Using Ramps to Get In and Out of the House

As you age, it will likely become harder and harder for you to complete everyday tasks, such as getting in and out of your house safely and with ease. Which is why New Visions has begun offering home modifications: to help keep you and your loved one safe and independent.

But what exactly are home modifications? Home modifications are changes made to one’s home in order to help adapt the living spaces to meet the needs of your physical limitations. They also help allow you to continue to live independently and safely.

Home modifications can range from something as simple as replacing cabinet door handles, to full-scale construction products, such as the addition of a wheelchair ramp to your front porch, bathroom remodels (showers, tubs, grab bars, etc) and even the widening of doorways! One of the most popular home modification projects includes the addition of ramps to one’s home.

Benefits of Using Ramps

  • Easier access in and out of the home
  • Decreases the risk of falls and accidents
  • If you are in a wheelchair, ramps can allow you to get in and out of the house with ease
  • Promotes independence
  • Ability to stay in your house as long as you wish
  • Increases safety

A recent AARP housing survey showed  that “83% of older Americans want to stay in their current homes for the rest of their lives,” but unfortunately most homes are not designed to accommodate the needs of those over the age of 65. Simple, or even complex, home modification projects, such as the installation of a ramp, can help make your dream of staying in your home forever come true.

If you are unsure of how you will pay for your new ramp, be sure to check out this helpful article: Guide to Paying for Wheelchair Ramps. You can also view our payment options here.

At New Visions it is important to us that you are happy, safe and able to live in your home for as long as you wish, which is why we offer a wide variety of home modification projects in order to keep you and your loved one safe, independent, as well as to prevent any possible accidents. Stop in today or give us a call at 419.678.4979 to learn about the multitude of home modification projects we have to offer!

Ask Sarah: How Can I Convince My Aging Parent They Need a Lift Chair?

Dear Sarah,

My mother has recently been admitted into the nursing home due to her hip surgery, and my father has quickly been losing his strength, especially now that my mom isn’t around to help him do things around the house. I have noticed recently that he has a hard time getting in and out of his recliner. When I suggested he look into getting a lift chair, he completely shut down and stopped listening to me. I think he is afraid that purchasing a lift chair would mean he is losing his independence. Can you help me convince him to see the benefits of purchasing a lift chair? I don’t think he realizes how much it could help him.

Thanks for your advice!

Tammy -Ohio City

Hi Tammy,

Making the transition and admitting that you need more assistance is never an easy feat, especially for our senior loved ones as they age and are unable to do things as easily as they once could. However, it doesn’t have to be. Is your father aware of the many benefits of a lift chair, or were you unable to talk to him at all when you mentioned a lift chair?

Now that your father should have had some time to cool off, I suggest approaching the situation again, but in a more casual tone. Don’t make him feel like he has to purchase a lift chair, but instead list the many benefits (see below) a lift chair could bring him. Maybe try to make a fun afternoon out of going to your local medical equipment store and testing out lift chairs.

Try sitting in a lift chair along with him (bring your kids, too!) so that he doesn’t feel as if he is being pressured. I strongly believe that once your father sits in a chair and realizes how it can help him regain his independence–not hinder it–you will have no problem convincing him (heck, you may not even have to convince him!) to purchase a lift chair.

Here are a few of the many benefits a lift chair can bring:

  • Independence
  • Opportunity to remain in home
  • Ease of mobility
  • More spacious than normal chairs
  • Reduced risk of injury (this one is particularly important, especially now that your mom is no longer living at home!)

I hope you find my advice helpful and that your father sees the importance and advantages of purchasing a lift chair. If you have any further questions, or would like to try out a lift chair in person, please feel free to stop in or give us a call at 419.678.4979.

Sarah at New Visions

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6 Benefits of Compression Socks for Nurses, Athletes and Travelers

Many people either find themselves asking, “Should I be wearing compression socks?” or have no idea that compression socks could benefit them. If you suffer from various leg and foot issues (such as swelling, varicose veins, Peripheral edema, and many other common diseases), or are on your feet for long periods at a time, then compression socks may be the right fit for you!

Benefits of Compression Socks

Compression socks are often overlooked for use; however, the benefits they provide for individuals such as athletes, travelers, nurses, factory workers, or those in sales are endless.

