Are your Ankles Weak?

Woman stretchingWhen we get ready for activity or exercise, we don’t really think about, “are my ankles okay?” How do you avoid injury and keep your ankles healthy? The muscles and tendons around ankles are vital to keep you healthy and moving. When athletes or active people get moving, they put stress on the ankle and in order to keep from getting injured, you need strong muscles around the ankle and lower leg.

Popular Exercises to Keep Your Ankles Strong

  1. Ankle Circles. Simply sitting on the floor and stretching your legs out and then pointing and flexing your feet up and down and side to side will truly help your ankle strength. Also try doing circles with your foot, stretching the ankle even more.
  2. Alphabet Letters. Use your big toe as the pencil and try to trace in the air the alphabet 2-3 times on each foot. This is a great overall stretch.
  3. Toe Raises. While sitting and legs are straight, pull your toes back toward your body and hold for 10-15 seconds, then point feet and hold again for 10-15 seconds. This is a great stretch for your ankles and legs.
  4. Heel Raises. Point your toes away from you, and while keeping your legs straight, gently lift from the heel. Repeat this for 10-15 reps on each ankle.
  5. In and Out. Turn your foot inward and hold as long as you can and then turn it outward and hold as long as you can. Repeat this activity on each ankle 10 times. You can also do this exercise from a chair and add a resistance band to your foot to develop more strength. You can also try tying a band around your foot. Hold the other end of the band with your hand and move your foot (while pointed outward) in and out, holding the position for 10-15 seconds. Repeat several times on each ankle.
  6. Balance Exercises. Standing on one foot and trying to do a squat or throwing a ball will build strength in your ankles. If you repeat the process 10-15 times on each side and hold it for 15-20 seconds and you will build the ankle strength.

These are just some of the ways to build your ankles so you can continue to live a healthy lifestyle. Last week, we had a mother in the store that was worrying about her daughter’s ankle strength and how could she help her daughter after an ankle injury. I suggested using the LaserTouchOne, giving her the opportunity to try it out for a week and see if it helped. After just a couple of days, she came back and bought one. She said the relief her daughter had was amazing! Her daughter can now put pressure on her ankle and is on the road to recovery much quicker. LaserTouchOne is just one of the many products we offer to help with pain management at New Visions.

Stop by our store today in Coldwater and see our line of pain management products to help your athlete or active lifestyle.

Why Is my Parent Having Trouble Walking?

Senior helping another walkAs parents age, they tend to have some physical changes and mobility issues indicating they are slowing down. Many of these signs deal with their ability to move around and get going. How do you know your parent is struggling with moving?

Common signs your parents are having mobility problems include:

  • Unsteadiness while walking. Sometime this means the muscles are getting weaker and your parent may have difficulty moving, but sometimes this can be an even bigger issue. Having a conversation with mom or dad about the issue is important in order to understand what is going on with their mobility. You need to make sure there is not another medical issue contributing to their slow moving life now.
  • Difficulty getting in and out of chairs. While aging, it can be difficult to navigate in and out of chairs, especially big, soft chairs that you can sink into. Many times aging adults have this problem because they are not as strong as they used to be and they have not worked on muscle strength in order to be able to get in and out of chairs easily.
  • Slow moving after a fall or muscle strain. Many times moving after a fall when you are older is not an easy task. It takes time to get up and around to do tasks you might have taken for granted. Oftentimes after a fall, aging parents become sedentary because they are afraid of falling again. To help them regain strength and mobility you might need to get them therapy. Falling is the biggest fear of aging adults and recovery after falling can be most difficult.
  • Muscle weakness or joint problems. By not staying active it can be very damaging as you age. You will not have the muscle strength to move like you used to. It is very important to encourage your aging parents to stay active so they will not lose muscle mass.

If your parent has any number of these signs they need your attention and maybe a medical expert’s advice as well. You want and need to understand why mom or dad has mobility problems. Your goal is to help them reduce risks and work on building their strength in order to stay strong.

Tips for helping parents improve their mobility

  • Encourage them to stay active to build or retain strength.
  • Reduce hazards in the home for falls.
  • Make sure to report any reoccurring falls to medical experts.
  • Help them understand the aging process for them.

 

Creating ease of mind in the winter months ahead

Recently a friend came in the shop and was very worried about her mom getting around at the grocery store. She knew her mom was capable, but with winter weather coming, she worried about her falling or slipping. I recommended she look at a walker or maybe even a scooter. These mobility tools could ease her mind and help her mom be confident as she performed her daily tasks.

Are you concerned with your parents’ mobility and wonder what to do? Visit our Coldwater store and we will help you find the right fit for your parent.

