Friday, January 11, 2019

Planning for Big Ticket Items

Investing in the right mobility equipment can make a world of difference in your daily life. There’s nothing like having a high-quality power chair or scooter with appropriate seating and features to make your life a thousand times easier. Once you reach a certain point in your life, even the smallest of tasks can seem like a hassle. It is important that you invest in the mobility equipment that is best suited for both your lifestyle and your needs. These items are a necessity to go about your daily life, but they can also be expensive.

Start Small: Your purchase may seem more manageable if you divide its price into a monthly, weekly or daily savings plan. Saving just $5 a day or $35 a week can help you save $150 a month, which eventually turns into $1,800 a year. If you receive your income biweekly, you can opt to have a certain amount automatically withdrawn from your checking account, which will help you buy the item you want in no time.

Finance Options: This may not be your first option or initially your most desired one, but it is definitely the most convenient and works for a lot of people on fixed incomes. At PHC Online, we understand that sometimes money can be tight, which is why we offer a couple of different practical financing options for our customers. We offer 12- to 24-month payment plans for larger items ranging in the $300-$5,00 price range. Although you may prefer to purchase an item outright, this is a luxury you may not be able to afford. Visa and Mastercard can be paid over time. Our monthly payment plans let you place your order for convenient and practical mobility equipment today.

Cut Down Temporarily: We hardly notice $5 spent here and there, but if you spend the same amount consistently, it can really add up. When was the last time you spent that on a latte, or an appetizer at your favorite restaurant? Cut out the little things that you can live without for a moment; your future self will thank you for making a small sacrifice.

Reduce Your Bills: Find ways to save a few dollars here and there by calling your cable, internet and insurance providers to see if you can get a better rate. Who knows, you might be able to save an extra $20-$50, which you can now send directly to your savings each month.

Place It on a Credit Card: It seems like the obvious thing to do, but don’t place your big-ticket item on one of your current cards; instead, apply for a new one. Many credit cards don’t charge interest to new customers in the first six months or offer double the points or cash back when you spend a certain amount in the first three months. Use your credit card to pay some bills and then pay it off. This will help you get enough reward money or points to use toward your purchase.

Don’t let a price tag prevent you from purchasing the mobility or respiratory equipment you need to carry on with your daily tasks. If all else fails and you find yourself unable to save money and need a replacement wheelchair or respiratory tool, our finance options for big-ticket items may be the most convenient choice for you. At PHC Online, we have plenty of options that can make your life a whole lot easier now.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gifting on a Budget

As the holiday season approaches, some may find themselves strapped for cash since
they’re living on a limited income or dealing with medical bills and medical expenses.
While social norms stress the importance of gifts, you can remain budget-conscious while
giving quality presents. Don’t let the holiday season stress you out - we’re here to help.
Here are some of our favorite ways to gift on a budget.

1. Make a List

Don’t approach the holiday season blindly. Think ahead. Make a list of all the friends and
family that you plan to shop for this holiday season. Write down their interests so you’re
not searching for a gift idea blindly. Having a general idea of what they like or what’s
important to them can make gifting easier.

2. Capitalize on Sales and Discounts
There are hundreds of sales happening all season long, starting early or starting late.
Most of the time, you can find gifts at a discounted price, especially with last-minute sales a few days before Christmas. Don’t feel the need to settle, and our next point will tell you why.

3. Research and Price Compare
Various places can sell the same thing, so use your resources. Do your research on
sales and price discounts. Look into store policies - some places will price match their competitors so you can get an even better deal on items you’re searching for.

4. Make a Gift

Sometimes the best gifts are handmade. If you’re an older family member living off a
limited income, share photos and stories with your family. Gift something that will keep on
giving: your knowledge and experience. Imagine this - your granddaughter loves to sew,
and lucky for her, you grew up sewing. Write her a personalized and sentimental book
and fill it with old photos of garments you’ve sewn. Talk about tips and tricks you’ve
learned to perfect a stitch or attach sleeves. This idea can be applied to various subjects
such as cooking and gardening. The possibilities here are endless. If telling a story is too
time consuming, share or create a photo album as a gift to your family of the important
moments in your life. Pass down your memories, share your wisdom, and enrich
your connection to your family.

