Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: accessible recreation, accessible travel, accessiblity, adventure, amtrak, auto lifts, cerebral palsy, cruise, destination travel, disabled, elderly, escape, freedom shores, mexico, mobility challenged, mobility impaired, musculoskeletal conditions, neurological conditions, portable ramp, rail, recreation, road, senior citizen, suitcase ramp, travel, turning seats, utah, vancouver, wheelchair, Yucatan penninsula
Most Americans have a destination in mind that they would love to explore. Unfortunately, too many Americans feel confined by aches and pains or disability. According to a study by Dr. Liza Lezzoni of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, arthritis and other joint problems, back problems, accidental falls, heart disease, motor vehicle accidents, and chronic lung disease are the primary causes behind adult mobility issues. However, mobility difficulties are not exclusive to the elderly community by any means. Children who endured traumatic injuries or have been diagnosed with neurological or musculoskeletal conditions also face accessibility issues. Discover how today’s medical equipment and tourism programs are enabling the mobility challenged to sightsee in foreign lands or visit cherished yet distant family members.
Scooters or power chairs are a great investment for someone with respiratory or heart problems who enjoys being on the go. If you would love to hit the road but are worried about transporting a scooter or power chair, an auto lift or turning seat may be the perfect solution for you or your loved one.
- Auto lifts and turning seats can be universally fit for any sedan, van, SUV, or pick-up truck and because they are professionally installed into existing drill holes, these automatic mobility solutions can be switched from car to car!
- The super portable suitcase ramp also works as an excellent mobility aid when on the road – roll the wheelchair or scooter out the car and over curbs or other thresholds for increased accessibility.
Ask a 101 Mobility Expert about these multi-faceted travel enhancing options!
Rail – Amtrak
As with any travel plan, time is of the essence! Book reservations well in advance. Amtrak recommends at least 14 days of notice. To prevent anything from slipping through the cracks, call a few days before departure to confirm that all the necessary accommodations will be in place. Amtrak offers the following choices to increase freedom and ease of travel:
- Wheeled mobility device space
- Transfer accessible seats to stow a wheelchair under your seat – added convenience!
- Accessible bedroom accommodations available by reservation
- Train platforms, no problem! Request in advance for use of mobility lifts.
- If you or a loved one requires an oxygen tank, be sure the tank can operate without the use of electrical power supplied onboard for at least 4 hours in the case of a power outage.
- If you or the one you care for requires assistance bathing, using the restroom, dining or other related activities, please make arrangements for companionship.
- Amtrak offers a 15% discount to those traveling with a disability in addition to a caregiver with acceptable documentation.
“…throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
There are accessible travel options out there to make visiting your dream destination a reality!
- Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico – Founded by a US Marine veteran who suffered a spinal cord injury and is now a quadriplegic, this resort is designed to meet the very unique needs of mobility challenged tourist.
- Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort of Utah – Looking for an outdoor adventure? This full service family oriented resort features a variety of adaptable activities including archery and horseback riding.
- African Safari – Hear mighty lions roar and watch elegant gazettes on the African Savannah Accessible Safari Tours, lodging accommodations, and landmarks are all at your fingertips with Access Africa.
- Ski Resorts in Vancouver – These magnificent resorts offer a wide range of amenities including wheelchair accessible playground to watch the kids or grandchildren play and wheelchair friendly shopping centers!
- Cruise – Royal Caribbean Cruise lines provide support and comfortable accommodations for guests with mobility impairments.
Filed under: Uncategorized
by Michelle Seitzer
Granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, shiny wood floors, custom tiling, new roof: these are among the items frequently found on the modern home buyer’s checklist.
Decades ago, when the myriad of seniors currently aging in place (AIP) were house-hunting, it’s unlikely that wide doorways, hand/chair rails, expanded hallways, interior/exterior ramps, and streamlined one-level living quarters were on their checklists. But that’s what they need now, and that’s what their adult children, many of whom are boomers planning for their own present and future care needs, are struggling to provide.
Unaware of the options and frustrated by the seeming impossibility of taking the 19th century farmhouse and making it “senior-friendly” (or just trying to keep up with maintenance), adult children often throw their hands up in defeat, encouraging Mom or Dad to ditch the aging abode in favor of something that’s easier to maintain, and safer for maneuvering. But moving out of a home after a lifetime of living within its walls is no easy task, especially for seniors who have paid off the mortgage years ago. The idea of moving elsewhere, especially in this economy, is unnerving and impractical.