We still have $150.00 off scooters in the store! Stop by and let us help you!

5 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Stairlift

Woman sitting in stairliftOften times as adults age, the stairs become a challenge to conquer and/or navigate safely due to balance or muscle strength issues. However, many seniors do not want to leave their home and have stairs to bedrooms or basements that they want or need to use.

First of all you probably did not even fathom this would be a purchase for your parents’ home. When looking for a stairlift, where do you start? Here are 5 things you should consider before installing a stairlift.

1. Cost. Can you afford the lift or is it time to think about moving mom and dad somewhere else? If you don’t want to move your parents and you need a stairlift, you need to look into insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid to see if your individual situation qualifies. Sometimes you can even qualify for a grant from the National Council on Independent Living. Furthermore, if you don’t qualify and your doctor has written that you need a stairlift, you might be able to claim it on your taxes. These are all options to consider when looking for a stairlift for your loved one’s home.

2. Your Stairway. Most stairlifts are manufactured to fit on any stairway. However, before you purchase, you need to make sure the stairlift works on your stairway. If your stairway is straight, a typical lift will work, but if your stairway is curved or turns, it will have to be customized and that will be more costly. If you move, you can resell a straightlift, but if it is not a straightlift, it will probably have to be removed.

3. Stairlift Installation Requirements. When installing a stairlift, you will have to attach the lift to the stairwell. This will require removing carpet or trim to attach the lift safely and securely. You also need to consider if there is room at the top and bottom of the lift so the senior can get on and off safely. Are there hazards with tripping or does a door need moved? These are all considerations upon installation of a stairlift.

4. Type of Lift. Now you need to decide do I get a lift that is battery operated or electric (AC stair lift)? Typically individuals choose electric stairlift over battery because the maintenance is easier and you don’t have the fear the lift will die in transition from one level to the next.

5. Features. There are many features to choose from when selecting a stairlift. Do you want a folding footrest and folding seat to make the lift seem more compact and less noticeable in your home? Do you need hinged rails to get past a doorway or walkway? What about raised mounting brackets to allow the chair to be lifted up and out of the way of a door that may need to be closed? Do you want a swivel seat to make getting on and off the chair easier? Does it have a send-call feature to be able to retrieve the chair if it’s at the wrong end of the staircase? These are just some of the features to consider meeting your individual needs when installing a stairlift.

 

Think your loved one needs a stairlift in their home? We had an adult daughter in the store the other day trying to decide how to choose a stairlift for her parents so they could get to and from their bedroom with ease. Please stop by New Visions in Coldwater to learn more about stairlifts and let us help you get it installed. For the month of October we offer 150.00 off stairlifts.

Are Your Feet Healthy for the Race of Life?

Foot getting massagedMany times we forget that we need to take care of our feet, until they start hurting and then we remember.  We worry about our skin or hair, but rarely do we worry about our feet, which are pretty important to get us from one place to another. There are many ways to keep your feet healthy and ready to go when you are ready to run out the door.

3 Basic Tips for Healthy Feet

Wear Good Shoes.

What does that exactly mean? Going barefoot is not a good choice because you have absolutely no support and you open your feet up for immediate injury. The cool grass may feel amazing on your feet, but one shard of glass can keep you from wearing your favorite shoes for a long time. However, when wearing heals or stylish shoes make sure they are comfortable and you can actually walk in them. You would hate to get tendonitis in your feet because your goal was wearing shoes that look good, but kill your toes and feet.

Treat Heel Pain.

Many people do not realize that plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of connective tissue that supports the arch of your foot and extends to the heel. When pain starts, plantar fasciitis can last a long time without treatment. You want to talk about a limit in your activity? This can keep you down for a long time without proper treatment. You really need to start treatment immediately or you will open yourself up to many other health issues like weight gain, muscle tension, and depression.

Beat the Fungus.

Fungus will grow in warm moist places and that is where your feet live most of the time—in socks and shoes. It is important to keep your feet dry and clean to prevent athlete’s foot fungus. If you get athlete’s foot fungus many over the counter topical creams will work. However if it persists, you should see a doctor to get a prescription to kill the fungus.

At the end of the day, you need your feet to get around and do all the activities you love to do. If you have foot pain, you are not happy, and activity slows down. This can cause a new problem–weight gain, which again is hard on your feet. It is a vicious cycle to care for your feet. Time to pay attention to the feet below you!

We have had several athletes in our store recently worrying about their foot pain. We have recommended the LaserTouchOne to help them relieve the pain, and they are pleasantly surprised. They cannot believe this one device can help alleviate the pain and usually they get rid of the pain indefinitely.

Please stop by our store and try a LaserTouchOne to make your feet happy! We are offering $50.00 off LaserTouchOne through the month of September. Stop by today.

