Thursday, 23 August 2018

Seniors Should Not Be Prisoners in Their Homes

One of the truest of all old adages is that “No man is an island.” We think of youth as a time when friendships are formed and “best friends” are created. In adult life relationships become deeper and often stronger – both personally and professionally. When it comes to old age, we tend to think of the elderly as being those who have had their fill of social life and who want to relax at home, read, watch TV or play board games, with the occasional solitary walk thrown in. The fact is that the need for company, support and love is not something that decreases as we age. The truth is that an active social life is important for seniors, perhaps more than those who are younger.


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Why Remaining Socially Engaged Is Important

Healthy relationships play an important part in making us who we are and molding the way our lives turn out. Although their physically active years may be behind them, the importance of social activities remains for seniors. Social interaction keeps them fit – mentally, emotionally and physically. Interaction with social groups helps to prevent cognitive decline in the form of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The interaction with others also helps to promote physical and mental alertness that plays an important part in enhancing the quality of life. The more they socialize, the happier the elderly are and the better their all-round wellbeing. The list of problems that even a partial lack of socialization can cause is large. Among the most common are:

  •   Real or perceived mental decline
  •   Emotional distress in the form of temper tantrums, destructive tendencies and so on.
  •   Depression and loss of interest in activities
  •   Gradual loss of interest in interaction with others

One of the biggest problems that the elderly face in their social activities is that of transport. Driving can be difficult, if not impossible, for many seniors. The use of public transport like taxis and buses can also be a problem even if they are physically fit. Transportation can be a major hassle, even if accompanied by a caregiver. Being taken around by family members or other loved ones may work in some cases, but over time the logistical problems grow and become overwhelming. Additionally, many elderly people do not like the idea of being dependent on any for travel or being beholden to them. The younger folk have other demands on their time and being able to drive the elderly around can have a major negative impact on their lives.

The Ideal Transport Solution

That is where Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) comes into the picture. These services provide transportation specifically for the sick and elderly. They have special vehicles that are easy to enter and exit, even if in a wheelchair. The drivers are trained in the special requirements of transporting those who are unable to travel on their own. The best of them offer doorstep pickup and drop off as well as event standby, so there is no risk of being stranded on the way home after going for a social or entertainment event. If you have an elderly loved one who is confined to home because of transportation difficulties, start them on NEMT and reopen the world for them.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Transportation Safety for Wheelchair Users

Having access to vehicular transportation is not a luxury – it is a necessity. From work to social events, education, shopping and all the other activities that are a part of normal life, transportation plays a key role in providing access. Transport can often be a problem for those with disabilities. It is a major and persistent issue for those who are wheelchair users. This is not a random subjective statement. The Bureau of Transpiration statistics has stated this in its 2002 report and the findings have been confirmed by the National Council of Disability in its 2005 study.

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Some wheelchair users may be able to transition from the chairs to a vehicle seat, but the process is often difficult and painful. If the transition is not possible, then the wheelchair must also become a motor vehicle seat so that the person may be transported to where he or she wishes to go. While there are vans and other vehicles that can be modified to carry people in wheelchairs, there are often serious safety issues. As numerous accident studies have shown over the years, the motor vehicles seat is a critical component in protecting occupants of a vehicle when an accident occurs. It is for this reason that wheelchairs that double as motor vehicle seats must be designed to ensure safety while the user is traveling in a motor vehicle.

Wheelchairs Used As Vehicle Seats

The design imperatives include:
               
                  ·   The capability to be securely positioned in the vehicle so as to provide the user with the same           degree of protection available to the occupant of a normal seat if an accident should occur.
                  
\              ·    The facility for correctly anchored belt restrains to ensure the occupant is not thrown from the wheelchair.
                 
                 ·     Possessing design features that reduce the possibility of errors while securing the wheelchair in the vehicle.

                 ·     Provision for the use of additional safety equipment, either from the wheelchair manufacturer or from another source, which does not interfere with the safety design of the wheelchair itself.