For example, compression socks offer:

  1. Prevention of varicose veins
  2. Improved blood flow and reduced risk of blood clots
  3. Reduction in fatigue and pain
  4. Better circulation
  5. Decreased swelling of ankles and feet
  6. General coolness to legs

We highly recommend compression socks to the following 3 groups of people in both the younger and older generations:

  1. Nurses and other workers who are on their feet all day – When spending so much time on your feet throughout the day, the constant standing can cause you to experience traumatic leg and foot pain, even after your shift is over. Over time, this can lead to the development of unattractive varicose veins and/or spider veins. We advise wearing compression socks as early as possible in order to prevent problems in the future.
  2. Travelers – Sitting in a car and/or plane for long period of time when traveling can make you extremely uncomfortable, and even cause blood clots to form in your legs because of the lack of movement. If you are traveling for 8 to 10 hours at a time and there aren’t many chances to pull off the road and walk around, blood clots could form and have devastating medical consequences.
  3. Athletes – We all know that athletes push themselves as hard as they can, often resulting in a great deal of fatigue on their muscles. As a result of this, lactic acid can build up in the muscles, causing excessive soreness. Compression socks can help increase blood flow and bring fresh oxygen to the muscles, offering a much quicker muscle recovery after games or practice. Compression socks also have the ability to help prevent shin splints.

Nurses, athletes, and travelers are just three groups who can benefit from wearing compression socks–to help keep their legs healthy, pain-free, and even stylish, thanks to the various new patterns that are offered!

Did you know that New Visions Medical Equipment sells compression socks in both basic and fun patterns? To try your first pair of compression socks, stop in or give us a call at 419.678.4979 today!

CPAP cleaner

New Product: SoClean

The purpose of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is to take away the struggle you may have between breathing and sleeping at night. However, the benefits of a CPAP go much further than simply reducing the struggle of breathing and sleeping; users have also reportedly stated they have had more energy and better mental alertness throughout the day, as well as IMMEDIATE symptom relief.

A CPAP machine is a great asset for not only you but also your bed partner by making it easier for them to sleep, too. However, it is important that you minimize the some of the most common CPAP problems–one of them being the regular maintenance and cleaning of the CPAP.

Your CPAP is FILTHY!

In order to keep your CPAP from becoming absolutely filthy (which can happen easier than you think!), the CPAP mask must be cleaned on a daily basis. Think about it, germs  are everywhere you go. They say even the inside of your home may contain more germs than the outdoors!

For example, studies show that items such as the keyboard of your computer and other appliances that you touch each and every day have been known to have more germs and bacteria than a toilet seat. If this is so, can you imagine what may be lurking on your CPAP equipment if not properly cleaned on a daily basis?

Why You Should Choose SoClean

SoClean is the easiest way to sanitize your CPAP equipment. Not only does it naturally clean your CPAP mask for you, but it also is highly effective when cleaning because it uses activated oxygen, a potent natural disinfectant, in order to prevent harmful contamination from different molds, bacteria and viruses. Some of the benefits of the SoClean machine include:

  • Easy, safe and natural sanitization
  • Contaminant resistance
  • Large mask range
  • Eliminated disassembly
  • Destroys 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and mold
  • Completely automated, time-saving operation
  • Cleans your mask, hose and machine all at the same time!

Cleaning your CPAP properly can help you thoroughly benefit from continuous positive airway pressure safely and effectively. For more information regarding the new SoClean product, please visit our Facebook page or give us a call at 419.678.4979 today!

Ask Sarah: Mobility Rebates at Car Dealerships

Hi Sarah-

My mom has recently started using a wheelchair due to getting older and having a harder time getting around. Because I am an only child and my father passed away 5 years ago, I take her, by myself, to and from all doctor appointments, family parties, and any other events she may want to attend. The vehicle I currently drive has become a nuisance and I have considered either looking for a newer vehicle that is more user-friendly to my mother’s needs or updating my current vehicle if possible. I heard that some car dealerships offer mobility rebates for disabilities. Is this true? Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for your help!

Susan -Fairfield, OH

Hi Susan,

I can understand how it may be extremely challenging getting your mother in and out of your vehicle, especially as she is confined to a wheelchair most of the time. I have many clients who also experience this same problem.

Luckily, there are many original equipment manufacturers who offer rebate assistance (typically valued for up to $1000 reimbursement!) when you purchase accessibility products. Some common equipment manufacturers that offer rebates to customers include:

  • Toyota
  • Chrysler
  • Ford
  • GM
  • Lexus
  • Volvo
  • Acura
  • Hyundai
  • Honda
  • Nissan

The list of manufacturers who offer these rebates goes on and on. Not only does the addition of items such as interior lifts, exterior lifts, power lift gates and other accessibility features allow for easier maneuvering in and out of vehicles, but it can also offer seniors the independence and assistance they need to continue driving on their own.

