Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How to Decorate Wheelchairs and Scooters for the Holidays

Perhaps you’re headed to a holiday party, or maybe you’re just really in the spirit of the season, and you want to decorate your chair or scooter to fit a holiday theme. Luckily, there are tons of options for decorating your device, from the understated subtleties to the downright showstoppers. It’s easy to spread cheer from your chair. Read on to see our suggestions for creating a holiday masterpiece.

Deck the Chair with Boughs of Holly

Attach your favorite holiday greenery to your chair. We suggest holly, poinsettias, garland, or whatever else puts you in the Christmas mood. Use fake flowers for convenience, or if you want to enjoy the true texture and smell of holiday plants, attach a plastic florist’s water tube to your wheelchair hand grip or arm frame and place the plant inside. You can find these water tubes online, at craft stores or at a florist shop. If you’re feeling lucky, maybe use a few coat hangers to fashion a stand for some mistletoe.

Light Up the Night


Nothing says holiday cheer like Christmas lights. Grab some battery operated lights online, at your local Walmart, or at any hardware store and wrap them around your chair to create a glowing masterpiece. Customize the color scheme to your liking and consider adding some blinking lights that will really dazzle. You can even light up your wheels with specially-made LED lights for wheelchairs, available online and at major superstores (Be careful using regular Christmas lights around wheels – these can tangle and cause a real headache).  


Add Stickers & Patches

Sticker sheets made especially for the holidays are everywhere at this time of year and make a super cheap option for decorating your chair. Stickers work great for decorating the spokes of your wheels, side guards or frame and come in tons of styles, from glitter to scratch & sniff to three-dimensional. If stickers aren’t your thing, sewing or ironing a patch on to the back of your chair is an easy and inexpensive way to add some holiday flair. CafePress has a huge selection of holiday patches to choose from and even make customizable patches with your choice of text and design.

Santa…is that you?

If you’re feeling bold, crafty, and want to show up to your next event decked out in holiday cheer, become Saint Nick yourself and transform your chair into Santa’s sleigh. Find a box that is large enough to cover your chair and outline a sleigh shape on either side. Cut out these shapes and paint (we recommend red spray paint) red. Let it dry, then add a gold trim around the edges and personalize it to look like Santa’s ride. Attach to both sides of the sleigh (and make sure the cardboard doesn’t drag along the ground or against the wheels) and voila! You’ve got St. Nick’s ride to cruise around in for the night. Keep in mind that with some design tweaks, this technique can also be used to make Elsa’s sleigh for Frozen fans. This process will take a few hours and some work, but overall it’s a simple process that will produce a breathtaking result. Check out Pinterest for photos and design ideas!


While those are just a few of our favorite ways to decorate your wheelchair or scooter for the holidays, the possibilities are truly endless. Got an idea we didn’t mention? Post it in the comments and show us how you let your creativity shine this holiday season! 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Techiest Wheelchairs: Five Wheelchairs of the Future

Wheelchairs have been around for a long time. Since their invention, they have been a great help to those with limited mobility. However, as our world has become more connected and technologically savvy, it seems like the basic formula for a wheelchair hasn’t really changed. If we live in the 21st century, the most connected time humans have ever lived in, shouldn’t we have wheelchairs that match? Below are some of our picks for what we think are the wheelchairs of the future. 

Customizable Wheelchairs 

In today’s world, we can customize almost everything, from how our mobile phones look to what toppings go on our burrito bowls. However, in the future, customization is not (and should not) be limited to cell phones and take out food. There are many companies around today that will customize a wheelchair to your liking. For some, customization just means a pop of color or a fun stick-on design, for others, it means turning your wheelchair into a full-blown crime fighting, terrain conquering, flame throwing chariot like some of these amazing wheelchairs

Off-roading Wheelchairs

If you love taking the road less traveled, you’re going to love this wheelchair made for taking on the rough terrain of off-roading. This wheelchair was engineered to be functional as a regular everyday mobility aid, but can also take on whatever you put it through whether in the elements or on the trail. Beyond the cool factor of being built like a tank, these chairs are a very practical solution for wheelchair users who still enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities that might take you off the beaten path. With all the access it gives you to such a wide range of activities outside of the everyday, its clear to see why a wheelchair like this belongs in the 21st century. 

