Monday, 24 June 2019

Enjoy the San Francisco Bay Area in a Wheelchair

Whether you live in California or are visiting from somewhere else, spending time in the Bay Area to explore the open air wonders it offers is a must do. For those who are in wheelchairs or have mobility issues that limit the things they can do, the Bay Area has a great deal to offer. Whether you are traveling alone, or with others who have mobility issues or are with friends or family who does not have the same challenge you face, there is a lot to see and do. Here is a list of just some of the options open to you.

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  • The Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors provide sailing instructions and access to boats for people with varying degrees of disability. Whether you just want a trip in a boat or want to learn to sail, this is where you can do it. Call (415)281-0212 for more information.
  • The Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program has a wide range of outdoor activities including hand cycling, urban explorations, group adventure outings and so on. Call (510)849–4663 to know more about the options available.
  • Environmental Traveling Companions has a wide range of activities for people with mobility limitations. These include cross country skiing, kayaking, white water rafting and more. More information can be had from (415)474-7662.
  • If horse riding is your thing, Giant Steps Equestrian Center offers you safe secure options for interacting with horses. Riding lessons are specially tailored to meet the specific needs of learners.
  • On The Level SF – San Francisco Excursions is for those who are more comfortable in an urban environment. They offer a range of walks (all wheelchair and walker accessible) around San Francisco’s many parks and green/open spaces. You can find out more at (415)921-1382.
  • Ride A Wave – Santa Cruz is for those who enjoy being in the water. A number of supervised beach activities are available, including swimming, surfing, body boarding, kayaking and more, all designed for those with mobility limitations. Call (813)239-3672 for more information.
  • Shared Adventures – Santa Cruz has a range of year-round recreational activities that includes horseback riding, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking, and much more. All activities are designed for those with mobility issues. Call (831)459-7210 for more information.

Moving Around the Bay Area

Having a great range of outdoor options open to you is one thing. Often getting to them is another. If you are a visitor you may not have a car. If you are a local and do drive, driving through traffic can take the sheen off the fun you will have. Public transport is not always convenient or reliable. Taxis may have problems with wheelchairs and other devices. That is where Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) enters the picture. All you need to do is look online for the website of a leading NEMT service. Book one of the specially equipped vans with trained drivers for the trip you want to make and the return. Event standby is also available. NEMT is the most convenient, safe and comfortable way to move around the Bay Area.


Thursday, 23 May 2019

Traveling After Joint Replacement

Joint replacement surgery is becoming increasingly common. The object is to enable patients to regain the mobility and freedom of movement they have lost. After having lived with joint pain and limited mobility for a long time, getting your joint replacement surgery done will give you a huge sense of relief. You can now look forward to being pain free and having your freedom of movement back again. Keep in mind that replacing a hip or knee is not a small thing, it is major surgery and you need to take your time and recover properly, failing which the new joint could be affected and the end result of the procedure less than what you expect. How long your recovery takes and what you need to do during that time will be communicated to you by your doctor.

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It often happens that the improved mobility even shortly after the recovery begins leads patients to presume that they are fit to undertake more than they safely can. This can result in major complications.One area where patients tend to jump the gun is in traveling. There are the precautions that need to be taken till such time the doctor says they are no longer required.

Traveling By Air

Keep in mind that in some cases you may have to climb or descend stairs to access the plane. As for your seat, if financially viable, travel first class so you have the leg room you need not stress the joint. If first class is not possible, find a seat that offers the maximum leg room in your price range. Take and aisle seat so you can stand up and move about a bit if you need to. If the journey is a long one, see if you can break the journey along the way to give your new joint the rest it needs. An often-overlooked factor is the security checks. It could mean standing in long lines for an extended period of time. Be prepared for this. Ask your doctor for a letter stating you are recovering from joint replacement surgery and cannot stand for too long. Give it to the TSA agent in charge and ask if you can bypass the line. It may mean extra screening, but it is worth it in terms of time and stress saved.

Travel by Car

In most cases, travel by road is the first step to moving outside the home. There is so much you want and need to do and you can’t wait to get moving. You may be careful not to overdo things, but even the very act of getting in and out of a car can place stress on your new joint. Its really not worth the risk. That does not mean that you have to stay tied to your house. Using Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) means you can start traveling by road as soon as your doctor okays it and do it in comfort and safety. NEMT is not an ambulance service. It provides specially equipped vehicles to enable those who are recovering from surgery with a safe and comfortable way to move around. Entry and exit are easy and without stress. The drivers are specially trained and understand the needs of their passengers. You can use NEMT for any kind of road travel for any purpose from a doctor’s visit to going shopping, visiting friends and so on. With doorstep pickup and event standby, you can be sure of reaching your destination on time and returning safely. Whether it’s during recovery from joint replacement or any other surgery, contact a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation service and be mobile again.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Transportation Options for the Elderly

When a person is no longer able to drive, the effect of the loss of mobility and freedom can be devastating. In the cases of the elderly, who may have been driving for half a century or more, the loss is often traumatic. The loss of freedom to access and participate in those activities that have been a staple of life for decades can result in stress, depression and a range of other problems, both physical and mental. The effect that this loss of mobility has, is often not noticed by friends and loved ones because the elderly are frequently too stubborn or proud to let others know how it affects them. Hiding the impact and bottling it up inside only makes the problem worse and the depression continues to grow unseen, often till it reaches a breaking point. A frequently asked question is - why can’t the elderly use other forms of transport?

