Limited Mobility or Strength?

Seniors Living with limited mobility or strength

elderly hands

Mobility and strength assistance technology advancements have resulted in a fascinating array of new devices and equipment that are specifically designed to assist us and improve the quality of our lives. These advancements have significantly changed how people approach living with limitations and provide more options for those who face daily challenges like arthritis, age-related mobility issues, or general weakness from muscle deterioration.

Limited mobility assistance equipment has become increasingly sophisticated and tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals. The range of new and fantastic innovations ranges from a round door knob easy grip, a battery powered glass jar opener, a powered lift chair, an adjustable electric bed, various devices to help you stand from a seated position, an easy reacher/grabber, a ring pull lid tin opener, a 4 wheeled rollator walker, various types of walking canes, crutches, mobility scooters, stair-lifts or a huge array of wheelchairs, some with remarkable technology on board.

Furthermore, there are numerous technological advancements aimed at assisting the elderly in maintaining their mobility. These include grab bars, bathroom safety equipment, and home automation systems that can be controlled by voice commands or mobile apps.  

Overall, these new innovations in limited mobility assistance equipment cater to the diverse needs of individuals with physical limitations. By providing practical solutions for everyday challenges, they empower people to live more independently while enhancing their overall well-being.

Enjoying the amazing comfort of adjustable electric beds.

enjoy fully adjustable electric beds

Electric beds have been around for a long time, and they have come a long way in recent years, just like everything else on the planet where technology plays a role.   Aside from functionality, they’ve put a lot of effort into the ergonomics of these beds.   They are carefully designed to support our bodies’ natural curves, and no matter what shape your body is, you will almost certainly find one that is ideal for you.  

You will want one that will allow you to move in all available positions without causing you any pain. The last thing you want is a bed that will cause muscle strain and have you waking up with aches and pains in addition to the usual ones.   It’s really just a matter of pressing a button or moving a control switch to get these beds into an incredibly relaxing, therapeutic and comfortable position that supports your head, neck, shoulder, and everything below.  Don’t be surprised if you find it difficult to stay awake once you achieve the right level of comfort.

If we need to lay in our bed with our feet elevated for some reason (perhaps to improve blood circulation?) but your partner’s side of the bed needs to be flat, there are some models that allow for this type of flexibility.  As much as they are not only for the elderly, there is no denying how beneficial they can be for people in their senior years who are now finding it difficult to get in and out of bed.   They’re great for people who spend a significant portion of their day in bed these days; being able to adjust them so much makes these situations a lot more bearable.

Adjustable electric beds are now a popular better lifestyle option for the bedroom.   Contrary to popular belief, they are not only for the elderly or those with mobility or strength issues, and I believe this is why technological advancements have made them so effective.  

They are incredibly comfortable, not as heavy to move around as you might think, great for watching TV in bed, having breakfast in bed on Sunday mornings, and are a very stylish feature for your bedroom.

There are many manufacturers of adjustable electric beds these days, which I believe has helped bring the price down from where it was previously.  They are well worth a look, with a variety of amazing styles and sizes, powerful and very quiet electric motors, and remote controls to make operation a breeze.   You can buy electric adjustable beds in a variety of sizes to keep everyone in your home happy; they come in king, queen, double, king single, long single, and single sizes, so I think manufacturers now have an option for everyone. Naturally, with such a high-quality investment, you can choose from a wide range of mattresses that will fit perfectly with these beds, and you might as well splurge and get something with memory foam as well. 

Last but not least, a large percentage of these beds have massaging features, and after a long day, is there anything better than climbing into bed, turning on Netflix, and enjoying a relaxing massage from your bed? I mean, can it get any better than that?

A Stairlift will help you get up and down your Staircase

chair lifts

Stairlifts are home mobility aids/equipment that allow the elderly or those with physical limitations to navigate the staircases (up and down) in their two-story homes and other areas of the property where an incline is now difficult or impossible.   You may have only come to the realisation or your doctor has warned you that the staircases in your much-loved family home are no longer an option or are too potentially dangerous to continue doing due to a health condition.