All Wheel Drive Wheelchairs 

Wouldn’t it be great if wheelchairs had a slightly larger range of motion beyond just forwards and backwards. Well, with this concept wheelchair out of Japan, you’ll be able to go forwards, backwards, side to side, as well as any direction in between. Obviously this wheelchair looks super cool and techy, but at a practical level, this wheelchair makes the user even more independent in how they move, not needing any outside help to re-orient or change direction. For that, we think this wheelchair is pretty cool. 

Parenting Wheelchair 

Raising kids is hard, and it can be even harder when you have limited mobility. Getting your kids out of the house and active when you have a wheelchair can be a daunting task that can leave both and your kids exhausted. However, with this concept tandem wheelchair, you and your baby can enjoy the outdoors together without fear of losing control of your chair or their stroller. This chair may not have any wiring or fun buttons, but it does make parenting a whole lot easier, and for that we think this wheelchair is definitely a wheelchair of the future. 

The Wheelchair to End All Wheelchairs 

Wheelchairs are a great aid to mobility, but what if there was a wheelchair out there that could literally get rid of the need to own a wheelchair. Well, now there is. This transforming wheelchair takes mobility to entirely new level by letting the user transform the wheelchair from seated to upright standing. We can’t even imagine what it must be like to use this amazing piece of technology, especially if you’ve been using traditional wheelchairs for a while that don’t allow you to be upright during use. Not only does this allow greater mobility, but being able to stand up allows for a greater range of tasks that can be completed, as this chair can also be operated hands-free. 

Some of these wheelchairs might still need a little work before they are ready for practical everyday use, but seeing them does give a lot of hope to where wheelchair technology is going.  Fortunately, with our selection of wheelchairs, you can make the future now and reclaim your mobility. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ways You Can Live an Active Life with Limited Mobility

Living a life of limited mobility can be a challenge and a daily struggle. Sometimes it can feel like a battle just to get out of the house and experience the world because of how much work it takes to get out. Nobody really seems to understand what it is like. However, we are here to tell you that you can absolutely live a happy and healthy active life even with limited mobility. With these small tips, you are sure to be living your best and most enjoyable life, full of great friends and new experiences. 


Exercise

You are probably aware that there are plenty of exercises for people with limited mobility. But I’m sure you’ve wondered how these exercises are beneficial towards helping you actually get out of the house and experience the world. While exercise and athletic activities have countless benefits for your health, they also play a huge role in your mood. Exercise has been known to increase the release of feel good chemicals in your brain that lead to feeling like you have more energy and a better mood. The better your mood is throughout the day, the happier you are likely to be and the more likely you are to feel up to getting our and experiencing the world.

Crafting

Another great mood booster, giving yourself some sort of creative outlet is another great way you can live a happy and active life outside of the house with limited mobility. While it is great to take up some sort of craft or creative outlet at home, you should try turning this into a communal experience. Many places throughout the country from community centers to craft stores offer classes on how you can get better at your craft and groups that meet to do their craft together. While taking up a creative outlet is a great way to improve your mood, working on this craft outside of the house is a great way to make new friends who also enjoy this craft.


Electric Wheelchairs and Other Mobility Aids

While improving your overall morale is a great way to gather up the motivation to get out and experience the world, at the end of the day it all comes down to having the right equipment to make sure you can actually leave the house. Fortunately, there are so many options available in the form of electric wheelchairs and other mobility aids to make sure that leaving your home to get out and experience the world is as simple and easy as possible. Even better, almost every building and public space these days has been built with universal design in mind, meaning that these places are accessible to everybody, regardless of mobility.


As you can see from the tips above, having limited mobility is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to live an active and happy life. Those of us with limited mobility may face a few extra challenged in our day to day lives, but these are just things that we get to overcome and triumph over at the end of the day. Additionally, we are always here to help you achieve your mobility goals.



Friday, September 22, 2017

Product Spotlight: Invacare 3-Position Deluxe Geri-Chair Recliner

Invacare Deluxe 3-position wheelchair recliner
If you require a wheelchair to get around, you understand the importance of independence and self-reliance. However, you also understand how uncomfortable a conventional wheelchair can be. Because wheelchairs have such a limited range of configurations for comfort, a sore back or stiff nick is an unfortunate yet all too common experience for users. No wheelchair should sacrifice your comfort and enjoyment for ease of mobility.
Enter Invacare with their new three-position recliner, The Deluxe Geri-Chair.