5 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Scooter

Lite Rider scooterAre you noticing difficulty getting around your home? How about trying to get in and around the grocery store? As we age, sometimes it is hard to admit we need help with mobility. Mobility scooters are popular to help maintain independence and get around in your everyday life.

However, purchasing a scooter can become a task. How do you do it? Where do you start? Where do you go?

Here are 5 tips to help you make a smart buying decision for your mobility scooter.

  1. Weight. Yes we never want to talk about weight, but it’s essential when it comes to buying a mobility scooter. If your weight is over 250lbs., then you will need to purchase a more durable scooter to carry you. Every mobility scooter has a maximum weight capacity so you need to make sure you find one that fits you.
  2. Maneuverability. Where do you plan to use the scooter? If you plan to use the scooter in a supermarket or home, you might need a scooter with a tighter turning radius. Usually a 3-wheeled scooter has the best turning radius, but make sure it fits your other needs as well. When purchasing a scooter, they can demonstrate the turning capability so you can see it fits your daily tasks.
  3. Arms & Seat. If you are in and out of your scooter frequently you probably want arms that rotate back and allow you to easily get on and off the scooter. As for the seat, if you are just on and off the scooter frequently, then the standard seat is probably fine. However, if you spend a great deal of time on your scooter, you might want a more comfortable seat with extra padding to fit your needs.
  4. Transportability. One very important factor when purchasing a scooter is how you will transport it. How can you transport it with ease? If you plan to travel with your scooter, you want one that can be dismantled easily or one that you can load and take with you without a hassle. Sometimes this can be a challenge because until you try loading the pieces in your car, you just don’t know how easy it will be. You should practice with a scooter at the store before purchase, to know how easily you or family can load the scooter.
  5. Where it will be Used. Think about how you live day to day. Will you use your scooter in your home, or outside more? These are important factors to consider when selecting your scooter. If using over a rough terrain frequently, you might want to consider a 4-wheeled scooter. However, if it is mainly for indoor use and needs good maneuverability for tight spaces in your home or store, then you might want to look at the options of a 3-wheeled scooter.

Selecting a mobility scooter is not an easy task, but one that needs careful consideration of how you live your daily life. Is it time to look for a mobility scooter for your comfort and independence to get around where you want to go? We at New Visions offer many models of mobility scooters and would love to help find the right one for your lifestyle.

Stop in and take advantage of $150 off any in-stock scooter for the month of August. We would love to see you and help you get to the places you want to go!

5 Tips on Traveling With a Scooter This Summer

Lite Rider scooterAre you planning a vacation this summer? Need help moving around with your motorized scooter? Getting around with your scooter might not be easy when you are traveling for a vacation. Get your thinking cap on and make sure mobility issues do not hinder a wonderful trip.

Here are 5 Tips to Make Travel Easier

  • Use the Internet. Ready to a take a big trip? Maybe even a small trip to the city could cause you a lot of headaches when you don’t know if the location is scooter-friendly. This is where the Internet can save time and headaches. Go online and determine what you need to get in and out of the locations you wish to visit.
  • Call ahead. If you plan to use public transportation, it is essential to call ahead so they can make accommodations for you. Not all public vehicles are equipped to handle a scooter, and they need to make sure they have a vehicle for you. Calling ahead will make your trip stress-free and enjoyable.
  • Hotel accommodations. If you are staying in hotel you will need to be on the first level or know you can easily access other levels. You will want to know what other features they have to make your stay hassle free so you can enjoy the hotel amenities.
  • Rental Cars. Make sure to ask the rental company if they have a vehicle either with a lift or a trunk big enough to store your chair. A van is a good option to store your chair and would be easy for you to maneuver in.
  • Airplane. Traveling by air can be easy as well. Make the call to let the airport and airlines know that you will need accommodations at the airport, and then make sure you get to the airport at least an hour-and-a-half early to avoid issues getting on the plane and checking your chair.

Bottom line when traveling with a scooter is, you need to think ahead and make arrangements. Calling ahead before you make all the final plans will make your life easier. You can travel with family or friends and not have to worry if you can participate in everything because you planned ahead.

A New Visions Customer Story

The other day one of our customers mentioned, “Without my scooter and vehicle lift from New Visions, I wouldn’t be able to get out into the community to do my everyday tasks or enjoy my life to the fullest.  Having both the scooter and the lift, I can put in it my van with the touch of a button, and I can easily take my scooter with me where I want to go!  I wouldn’t want to be without either one! When people stop me in parking lots asking where I got my lift – I tell them – NEW VISIONS!!”

Stop by today and let us help you find solutions for your mobility concerns!