Thankfully, there are solutions.
Enter universal design, an emerging movement that is changing the way homes on the present and future market look as we face the graying of America. Essentially, universal design considers the needs of everyone in the home – and for the long haul – instead of building and remodeling based on a perpetually young, unencumbered, and mobile tenant.
Industry experts are watching this trend in design and remodeling unfold. In this MSN.com article, The National Association of Home Builders said that 75% of remodelers reported getting more requests for AIP projects from customers ages 45 and up. Of those requests, 75% were planning for future needs, and 53% were living with aging parents.
Whether you renovate an entire floor of your home, build an addition (i.e. the mother-in-law suite) or complete several home modifications in stages, it is possible to age in place without moving out.
- Simplify, simplify, simplify: Decluttering, streamlining, and organizing the home is one of the easiest (and most affordable) means for adapting the home. Those boxes of old National Geographic magazines, that dining room table piled with paperwork and bills, the closet that’s inaccessible because it’s full of old clothes and holiday decorations, and overstuffed shelves, drawers & cabinets are not only unattractive, they’re a fall risk, a hazard, an obstacle to efficiency. It doesn’t have to be spring to do some much needed clearing, condensing, and consolidating. And should you or a loved one eventually require a transition to a care facility, the work of downsizing from a multi-bedroom home to a room/apartment will be easier.
- Ramp it up: Installing ramps at the home’s most-used exits/entrances enhances independence and prevents home “imprisonment”. Additionally, stair lifts allow access to a 2nd floor bathroom or bedroom. Learn more about different styles and models of ramps, as well as the installation process, here.
- Let there be light: Lighting can make a significant difference when it comes to preventing falls and easing mobility in the home. On one hand, certain lighting fixtures (like floor lamps, for example) can be dangerous if they have long wires that are exposed/in the walking (tripping) path of the homeowner. Installing additional lights (or windows to let in more natural light) in high-traffic areas and frequently-used rooms makes the home safer – and more attractive.
- Watch where you step: You walk all over it every day but probably don’t give it much thought until your balance or gait is compromised. Flooring in all rooms of the house can easily present a fall risk, as can rugs that are bulky, shift around easily, or have corners that catch on walkers, canes or wheelchairs. For optimal mobility, hard flooring is best.
- Keep things dry in the water closet: In the bathroom, where the majority of fall-related injuries occur, it’s essential to implement non-skid surfaces. Make sure all surfaces (counters, tubs/shower floors, etc.) stay dry. For examples of bath safety improvements and products, click here.
- Lend a hand: Chair rails in hallways, grab bars in the bathroom, and other touch points for safe and supported maneuvering can dramatically reduce the risk of falls and promote independence within the home.
An added bonus? After home modifications have been made to accommodate an aging resident, these features, if done well, can certainly be highlighted as a selling point for future homebuyers (i.e. those young adults who are already thinking about taking care of Mom, Grandpa, or another senior relative). Invest wisely; prepare your home now.
Get more information on AIP adaptations at 101Mobility.com.
Filed under: Uncategorized
A couple of months ago, we received an interesting and slightly desperate phone call. Victor Rich, a military veteran and double amputee, was on the side of the road after a tractor-trailer had just hit him as he was attempting to cross a busy intersection in his power chair. The truck driver stopped for a moment, realized what he had done, and rode off into the sunset to avoid any penalties or inconvenience. Victor was a little banged up, more upset that his chair was destroyed, and was immediately concerned about how he was going to get around. So, he called us first. Before he called 911.
Victor Rich is a Vietnam vet who has become somewhat of a staple around our office. He’s got a quick wit, a sharp tongue, and a loud raspy voice that suggests his breakfast consists of razor blades. We do what we can to help him out with parts for his chair, a cup of coffee, and listen to his stories.
After his frantic call to our office, our Service Manager, Joseph Gray, and Marketing Director, Ben McCoy, loaded the van with a spare manual wheelchair that we had, jumped in, and headed to the scene of the accident. When they arrived, law enforcement was beginning to take their report, and there was Victor – bruised and sore, but no worse for the wear, with plenty of salty language to describe the incident. Ben and Joseph, with the help of a kindly passerby, lifted Victor off of the ground and set him in his new temporary manual wheelchair. He was thankful, but seriously concerned with the loss of his power chair.