Benefits of the Invacare Deluxe Recliner
More than a simple wheelchair, this product has been specifically designed with the comfort and independence of the user in mind. The ergonomically designed soft seating supports your back and relieves the discomfort associated with sitting upright in a wheelchair for an extended period of time. Further, the three available configurations—sitting, elevated leg, and full recline—are easy to attain for the user without requiring any outside help. Gone are the days of having to ask a friend or loved one to assist you in getting comfortable in your chair.

Along with comfort, Invacare has also taken every step to ensure the safety of the user as well as the longevity of the device itself. Whether it is the fire retardant materials used to build the chair, the rust resistant metal, or the woven padding to reduce the chance of bottoming out, this chair is an investment in both your comfort and safety. Paired with a three year warranty for the chair and a one year warranty for the upholstery and gas cylinders, this is also sure to be an investment that will last for many years to come.

Unlike many conventional wheelchairs, the Invacare recliner is semi-customizable! This chair is available in three different colors—Blueridge, Jade, and Rosewood. Whether you prefer blues, greens or reds, Invacare provides a way for you to show off your personal style with your mobility device.

So whether you are looking to replace your day-to-day wheelchair or are simply looking for a more comfortable seated experience at home, Invacare is here to address your mobility needs. Because at the end of the day, we all know that it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, and if your wheelchair prevents you from fully enjoying the independence of that journey, then it isn’t really worth the trouble.

Have you used the Invacare Deluxe Geri-Chair Recliner? Tell us how you liked it in the comments!




Friday, August 25, 2017

5 Easy Summer Workouts for People with Limited Mobility


Living with the challenges of limited mobility, especially if you’re wheelchair bound for most of the day, can easily take a toll on your mental health. Your physical condition may have caused you to give up some of the activities or a certain lifestyle you once enjoyed, and you may therefore find yourself spending more and more time indoors. But don’t let your age, injury or disability hinder you from embracing every ounce of opportunity for happiness in your life!

Soaking up at least a little bit of sunshine each day can provide major mood-lifting benefits, since sunlight exposure boosts serotonin in the brain. So for the rest of this summer, try some of these 5 workouts for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility outdoors!

 1.  Aqua Jogging
Water exercises are highly recommended for those with limited mobility,because water’s buoyancy supports the body and its natural resistance offers a gentle workout without causing too much strain on your joints and muscles. One of the simpler water exercises is aqua jogging or pool walking; just walk back and forth in the shallow end of the pool to boost your cardio. Try walking faster over time or adding some light hand or foot weights to the workout to increase resistance and build strength.
If you’re having trouble standing in the pool, you can move closer to knee-deep water and walk or crawl with your hands. This should release more of the weight off your legs. For those with disabilities, you will want to spend some time practicing moving from the wheelchair to the pool, which is made easier with the use of a swimming pool lift

2.    Yoga 

Don’t be too quick to call us crazy on this one! Yoga doesn’t always have to involve jaw-dropping body contortions. It can relieve a lot of the stiffness and discomfort caused by limited mobility, while offering other benefits like improved flexibility, increased strength and improved mental wellness.

Quite a few yoga moves can actually be done without even leaving your wheelchair. Cat and cow pose will stretch your back and open up your chest; a side stretch is great for your obliques and lats; and forward bend stretches out your lower back, hips and hamstrings. You can check out these wheelchair yoga moves here. Take it a step further and move your practice outside to drink up some sunshine at the same time!

3.    Wheelchair Hiking

While avoiding rough and difficult trails is a given, hiking the great outdoors is 100% possible and encouraged even with limited mobility. Research and get more information from the State and Federal parks around you; most of them should be able to show you all the trails that are fully ADA-accessible and the type of terrain you can expect. Make sure to take a friend or go in a group for added safety and good conversation!

4.    Wheelchair Sports

If wheelchair bound exercises that require more than one person are more your speed, consider joining a wheelchair sports team in your local area. These days, almost every popular sport, including basketball, tennis and badminton, has been adapted with rules and regulations specifically fit for those with mobility issues. Adaptive sports not only help you stay physically fit in an interactive environment but also alleviate anxiety and depression, build self-esteem and gain new friendships.

