Tag Archives: home accessibility

Spring Forward with Maintenance Tips for Your Home Access Equipment

With birds chirping, the sun shining and temperatures rising, spring has finally arrived. Before you head out to enjoy the weather with your family, first take the time to ensure your access solution is in prime working condition for the heavy springtime traffic ahead. By following these simple tips from EZ-ACCESS, you will be ready to enjoy the outdoors in no time!

Give Your Access Equipment the Spring Sweep

Use a broom to brush off any loose debris to help guarantee that the traction on your ramps, mats, and lifts, have not been compromised by the winter weather.

Tackle the Tough Spots

Use a garden hose to rinse off the entire aluminum mobility ramp to prepare it for cleaning. If you come across any areas with mud or clay, soak these areas to allow the mud to loosen.

Keep it Clean

Take a damp towel and dab at any stains left on the ramp from dirty snow or mud. To keep the aluminum ramp system looking new, avoid using harsh cleaners on the surface. Instead, wipe these areas with a clean cloth and continue until the entire surface is clean. To finish, use a dry towel to wipe down the entire ramp until it is dry.

Double Check the Hardware

Once you have completed cleaning, it is always a good idea to check and tighten any loose nuts and bolts to ensure the safety of your ramp.

Spring is the perfect season to enjoy time with your loved ones outside. By taking the time to properly care for your access equipment, you can rest easier knowing that your family is secure. To learn more about how we can help you get the tools you need to enjoy this wonderful time of year, contact the team at EZ-ACCESS today!

How to Customize Your Home’s Accessibility in 3 Easy Steps

For individuals with limited mobility, having a complete access system is the top priority in providing a safe and welcoming home. However, obtaining the customized and complete solution can be potentially overwhelming. To avoid any possible oversights, the team at EZ-ACCESS is ready to help with important safety products and guidelines to ensure easy entering and exiting of your home.

Step 1: Ramp it up

To safely access your home, the PATHWAY® 3G Modular Access System provides the fastest and most efficient solution for those with limited mobility. Comprised of universal components and interchangeable surfaces with several handrail options, it is the perfect customized alternative to a traditional wood or portable ramp. Made from durable American materials, the PATHWAY 3G will withstand any elements and, by utilizing our powder coating option, you can easily match it to the exterior of your home. Since the system is made of ramps, handrails, stairs, and platforms, it can be combined and configured in a variety of ways that can continue to be reformatted to fit possible future changes.

Step 2: Avoid the Curb

Once you have your PATHWAY 3G in place at the exterior of your home, the next obstacle is right at the doorway. In order to provide extra security, the TRANSITIONS® Angled Entry Mat is the simple and durable answer to your needs. By placing a mat on the entrance or exit, you can ensure that your mobility device continues to move smoothly. Made from 100 percent recycled rubber and available in three colors, the TRANSITIONS Angled Entry Mat does not interfere with door tracks so you are guaranteed to get the help you need to conquer the threshold.

Step 3: Open the Doorway

After you have ensured a safe entrance and exit to you home, don’t overlook the actual doorway! To increase accessibility, the CONCIERGE® Power Door Opener is a cost-effective and lightweight option that is perfect for doors that need to have the ability to be automatically opened. Since it does not require modification to your door or jambs, it can be installed quickly and plugged right into a regular 115-vac wall outlet. With additional safety features including an adjustable hold-open timer plus an automatic load-sensor to avoid potential obstruction, you and your loved ones can rest easier.

Although living with limited mobility can provide obstacles, by taking these vital steps you can guarantee your home is secure. To find out more about how these products can work together to form the customized access solution that fits your needs, contact the team at EZ-ACCESS today!

How to Increase Bathroom Safety in 3 Easy Steps

For individuals affected by mobility restrictions, every day can present possible obstacles. This is particularly true when it comes to home safety. More than one in three seniors over the age of 65 fall each year and, from this, 80 percent of those falls occur in the bathroom. Due to the multitude and instability of bathroom surfaces, it is important for the security of your loved ones to properly outfit these problematic areas. At EZ-ACCESS, we are committed to providing the safety you and your family deserve. With these helpful guidelines and products, you can maintain security and get the peace of mind you need.

