair with ease. Plus being in two parts, I am able to manage it by myself a half at a time.”
– C.J.

Versatile Use

“I am in the live sound biz and use this ramp for unloading heavy pro sound equipment, sometimes I have to bridge the back of the truck to a stage or bridge a stair case. This is a very solid and safe way to load and unload gear. Folds up fast and stores in the truck easily.”
– Jim B.

“I actually bought this ramp for my aging dog and it is helping her tremendously. However, over the weekend, two of my friends carried an extremely heavy piece of furniture up the ramp (I’m guessing about 700 lbs. of total weight) and the ramp performed beautifully! I would highly recommend.”
– Anonymous

Easy and Convenient

“This has been a real improvement for dealing with my ailing parent, I am able to get her in and out of the house a lot easier and with more confidence since we have this sturdy ramp to bridge the steep step. Handy suitcase style design is just the thing to make this even more portable.”
– Willa W.

“This is a well USA made product. My father is currently using a wheelchair and I needed help in getting the wheelchair down the stairs…this product was my solution. Because it is portable, we are still able to use the stairs and when it is fully folded; it does not take a lot of room. I highly recommend this product.”
– Frances M.

The team here at EZ-ACCESS prides itself on helping customers find solutions to combat their daily access challenges. We’re proud to say our line of Suitcase® Ramps do just that!

 

 

 

EZ-ACCESS Acquires Phillips Lift Systems & Adds Line of Power Toilet Seat Lifts

ALGONA, WASH. – EZ-ACCESS®, one of the nation’s leaders in providing access to life beyond barriers, has acquired a new product that will expand its growing catalog of accessibility and mobility solutions.

With the acquisition of South Carolina-based Phillips Lift Systems, family-owned EZ-ACCESS will add a line of power toilet seat lifts to its diverse offerings. Phillips Lift Systems, which was headquartered in Pickens, South Carolina, has been a manufacturer of the American-made toilet seat lifts for more than 20 years.

The acquisition is another step in the expansion of EZ-ACCESS’ product lines as part of the company’s mission to meet the needs of the entire accessibility market.

“Over the past 30 years, EZ-ACCESS has made every effort to offer our customers the highest quality and most complete line of residential, portable, threshold, and modular ramps,” said Don Everard, EZ-ACCESS CEO.

“With the acquisition of Phillips Lift Systems, Inc., EZ ACCESS now offers the #1 selling, US-made toilet lift product,” Everard said. “Designed to assist an individual in sitting, standing and stability while toileting, the product offers the ability to return to independence in the bathroom. This lift is a perfect fit to support our growing accessibility product development.”

EZ-ACCESS will move manufacturing of the lifts to its facilities in Algona, WA and Morganfield, KY.  The product will be rebranded and sold under the EZ-ACCESS name of TILT. Release dates to the Home Healthcare market will be announced soon.

EZ-ACCESS, a division of Homecare Products Inc., also offers a complete line of American-made
products, which provide all-around solutions for mobility and accessibility. Its residential products include the PATHWAY® Modular Access System, the PASSPORT® Vertical Platform Lift, SUITCASE® Portable Folding Ramps, TRANSITIONS® Threshold Ramps, Mats and Plates, GATEWAY™ Portable Wheelchair Ramps, and HAULWAY™ Scooter & Power Chair Lifts.

EZ-ACCESS was founded in 1984 by Glenda Everard and her daughter, Deanne Sandvold. Two years later, EZ-ACCESS introduced aluminum portable ramps to its product line. In 1988, son Don Everard joined the family business, bringing with him marketing expertise. The trio was the driving force behind the expansion of the ramp market, having pioneered the industry through the marketing and manufacturing of EZ-ACCESS portable wheelchair ramps. Today, EZ-ACCESS is one of the world’s leading producers of durable, high-quality mobility, accessibility and personal care accessories.

 

4 Simple Steps to Better Health in Men

mens health

Getting fit takes more than a salad and good intentions. At EZ-ACCESS we realize jumping back into healthy living habits can sometimes be easier said than done. This Men’s Health Month, we’re here to share some simple tips to help you get started.