5. Sometimes Less Is More
You shouldn’t feel the burden of trying to give gifts during the holiday. Think small but
think quality. Have grandkids or your own kids you need to get presents for? Don’t
worry! Put together a small goodie basket of their favorite things. For example, if you know your grandkids love to roast s’mores, put together a gift basket of graham
crackers, marshmallows and mini chocolate bars - this will cost you around $5. Maybe
they like to draw too? Add in a small sketch pad and some crayons, which you can always find at craft stores for a decent price, and they usually offer coupons with a
nice percentage off. For your grown children, offer a handmade coupon to watch their
kids and put together a basket of movie snacks, a bag of popcorn and a giftcard to
the movies for $10 or so. Complete the present with a thoughtful letter saying you want to help watch the kids so they can spend quality time together and have a date night - they’ll love the thoughtfulness of your gift. They get a date night, and you get quality time with your grandkids; it’s a win-win.

6. Stick to a budget
Don’t break the bank. Stick to what you can afford. Your friends and family won’t love you
any less because you can’t afford the $200 shoes they want. It’s truly the thought that
counts. Remember that when the holidays are over, you need to be able to sustain a living,
so stick to what you can afford and don’t be afraid to give small but meaningful presents
this holiday season.

The holiday season is about more than just gift giving, and it’s not a competition to see
who can spend the most money to prove how much they love their friends and family.
Trust what you know about the people nearest and dearest to your heart, give them
thoughtful, quality, handmade gifts at a price you can afford that doesn’t break the
bank and blow your budget.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Traveling on a Budget During the Holidays

One of the major perks of retirement is finally having the time and flexibility to travel. But with the holidays approaching, traveling can get expensive. Long layovers can save you money but are exhausting, especially when you’re older and hostels or cheap hotels just aren’t an option for you anymore. You might feel like you can no longer do the same things you used to do to save yourself some money, but it is actually the exact opposite. Traveling during the holidays doesn’t have to be expensive when you’re older. Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of your money while being mindful of any accommodations you might need. First, let’s talk about preserving your wallet.

THE major perk of traveling when you are older is that you can finally take advantage of senior discounts. Airlines, hotels, car rentals, cruises and even tour agencies all offer discounts exclusively for senior citizens. Even if the booking site doesn’t mention senior discounts on the page, call anyway to ask. Often the senior discount is offered to anyone 50+, which gives you plenty of time to use your discount. And don’t forget that the senior discount may not be the best possible discount you can obtain. If you are 50+, there are certain memberships that you can purchase that offer greater discounts exclusively for you.

An AARP membership is well worth the $16 per year, and you can often obtain a higher discount through this membership than by requesting a senior citizen discount. Plus, AARP offers discounts on plenty of items such as groceries, shopping, health, wellness, restaurants and more. You can use your AARP member benefits for your trip so that the trip preparation and dining doesn’t cost you a pretty penny.

Your senior discount isn’t the only savings you can take advantage of. You can also use travel sites and travel points to find the best possible deal to save even more money. There are plenty of travel sites like Kayak and Expedia that will do the work for you if you prefer not to browse through every single airline, hotel and car rental site individually to find the best deals. These sites often offer discounts when you book all three services through them.

The good travel cards usually require a high credit score, so why not take advantage of the fact that you have been perfecting this score for a while now? Most major airlines offer their own travel card to earn points that you can redeem through them or any allied airline if you plan to travel abroad. However, it may be best to obtain a travel card independent of the airline since your preferred airline may not always offer the best discounts. Here is a list of good travel cards, many of which include sign-up specials. The best way to accumulate travel points is by paying all of your major bills with your credit card, followed by a subsequent payment to your credit card from your bank account. It may be an extra step, but it will save you a lot of money in the end.

Buy your flights as early as possible. If you know your grandkids will more than likely be part of a cute dance recital for Christmas next year, you might want to try and book your flight already. The general rule of thumb is to book a flight four to six weeks in advance for the best possible pricing - that is, unless you are traveling for the holidays - so plan your trip as early as possible. 

This might not seem like your ideal situation. But if you are like most people traveling during the holidays, odds are you will head back home almost immediately after Christmas or Thanksgiving. So why not just head home a little earlier? Not only will you avoid all of the crowds and commotion at the airport, but you will also get significantly better pricing. If you prefer to travel early, you can also catch the first flight out and get to your loved ones just in time for the turkey dinner.