  1. Stay Safe in the Shower

According to the CDC, approximately 1.6 million older adults seek emergency care every year for fall-related injuries, fractures, or head traumas. Showers are one of the most at-risk areas to experience such an injury. To combat this, transfer benches and shower chairs offer additional support to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

  1. Keep It Clean

Since bathrooms are at high risk for falls, don’t put anything to chance. Make sure all spills are cleaned promptly and the bathroom floor is not slick. Additionally, don’t let décor ideas stand in your way. Clear away any unnecessary items so that there is plenty of space to move around. For added precaution, cover sharp edges of counters and faucets with towels while the bathroom is in use.

  1. Update Problematic Areas

To guarantee safety in and out of the bathtub, install reachable safety handles by the bathtub and shower. This should be specialty-designed items that will support weight, as opposed to a towel rack or bar, which can cause further injury if used as a grab bar. For stable footing, install non-slip strips or mats in the bottom of the bathtub as well as a stable mat in the entry/exit of the shower. Additionally, make sure a portable phone is always available in the bathroom in the event of an emergency. Above all, make sure to address toilet safety. This problematic area accounts for 14 percent of falls. To ensure safety for your loved ones and prevent injuries to family members or caretakers, EZ-ACCESS recommends the TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift. By offering both comfort and the functionality of a heavy-duty commode, the TILT is the all-in-one bathroom safety solution that’s perfect for your family. Easily activated to raise and lower with the push of a button, you can maintain independence and still get the needed security to avoid falls.

Although bathrooms offer a potential increase in injury, these tips and products can help keep your loved ones safe and in their own home. To learn more about how you can make your home more accessible, contact the team at EZ-ACCESS today.

Even the Toughest Conditions Won’t Stop Us

 

To build a better future, your access solution must be strong enough to stand up to the elements. At EZ-ACCESS, we are the front-runners in developing the updated answers you need to make your construction job site or industrial facility as tough as the people in it. With American-made materials, our products are time-tested to ensure your company stays compliant and provides the safety you need to protect your workers. Discover how we can help you explore uncharted territory to conquer even the toughest conditions.

Break Barriers with Construction Accessibility Solutions

At EZ-ACCESS, we understand that construction is the foundation in which we build the world. With improvements in job site safety and accessibility, you can utilize efficient loading ramps, stair systems and more to improve stability and increase access to crucial projects. Wary of the elements? No matter rain, sleet or snow, EZ-ACCESS has your site covered with powder coating options, giving your access equipment vital protection in a variety of colors customized to fit your needs. With these heavy-duty tools and examples from our construction projects gallery, your company will get the advantage to overcome the obstacles and get the job done.

Get the Edge with Increased Industrial Efficiency

To rocket past the competition, your industrial facility needs to be firing on all cylinders. To help promote productivity, EZ-ACCESS provides vital access options and products to make loading and unloading quicker without sacrificing safety. With our industrial accessibility solutions, your company can get the tailored answer it needs. From this, you can improve the bottom line and continue to explore new avenues of expansion.

Work Hard and Play Harder with Recreational Advances

Once the job is done, don’t let anything stop you from enjoying the benefits. EZ-ACCESS is ready to help with recreational accessibility solutions, perfect for providing access for individuals with limited mobility, as well as loading ramps to make transportation easier. With essential products from EZ-ACCESS, not only will you have the ability to get the work completed on the clock, but you will also have the tools to recharge at the end of a hard day.

At EZ-ACCESS, we take pride in creating access solutions to help your business reshape the world. No matter your industry, our products can help provide a safe and innovative answer to increasing productivity and efficiency. With over 30 years of experience and cutting-edge advances, EZ-ACCESS is the top choice to fight even the harshest conditions to complete the toughest projects. To find out more on how we can help your company redefine it’s accessibility standards, contact our team today.

