Category: Wellness

Let’s Talk: How to Identify and Manage Depression


With the arrival of World Health Day every April, taking the time to reflect on vital issues can be a key step in improving your overall quality of life. In the past, this important holiday has helped spread awareness of diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure and other illnesses by sharing knowledge and advocating preventative actions. However, this year we are taking a step back to understand that not all conditions can be evident to the outside eye. Each year, more than 16 million American adults suffer from depression, making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the nation. From this, 7 million of those affected are over the age of 65. In honor of the World Health Day’s ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign, which seeks to spread awareness of this vital issue, EZ-ACCESS offers these essential management guidelines so that you can find the help you need to live a full life:

Know the Symptoms

Allowing depression to go untreated can dramatically decrease your well-being. Although it can be easy, dismissing warning signs and treating them as common mood swings can have severe future consequences. To ensure you get the help necessary to live your days to the fullest, recognize the symptoms. Although feeling sadness, hopeless, cranky, nervous and disengaged are the most publicized effects, they are not the only indicators. If you are feeling fatigue, have consistent headaches, abdominal cramps, digestive issues, an increase or decrease in your appetite and experience insomnia, these can also be important signs of a more serious problem.

Speak Out

If you experience depression symptoms, don’t keep it inside. Speaking to family, friends and medical professionals is a key component of managing the effects of the disease. If you are not yet comfortable in seeking personal support, contacting an advocacy group such as the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance can be an important first step in coming to terms with the condition. No matter which option you use, by taking the first step in seeking help, you can find the treatment that’s effective for your unique needs and have a core team that will provide key support with the transition.

Stay Healthy

An important tool in the fight against depression is keeping active. With the arrival of spring, it’s the perfect time to enjoy walks and other outdoor events. Spending the day in a park can also help increase relaxation and prevent possible anxiety. If you are struggling to make it outside, start small. Make it a point to walk each day to the end of your driveway and back. Additionally, try to incorporate more healthy foods into your diet and eliminate caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes. To help stay active, you can also join community clubs and groups or simply ask a friend to accompany you on a daily stroll. Even the smallest steps can make a major impact in improving your overall well-being.

Although depression is an ongoing fight, with support and healthy habits, you can continue to overcome the obstacles. To help you stay active, EZ-ACCESS offers a complete line of portable and semi-permanent ramps so that you can enjoy each and every day to the fullest. Contact our team today to learn more about how these useful products can get you moving forward.

Listen to Your Heart with these Vital Health Tips

While Valentine’s Day brings plenty of room for romance, this year it’s time to wear red for a different reason. February marks the beginning of American Heart Month, a period dedicated to recognizing the number one health concern in the nation. To protect your loved ones, EZ-ACCESS offers these keys to maintaining a strong heart:

Keep it Healthy

Nearly 70 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese, putting them at a high risk of heart disease. By exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet, you can help prevent heart attacks as well as improve overall health. To help make this possible, be sure to keep your goals realistic. Avoid crazy diet fads and stick with the basics by decreasing your red meat consumption with the replacement of grilled chicken, trading the potato chips for veggies, and finding an exercise routine that fits your lifestyle. Above all, avoid smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke.

 Know the Symptoms

In the event of a heart attack, time is one of the most precious variables in limiting damage. If chest pains or feelings such as squeezing or fullness persist, it is not a time to be cautionary. Although this can be as simple as acid reflux, it is important to seek professional assistance to rule out heart complications, particularly if the symptoms are paired with back or jaw pain. Similarly, a shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, anxiety, cold sweat, and nausea are also important triggers.

Limit Stress

To preserve health and maintain peace of mind, reducing stress is an important element for your fitness. Find time each day for meditation or reflection. Look for opportunities to volunteer at events that are close to your heart and commit to achieving a wholesome sleep schedule. Hobbies are another way to find outlets to relieve potential stress. Taking up journaling, yoga or gardening can help ease strenuous thoughts and maintain your quality of life.

Although American Heart Month is only twenty-eight days long, the impact of developing these important habits can benefit you year-round. By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can help avoid heart disease and improve your overall health. As a family owned company, EZ-ACCESS takes the security of your loved ones personally. Discover our story today.

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.

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!

The Importance of Fruits & Vegetables

healthy fruits

You may have hated them as a child, but fruits and veggies are making a comeback this month! For National Fruit and Vegetable Month, EZ-ACCESS is showcasing some key reasons why these delicious foods should be an essential part of your diet.

  • Fight Weight Gain

Staying active as a wheelchair user is often a common concern. Along with your current physical activities, eating a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables each day can help you to fight potential weight gain. Try recipes like caramelized carrots, ratatouille, and creamed spinach to get your taste buds started.

  • Helps You Hydrate

Hydration is extremely important for wheelchair users, but getting your 8 cups of water a day can sometimes seem like a chore. Adding sliced fruit to your daily water intake can make it more fun and flavorful. Just a few lemon wedges and some strawberries can make the world of a difference. Mix up your water breaks with new & creative combinations.

  • Protect Your Health

Just as the saying goes – an apple a day keeps the doctor away. While eating fruit isn’t a guarantee of any kind, studies have shown that those with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have a reduced risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Vitamin C, found in most citrus fruits, also promotes cell growth throughout the body to better heal cuts and scrapes.

The best part about eating fruits and vegetables? Going to the farmers market with your family to select your own fresh picked goods. Let EZ-ACCESS help you break through barriers and increase your mobility with our large offering of products.

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!