If wheelchair bound exercises that require more than one person are more your speed, consider joining a wheelchair sports team in your local area. These days, almost every popular sport, including basketball, tennis and badminton, has been adapted with rules and regulations specifically fit for those with mobility issues. Adaptive sports not only help you stay physically fit in an interactive environment but also alleviate anxiety and depression, build self-esteem and gain new friendships.

5.    Travel 

This last one isn’t really a workout, but it’s a summer activity that can’t be ignored. Just because you’re confined to a wheelchair doesn’t mean you’re confined to limited experiences. Feed your adventurous soul and see the world! Yes, it will take more research and preparation for you than most, but it’s well worth it to cross even just a few things off your bucket list.

For more detailed posts about traveling with limited mobility, check out some of our previous blog posts: “Air Travel Tips for Wheelchair Users” and “6 Unforgettable Wheelchair-Accessible Destinations Around the World.”

Keep in mind that most of these activities are cardio related, but you can easily take resistance bands and dumbbells outdoors to increase your strength and resistance training while enjoying the sunshine! Don’t see any of your favorite wheelchair summer activities on our list? Share yours in the comments below!




Thursday, July 27, 2017

Product Spotlight: Top End Excelerator XLT Hand Cycle


Summer is undeniably one of the best times to spend your days outside. Unfortunately, many people with limited mobility find themselves cooped up in their homes as their friends and family unwind in the warm, sunny weather, uninhibited by a wheelchair or other medical support devices. Luckily for you, the Invacare Top End Excelerator XLT Hand Cycle gives you the ability to enjoy the great outdoors like never before!  Expertly designed with a 6061 T-6 oval tube aluminum frame, adjustable height, seat position and footrest crank system and top-grade safety straps, the Top End Excelerator XLT Hand Cycle is unlike any other model on the market.

Weighing only 35 pounds, this specially engineered wheelchair is perfect for those who like to explore. Whether you’re speeding down a lengthy trail or taking a relaxing stroll through a forest path, this wheelchair will allow you to experience all the wonders the natural world has in store without having to be encumbered by a rickety, troublesome wheelchair. Featuring thick 26” x 1” high-pressure clincher tires, the Top End Excelerator XLT cycle is extremely durable and is capable of withstanding a variety of outdoor terrains. From pebbly beaches to rocky roads, you are able to travel safely with ease wherever your travels may take you! 

The XLT wheelchair also includes a reverse activated drum and locking parking brake, which is mounted on the right side of the seat frame. This brake allows users to stop anywhere and enjoy the scenic views around them! This model also reaches speeds up to 20 mph and has an impressive turning radius, making maneuvering the cycle a much simpler task. The XLT hand cycle allows for 18’ for 360-degree turns and 12’ for 3-point turns. With such a wide range of mobility, going on thrilling adventures in a hand cycle has never been easier. Gone are the days of worrying whether or not your wheelchair will get in the way of your summertime adventures. Boasting innovative, top-of-the-line technologies, the Top End Excelerator hand cycle is perfect for those who enjoy the thrill of adventurous travel but still want to remain safe and secure while doing so.

Sit in a comfortable recumbent position as you ride alongside your friends and family, and experience the summer as it should be: by having fun in the sun! If you are looking for a great way to exercise, cross-train or simply have fun, the Top End Excelerator XLT is the hand cycle for you! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

6 Unforgettable Wheelchair-Accessible Destinations Around the World

Traveling the world opens doors to different cultures, new experiences, and most importantly—fun! We firmly believe that travel should be enjoyed by everyone—no matter what their age or level of mobility. This notion makes the access to accommodating travel information more vital than ever. As travel begins to become one of the world’s biggest industries, tour groups and other popular vacation destinations are becoming more conscious of those who suffer from limited mobility. Don’t let inaccessible travel destinations and attractions get you down. Instead, start packing your bags and consider heading to one of the wheelchair accessible destinations listed below! 