 

Taking Access to a Whole New Level

At EZ-ACCESS, we firmly stand behind the rights of individuals, regardless of mobility restrictions. With 3.3 million wheelchair users in the United States, attaining access to home and school sites is one of the most pressing needs in evolving a safe and equal world. Our team takes that commitment personally. With exciting advances in educational and residential access solutions, EZ-ACCESS is leading the way in generating parity and security. With these important steps, we can create a world that allows every individual, no matter their restrictions, to reach for the stars.

Building a Better Home with Residential Solutions

A home is about more than just brick and concrete. Its true foundation lies in the care and love of a family. At EZ-ACCESS, we are happy to be a partner in providing accessibility solutions for homes across the country. From thresholds to portable ramps, as well as lifts and flexible access systems,  our team has the products to make sure every family get-together, event, and visit is free of boundaries. By empowering each important loved one, gatherings are no longer tied to the issues that separate us, but are focused solely on the joyous events that bring families together. With creative and attainable ideas from our residential projects gallery, you can find the customized solution for your home and discover why EZ-ACCESS is about more than raw materials. We are dedicated to providing a constellation of work that exceeds restrictions to allow families to fly to new heights together.

Redefine Accessibility to Give All Students Equal Ground

The time a student spends in school is not just limited to mathematical equations and scientific theories. It is a vital building block in developing the person that they will eventually become. Lifelong friendships are formed, aspirations are born and dreams are created. For students with limited mobility, however, this crucial period of development can become marred by access restrictions. Not only does this hamper potential but it can signify possible isolation. That’s why EZ-ACCESS is committed to providing the tools to help schools create a welcoming and functional environment for all students. By incorporating our educational accessibility solutions, institutions can ensure that each child has the ability to conquer the world.

To take access to a new level, it is crucial to view mobility solutions as more than just a set of aluminum parts. At EZ-ACCESS, they are the gateway to providing inclusion so that every adult and child can be a star. As a family-owned company since 1984, our culture is unfaltering in its dedication to achieving this important goal. Contact our team today to find out why we remain the leader in creating advances in access solutions, and how we can help you reach the next level.

How to Maintain Your Modular Ramp this Winter

ezaccess-blog_howtomaintain

Investing in modular ramps are a crucial component to aiding individuals affected by disabilities as well as providing important on-site industrial access. However, harsh weather can wear down vital pieces. This winter, don’t let snow and ice damage your system. With these key steps from EZ-ACCESS, you will be able to ensure longevity and protect your mobility investment.

Step 1: Prevention is Key

Prior to expectant snowfall, anti-icing chemicals can provide additional safety. Often used on roads, these solutions are applied to concrete and metal surfaces before snow or ice accumulation to prevent potential buildup.

Step 2: Keep it Clear

Snow buildup can cause your modular ramps to become slick and dangerous. Ensure the surfaces are clear and free of snow and ice by shoveling or sweeping the snow. Next, apply magnesium chloride, or rock salt, to the ramps and platforms.  This will help melt the snow and prevent slippage. To stay on top of the weather, always sweep your ramps even after a light dusting of snow. Doing so will help prevent dangerous buildup.

Step 3: Take Advantage of Powder Coating

In order to further defend your access equipment from snow and ice damage, EZ-ACCESS offers powder coating options. This spray powder produces a much thicker coating then conventional liquid and ensures that your valuable investment has additional protection. Available in black, brown or tan, the coating is easy to blend in with your home or business’ architectural style and still provide you with the elemental protection you need.

Winter provides ample opportunity for snow and ice damage to your modular ramp system. Utilizing these steps can help combat the weather and ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. For more information on how EZ-ACCESS can help provide mobility assistance for the upcoming months, contact our team 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!