Planning ahead is the essential tip for any kind of travel. Make an item checklist and a tentative itinerary and call ahead. Especially if you require treatment of any sort, it is imperative that you make a checklist of all the items you will be needing and pack an essentials bag. If you plan on being a little more adventurous and taking a trip with your loved ones for the holidays, make an itinerary with enough scheduled rest breaks. This is especially important if your trip involves hiking, sightseeing or accompanying your loved ones to a theme park.

In addition to making sure you have enough rest breaks, you also want to make sure your travel destination has the accessibility you require. Make sure there are wheelchair accommodations, railings and elevators if you need them. Call in advance to make sure they can accommodate your specific condition even if the website says they do. There’s nothing worse than getting somewhere you’ve been looking forward to, only to find out the place is undergoing construction and cannot accommodate your needs at the moment.

Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can even be cheaper to travel when you are older. If you plan ahead and take full advantage of all of your senior discounts, you can make the most out of your money. Allocate your funds in a smart way so you can travel often, and keep in mind that the more money you save on your trip, the more money you can spend on gifts for your loved ones.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Gifting Independence and Mobility

If you're considering what to buy a loved one for a holiday or birthday gift, resist the temptation
to go for the usual. Your friend or family member will appreciate a gift that promotes independence
and mobility more than anything you might buy at a mall or jewelry store. From shower seats
to pool lifts, Preferred Health Choice has everything that those with limited mobility could want
to enjoy more freedom and comfort. Increased independence can provide a big boost of
confidence — and even lighten the load for family, friends and professional caretakers.

Create Options With Scooters

Scooters allow seniors and others with mobility restrictions to live life to its fullest. Imagine gifting
someone you love with the ability to travel or experience the outdoors again. Your loved one can
take in the colors of autumn leaves, savor balmy summer nights, or be revitalized by the scent of
spring in the air. He or she can even indulge their inner speed demon with today's faster options
like this ZooMe-R4. They'll love whizzing around in an easy-to-maneuver model that reaches
surprisingly high speeds.

Limited mobility doesn't have to stop the golfer in your life. The Trionic Veloped Golf Walker is an
all-terrain walker with speed controls, a captain's seat, optional rear safety lighting, a removable
flashlight option and more. A scooter could be just what it takes to ramp up the fun factor in your
recipient's daily life.

The Latest Wheelchair Options

Modern wheelchairs are designed with comfort and maneuverability in mind. Semi-reclining seats,
adjustable arms and elevating leg rests are just some of the options designed to keep your giftee
comfortable all day long. Reclining wheelchairs with headrests provide neck and head support.
They improve circulation and provide an added degree of comfort, even after long periods of

The new generation of portable power wheelchairs allows for small turns and smooth transitions
from forward to reverse, ensuring a pleasant ride every time. Geriatric chairs like those used in
medical facilities are perfect for the home environment. They offer a good deal of extra support
with their generously portioned platforms. Lightweight wheelchairs simplify your loved one's
transportation needs and are available at budget-friendly prices. Heavy-duty models offer higher
weight capacities and a more comfortable experience for people of all heights.

Mobility Accessories

Preferred Health Choice offers accessories to enhance comfort while using wheelchairs and
scooters. Skin breakdown and poor spinal alignment can create major setbacks for those with
diabetes, cancer, aging skin, muscle atrophy and a number of other health issues. The pressure,
heat, friction and moisture that can result from long periods in a wheelchair or scooter are the
sources of skin breakdown.The accessories available here can relieve these ailments.

Therapeutic foam, gel and air wheelchair seat cushions allow for a more comfortable experience
and protect skin during extended periods of use. Wheelchair backrest supports make using a
scooter or wheelchair more comfortable. Wheelchair backs also provide spinal support and help
improve posture. Your friend or relative's well-being and comfort are two of the greatest gifts you
can give for birthdays or holidays.

Lift Chair Recliners

Many of us love our recliners, but power lift chairs make an excellent alternative for the mobility-
impaired. Your giftee will truly appreciate how easy it is to stand from a sitting position in these
riser recliner chairs. Being able to stand up pain-free after relaxing or watching TV makes this
a great choice for a holiday or birthday gift. Does your favorite couple have an upcoming
anniversary? Consider gifting them a pair of these delightful chairs for people with disabilities
or restricted mobility. We also offer parts and accessories for lift chairs.