If you have the money, there is some good news in this space: this situation does not require you to sell your home and buy a single-story alternative. Stairlifts are an excellent solution to the problem, but from what I’ve seen, they are not cheap.   However, if you are determined not to give up your home because you are unable to get up and down the stairs, you should seriously consider them.   Personally, I cannot think of a cooler looking way to get up and down stairs, and I think that if you have stairlifts installed in your home, they will prove to be a feature, not a flaw/unwelcome modification.

Surely a stairlift would be a sound investment for any home?

From what I’ve been reading up on, a straight stairlift will set you back at approximately $5,000, whereas the cost of a very cool looking curved stairlift starts from around $22,000.   It’s fair to say that average pricing will relate to the more standard/non-custom implementations.   Straight stairlifts are the most popular types commissioned and that makes sense as the most common staircases you ever seem come across are straight, well at least from what I’ve ever seen.   Curved stairlifts are naturally the solution for staircases of a curved design. It looks amazing when the stairlift rail and the colour and design of the lift chair completely blends in with the décor of a curved staircase.

The only parts of the stairlift installation that attach to your staircase are the feet of the rails that run slightly above the stairs, so don’t worry if you plan to sell your house in a few years and are concerned that buyers won’t want to pay to have the stairlift removed.   The stairlift can be easily removed if a new homeowner decides to hire professionals to do so, and the only areas that require repair are the two very small holes that will be left at the top and bottom steps. That ought to be incredibly simple for any competent contractor to cover up.

One of the most amazing aspects of having a stairlift installed at your home is that the entire installation (from start to finish) for a straight stairlift only takes about 3 to 4 hours, and curved installations only take a couple of extra hours, so the worst case scenario is probably just a little more than half a day.   So they won’t be there late at night when you want to kick back and relax without worrying about people still working inside your house.

 

Don’t worry if you have a narrow staircase; most stairlift manufacturers have got special stairlift designs that can be commissioned at your home.   You might think that if they tried to fit a stairlift to your specific narrow staircase, parts of your body would bang up against the sides as you travelled up and down?  I think the odds will be in your favour and they’ll have a solution for you as there are plenty of narrow staircases around on which they would have developed a range of solutions for.

Stay in your two storey home longer by getting an elevator installed.

elevator for wheelchair

I don’t think we should let anyone tell us that we have to leave our two-storey home because of mobility issues or health issues that make going up and down stairs impossible.  Take a moment to consider why you wanted a two-storey house in the first place.   If you still love everything that drew you to your lovely two-storey home, I believe it is well worth fighting for.    Two-storey homes provide a lot of living space, a lot of privacy, and some great views from the upstairs windows or balcony if you have one, especially if you live near the water.

If you are still able to walk but are unable to use the stairs, there is always the simple option of installing a chairlift.   If you are now in a wheelchair, you can choose between incline and vertical platform lifts for wheelchairs.  Or, for a truly unique option for our home, why not install an elevator?

First and foremost, I hear you saying “Don’t be absurd, that would cost a fortune?” Well, I suppose it depends on what you consider a fortune, but an elevator can be installed for between $40,000 and $70,000. I think you should put it in perspective as well; how much do you value the idea of not having to leave your much-loved home, and do you really want to go through the hassle of having to prepare your home for sale, sell it, buy another home, and then spend a lot of money and time modifying it to make it exactly the way you want?

You already have a home that is exactly how you want it; all you need now is a practical and safe way to get up and down from the second floor.   To be honest, I believe that installing an elevator is an excellent option if you can afford it.    For example, if you need to get around on a mobility scooter these days, how cool would it be to be able to drive it into the elevator on the bottom floor and then drive out on the top floor?