Practical Problems

Such wheelchairs are expensive and often difficult to locate. There could be other issues also such as the special needs of the user coming in the way of the safety features. Those who may be wheelchair users only for a limited time, those recovering from injury or surgery for example, may opt to limit their investment in the wheelchair and go in for a low-cost model that does not meet all the vehicle transport safety requirements. For all wheelchair users, irrespective of the reason, the safest and most convenient transport option is to use Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). A professional NEMT service will have specially equipped vehicle to transport wheelchair users, along with attendants, if required, to wherever they want to go. With easy ingress and egress and numerous safety features, these vehicles offer a safe and convenient mobility option. The drivers too have been specially trained in transporting people with mobility issues and will be able to provide the support that they need.

 Using an NEMT can open up access to essential medical and other services to wheelchair users and also provide a means of transportation for recreational and other travel needs. From doorstep service to event standby, a good NEMT will offer wheelchair users a great deal of safe freedom and mobility. 

Friday, 22 June 2018

Living with a Wheelchair


Having a medical condition that necessitates using a wheelchair permanently can be a huge transition for anyone. The change can be very difficult both physically and psychologically. One of the first major emotions a person feels when using a wheelchair is depression because of the loss of mobility and the limitations on some activities. That is natural but remaining positive and focusing on what can be done with a wheelchair will provide light in the darkness and make a return to a normal life much easier and faster.


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Being Positive is Important

                   ·        There are various types and models of wheelchairs available – many designed for special applications like rugged outdoor use, sports and so on. Spend time to find the one that is right of right for you. If the budget permits, perhaps you could consider more than one so you are ready for activities that interest you and require special equipment.

                          ·         Join a wheelchair skills class. This is where you will learn that you can do so much and the limitations you face are far fewer than you had thought. Your doctor or physiotherapist may be able to recommend one to you.
                           
                          ·         Keep as many of your pre wheelchair interests and activities going as is possible. There may be some that are just no longer viable, but if so, look for other interests to replace them. Do not give up on who you are.
   
                          ·         Search for groups that organize outings, sports and other activities for wheelchair users. Meeting others facing the same issues as you will not just enable you to make new friends; it will show you that being negative is just a waste of time.

                      ·         Accept help when you need it. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. No one person, however fit, can do everything in life without any help.

                         ·         Do not allow yourself to become housebound. Go out as much as you can.Taxis may not be right for you. Even if you can drive a specially equipped vehicle, it may not always be the right option. Find a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation(NEMT) service near you that will be able to meet your transport needs. A professional company will have a range of vehicles to meet the demands of a range of wheelchair users. Entry, exit and a safe and comfortable trip will not be a problem. The drivers will be specially trained to provide you with any assistance you may need and will know the region well so they can take you to your destination by the shortest and most convenient route.Door to door service means that you will not require any other transport service. Event standby means that getting home will never be a problem. 24/7 service means you can go where you want, when you want.


Find the Right NEMT

Search online for NEMTs in your area and get in touch with them. Look for those that offer the kind of services and facilities mentioned above. A company that focusses only on Non-Emergency Medical Transport will be better than one that combines NEMT with other businesses as the focus and the kind of service you will receive will be diluted.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

How to Find the Right Medical Transportation Company

Life can be difficult for those with mobility issues, either caused by the after effects of surgery or illness or of a more permanent form. The ability to travel away from home and resume as much as possible of normal social and professional activities goes a long way towards building up the quality of life.Unfortunately, driving is often not an option and the use of public transport is not a practical or viable alternative, for a variety of reasons.This is why the availability of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) has become both so important and so widespread. NEMT, to put it simply, is a service that uses specially equipped and modified vehicles and trained drivers to transport those who are unable to use other forms of transport or for whom it may be unsafe. As the name says, the service is not meant for use in emergencies but for all kinds of other transportation such as doctor’s appointments, visiting friends, going to events etc. As anyone who uses NEMT knows, using the right NEMT company can make the difference between a safe and pleasant trip and an unsafe and bad one. Finding the right NEMT is a matter of know what to look for. Here are some questions which can help in identifying a good, professional NEMT with whom you can travel in safety and comfort.