Top Tips for Home Accessibility

home accessibility modifications
At some point, many of us will experience the need for more accessibility in our homes.  There may be differing levels of needs based on whether you are using crutches, braces, a walker, a mobility scooter or a wheelchair, but home accessibility adjustments will still be necessary to make navigating the home safe and easy.  Here are some home accessibility options of varying costs that will get your home ready for any mobility device:
Exterior Door Accessibility
Let’s start with how you enter your house.  Does your mobility device allow you to enter safely, without assistance?  If not, you may need to consider a portable ramp if your situation is temporary.  If your situation is more permanent, then you’ll need either a modular ramp or a platform lift, depending on the setup of your front door.
Interior Doorway Accessibility
Once you’re in your house, are the interior doors wide enough for your mobility device?  If you are using a wheelchair, you will need at least 32” to clear the space safely.  If you don’t have 32” of width, all is not lost.  You have options in swing-away door hinges, removing the door entirely or removing the woodwork around the door and replacing with a wider door.
Bathroom Accessibility
Many of us consider the bathroom as one of the most important rooms in the house.  This is also the room you will need the MOST maneuverability in.  After you get through the door using the tips above, how are you going to use the shower, toilet and sink?  If using a wheelchair, you will need a 60” diameter circle to reach bathroom fixtures.  You may want to replace your tub or shower with a roll-in shower and remove your base cabinets to provide knee space under the sink.  If your bathroom is entirely too small, you may want to consider relocating the bathroom to the corner of a bedroom or borrowing space from a connected room to make the bathroom bigger.
Kitchen Accessibility
In the kitchen, counter top height and sink access can be a problem.  If your needs are permanent, we recommend removing base cabinets and installing lower counter tops for food preparation areas.  When you are removing your sink cabinet for easier access, you’ll want to insulate pipes to avoid burns as well as replace any hot and cold faucets with a single-lever faucet with an extension arm for easy access.
If you need additional help deciding what to do with your entrances and exits, let EZ-ACCESS help!  Join us next week when we address funding options for accessibility modifications!

Unlocking Home Accessibility: Simply Get into a Better Bath

This important area of home accessibility is often overlooked.
By Jerry Keiderling and Dave Henderson, featured in Homecare Magazine at homecaremag.com/unlocking-accessibility.
In the accessible design field, one major misconception relates to bathroom safety and modification. In a recent survey of HME dealers, they felt the number one demographic for bathroom safety products was the older baby boomer population—which is a valid market segment, but not the only viable market. Details of bathroom related injuries show that this is not the only demographic that is affected.

best bath systems

Accessible shower options from Best Bath Systems make aging in place safer for seniors.


According to the CDC, of the 235,000 injuries that occur in the bathroom—and end up in the emergency room—there is no single location in the bathroom that is the greatest cause of the injuries. Analytics show that although there is a direct correlation between age and the potential of a fall injury, the age group of 15-24 suffers more injuries in the shower or bathtub than any other age group. People over 65 suffer the majority of their injuries while getting on and off the toilet. Of the injuries that occur in the bathroom 81 percent relate directly to a fall while 19 percent relate to other causes.
The myth that these injuries are often caused by fainting or a loss of consciousness was dis-proven and it was found that the majority of these injuries occur during full consciousness. The results of these falls broke down into a diagnosis of 29.3 percent with contusions or abrasions, 19.6 percent with a strain or sprain, and 17.4 percent with a fracture. Regardless of the diagnosis, each one ended in unwanted medical expenses and pain and suffering that potentially could have been prevented. Estimates are given that these
falls relate to over $67.3 billion in lifetime medical expenses.
The potential for these injuries are often overlooked in the design and construction of most homes. Individuals and interior designers develop the aesthetic bathroom and often forget the safety aspect until a fall or injury occurs. This is gradually changing as the concept of accessible design construction is gaining notoriety. The fact still remains that most homes are not equipped with the safety features needed to prevent these untimely injuries and the costs and pain associated.
Discussing this potential issue with many end-users finds that most people believe that they will not fall; consequently, they do not want to install products in their home that look institutional. It has been found that of the same group of people that do not see the need for these products themselves, may however make the association with a family member or friend that have a need for these products.
An important factor in the process is assessing the need. Using the tools that are available from your partner manufacturers and those provided through the training are necessary to ensure a complete solution. As the assessment is being done, determine the nature of the modifications that need to be made. This can range from a complete bathroom modification to minor modifications as well as the addition of some safety accessories. Having a quality manufacturer partner with the tools to fulfill those needs is crucial.
As the change has occurred in the HME market over the past 10 years, several companies have developed products that are not only safe, but also meet the aesthetic desires of the market, to keep a modified bathroom from looking institutional.
Nate Jensen from Best Bath Systems, one of the leading providers of accessible showers and tubs (best-bath.com) says, “Offering a sanitary looking shower for the aging demographic we serve is no longer a viable option. Customers want and demand more in everything that they buy. We can create products that are both beautiful and low maintenance.”
This very much appeals to the desire of what is needed and required in bathroom modifications. When looking at full bathroom modification that includes replacement or update of the shower or tub, manufacturers such as Best Bath Systems provide a full range of solutions.
The evolving HME market continues to grow more educated and selective in their choices for bath renovation. With the addition of inlay tile and decorative safety bars, the consumer can visualize an accessible remodel without sacrificing design aesthetics. As the HME dealers participate more and more in bathroom modifications, several key factors play into the equation that determines success:

  • Invest in a marketing campaign specific to home modification—If you are already selling chairs, stair lifts or VPLs, this should be an easy transition for any HME provider to handle.
  • Network—Find partners that can help increase your notoriety as an accessibility expert. OTs, PTs, and pharmacies should all know that your business offers these solutions. This networking has countless returns.
  • Know your market—Working with a qualified subcontractor or having a contractor on staff can make a big difference in not only how you bid projects, but also how you win projects. If your goal is to increase more private pay, it will be vital to have a skilled estimator on your team who can ensure profitability and success with the bidding process.
  • Have a sales expert—A skilled sales person goes a long way. As more and more HME providers transition away from funding sources, the sales approach is even more critical. The advantage is that the customer base is already familiar with the business and has built in trust.

The next level of modification involves minor changes to the existing fixtures that are in the bathroom with some add-on features. Safeway Safety Step (safewaystep.com) provides a product that allows a safety step to be added to most bathtubs or bath/showers. This product creates a pass through that is approximately 24” wide x 8” deep and reduces the potential of a fall when entering or exiting the bathtub.
“For caregivers of aging parents and people with mobility challenges, it can be difficult to provide help with life’s daily activities that many people were so accustomed to doing themselves,” said Chris Stafford, president of Safeway Safety Step. “We also understand that it can be difficult for seniors and individuals with mobility issues to ask for help with a traditionally private activity. Providing solutions that allows those needing care to take a shower or bath by themselves helps to preserve their dignity, while caregivers find comfort in knowing that their parents are less likely to get hurt in an area of the home notorious for falls.”
Another area of bathroom modification involves small safety add-ons that are typically the most commonly recognized in bathroom safety; grab bars and handrails. Some customers do not favor the institutional look of a handicap stall that reminds them of a public restroom or the bathroom in a hospital or assisted living facility.
The standard off-the-shelf grab bars are available from many sources, but are often resisted because of aesthetic appeal. Recently companies such as Moen, Grabcessories and Invisia have recognized the need for an aesthetic functional solution for these products. “The decorative fall prevention category is far less price sensitive than other DME categories,” says Scott Blakely, President of Grabcessories. “Once consumers make the decorative decision, they have decided to pay more for it. From there, it’s about safety, functionality and meeting the end user’s mobility needs.”
New innovative designs such as the LiveSafe Mounting System, that is included with the Grabcessories products, makes the installation of the product simple to complete without the challenges of using an off the shelf wall anchor system or attempting to line up the grab bars with wall studs (grabcessories.com).
Don’t let the myths and misconceptions of bathroom accessibility keep you out of this market— safety starts at home. As you approach this market, remember that safety in the bathroom is not just for the aging population. Manufacturer partners have the tools that you need to fulfill both the functional and aesthetic needs, and the tools required to evaluate and install these products are readily available and easy to use.