As the ambulance hauled Victor away, Joseph and Ben transported the destroyed power chair back to the shop for a closer look. The frame of the chair was bent, and the motor was inoperable, but Joseph thought he could manage something to get Victor back in his wheels. By using spare parts lying around the shop, and fixing what he could of the damaged chair, Joseph managed to assemble a power chair that worked.
Victor’s first destination after his release from the hospital was our office, when he saw the chair that Joseph presented him with, he was more than grateful. His back had suffered using the manual chair, and he was relieved to be out of it. The chair was a patchwork job that certainly wouldn’t last forever, but it worked for now, and Victor didn’t have to manually wheel himself around.
Not long after the incident, 101 Mobility contacted the Veteran’s Administration, filed the necessary paperwork, and was able to obtain a shiny new power chair for Victor Rich. It was like Christmas – a brand new chair. This was an updated model with plenty of room and power for Victor to speed all over town. He was thrilled, and we were glad that we could help to bring a happy ending to the story of the double amputee hit by a tractor-trailer who called us – before calling an ambulance.
Filed under: Uncategorized
It’s been quite a while since we posted, things have been really busy for us here at 101. As of today, we have two franchise locations open and ready for business!
Michel and Andrea Ragland opened the first 101 Mobility franchise in Reading, Pennsylvania in July, 2010. This is a critical part of the country for us to have a presence in, and we are really excited about the Ragland’s potential for incredible success. Formerly in the construction business, the Ragland’s are able to provide high quality home and institutional modifications for mobility, and are sure to enjoy years of success with 101 Mobility.
Our second franchisees, are Janice Gordon and Judy Barnhardt. Janice was formerly a successful sales representative with us, and decided that owning her own 101 Mobility franchise business would open the door to a higher level of achievement. Located in Easley, South Carolina, Janice and Judy will be serving the northwestern part of the state, as well as parts of Northeastern Georgia.
We are thrilled to welcome these new franchisees to the 101 Mobility family, and look forward to many years of success and accomplishment.
Could a 101 Mobility franchise be right for you? Check out: www.101MobilityFranchise.com and find out!
Filed under: Uncategorized
Finally – in this modern society where ADA regulations are commonplace in virtually all walks of life; and through awareness and advancement, people with disabilities are able to maneuver around most anywhere – Continental Airlines, one of the major commercial airline companies, gets with the program.
Despite DOT regulations being initially adopted in 1986, commercial airlines have been the last holdouts for complying with disability access regulations, and simply being compassionate and user-friendly for people with special needs. Research shows that 30%; or 9.4 million of adults with disabilities traveled by air in 2007.
In our last issue, we featured the story of Sally O’Neill who is petitioning the airline industry to create a more disability-friendly environment so that people with physical impairments can utilize their mobility devices such as wheelchairs onboard an aircraft; as well as other special needs issues.
In 2008, Continental formed the Customers with Disabilities Advisory Board (CDAB), led by Bill Burnell, Continental’s manager of Customer First & Regulatory Program.
The board’s main goal was to improve the overall airline experience for people with disabilities. What’s most noteworthy, is that the board itself is made up of different people with a variety of physical disabilities. What better way to truly address the real needs that people with physical impairments have regarding airline travel?
Last year, Burnell spoke at ILRU (Independent Living Research Utilization). He explains the history of the DOT regulation:
“The Schedule Regulation is sometimes referred to as the Air Carrier Access Act or the ACAA. And you’ll also hear it referred to as DOT Part 382 or just simply 382.
Just to give you some background on the regulation itself, the original Air Carrier Access Act was enacted back in 1986 after quite an exhaustive rule-making process and some challenges by the disability community and the airlines, the final rule was put into law in March of 1990. So we’ve had the current law in existence now for about 19 years.”
As time went on, changes in the industry required the rules to be revised:
“So as the regulation was rewritten, it had to take all these types of things into consideration — the airline procedural changes, the technology advances, the operational changes, and then all the changes in the environment itself. So they rewrote the entire ruling.
But it’s actually a good thing if you stop to think about it. The regulation is very, very thought out. It covers pretty much everything that a customer may face on board the aircraft and in an airport environment. So it’s a good thing for the airline. It’s a good thing for the consumer.”