  • Get outside. Clean air is not only good for your respiratory tract, but for your mind as well. Research shows that spending time in the fresh air increases energy in 90 percent of people. You could even say that stopping and smelling the roses is crucial for your immune system. If flowers are not your cup of tea, you can always go for a hike or a bike ride with your family and friends. There is nothing more energizing than leaving your smartphone at home and “unplugging” for a day.
  • Reduce stress. That evening stroll after work may not only help you stay in shape – but also give you time to reflect and shrink your daily stress. Too much stress can have effects like weight gain, increased anxiety, and lack of sleep, just to name a few. To better cut down on your stress, take one hour each day to do something for yourself, whatever that may be.
  • Stay active. Men between the ages of 50 and 70 can lose 30 percent of their muscle strength. 30 minutes of strength training each day can help you not only retain muscle mass, but also add muscle mass and increase your overall strength.
  • Eat healthy. Maintaining a nutritious diet doesn’t have to make you miss out on flavor. Instead of snacking on those easily accessible sweets, grab some almonds or fruit slices. Eating around 20 almonds gives you a healthy dose of fat and has less than 170 calories. Craving something more substantial? Turkey, chicken or fish can be a delicious substitute to those quick and easy drive through burgers. Try some of these easy recipes to help you get started.

No matter your next fitness goal, EZ-ACCESS is here to help you achieve it. With products for every aspect of accessibility, we’ll show you how to stay active in every lifestyle.

Dealer Portal Tips for EZ-ACCESS Dealers

ez-access dealer portal

At EZ-ACCESS, we are so completely thankful for our amazing dealers across the United States and Canada.  So much so that we want to do as much as we possibly can to help them succeed, which is why we created the EZ-ACCESS Dealer Portal, a resource our dealers can access 24/7 for business tools, an exclusive directory and support from the EZ-ACCESS team.  If you’re an EZ-ACCESS dealer, here are the many ways our Dealer Portal could benefit your business:

  1. Marketing Materials – the Dealer Portal offers the latest product sell sheets, competitor comparisons, showroom displays and more, all customizable to feature your business information.
  2. Product Resources – the Dealer Portal is also a hub for every EZ-ACCESS product spec sheet, product features and valuable information to keep you informed of every product detail.
  3. Product Ordering – the Dealer Portal makes ordering EZ-ACCESS products easy and accessible.
  4. Updating Business Information – by filling out your profile information in the Dealer Portal, your contact information will be kept current with EZ-ACCESS. This allows us to remain informed of your location, phone number, website or store contact!
  5. Next Great Tool – Finally, the best part about the EZ-ACCESS Dealer Portal is that we are constantly finding new ways to help our dealers grow their business, and will use the Dealer Portal as our hub to deliver those new tools to you!

If you’re unsure how to access the EZ-ACCESS Dealer Portal, follow these dealer portal instructions and see the benefits today!

Tips When Choosing a Loading Ramp

loading ramp

Whether you’re transporting personal lawn care equipment or finding ways to improve efficiencies at your delivery business, you need a safe, sturdy and affordable loading solution.  But with so many loading ramps to choose from, how do you determine which one is right for you or your business?  At EZ-ACCESS, we understand the conundrum and can help you with these three simple questions:

What are you planning on loading?

If you are loading machinery such as a lawn mower, you would need to know how much the lawn mower weighs and then add the estimated weight of a full tank of gas.  You’ll also need to know how wide the equipment is.  If you are using the loading ramp to carry heavy items across it, you’ll need to factor in your weight as well as the maximum weight of the items you’ll be carrying to be on the safe side.

With weight capacities up to 1,200 pounds and an optional wheel kit, the TRAVERSE Walk Ramp is the perfect solution for tasks in furniture or equipment delivery as well as lawn care equipment transportation.

What will you be loading into?

Another important factor is the height of the highest level you’ll be using your loading ramp on.  This will determine the length of loading ramp you need in order to keep yourself at a safe incline ratio of 1:12.  To calculate your incline and find the length of ramp needed, use our incline calculator.

The TRAVERSE Walk Ramp is available in 4’, 6’, 8’, 10’, 12’ and 14’ lengths with a 30” usable width.

What will the conditions be like when you’re using the loading ramp?