Are worried about your existing mobility scooter being a bit heavy (If you only own a large one) for the elevator options you are looking at?   If this is the case, then you can get mini manual-folding mobility scooter that only weighs 31kg (including the battery) for around $3,400 and you could have one of these just for getting around the home and keep the large mobility scooter in the garage on charge, ready for when you want to drive it down to the shops.

If you get the very lightweight mobility scooter for the home, then you’ll be able to look at the lesser capacity elevator models, which will be cheaper and this will keep the commissioning costs down.

Let’s now assume that you’ve decided to get an elevator installed at your home.

The project you’ve got to manage now is to get a few elevator installation options that would be perfect for you and your home.   For this type of expenditure, it would be normal to get a quotation from 3 different companies.   The companies that supply and install home elevators should also be able to offer more than 1 location for an installation at your home to take place.   Each of the 3 companies you pick out to provide quotations should be offering you’re a few prices, if there’s 2 location options, I would be expecting at least 2 elevator options for each location.

The size requirement of the elevator options might be a thing where you need to make a compromise if you want to keep the costs down.   If for instance, Do you want to be able to drive into the elevator on the ground level front/nose first on your mini mobility scooter and then be able to turn around inside the elevator so that you can exit front/nose first?  If so, then this will require considerably more room than an elevator that you might drive into front/nose first, then back out of rearwards on the top storey and then simply turn around in the hallway.

If you have a good eye for style and know your way around an interior decorating book or two, then you’ll probably want to make sure the elevator blends in with your home’s aesthetic as much as possible.   Or you might decide to go the other way and make the elevator like a feature and really stand out with a very cool design?

You’ll be using a lot more electricity once you get the elevator installed.

If you haven’t already gone down the path of solar and home battery solutions, then be sure to find out what’s the worst case electricity usage per month for the elevator options you might be looking at.    It might be a good idea to then add this usage to highest 3 months usages over the last 12 months and then get onto a solar systems provider, give them info and have them start working on the best possible solution for your home.

Take as much time as you need to get the elevator location right.

Be careful not to let the elevator company talk you into a location for the installation that you will regret later on.   Ask family and friends to contribute with this decision.   It’s very possible that they might offer the existing stairwell as a location option.   Although you may not ever use the stairwell in your home again in your lifetime, replacing the stairwell with an elevator may detract from the value of the home.   It may not detract from the value at all but it may be better to have both a stairwell and an elevator when it comes to resale value of your home.

With this in mind, I think it would be a very good idea to consult with a real estate agent or two about what their thoughts are on this matter.

An alternative location for an elevator is the garage, so be sure to consider the pros and cons of getting a section of your garage dedicated to your elevator installation.

Finally, just be careful about letting your elevator installation cost blow out due to other peoples ideas on customisations, making your installation unique and being different etc, this is where you could end up looking at a price that might be twice that of a simple and practical design and commissioning.

Include Power Lift Reclining Chairs into your future.

power lift recliner chairs

Power lift chairs are a game-changer for elderly individuals and for those of us who struggle with standing up from a seated position. These innovative pieces of furniture provide essential sit-to-stand assistance, making it easier and safer for thousands of people to regain their independence and improve their quality of life.

Designed specifically for those with limited strength or mobility, power lift recliner chairs offer a gentle and controlled lifting mechanism that smoothly transitions the user from a seated to standing position. This eliminates the need for strenuous exertion or relying on others for support.

The benefits of power lift chairs extend beyond just physical assistance. By improving the ease of transitioning between sitting and standing, these chairs take away an fear people might have on being stuck in a chair at a time where their arm and/or leg strength isn’t up to the task.  These chairs provide happiness and promote self-confidence, reduce the risk of falls, and allow seniors to maintain their dignity while performing something that used to be quite routine..

For caregivers and family members, power lift chairs provide peace of mind knowing that their loved ones have a reliable and safe means of getting up from a chair without assistance. Additionally, these powered chairs offer customisable features such as heat therapy, massage functions, has USB ports and plenty of various seating positions to ensure optimal comfort.