The new rules to the ACAA went into effect May 13, 2009, but Continental was driven to not only be ahead of the curve, but go above and beyond the current regulations. One example is on international flights, where commercial airliners commonly do what is called “code share”, Continental will adhere to the DOT regulations, even on aircraft that is not their own within international and foreign airspace. Code share is simply when a customer buys a international flight to an airport in which Continental doesn’t directly serve, they will partner with an airline that does, and so the customer will change flights somewhere to board a non-Continental flight to their final destination. However, their ticket still reads Continental all the way. Traditionally, once a passenger left a domestic air carrier, and boarded an international airliner in foreign airspace, all DOT regulations were relinquished. Continental’s new commitment is to adhere to the regulations and be held responsible for them in all code share situations.
In addition, Continental offers a section on their web site devoted to disseminating pertinent travel information to customers with disabilities. Basically, Continental accepts all types of mobility equipment on any flight, even if they have to make special arrangements just for one particular case. They do ask that customers with needs such as these call 48 hours in advance, and arrive one hour early for check-in.
Continental Airlines has put their money where their mouth is when it comes to promising disability-friendly air travel for their customers. From the formation of their CDAB Advisory Board comprised of several individuals with physical disabilities; their commitment to exceeding federal regulation for the maximum comfort of their passengers; to their entire company focus being redefined to include disabled customers as among their most valuable – Continental has dedicated themselves to making improvements to their airport services, in-flight, marketing, facilities, reservations, interior engineering, aircraft acquisitions, and vendor services departments in order to have the ability to serve all customers with convenience, dignity, and respect – regardless of their physical condition.
Working Together to Improve Air Travel of Passengers with Disabilities, collected via the internet, http://www.bcm.edu/ilru/html/training/webcasts/handouts/2009/04-01-DBTAC-BB/Powerpoint.pdf
Air Carrier Access Act Update and Impending Changes, transcript collected via the internet, http://www.bcm.edu/ilru/html/training/webcasts/archive/2009/04-01-DBTAC-BB.html
Customer Wheelchair Equipment, obtained from Continental.com web site, http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/travel/specialneeds/disabilities/custwheelchair.aspx
Filed under: Uncategorized
The Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant can be used for any home improvement necessary for the continuation of treatment or for disability access to the home and essential lavatory and sanitary facilities. Among the improvements a HISA Grant will cover are:
- Allowing entrance or exit from veteran’s home;
- Improving access for use of essential lavatory and sanitary facilities;
- Improving access to kitchen and bathroom counters;
- Handrails and grab rails;
- Lowered Electrical outlets and switches;
- Improving paths or driveways;
- Improving plumbing and electrical work for dialysis patients
A HISA grant is available to veterans who have received a medical determination indicating that improvements and structural alterations are necessary or appropriate for the effective and economical treatment of a disability. A veteran may receive both a HISA grant and either a Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grant (below) or a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant (below).
Home improvement benefits up to $4,100 are available to veterans with a service-connected disability, and up to $1,200 is available to veterans with non-service-related disabilities.
To apply, the veteran must first have a prescription from a VA or a fee-basis physician. This must include:
- Specific items required;
- The diagnosis with medical justification;
- The veteran’s name, address, SSN, and phone number(s);
In addition, a list of other items regarding the exact work to be completed, costs, and site drawings must be compiled and submitted as well.
101 Mobility is glad to help in this process from start to finish. We are here to make sure that you get the modifications and the equipment that you need in order to live a more comfortable and accessible life.
Call us today at 1.888.236.6917 or visit us at: www.101Mobility.com and let us help get you the assistance you need without any hassle or inconvenience to you.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: accessibility, ADA, airline, cerebral palsy, disability, handicapped
With all of the advances in equality in accessibility, it seems the airline industry may have some catching up to do. Read a young woman’s plea in her own words, and find out how you can join in on the effort:
If you want to get involved, here is Sally’s Petition:
We petition the airline industry to better accommodate travelers who use wheelchairs. We propose that the first seat in the first row of the airplane be removable with the capability to have tie downs inserted when needed to accommodate a wheelchair, or that the airlines develop a solution to this urgent need.
For more information, or to sign the petition, please visit the following website: www.acommunityforeveryone.org.
Family Support Director
United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon
& SW Washington
11731 NE Glenn Widing Drive
Portland, OR 97220