In addition to knowing what you’re loading and how you’re loading it, you’ll also need to know if the loading ramp will be exposed to the outdoor elements on a regular basis.  This will help you determine what type of grip and coating you’ll need on your loading ramp for safe use.

The TRAVERSE Walk Ramp offers an extruded, slip-resistant surface.  Also available is powder coating which allows you to change the aluminum ramp to the color of your choosing.

If you have questions about which industrial ramp will meet your needs, give our Industrial/Commercial department a call today at 1-888-362-8612.

 

Entry Tips for the Mobile Modular Building

mobile modular building stairs

Summer is nearly here and the modular building setups for summer construction projects are ramping up.  As the accessible entry experts, we’d like to point out that choosing an appropriate entry for your modular office isn’t always a slam dunk and there are several requirements that businesses must meet with entries of this kind.

Here are some tips to help you determine the best entry for your mobile modular building:

  1. OSHA Compliant – As a business owner, you’ve been well informed of the need to remain compliant with OSHA standards in the workplace, and the entry for your mobile modular building is no exception.
  2. Adjustable – Is the stair height adjustable so that you can setup and use your stairs again for other entry needs? The FORTRESS OSHA Stair System adjusts from 23” to 34” for 3 steps and 27.5” to 42.5” for 4 steps.
  3. Durable – Assuming these stairs are going to be out in the severe summer elements and put through heavy use, will they remain in great shape and resist rust? The FORTRESS is made of corrosion-resistant aluminum that will remain rust-free for years and require little to no maintenance to keep in great working condition!
  4. Easy to Assemble – Are the stairs easy to move and set up with limited resources and manpower?
  5. Stable – Will your modular stairs stay in place even on a muddy, dirt surface? The FORTRESS OSHA Stair System offers optional oversized feet to possibly eliminate the need for pavers.
  6. Easy Storage – When not in use, do the stairs store easily? The FORTRESS folds completely flat so that you can easily transport and store it.

These are just a few of the considerations you must make when deciding on the best mobile modular building entry system.  EZ-ACCESS offers several mobile modular access options including the FORTRESS OSHA Stair System and the TITAN Code Compliant Modular Access System.  If you have questions about finding the right mobile modular building entry for you, give EZ-ACCESS a call today!

How to Safely Transport Your Mobility Scooter

transport mobility scooter

The sun is out and you’ve finally received that mobility scooter that is really going to take you places this summer.  The only problem is, you aren’t sure how you’ll get this mobility device to the mall, park or outdoor concert you’ve been hoping to use it at.  Don’t worry – EZ-ACCESS understands your predicament, and we have identified your three best choices for transporting that mobility scooter anywhere this summer!

  1. Public Transportation with Your Mobility Scooter

Mobility scooters can only operate for a certain number of hours before the battery will need to be recharged.  For this reason, many mobility scooter users in cities choose to do some of their travel by bus or some other form or public transportation.  This allows you to save the battery life on your mobility scooter while still getting to your desired destination.

However, before heading to the bus stop with your mobility scooter, check to be sure your city’s public buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts.  Know that in general, wheelchair or mobility scooter users are expected to load their mobility device within a 2 or 3 minute time period and that assistance will be available to secure the mobility device.  You will also need to be aware that most cities do not allow buses to operate a wheelchair lift on a hill, so travel to the nearest level ground bus stop.

  1. Portable Ramps for Your Mobility Scooter

Another option for transporting your mobility scooter is by using a portable ramp and your personal vehicle.   The length of portable ramp needed will depend on the floor height of your vehicle.  Use our incline calculator to determine the ramp length needed.  You should NEVER ride or drive your mobility scooter up a portable ramp, but instead set your mobility scooter to freewheel mode and push it up the ramp.

  1. Mobility Scooter Lift

If public transportation is not an option and your mobility device won’t easily fit in your personal vehicle, a great solution is to install a mobility scooter lift.  At EZ-ACCESS, we offer the HAULWAY product line which includes the HAULWAY™ Lite, Standard and HD lift to fit a variety of mobility scooter styles and sizes.

If you’re concerned with how to transport your mobility scooter, don’t wait to contact the friendly service team at EZ-ACCESS!  We’re here to help you live as safely and independently as possible!