For my mind, if you can afford one, these chairs are an essential investment for anyone seeking sit-to-stand assistance in a safe, reliable and convenient manner.

Their lift systems are normally very quiet and smooth and during the lift action, lift chairs with a single motor will move the backrest and leg rest.   Two motor chairs will allow the backrest and leg rest to move independently of each other, allowing for more leg elevation and a deeper recline.   Lift chairs with four motors allow the headrest, lumbar support, backrest, and footrest to move independently of one another, allowing for a great deal of positioning movement.

You can even get dual motor twin seat powered lift chairs with cup holders, media inputs and outlets, and plenty of storage capacity for the ultimate home entertainment experience. 

When purchasing your first power lift recliner chair, I believe the most important factors to consider are style, performance, price, comfort, capacity, maintainability; hygiene/ability to ensure cleanliness, overall size, it must fit where you need it, warranty, and reliability.

When comparing power lift chair features, be sure to consider the below 14 points:

1.     The chair should be able to handle a weight capacity over 130kg/286 pounds.

2.    The width across the back should be greater than 65cm.

3.    The distance between the seat and the floor should be between 45cm and 52cm.

4.    The width of the seat should be over 50cm across.

5.    The seat depth should be between 50 to 55cm

6.    The chair should have a battery backup to make you can get out of it should you incur an electricity outage.

7.    There should be at least 3 reclining positions and one of those positions should be great for taking a nap.

8.    They should come with specially made arm and head covers.

9.    The chair should have an easy to use hand-wand or remote controller.

10. It would be great if they have a USB charger port for your phone.

11.  The seat should be made from high density & contoured foam.

12. The chair should come with a minimum of 2 years warranty.

13. The upholstery of the chair should be in sections and each section should be able to be removed individually and easily.  This would make it cheaper to replace a damaged section, no need to fully re-upholster the entire chair. 

14. It would also be great if the upholstery can be made from a machine washable material.

Overbed Tables can make a big difference to your bedroom.

Overbed tables

An Over Bed Table is a versatile and fantastic bedroom and living room assistance device that can be used as a safe surface to eat, read, or write on and can be adjusted to suit your body position whether in bed or using your favourite recliner chair.

   They provide a stable and portable surface that can be easily positioned regardless of the furniture you are using.   They will typically have four locking swivel castors for easy movement and positioning.  

They should also come with a spring-loaded height adjustment feature that allows you to easily customise the table’s height as you require.   The table top should be made of a sterile material and ideally have a raised edge around them to catch any accidental spills and prevent items from slipping off the tabletop, ensuring a safer and more secure user experience.   

A good quality Over Bed Table will be lightweight and sturdy, with a welded base frame for durability.   They should be able to support weights of up to 20kg/50lb and come with at least a one-year warranty.

Equip your home with bathroom Aids.

bathroom aides

Whether we want to stay in our much-loved family homes for as long as possible or enjoy the many benefits from living in a retirement village, the ability to remain independent is obviously very important to us.  

So, when things become a little more difficult as a result of a medical condition, injury, or simply reduced strength or mobility due to ageing, there are times when we need some extra help.

Rather than having to change our way of life, we can simply purchase high-quality bathroom and toilet aids that will allow us to care for ourselves for as long as possible without relying on others.

Bathing, showering, and toileting aids/equipment are designed to keep us safe in the bathroom while also making our lives easier and more comfortable. There is now an extensive selection of bathroom aids to choose from that will provide you with support while bathing or using the toilet.   

Bath benches, body washers, bath steps, shower chairs, and stools are among the bathing products available.   These are all available to help people achieve and sustain independence.   When it comes to toileting, the product range is also extensive; there are numerous options for toileting aids, toilet surrounds, and toilet frames that will help you avoid slips and falls while using the toilet.

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