Playa del Carmen in Mexico / travelyucatan.com

1. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Just an hour away from Cancun International Airport lays Playa Del Carmen, a beautiful ocean-side town that boasts relaxing beaches, beautiful vistas, and exceptional Mexican food! The town is full of accessible hotels and beaches, making it an ideal vacation spot for beach bums and adventure seeks alike! All major tourist destinations in Playa Del Carmen are conveniently located in walking distance of each other, which means you won’t have to worry about taking long hauls from the beach to your hotel room! Many resorts and businesses in this destination offer adaptive swimming equipment for wheelchair users. They can go snorkeling and check out all the indigenous sea life without missing out! The main attraction, however, is the wheelchair accessible Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá and Tulum. These ruins give visitors a rare chance to get close up the monuments and ornate structures that date thousands of years back! 

Sicily, Italy - onebigphoto.com


2. Sicily, Italy

Italy may not be the first vacation destination that comes to mind when thinking about wheelchair-accessible travel, but the city is actually perfect for those with limited mobility and adventure seekers alike! Sicily is home to a tactile museum and Europe’s only sensorial botanic garden, making it an exciting and engaging destination for those with disabilities! Looking for more of an adventure? No worries! The city also features Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna, which is partially accessible to those in wheelchairs. Enjoy scenic views, take in Italy’s vibrant culture and taste traditional European cuisine as you experience a truly unforgettable Italian getaway! 

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Australia.com
3. Melbourne, Australia

Pack your bags for an exciting trip “down under!” Full of sprawling beaches, beautiful downtown views and a bunch of tourist attractions, Melbourne, Australia boasts one of the most accommodating and accessible public transport systems in the entire world. Melbourne features a compact city center that makes travel extremely easy for those with disabilities. Seeking an adventure like no other? Try floating 2500 feet above the city’s skyline with Global Ballooning’s disability-friendly hot air balloon rides. You can also explore a wide selection of wheelchair-friendly restaurants, scenic beaches, zoos and tourist hot-spots. Melbourne has something for everyone and is a destination you won’t soon forget! 

San Diego Harbor - hilton.com


4. San Diego, California
California is packed with gorgeous beaches, beautiful boardwalks and exciting night life activities. San Diego is no exception and is widely considered one of the most accessible cities in California! The city itself is laid out in a classic grid system. It’s flat and has a fully-accessible trolley system that runs through all parts of the city. Ocean lovers are able to enjoy a variety of wheelchair accessible beaches, such as La Jolla Shores, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach! All of the beaches listed are specially designed to cover sand and harsh terrain that impede wheelchair mobility. Traveling with kids? In less than an hour, you can take a trip up north to Legoland, a Lego-themed amusement park in Carlsbad, CA. This park is completely wheelchair accessible and an excellent choice for children or those who are young at heart!

5. San Antonio, Texas 

The Alamo in San Antonio - history.com
San Antonio is perhaps Texas' most historic city. Featuring the Alamo and the equally famous River Walk, San Antonio has made its way into the hearts of tourists both within Texas and across the country. Even sidewalks and wheelchair accessible buildings make this city a must-see for all people with limited mobility. This Texan city is especially a favorite among children, as it features Morgan’s Wonderland, a 25-acre theme park that was specially designed for those with special-needs and physical handicaps. The park offers more than 30 accessible rides, a music garden and a sensory village, making it unlike any other amusement park in the country. The park is also currently in the midst of constructing an accessible water park, which is expected to open this year! 


Sunset in Vienna, Austrial - lonelyplanet.com


6. Vienna, Austria

Steeped in rich history and widely recognized for its amazing architecture, Vienna is a city that has become an epicenter of European culture. Unlike many of its urban counterparts, Vienna’s cobblestone streets have been removed and completely refurbished, making travel tremendously easier for those in wheelchairs. The city is both flat and compact, making most central shops and cafés fully accessible for all tourists. Getting around the city is also fairly simple. There are several working elevators that go to the metro and the subway itself consists of low floor trams.

Love history? It’s nearly impossible to visit Vienna without going to one of their world-renowned museums. Luckily for you, nearly all museums and tourist hot spots are equipped with ramps and elevators!

Never let your wheelchair get in between you and amazing travel opportunities! The world is your oyster. Travel to faraway lands and open doors to new experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime! Did we forget to mention your favorite wheelchair-friendly tourist destination? Share your go-to vacation spot in the comments section below!