Monthly Archives: May 2014

Which Power Mobility Chair is Right for Me?

When one begins to lose mobility while aging at home, a power mobility chair can help someone continue to live an independent lifestyle by allowing them to easily navigate different areas while also carrying items such as bags, groceries, and more. But how do you decide which powered mobility chair is right for you?

Power scooters are a good option for people who can sit upright for long periods of time and have the dexterity and hand strength to steer and operate controls. Scooters also work well if you plan on using the scooter to run errands or go shopping, especially if you buy a “travel” scooter that allows for easy transport.

power scooter home access products aging at home

A power wheelchair, on the other hand, may be your best bet if you need special seating options or if you have limited hand strength or cannot use your hands at all. Power wheelchairs also offer more seating and leg rest options; moreover, they have a smaller turning radius than scooters and can get you closer to a toilet or bathtub. Power wheelchairs are also sturdier and have enhanced safety features, such as the ability to know when you want to make a turn and purposely slow down to a safe turning speed.

Also, consider the type of terrain your power mobility chair will encounter. If you plan on using it to travel around the neighborhood or through grass, you may want to choose a four wheel scooter or a heavy duty scooter, making sure to pay attention to how much ground clearance the vehicle gets. If you can get around your house using a cane or a walker, the aforementioned travel scooter will help you travel outside the house. However, if you have a difficult time getting around your house, power wheelchairs usually have the smallest turning radius and will help you enter rooms and go down narrow hallways.

Once you’ve decided on a power scooter or a power wheelchair, there are still a few considerations before making your final purchase. First, you need to decide how much weight capacity your vehicle will need. Aside from body weight (which may rise as the vehicle is used more often), you’ll need to consider if you’ll be carrying things like an oxygen tank, shopping bags, or even a child on your lap.

You also need to think about where you’ll store the power chair and if you’ll need to transport your chair in a car. A larger size will probably not be able to be disassembled, and it may require a vehicle lift to transport. A travel scooter can easily be broken down and stored, but it may not meet your needs for activities like riding on grass. If you can afford it, multiple power mobility chairs are ideal so that you’re able to travel comfortably in every situation.

The options surrounding choosing a power mobility scooter or chair can be overwhelming, but we at HAP are here to help. Contact us today if you have questions or want help choosing the perfect power mobility chair for you.

How to Install a Bathtub Lift in 7 Easy Steps

How to install a bathtub lift

One of the biggest advantages of a bathtub lift is that it’s very easy to install. When the bathtub lift arrives in the box, it’s already about 95% assembled!

bellavita bathlift

There are only a few steps left for you to complete to ensure that your bathtub works properly, and here they are:

1. Open the bathtub lift box and unpack its contents.

2. With the bathtub lift on a flat surface, take the back portion and move it all the way towards the reclined position. This will prepare it to be locked in place.

3. Attach the upholstery. This is done by either snapping buttons on the upholstery to the bathtub lift or by pressing tabs in that will hold the upholstery in place.

4. Connect the hand control (which also doubles as the battery) to the bathtub lift and hold in the “up” direction until the lift has reached its upper limit.

5. If your bathtub lift has suction cups that are not already installed, install the suction cups now since the seat portion will be out of your way.

6. Bring the bathtub lift back down to its lowest reclined position and lay it down in the tub in a position that maximizes space.

7. Bring the bathtub lift back up towards the top until the side flaps are level with the rim of the tub.

 

Congratulations! You are ready to use your new bathtub lift! Once you have finished bathing, you can remove the controller and charge it in an outlet with the provided charger. Charge the controller between uses, and you’ll be able to enjoy soaking in your bathtub whenever you want, without interference.

If you have more questions about bathtub lifts, contact us today and we’ll gladly help you out.

The Benefits of a Bathtub Lift vs a Walk-In Tub

For an aging adult losing mobility, being able to bathe without help is key to maintaining a sense of independence and privacy. Moreover, a warm bath can help soothe aching muscles and joints and improve health. But when it comes to handicap bathroom solutions, many people are often confused by the difference between walk-in tubs and bath tub lifts.

Walk-in tubs are special tubs that have a door installed on the side so that a senior or someone handicapped can easily open the door and walk into the bathtub without slipping. However, there are many disadvantages that come with a walk-in bath.

First, walk-in baths require professional installation, which often comes at great cost (anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000). Also, using a walk-in bath can be uncomfortable; since you have to enter the tub and close the door before the water is turned on, and wait for the water to drain before exiting, you risk being cold or bathing in a temperature that’s too hot or too cold. Features that remedy this issue (fast-filling faucets, fast-moving drains, and water temperature controls) are often very costly to add on. Finally, unless you live in a retirement community, a walk-in bath will probably devalue your home if you ever decide to sell.

Bathtub lifts, on the other hand, work by carefully lowering the bather to the bottom of the bathtub and are an easy, less expensive alternative to walk-in bathtubs. With weight capacities of up to 375 pounds, bathtub lifts are light, portable, and easy to install. Because you can enter the tub after it’s filled up and leave the bath while there’s still water in the tub, a bathtub lift is also more comfortable than a walk-in bathtub for someone sensitive to temperature changes.

bellavita bathlift

Bathtub lift costs can vary depending on specific models, but they’re generally a fraction of the price of a walk-in bathtub. The seats are comfortable, slip-resistant, and are able to swivel, and reclining positions can be adjusted according to different preferences. The entire design is waterproof (including control unit), and many control units will only allow the seat to lower in the bath if the control has enough charge power left to lift the bathtub out.

When deciding how to adapt your home for an aging adult, you may consider walk-in tubs as an option. However, bathtub lifts are a cheaper, more efficient solution that will help your senior maintain independence. For more information about which bathtub lift is right for you, please contact us.

Aging at Home vs Aging at Nursing Homes

When starting to age, a family is often faced with the decision of whether their loved one should age at home or age at a nursing home. There are many factors to consider while weighing the pros and cons of nursing homes versus in home care, but with the relevant knowledge and information, families can easily make the best choice.

aging at home vs nursing home

Probably the most important consideration for many families will be cost. The cost of aging at home versus aging in a nursing home is night and day. In 2012, a private room in a nursing home cost an average of $7,500 per month. In home care costs, on the other hand, are much lower. Making a few modifications with home care products to allow your senior to age at home costs a fraction of the price that a nursing home would. Potential modifications such as a bathtub lift, stair lift, scooter, wheelchair, or portable ramp can help your senior age comfortably at home for a lower cost.

Many people also worry about the health care at nursing homes compared to aging at home.  Studies have shown that the percentage of nursing homes cited for deficiencies in hand washing hygiene has risen in recent years. Also, when in a nursing home, your senior runs the risk of being the victim of medication errors. They also probably won’t be able to see their favorite physician anymore because usually, the facility has their own assigned physician. Many seniors will value the comfort and familiarity of seeing their longtime doctor, making aging at home a more preferable option.

Finally, you’ll need to consider the social aspect of potentially moving to a nursing home. Depending on the location of the nursing home, your aging adult may feel isolated from their friends, local community, and family. If your senior is also starting to show signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, the unfamiliarity of a nursing home may be very stressful for them. Senior home care will allow them to maintain their normal routine in a comfortable, familiar setting.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to where your aging adult wants to live. Knowing that a nursing home is just one of your aging options and that aging at home can happen with just a few modifications and minimal costs can help your family make a thoughtful, well-informed decision that will be for the best.

If you have further questions about how you can help your senior age comfortably at home, please call us today.