For more information on how you can access and retrieve special discount offers from various manufacturers, you can visit the ride-away website, NMEDA website, or call us at 419.678.4979 for more information today!  We are offering 50% off of installation of a new vehicle lift until the end of August!

vehicle lift sale

I hope this information helps you make the decision on either purchasing or updating your current car.

Sarah at New Visions

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knee injury

Ask Sarah: How to Avoid Knee Injuries with Summer and Fall Activities

Dear Sarah,

My daughter is entering her sophomore year of high school and last year during one of her summer training camps, I was unfortunate enough to watch her friend experience her first ACL tear injury. Watching my daughter’s friend and teammate go through this emotional rollercoaster both physically and mentally has made me very fearful for my daughter. I do not want to see her get hurt and have to go through the same hardships and struggles that sometimes go along with sports-related injuries. Do you have any advice on how my daughter (and her teammates) can avoid developing serious injuries as they finish up their summer training camps and head into fall sporting events?

Thanks for your help.

Lisa -Coldwater, OH

 

Hi Lisa-

I am sorry to hear that your daughter’s friend had to go through the, as you said perfectly, emotional roller coaster of dealing with a sports-related injury. This is never an easy feat to overcome. Luckily, there are several ways to strengthen your muscles and lower your risks of developing a sports-related injury, which is so important with the summer camps and upcoming fall sporting events.

  1. Stay hydrated. Over half of your body is made up of water. That is why it is vital you continue to replenish your body. Good hydration will allow your muscles to continue to work efficiently and avoid secondary problems. Dehydrated muscles do not work as efficiently, which makes it more likely to cramp up or pull a muscle.
  2. Wear the proper equipment. One of the most effective ways to prevent injury is to make sure you are wearing proper foot attire. Before joining a sport, research what the right type of shoe is for that sport and purchase accordingly to reduce pain. If you have flat feet, make sure you look into specialized shoes to offer the proper support. Trips, slips and falls are the most commonly reported causes of injury, so make sure you have the proper footwear to prevent injuries at all costs.
  3. Be mindful and listen to your body. It is highly important that you know your limitations. If your body is telling you it is exhausted and needs a break, listen to it and sit out for the next 10-20 minutes. Don’t overwork yourself. Likewise, if you are experiencing even the slightest amount of pain or soreness in your muscles, ice the area as often as possible.
  4. Prepare your muscles. If you know there are certain muscles that need to be stronger for the sport you are getting into, make sure you try your best to build the target muscles ahead of time. This can help to improve performance and prevent injury. It can also allow your muscles to be prepared for the intensity of training camps, fall sports, etc., ahead of time.
  5. Be familiar with your surroundings and stay alert. Pay attention to the area and people around you at all times. Do not train with headphones; you need to be able to be cognizant of what’s going on around you at all times. If you are running down the country road, it is vital that you are able to hear whether or not a car is coming up behind you. Likewise, pay attention to your surroundings to prevent tripping, get out of the water if you see lightning (if you are swimming), etc.
  6. Warm up and cool down. Never, ever skip a warm-up or cool-down session. These two important sessions help prepare you both physiologically and mentally, reducing the chance of joint and/or muscle injury. Let your warm-up and cool-down intensity cause perspiration, but not fatigue. Good examples of warm-up and cool-down activities include walking or jogging, biking, stretching, and much more.

 

Lisa, I hope these tips help your daughter to prevent injuries this year. Please feel free to share this information with her entire team in order to prevent injuries amongst everyone. If you have any further questions on how to prevent sports related injuries, or what products we offer that can help as well, please feel free to give us a call at 419.678.4979 or visit our products page today!

Enjoy your time watching your daughter play sports this summer and fall!

Sarah at New Visions

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woman on scooter

Top 6 Questions to Ask When Buying a Scooter

Purchasing a scooter can be a time-consuming, headache-causing and frustrating process –but it doesn’t have to be! If you go into the scooter-buying process with an open mind (and a little behind-the-scenes knowledge from yours truly!) you will walk away with a smile on your face and the scooter of your dreams. It’s all about knowing what to ask beforehand in order to get what you NEED.