Walkers and Other Walking Aids

Whether for convalescence or permanent use, Preferred Health Choice offers a wide range of
walking aids. Walkers are available for adults and children for gait training and other needs. Our
Uprise walker is ideal for those with limited range of motion in their hands. It folds with ease,
thanks to its single-release mechanism. The walker even simplifies bathroom trips by providing
stability when rising from a seated to standing position. From bariatric walkers to knee walkers,
our selection of walkers provides something for everyone.

Canes and Crutches

We have canes, cane seats and crutches to help move freely after falls, surgeries and other
medical incidents. Our cane sling seat provides a comfy place to rest when opened or a
dependable cane upon folding. And ergonomic forearm crutches absorb shock to the upper
body — no matter how fast the stride. Your gift recipient will appreciate access to sturdy
walking options when they need them most.

Bath Aids

Bathing presents unique challenges for those with restricted movement. Living alone makes
caring for oneself even more difficult, and those who live with family may be embarrassed to
ask for help. Keep your family member safe every day with toilet safety frames, bedside
commodes and raised toilet seats. Seat risers add several inches of height, making toilet use
safer and easier after surgery or for those with arthritis and other issues.

Since taking bathing and showering can present safety hazards, bathing aids are smart gift
choices for the elderly and mobility-challenged. Transfer benches make easy work of getting
into the tub. Shower chairs, swivel shower stools and handicap shower seats provide a safe,
comfortable bathing experience. Bariatric options are available with weight capacities of up to
500 pounds. Give loved ones more options for independence while easing your own worries
about bathroom slips and spills.

Whether your loved one is experiencing a temporary health setback; recovering from surgery
or an injury; or has long-term issues with movement, the gifts of independence and mobility
can be game-changers. If your goal is to enhance someone's comfort and well-being, you'll
find plenty of options with us. Wheelchairs with all the bells and whistles and accessories to
match are the perfect gifts for those with ongoing mobility problems. Scooters with the latest
high-tech features allow for much greater freedom of movement. Bath aids, lift chairs and
other devices enable your loved one to become more independent while helping you to worry
less. Shop Preferred Health Choice's inventory of the leading products for enhanced safety,
comfort and mobility today to find a gift they'll love.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Outdoor Activities for the Mobility Impaired

Outdoor activities are known to promote physical and emotional well being. Participating in these fun pursuits should be a human right that is available to everyone. Increased awareness about the needs of physically disabled persons and advancements in adaptive sports equipment have made it possible for the mobility impaired to enjoy more outdoor activities. Here are 10 popular recreational activities for the mobility impaired.

#1 Camping and Hiking

There’s no better way to experience the beauty of nature than camping. This immersive experience allows you to temporarily live among the flora and fauna that make up the earth’s diverse ecosystem. Many people do wilderness camping and hiking for the unique challenges that these activities present. These adventures are even more formidable for the mobility impaired. The best excursions are ones that take your skill level, equipment availability, and performance goals into consideration. Many national parks have wheelchair accessible trails and facilities, and some offer all-terrain wheelchairs that allow you to tackle unpaved trails. You should always make safety a priority during camping trips and carry a cell phone, a whistle, and a hiking buddy with you at all times.

#2 Paddling

Water has the power to relax, invigorate, and inspire all at once. Those are the emotions that many people get while canoeing, kayaking, and rafting America’s numerous waterways. Paddling is an outdoor sport that is particularly favored by physically disabled people. If you can swim, you’re well on your way to leaving your wheelchair behind and gliding out across the water. Small boats require little adaptation based on their particular impairments in its book Canoeing and Kayaking for Persons With Disabilities. 
The book also emphasizes the safety aspects of paddling while disabled. Love the idea of going on frequent paddling trips with groups of able-bodied and disabled persons? Join the Disabled Paddlers Association.

#3 Wheelchair Tennis

Playing tennis offers a way to socialize while getting cardiovascular exercise in the fresh air. Persons who have physical disabilities find it easy to get started playing tennis after they learn the basics of the game. Some adaptations that are made for the mobility impaired include smaller, lighter-weight rackets and wheelchairs with camber wheels that improve stability. The rules are often modified to allow for two bounces instead of one before players return volleys. If you’re a serious wheelchair tennis enthusiast,
you can invest in a chair that is specially designed for court sports.

