Simple Ways to Make Your Home More Accessible

If you didn’t build your home to have a universal design, it can be difficult (and expensive) to remodel. Whether you or a loved one has limited accessibility, creating universal space in your home doesn’t have to be an added hurdle. The best way to prepare for universal accessibility is by designing it from the start. However, many people lose mobility gradually over time and what was once a comfortable living space has become a maze of accessibility challenges. Rather than spending an arm and a leg to remodel or move, making small, simple changes to your home can mean the difference between physical independence and limitation. Here are ten ways you can improve your home’s accessibility. 1.      Limit stairs at entries For [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]

The Paralympics: Inspiring and Underappreciated

With the exception of a few local medal success stories in US media, you’d think to the 2012 Paralympic Games in London was just a British event. The coverage and participation make this one of the biggest U.S. television oversights of the decade. I mean, 4,200 applicants representing 165 countries with a 2.5 million sellout crowd of onlookers. Where do you find those kinds of numbers in American sports? I don't think you can call it prejudice, but it ranks up there pretty high on the intolerance scale. The idea that British television could devote 400 hours of coverage while the US stalwart NBC chalked up 4 hours is disappointing, to say the least. The U.S. fielded a 227-member team for the London games, comprised of 133 men [...]

Physical Therapy for Paraplegics

Paraplegics can undergo physical therapy to become more independent through intensive training and learning new techniques and upper body exercises. Physical therapy can differentiate whether a paraplegic may be able to function at home with or without needing a caretaker. What is Paraplegia? Paraplegia is a condition that results in the impairment of lower body motor and/or sensory abilities. Paraplegia can occur for a number of reasons, including spinal cord injury and birth defects like spina bifida. Some common symptoms of paraplegia are: having limp leg muscles, the inability to have mobility or sensation below the affected area, and/or inability to control bowel movements. While some paraplegics are able to walk, they generally get around [...]