6 Things to Ask When Purchasing a Scooter

  1. Will the scooter be used primarily indoors, outdoors, or both? This is important for not only you to know the answer to, but also for the scooter specialist. Knowing where you will be using the scooter can help determine what brand and type (durability) of scooter you may need.
  2. Will you need to transport your mobility scooter when traveling? Will you be going on family vacations where you need to take your scooter with you? Unless you have a large vehicle that can easily transport a larger scooter, you may need to consider looking into a compact scooter. Likewise, you may want to check with your local transportation authority for information regarding any size restrictions that you may need to be aware of when traveling long distances.
  3. Does it have the accessories and storage you are looking for? Don’t expect your scooter to have closet-like storage or Yacht-like accessories; however, don’t give in and settle for less than you deserve. Make sure the scooter you are looking for has any extra accessories or storage space you may desire, such as a second basket.
  4. How much do you plan on spending on your scooter? Prices can greatly vary depending upon various features, brands, new vs old, among many other items. For example, do you want a scooter with arm rests? If so, make sure you figure that into your budget. Do your research ahead of time and go into your shopping extravaganza with a budget in mind.
  5. Is the scooter comfortable for you to sit in? This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is important that you know what you are purchasing before you actually purchase it. The downside of purchasing a scooter online is you don’t have the chance to sit in the scooter and make sure it is the right fit for you. Shopping local at a store near you can allow you to test out various scooters and make sure you are pleased with what you are getting.
  6. What is the weight load on the scooter? This refers to all of the weight-bearing-stress being placed on (or in) the scooter at any one time. If you are overweight or have to carry heavy items on your scooter at times, you want to make sure the scooter expert you are working with is aware of this so that they can find the right scooter to fit your needs.

 

Finding the right scooter to fit your everyday needs is important. That is why we, at New Visions, focus on making your scooter shopping experience both positive and personalized, to find you the scooter of your dreams!

P.S. This month ONLY we are offering $100 off all new scooters! Give us a call at 419.679.4979 or stop in to test drive and get your very own scooter today!

Ask Sarah: 3 Ways Stairlifts Benefit Mom and Dad

Dear Sarah,

Both of my parents have recently had trouble getting up and down the stairs to the second floor of their house where their bedroom is located. I have read some recent articles about stairlifts on the internet and I think installing a stairlift in their home would help them to get around, but I’m not sure how to approach my parents on the topic. I know they want to regain their mobility and independence, which is why I think the installation of a stairlift may be a good idea. Do you have any advice on how to get my parents to consider the addition of a stairlift? 

Carol, Coldwater, OH

 

Hi Carol,

It sounds like the addition of a stairlift would be the perfect fit for both your mom and your dad! I know that sometimes as our parents age, they do worry about their independence. And while they may see a stairlift (at first) as a hindrance of their freedom, in reality, the addition of a stairlift to one’s home is a great benefit. We need to help our parents embrace the idea because it will allow them to continue to do the things they have always done so well on their own, but easier this time!

Try asking your parents if the following factors are important to them as they age and struggle with their mobility:

  1. The ability to carry everyday items and move between floors safely, reducing the possibility of injury.
  2. Remaining in the comfort of their own home.
  3. Maintaining their confidence and independence no matter what their age.

Installing a stairlift can help your parents maintain all of the above benefits, and much, much more. Likewise, I have had several customers who were surprised at how cost-friendly the installation of a stairlift was. While one may think the installation is extremely out-of-budget, they typically soon realize (after having the discussion) that installing a stairlift is much more budget-friendly than the addition of other in-home elevators and other lift devices.

At New Visions, we want you and your parents to know that we care about the safety and well-being of all of our current, potential and future customers. Together, we work with you to find the best fit for your needs. If you and/or your parents have any questions at all about the benefits of our stairlifts or any other products we offer, please feel free to give me, Sarah, a call personally at 419.678.4979.

I hope my answers give you and your parents a little more insight on the importance of finding the right stairlift in order to ensure the proper safety and desired independence levels for your mom and dad.

Thank you.

Sarah at New Visions

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Do you have a question you would like to ask me? Please feel free to email me at info@newvisionsmedical.com and I would be happy to help!

Medicare’s Role in Adjustable Beds

One of the first things you may find yourself asking is, “Wait. What is the difference between adjustable beds, regular beds and hospital beds?” Well, we have the answer for you! Below we outline the difference between regular, adjustable and hospital beds, as well as which are covered under Medicare and which are not.

