Ask Sarah: Portable Ramps for the Holidays

Dear Sarah,

My mom recently fell and broke her hip, which means she is now confined to a wheelchair, even over the upcoming holiday months. What are your suggestions for the best way to get her around (easily) this holiday season with her wheelchair? She doesn’t want to be a burden, but we also don’t want her to miss out on all of the quality time with her loved ones this holiday season.

Thanks in advance,

Holly in Columbus, Ohio

Hi Holly,

I completely empathize and understand your concern with wanting your mother around for the holidays. Yet, I also understand that lugging a wheelchair around can be a lot of work, especially when carrying presents, food, etc. for your holiday parties. It seems as if helping your mother get in and out of the location (whether it be a family or friend’s home, a hall rented for Christmas, etc.) will be your largest challenge. While you may be able to lift the wheelchair with your mother in it with the help of several strong helpers, the more simple option, and one which may come in handy in the future, is a portable ramp.

Because not all homes (and let’s be honest, most homes in general) are not built with a wheelchair in mind, it is nice to have a portable ramp that can be taken with you and used in any home environment to get you or your loved one safely inside without any hassle.

Some benefits of a portable ramp include:

  • Lightweight, yet strong
  • Can fold up and take with you anywhere
  • Versatile in size and shape
  • May have warranty options
  • Can be split into multiple sections
  • Easy to use and install

Not only can this ramp help your loved one get into their home, but it can also help them with getting in and out of vehicles, etc. At New Visions, we believe that the addition of a portable ramp could greatly help your mother achieve accessibility and safety without jeopardizing your time.

If you would like more information on our portable ramp selection, give us a call today at 419.678.4979 today or visit our products page!

Thanks!

Sarah at New Visions

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How to Keep Your Senior Safe as Winter Approaches

Senior in front of fireAs winter and the holidays approach you think of beautiful snow, cuddling by a fire, and sipping hot chocolate.However, with all the celebration comes great danger with winter weather and holiday festivities. How do you keep you or your aging loved one safe from the weather?

5 Ways to Keep Your Senior Safe During the Winter Season

Avoid Extreme Cold.  Taking a walk during the winter can be invigorating and healthy; there’s nothing like some fresh air to keep you healthy and relaxed.  However, if the temperature is dropping, you may need to rethink that stroll outside and walk at the local YMCA or mall instead. As you age, you become more sensitive to the cold and you are at a greater risk of hypothermia. Keep a close eye on the temperature before you wander outside.

Keep Outside Walkways Clean.  Cleaning off snow and ice can be a chore, but you need to make sure that if grandma and grandpa want to go out and avoid “Cabin Fever,” they can get out safely.Hire someone to clean the sidewalk and driveway regularly during the winter months and give them your number in case they see something out of the ordinary. It is great to have another set of eyes keeping track of our aging loved ones, especially in the winter.

Make Sure Heat Source is Operating Correctly.  To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, makes sure the furnace is functioning properly. Have a qualified heating professional do maintenance on the furnace and venting system. If mom and dad use a space heater on those extra bitter days, make sure it is working properly and that it is stored where it is not a hazard when not in use.

Watch Out for the Holiday Clutter.  You need to keep things in order and remember that the holidays and winter tend to bring more “stuff.” Where do you put the “stuff”? Avoid putting things in their walkway pattern in the house and make sure electrical cords are out of the way to prevent mom or dad from falling.  If they received many new things from the holidays, make sure they are located where they won’t cause a fall.

Keep Seniors Active to Avoid Winter Depression.  Many times when winter sets in, seniors tend to stay home and leave exercise and socialization behind. Don’t let your loved one spend too much time alone. It is not healthy. You need to have them socialize and participate in physical activity in order to stay healthy and not get depressed and lonely. Make sure you involve mom or dad in activities that get them out among friends and family. Also, try to find ways to keep them active so they can enjoy the fun of winter activities safely.

Just recently we had a customer stop in the store to look for a new way to get her mom mobile during the winter. She was concerned she would get depressed if she could not get out and socialize with friends. We suggested one of our scooters to help her mom stay active and mobile during the cold weather. She found one that fit her needs, and now her mom can get around and visit her family and friends rather than staying inside alone during the cold winter months.

Need help with gift ideas for your loved one? We have many products to help your aging loved one. Stop by New Visions in Coldwater and see our variety of products! For a limited time we are offering $50.00 off of lift chairs plus a bonus gift! Come by today and see the new chair models!

5 Ways to Keep Aging Loved Ones’ Spirits High During the Holidays!

Grandmother and granddaughter preparing cookies in the kitchenAs the holidays are approaching, you look forward to the activity and time with loved ones and friends. Holiday time is a time to be thankful for all the gifts and joys in your life. However, as many adults age, the holidays can bring on depression or sadness that makes the holidays less than fulfilling. How do keep the spirits of your aging loved one high during the holiday season?

Here are 5 ways to keep your aging loved one happy and enjoying this festive time of year.

  1. Keep the Expenses Low. It is very fun to give gifts to the ones you love. However, aging adults tend to have a little more limited income, and they stress over the expenses of the holidays. Why not try to help your loved one create a memory book of photos and stories as a gift for their friends and family? You will have fun doing it together, and the expense of the gift is minimal.
  2. Remember Their Schedule. As you do all your planning of activities for the holidays, remember that your loved one might have a strict schedule to keep with medications or rest to stay healthy. Respect their schedule and make sure all the fun and hype does not wear your loved one out.
  3. Encourage Realistic Activities. If mom is 85, she might not want to embark on a 4-hour Black Friday shopping trip. You need to set realistic activities so older loved ones can feel involved but not exhausted and overwhelmed. Maybe taking a short shopping trip and a nice lunch is a better choice. You can even take mom or dad on a drive to see the lights and decoration for the season. Create activities that encourage involvement and are not too tiring.
  4. Keep Them Involved. Remember just because you’re terribly busy, you need to remember to do things that involve your aging loved one. For example, encourage them to go to the craft night at the local library or make some ornaments with grandchildren or friends. These are great activities to keep your aging loved one involved, have fun listening to memories, and doing activities at the same time.
  5. Respect Their Feelings of Loss. Many times the holidays drum up feelings of sadness for the loss of a spouse, friend, or another family member. Many of us have lost someone, and remembering them at the holidays can be full of great memories while also filling our hearts with sadness because they are no longer here. As mom or dad recall memories and get tearful, let them show emotion and listen. Sometimes a kind ear can fix everything.

Holidays are full of activities for family and friends to enjoy together. Remember to be respectful of your aging parents and help them enjoy the holidays with you. Try to help them enjoy the festivities and not get down. Maybe you will even find the perfect gift to keep them comfortable and safe at home while you are at it!

Recently we had a customer come in the store looking for a gift for her mom, who was alone at home. She was doing great health wise, but need some help getting up and down out of chairs. We helped her find the perfect lift chair for her mom to make her holiday more enjoyable and help her be a little more self-sufficient.

Stop by New Visions in Coldwater this holiday season and see the gifts we have for your aging parents. We are offering $50.00 off lift chairs with a bonus gift during the holiday season!