My Poor Knees

As a member of the Atlanta Track Club Women’s competitive team and a teacher who lifts and aids students with disabilities, I have more than my share of wear and tear on my joints and muscles. I just recently experienced a setback with a diagnosis of Runner’s Knee and arthritis in both knees. I am beginning to realize that just like brakes in a car, your joints also have a shelf life! Taking care of your body and mind should be a priority throughout the year. There are proven practices that will help your body from wearing out! I caught some good advice from some individuals who are very knowledgeable in this area! I went to an Atlanta Track Club member’s New Year’s Day party and gravitated towards the Masters Runners who are [...]

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 [...]

Brace Yourselves! Change is in the Wind

The next few months are going to bring some interesting changes to the mobility equipment acquisition process, and you may find some real savings if you bring a pile of cash to the table. In process for over a year now, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) new competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) is expected to slash CMS payments by as much as 45%. Mobility equipment providers had already been expecting cuts in the 32-35% range and even at that rate,  a number of the smaller companies had been considering closure. Right now, CMS payments in behalf of over 100 million beneficiaries makes them the largest consumer of durable medical equipment. This [...]

Let’s Dance!

When I was young, I always wanted to dance. I danced in my room, backyard, in front of the television, and wherever I could without driving my parents, brother, and our poor dog crazy. Music was always important to me, and it still is today. I finally took my first, official dance class two years ago. I looked around, eyeing up the other (much younger) participants, but my nervousness and awkwardness soon dissipated and wow… what a release! Dance is a great outlet for anyone, even for individuals who use scooters or power wheelchairs. Research shows that dance can be a HUGE stress reliever—and it’s an excellent workout too! Please keep in mind that it took me about 20 years to get myself out on the dance floor for a class. If [...]

Guns & Roses: How Firearm Control Affects the Disabled

There's no doubt in my mind that Congress is going to get into a shootout over gun control in the coming weeks and months. As is all too common, the disabled probably won’t have much of a voice even though firearm legislation affects them more than most. The reality is that the disabled are especially vulnerable to violence, gun-related or otherwise. On the other hand, they also stand more to gain from the protection of a personal weapon like a firearm. The controversy on Capitol Hill hasn't prompted me to rush to the nearest gun store so I can start packing heat, however. I remember target practice with a .45 caliber automatic pistol when I was younger. It packed quite a punch! At this age, seated on a mobility scooter, I doubt [...]

Happy 131st Birthday FDR!

How does a great leader approach a serious mobility issue? To find out, I took a look at one of the most famous disabled of all time: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR contracted polio the same year I was born. Until my research, I never realized his circumstances shared many similarities with my own. Of course, I most likely will never be presidential material and I wasn't fully diagnosed with multiple sclerosis until I was 73. FDR, on the other hand, was paralyzed at 39 while campaigning for the office.  But the actual details, many evident in the new movie Hyde Park on the Hudson, were largely unpublicized. FDR was paralyzed from the waist down. Though I am not paralyzed myself, we both have the similar bowel and urinary issues, [...]

How to Self-Fund Your Mobility Independence

Mobility issues in 2013 may take some dramatic turns as future needs and declining federal monies collide with baby boomers’ increasing frailty and the obesity epidemic. The demands for broader insurance coverage, changing technology and inordinate spending for institutionalized care may make self-funding solutions a more and more necessary option. Government safety nets work for now, but we may not always be able to rely on them. It never hurts to have a backup plan. I have spent a lot of time price-shopping for mobility scooters and honestly it is not as bad as you might have been led to think to aid your own mobility when it becomes evident your independence is being challenged. You can start by setting aside a $5 bill once [...]

Getting the Most of Disabled Helping Disabled

So, you are riding a mobility scooter and life seems pretty good even, though you do face a few limitations that sometimes make you feel like a second class citizen. You are at peace with your life, why stir up the pot with a trip to an Independent Living Center? The basic idea behind the independent living concept is that the disabled, regardless of the manner, have a similar background and a shared struggle that can be abetted by banding together, at least on some issues. The idea that disabled people are the best experts in dealing with their own needs is a valuable concept. I recently saw a report on an ILC in the southwest that helped a gentleman who lost his voice due to cancer. It wasn't too difficult to find an augmentative [...]

Nutrition for the Elderly

This guest post was contributed by Forest Healthcare; specialist in care homes, nursing homes and residential homes for the elderly. Whether we like it or not, people start aging from the day that they are born. The good news is we are constantly being told that people are living longer. It is predicted that soon 23% of the population will be over 65 and 10% of these people will be over 75! So faced with the inevitable, what can we do to help ourselves and hopefully prevent some of the effects that aging has on the body? The World Health Organization had to come up with a classification of age so decided that people aged between 45 and 59 are middle aged, you are elderly between the ages of 60 and 74 and when you turn 75 you are just [...]

Let’s Get Positive!

Depression can creep up on you like a silent rainstorm brewing. The seasonal changes can also play a big part. When you leave for work in the darkness and return in darkness, life seems a little… gloomy, quite frankly! Let’s fight those dreary, sad feelings with some mood lifting techniques.  I tried to find some strategies other than the usual “get your eight hours of sleep”.  Medications can help, but they are not cheap and may cause side effects. How do you disengage yourself from those lackluster feelings? Getting outside can be a chore sometimes, but it can tremendously elevate your mood. How-to-fight-depression.com emphasized this important concept on their website. You will reap the benefits, whether you are sitting outside [...]