  • Regular beds – These are your everyday beds which don’t allow for any adjustment on overall height of the bed or the head/foot areas. Regular beds are commonly purchased by those who do not have any health/medical concerns.
  • Adjustable beds – Today’s more modern adjustable bed allows the user to elevate both the head and foot areas of the bed in order to find the optimal position for comfort regarding a variety of health considerations. Users can benefit from therapeutic features as well, including pillow top and memory foam mattress additions! These “luxury” beds are considered to be the most comfortable beds on the market.
  • Hospital beds -These beds are designed for individuals with more serious medical issues and their caregivers. Not only can these beds adjust at the head and foot, but they can also be raised toward the ceiling or lowered toward the floor, helping ease back pain caregivers may commonly experience.

Discovering the Right Bed for Your Needs

Now, which is the right one for YOU?

  1. Adjustable beds -If you are not worried about falling out of bed at night and are looking for something that looks like a traditional bed—and comes in multiple mattress size options, allowing you and your spouse to continue to share a bed—an adjustable bed may be the make for you. An adjustable bed can allow you to benefit from the therapeutic features of adjustability without the negative stigma associated with hospital beds. Have a headboard and/or footboard you love and don’t want to get rid of it? No problem! Simply attach it to the base for a seamless transition to your new bed. Likewise, your bed has the ability to come with wired or wireless hand controls, depending on the model chosen. This bed is the perfect solution if you are looking for the health and comfort benefits of adjustability and easy rest. Adjustable beds are not covered by Medicare, but are made to be extremely affordable.
  2. Hospital beds -If you or a loved one suffers from severe medical issues requiring a bed that can be easily moved or adjusted up and down, a hospital bed may be the correct choice. However, be aware that because these bed types are designed for industrial use, you will notice they have a much bulkier frame, come with side rails and are available ONLY in twin sizes, which does not allow a patient to sleep with their partner. Likewise, the heavy frame makes it extremely difficult to disguise a hospital bed as a traditional flat bed. A plus is that this bed is typically covered under Medicare.

We hope this information helped you get a better idea of which type of bed is the right fit for you. If you are looking to purchase or try an adjustable bed, give the professionals at New Visions Medical Equipment a call at 419.678.4979 or email us at info@newvisionsmedical.com today

 

Ask Sarah: Helping Mom Get in and Out of the Shower Safely

Dear Sarah,

A few months back my mom started having trouble getting in and out of the shower. It started slowly, but as the weeks go by she seems to be having more and more trouble. It has now gotten to the point where either one of my siblings or myself has to be there for her at all times in case she falls trying to get into the tub/shower area. Are there any solutions to help mom regain her independence, while ensuring her safety at the same time?

Thanks for your help.

Sincerely,

Carla, St. Marys, OH

 

Hi Carla,

That is a great question, and a very common issue among older adults. Aging parents often begin to worry about being able to lift their legs high enough to clear the tub when getting in, or falling and or slipping once they are actually in the shower. Although this fear is a common occurrence, I know first-hand how stressful this can become for you and your siblings. In reality, you just don’t have the time to spend each waking minute at your parents’ house to ensure their safety, especially if you are caring for your own family.

Fortunately, there are several options you can consider to help your mother regain her independence and, in return, take some of the stress off of your own back. For example, one thing that would be a great addition to your mother’s bath area is a transfer bench, which would allow your mom a chance to sit down and then slide over into the tub.

She could even use the chair during the shower, should she become weak and fear that she may fall down. Likewise, a grab bar, which comes in many different lengths and styles will give your mother something secure to hold onto, helping her to regain her independence while decreasing her fear of falling when getting in and out of the shower area. If you are mostly worried about her ability to get in and out of the shower, consider looking into a new bathtub element known as the Safeway Step. This addition will provide your mother with much easier access into the bathtub, allowing her to walk right into the shower, rather than having to lift her leg up and over the tub. Plus, there is no need to buy a new tub –additions can be made to the current tub you have!

And remember, there is no shame in looking into hiring a professional caregiver to spend time with your mom throughout the day or help her with activities that she may not be able to do on her own anymore. If you are unsure of where to start looking for a part-time care provider, reach out to her doctor for advice.

I hope these suggestions help and that you and your siblings are able to find the best safety option to fit your mother’s needs. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to me at 419.678.4979 or stop by New Visions Medical to test out some of our bath safety products.

Ask Sarah HeadshotGood Luck!

Sarah at New Visions

Do you have a question you would like to ask me? Please feel free to email me at info@newvisionsmedical.com and I would be happy to help!