#4 Horseback Riding

According to medical research, interacting with animals can be therapeutic. For the mobility impaired, horseback riding can help them to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and improve balance. Some pieces of adaptive equipment that physically disabled horseback riders use to better enjoy the pastime are mounting platforms that accommodate wheelchairs and high-back saddles that support weak spines. Riding horseback is a great way to see a wilderness area without using an all-terrain wheelchair.

#5 Swimming

For physically disabled persons who are concerned about losing strength, swimming is a proven total-body workout. Whether you’re doing the backstroke or the breaststroke, you’ll improve your muscle tone and cardiovascular health. Many persons with disabilities choose swimming as their outdoor sport of choice because the activity is easy on the joints and inherently refreshing. You almost never hear about a mobility impaired person suffering a swimming injury, and the recreational activity requires no adaptive sports equipment.

#6 Beachcombing

Everyone loves a good treasure hunt, and that’s exactly what happens during a beachcombing excursion. Beachcombing involves identifying and collecting coins, lost keepsakes, and pretty shells on the beach. It’s an outdoor activity that is as old as the beach itself. It’s a wonderful pursuit for mobility impaired people who have children. Pieces of equipment that you’ll need for a family-friendly beachcombing trip are a long-armed metal detector and an extended reacher grabber tool that will help you to pick up your treasures.

#7 Snowboarding

If you’re looking for breathtaking scenery and heart-racing fun, you’ll want to find a ski resort that offers adaptive snowboarding for the mobility impaired. Cruising down snow-covered slopes at top speeds can increase your confidence and enjoyment. To learn the basics, contact an instructor who specializes in adaptive snowboarding. He or she can guide your technique based upon your unique disability. The instructor will know what adaptive equipment is available to make your snowboarding excursions safer and more enjoyable. Organizations such as Disabled Sports USA and Paralympic Sport Clubs provide
mobility impaired persons with information about local snowboarding programs and resources.

#8 Wheelchair Basketball

Wheelchair basketball is one of the earliest adaptive sports. Mobility impaired persons who have lower body challenges use basketball as a social outlet and a way to get exercise on park courts. Whether you’re classified as permanently disabled with cerebral palsy or are recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, you can sign up for wheelchair basketball games through the National Wheelchair Basketball Association or organize a pickup game at your local outdoor court. Casual players typically use standard wheelchairs to play, but competitive players invest in sport chairs.

#9 Picking Fresh Produce At a Local Farm

Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance that you’re within miles of a farm. Large community gardens and small farms often open their gates to the public and allow customers to pick their own produce. You can spend hours gathering the best that the farm has to offer. Things to consider before showing up at the farm are the types of produce that you plan to pick and the farm’s layout. You want to pick items that grow at least to the height of your wheelchair. This will guarantee that you can reach these culinary treats. You’ll also want to call the farm ahead of your trip to find out the width of the garden rows. The rows should be wide enough to accommodate your wheelchair. Picking fruits and vegetables at local
farms is a favorite pastime of those who like to eat and spend time outdoors. You can extend the fun by using the freshly picked produce to make a backyard barbeque-style evening meal.

#10 Sailing

Sailing is an outdoor pursuit that requires strategy. Experienced skippers have extensive knowledge of sea currents, wind behavior, and their vessel. They are able to maneuver their boat quickly by using water currents, wind directions, and their vessel’s navigational instruments. Adaptive sailing programs match you to sailing instructors who teach you sailing safety rules, boating terms and basic boating techniques. These instructors have access to boats that are equipped to accommodate physically disabled crew members. Some boats have electronic joysticks that control the boat’s rigging system. Others have passenger transport benches and grab bars that help sailors enter and exit the boats without their wheelchairs. Using adaptive sports equipment, any trained mobility impaired person can successfully and safely operate a boat. Since mastering water and wind behavior takes practice and experience, you’ll likely want to take your time, enjoy being out on the water, and learn at your own pace. When you’re ready to get started, the Warrior Sailing Program has information about adaptive sailing in your local area.

Final Thoughts

Physically disabled persons require only a fearless spirit and a standard wheelchair to enjoy many of the described leisure activities. For other outdoor pursuits, you’ll need specially made equipment to safely play the sports. Your outdoor hobbies can quickly get expensive, but financial aid is available. To fund your next adaptive sports equipment purchase, check out grants at the Challenged Athletes Foundation, the Loma Linda Health PossAbilities program, and the National Association of Injured & Disabled Workers.