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What to Ask

  • Check on safety – ask about the drivers’ qualifications. What are the procedures to deal with emergencies? Ask for references. A good NEMT company will not hesitate to give you the information you want.
  • Licensing – Is the company licensed and bonded? If not, it may not be professional or reliable.
  • The time factor – is the company known for being prompt and on time? Waiting for them to come can be a pain and if you get delayed you will miss an appointment for something that could be very important.
  • Specifics – ask about their experience in transporting people with your kind of medical issues. If they have only limited experience, are they willing to listen to you and accommodate your special needs?
  • Doorstep service – Is the service door to door? Will you be picked up from home (or wherever you are) and taken to the door of your destination?
  • Long and short distances – Your traveling may vary from short trips to longer ones. A single dependable company that will handle both is the best. Find out about any distance limitations on their services.
  • Are the drivers trained in the care and transportation of those with mobility issues? This is not the same as transporting people in a taxi or limo – drivers need special training to ensure passengers are safe.
  • Does the company have different types of vehicles so that they can give you one that is best suited for your needs?
  • Returning home from an event can be a problem. Is event standby available?
Of course, you should go to the company website to check out who and what they are. The more information provided the better. Look for references that will provide and insight into the experiences of other users. Don’t compromise on the NEMT service you use. Find and use the best – it is often much more economical than you may think.

Monday, 23 April 2018

New Wheelchair Technologies

Although wheelchairs offer a form of mobility to those who would otherwise be confined to a very limited area, their functionality is basic. Ask anyone who has been confined to a wheelchair for any length of time and you will be told that while it is useful, it is far from perfect. Only a wheelchair user will know the obstacles that have to be faced everyday. However, advances in technology have made new designs possible which in turn offer much greater comfort, mobility and flexibility of use.


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           ·         Carbon Fiber Wheelchairs: The use of carbon fiber has transformed the bicycle from a humdrum means of transport to a high tech piece of equipment that can be used for everything from daily transport to world class sports. The same now applies to wheelchairs. Carbon fiber wheelchairs are very tough, light and offer much cycle like features, including lights for night time use.
         
                 ·         Off Road Wheelchairs: Motorized, using tank like tracks and with precision controls, including joysticks, these offer wheelchair users the chance to enjoy the outdoors like never before. From beaches to snow cover hills, they are like ATVs and can go to places that an ordinary wheelchair cannot.

                 ·         Workout Wheelchairs: Made from high grade industrial materials and using special design features, these wheelchairs offer users the opportunity to work on their core, back, shoulders and arms to build up strength and stamina. Most offer a range of seating position options each of which enables strengthening of a specific part of the body when the wheelchair is being used. A seating position for normal use without placing stress on any one part of the body is also available. This can be selected for normal daily use.

                 ·         Power Assisted Wheelchairs: There are now power units available that can be attached to a normal wheelchair to provide the extra power needed to climb hills or cover long distances. These are wheeled, independently powered units that are attached to the front of the chair and controlled by handlebars like a cycle.

                 ·         Sports Wheelchairs: These have been around for some time and are a common sight in marathons and other sporting events. These are special chairs and are not suitable for daily use. Now, there are sports wheelchairs available that combine the best of both worlds. With some minor adjustment, which the user can do themselves, the chair can be converted from sporting use to normal indoor functionality.

           
There are Still Limitations

Even with the best of wheelchairs, traveling for any distance can be difficult, if not impossible. That means that motorized transport is needed. While some wheelchair users are able to drive themselves using specially adapted vehicles, other are dependent on public transport (if available) or friends to take them where they need to go. This can often be difficult or awkward. That is where Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) plays a role. NEMT provides special vehicles with trained drivers to transport wheelchair users and others with mobility problems to where they have to go. Reliable, reasonably priced and always available, an NEMT is an ideal way for those with mobility limitations to enjoy the freedom of movement that means so much to everyone.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Entering and Exiting a Car after Knee Replacement Surgery


Joint replacement surgery is becoming increasingly common, not only among the elderly but with younger people too. The causes range from medical conditions like osteoarthritis to injuries. Among all joint replacements, those of the knee are the ones most frequently performed. Prior to the surgery patients suffer from pain and limited mobility. Once the replacement has been done, and the recovery completed, they can expect to resume a normal life free from pain and with full mobility. A common mistake that many people make which could cause injury is doing things the wrong way during the recovery time. Getting in and out of a car in an incorrect manner is one of them.

