About Reg Hardy

Reg Hardy is a candid 73 year old Navy veteran who lives with Multiple Sclerosis. Years of using a wheelchair gives him a unique insight into the challenges faced by those with mobility issues. He lends his distinctive voice to two websites that share his passions– scale modeling and helping others meet their mobility challenges. Reg is now writing exclusive content for AMS.

A Day In My Footsteps

"Boy, I sure wish I had one of those." You can't imagine how often senior citizens with MS hear those words; not only from children, but from grown adults as well. Many companies have tried to organize "Day in a Wheelchair" events to help their biped employees develop an affinity for the mobility challenged, but a day doesn't quite hack it. Whether your mobility is confined to a wheelchair or a mobility scooter, eight hours on a scooter is not going to put much more of a damper on someone’s day than a pregnant Kardashian using a scooter for a shopping trip. However, try a month in a wheelchair. Being confined to a seated position for this long has a much better shot of giving someone a valid life comparison. I was surfing through [...]

The darnedest thing I’ve ever seen

A walking wheelchair that can climb stairs and practically turn on a dime is well beyond the dream stage. In fact, it is a project of the CHIBA Institute of Technology in Japan. Based on its picture, it doesn't seem very practical for in-home use. If something like this makes it to production, however, a handicapped person could "walk" over curbs and other obstacles with ease. It looks just like a regular wheelchair with wheels on arms. As a curb or set of stairs is encountered, a set of sensors goes into action and instantaneously causes the chair to raise the appropriate front arm and wheel. The action is then duplicated by the rear wheels. It is very similar to how an able-bodied person with outriggers would handle stepping up onto [...]

Still a Steep Climb for One of Our Own

You might want to block out Thursday, April 11 for a trip to Boston. If you are anything like me, a trip like this takes some serious planning to provide for mobility equipment and assure access. Why go through the trouble? After all, I don’t think Boston is all it's cracked up to be, ‘specially for the mobility challenged. It’s not the easiest place for us to move around. In this case, however, it’s a veteran and one of our own that’s being honored, so the effort will be worth it. His name is Keith Zeier, a wounded ‘warrior’ who was injured in an avalanche in Huntington Ravine on Mount Washington back in January this year. In April, he'll be retelling the harrowing experience at a $125-per-person fundraiser at The Suites [...]

Quality of Life

Many of us know a grizzled and debilitated old gentleman who has given up on life, or even someone of the younger set who through accident has become mobility challenged and bitter. Those who spend their time cooped up in front of a TV set probably will simply sink deeper and deeper into their own remorse balking at the hand they have been dealt. I prefer to think of it as the path God has chosen for me to walk. In my case Multiple Sclerosis has relegated me to a mobility scooter which has been a tremendous help in improving my quality of life, as well as my companionship with my wife and our friends. You can do a lot of good from the back of a mobility scooter, often small things that let people know you are no normal disability [...]

Potholes

  by  State Farm    Spring is pothole time in New England, as it is in many parts of the country. A well-developed pothole can do considerable damage to the running gear of a car or truck, so many drivers intentionally swerve to avoid the sudden jolt. This risks a more severe collision with an object or other vehicle. There are also "potholes" for mobility equipment around the home. They may not do as much physical damage at speeds less than four miles per hour, but they can still set up accidents that can injure or embarrass the unwary  mobility challenged operator. The problem is “universal design” characteristics developed for bipeds without consideration of the elderly, the war wounded and those who have sustained [...]

Obesity War

We've all seen “that guy” cruising through the departments of big box stores. The one with those cheeks and rolls pouring over the seats of mobility scooters winding his way through the aisles. For the truly obese, mobility scooters and power chairs are often the vehicles of choice. At first I thought retailers were just catering to seniors by lining up several mobility scooters at the entrances of their establishments. But once inside I frequently find they have been taken over not by the elderly, but the obese. There is a serious problem in this country we are not addressing. Obesity is costly. According to the American Obesity treatment Association obesity-related health care costs totaled an estimated $117 billion in 2000. [...]

Get off Your Butt

Studies are being cranked out regularly on how prolonged sitting can significantly shorten life spans of the sedentary. They have real meaning for us who are mobility challenged. Unfortunately, I spend most of my day on a mobility scooter or in a chair. So, what should I do about it? It is really common problem that affects many of us who are disabled, but it is not an excuse for just giving up. I have been blessed with relatively good upper body strength, probably from moving around a rather sedate lower body. Up until about six years ago I was going to the gym three times a week, but as my Multiple Sclerosis took a stronger and stronger hold of my lower body I sort of drifted back into little or no conscious exercise. I paid [...]

Bladerunner

It always hurts when one of your champions falls from grace. Seeing the headline "Double-amputee Olympian charged with premeditated murder" was as unexpected to me as a meteor exploding over Russia. I’ve always had a special admiration for amputees and others in the Mobility Challenged Club excelling at anything to the point of gaining national and worldwide acclaim. Many of us who are mobility challenged feel like it is a good day when we can get ourselves out of bed, showered and dressed before getting onto our wheeled steed to face another 24 hours. Watching videos of Oscar Pistorius whipping around the track on a couple of metal blades filled me with the hope a mobility challenge can't keep a good man down. It was just [...]

Scooter Transportation: A Chicken or Egg” Problem?

When my wife and I decided we had to do something to make transporting my mobility scooter easier, we quickly encountered a chicken-or-egg type of problem. At the time, she was driving a Ford Focus. Though the scooter easily breaks down into four pieces that fit neatly into the trunk (but with no room for anything else), lifting each piece over the wall of the trunk to get it in became an issue. If we went shopping and made four or five stops that meant my wife was having put the strain own her back muscles 8-10 times a trip. Besides this impact on her, the trips became less enjoyable as I didn't want her to have to unload and load the scooter so many times. I often opted to sit in the car rather than put her through the hassle. We [...]

Winter Funerals

Funerals are very personal ceremonies whether they are for a close relative, a friend, or yourself. I recently went to an important one myself. You’d think mobility access would be taken for granted in situations like this, even in winter. Nope. Despite the fact most New England funeral homes are made over Victorian homes that originally included several porches and stairs, access is not something that has been overlooked. I’ve always seen street level entrances or ramps suitable for electric wheel chairs or mobility scooters as needed. Parking lots are generally clear of snow and well-marked. I did find the interior to be a bit crowded, particularly with both a power wheelchair and a mobility scooter arriving at the same [...]