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Traveling by Road Is Fine, But…..

After years of pain and movement limitations, patients are eager to live their lives in comfort. Being able to travel without hinderance is something most look forward to. But car journeys can be a problem. It is not the trip itself that is an issue; it is getting in and out of the vehicle without stressing the knee which is still recovering from the surgery. If too much stress is applied the new joint could be damaged. On the other hand, the frustration of being cooped up at home can be depressing and have a negative impact on the pace of the recovery. Here are guidelines on the proper way to enter and exit a car after knee replacement. If your doctor has given you different advice, follow that as your case may require special consideration.

      ·        Sit in the front passenger seat.
       
      ·        Ensure that the seat is fully pushed back.
      
      ·        Have the driver park the car on a hard flat surface so you can get to it easily.
      
      ·        Move towards the car using your wheelchair or support device.
      
      ·        When you are near to the car, turn and begin backing up towards the seat.
       
      ·        If you are in a wheel chair stand up and have the wheelchair pulled away.
      
      ·        Use your right hand to hold the door frame and place the left hand on the dashboard or the car seat.

      ·        Using your arms to support you, gently lower yourself on to the seat.

      ·        Slide into the seat.

      ·        If the seat fabric is sticky, placing a plastic sheet on it can make sliding in easier.
      
      ·        Swing one leg at a time into the car, using your arms to lift the leg if needed.
  
      ·        Never cross your legs while in the car.

   That’s it – you are safely in the vehicle. Reverse this process to exit the car.

  The Safest Way to Travel

While traveling by car is fine if the doctor approves, the safest way to travel by road when you are in the wheelchair or crutches stages of the recovery is in special vehicles designed to carry those with your condition. These are known as Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Vehicles and have ramps and other design features that make entry, exit and travel in them comfortable and safe. If you have had a joint replacement or other surgical procedure done and are tired of sitting at home while recovering, contact an NEMT company that serves your area and become mobile again.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Make the most out of your visits to the Doctor

Visiting the doctor can be a pain at the best of times. However, it is something that you cannot avoid. When you are recovering from injury, major illness or surgery, regular visits are a vital part of getting well again. These visits allow the doctor to review how the recovery is going and, if needed, make any changes to medication, therapy etc. to ensure that the progress continues as it should. The problem is that when you are in the recovery stage, you are far from your best, both mentally and physically and that could lead to situations where you are unable to give the doctor the inputs he needs to monitor your progress. Additionally, the strain of the trip to the clinic could leave you feeling worse than you should. Here are a few simple strategies to overcome these problems.

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List out Medically Relevant Information

Keep a daily diary of how you feel during the day and how you sleep at night. Any changes in the pattern are important – it could mean that you are improving or that your recovery plan needs a little modification. Make a note of all the relevant facts so you don’t forget anything when you meet the doctor. Rehearse what you are going to say with a friend – that will help you to be as clear and concise as possible in conveying the important information.

Email In Advance

If you can, email your questions and any concerns you have to your doctor before your visit. This will enable him to be ready to give you the answers you need.

Take a Friend with You

If you are nervous or feel insecure about going to the doctor, take a friend with you. Having someone who cares accompany you will make you feel better and boost your confidence levels.

Do Your Own Research

If possible, use the internet to do your own research on your health issues. Keep in mind that a lot of the information available online is biased or inaccurate. Use what you learn to form questions to ask your doctor, but remember that he is the expert. So follow his instructions, not what an unknown person says on the net.

Travel In Comfort

After a major illness, injury or surgery, traveling by car may not be permitted. Even if your doctor okays it, the strain could still be a lot and take a toll on you. Arriving at the doctor’s office in a tired and tense state is not the best way to have a checkup done. You could forget some important information (even if you have taken the precautions mentioned here) or the stress of the trip could cause the doctor to think you are not as well as you should be. That is why using a safe and comfortable means to travel that allows you to arrive at the doctor’s relaxed and stress-free is so important. The best way to do this is by using Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). These companies have special vehicles to enable the sick and injured to travel in comfort and drivers trained in taking care of their passengers.