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The Other Options

Public transport would appear to be an option. However, for many seniors, a bus or subway journey is often too much of a strain. Even if they are up for it, the availability is another issue. Studies show that among Americans aged 65 and older, 50% do not have access to public transport. Another study shows that half of those over 65 who do not drive, stay at home on a given day because they do not have transport options. Taxis are another option, but cost and availability, especially for the return trip, makes seniors reluctant to use them. There is always the option of rides with family and friends, but doing this can make the elderly feel dependent on others and increase the depression at the loss of freedom.

The Viable Alternative

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) is often the best transportation option for the elderly. NEMT is not an ambulance service which is meant only for transporting those in need of urgent medical care. NEMT is available to transport the sick, elderly and mobility impaired to places they want or need to go to which are not related to medical emergencies. A professional NEMT company will have trained drivers and specially equipped vehicles to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for seniors and those with mobility issues. This is a safe, convenient and cost-effective way of enabling the elderly to regain their independence and the feeling of freedom that goes with it. The impact that it can have on their attitude and outlook is very positive and in turn, elevates their quality of life.

Finding the Right NEMT

When selecting an NEMT, the first thing to look for is the company’s track record, the range of services, and what other users have to say about it. In particular, check if:
  • If the vehicles are wheelchair and disabled friendly?
  • Is the service door-to-door?
  • Is event standby available?
  • What is the service area?
  • Will the driver help with luggage etc.?
  • What are the service hours?
  • Is there any membership fee?
  • Do rides have to be reserved in advance?
  • Are there discounts available for senior citizens?
With the right NEMT company, the elderly can regain the freedom they had lost and once again have a positive attitude to life.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

When Seniors Live Alone

With advancing years come physical problems that can make life difficult. The elderly often do not realize their own frailties and prefer to live alone in a place and conditions that they are familiar with, even if going to an assisted living facility would be safer and more convenient. According to research by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) about 90% of people of the age of 65 and more want to live in their own homes for as long as they can. Studies reveal that living at home may offer emotional benefits to seniors, but that does not outweigh the psychological and physical issues and risks that exist.

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Signs of Problems

If you have a loved one who is living alone and who will not move to a senior care center, trying to force the issues is often unwise. Instead, it is better to monitor the situation to know when staying alone is simply no longer safe. Among the many signs, these are some of the most common:
  • Inability to look after the cleaning and maintenance of the house
  • Lack of interest in eating proper meals and good nutrition
  • Difficulty in performing scheduled tasks on time such as paying bills
  • Short term memory loss such as forgetting appointments
  • Irritability/anger caused by the realization that coping is becoming harder leading to hostility towards others
  • Loss of stamina and failing eyesight
  • Difficulty in managing medication
  • Social isolation – not wanting to interact with friends or loved ones. It may start with a reluctance to leave the home and then turn into a desire to avoid  even those to come to visit
The last may seem to be the most difficult to deal with, but the solution is, in many cases, surprisingly simple. The isolation may be caused by the difficulty of travel, even for short distances. Not wanting to admit to the problem or accept that there is one they cut themselves off from the outside world. This isolation can trigger a variety of physical and psychological problems among the elderly.

The Safe Mobility Option

Just because a senior uses a wheelchair or walker, it doesn’t mean that he or she is confined to the house. Having family or friends transport them can be very inconvenient for everyone. Also, it can make the senior feel that independence has been lost, which can be depressing. Being able to travel in security and comfort means a lot to seniors and there is a way for them to do this. Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) services are meant to enable those with mobility limitations to travel where and when they want. A professional NEMT company will have specially equipped vehicles to make entry, exit and travel easy for those for whom regular car travel is not a viable option. Giving elderly loved ones a way of being independent in their golden years is not just a gift they will always appreciate, it is one that will help to keep then alert and active.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Surviving With Crutches

An injury or surgical procedure performed on the back, hips, pelvis, legs or feet could result in the patient being on crutches for some period of time. While crutches do allow for the patient to be mobile, living with them is never going to be easy. Being able to move short distances on your own, without needing someone’s help, is good, but what you do when you get there is another matter. You can’t carry much in your arms if you are using crutches. Once you get to where you are going, unless you are seated, there is only so much you can do while holding on to the crutches.There are some hacks that will make your time on crutches more comfortable and give you the maximum freedom.

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• The first thing is to ensure that the crutches are as comfortable as possible. Ensure they are the right size and that they are properly cushioned. Make sure they are properly balanced – using unbalanced ones only increases the strain. Ensure that the tips are non-slip so you will not fall while navigating wet slippery surfaces. Crutch pockets, that are attached to the crutches can be used for carrying small things and are a useful addition.

• Get used to having a backpack on you whenever you go out. You never know when you may be required to carry something and the backpack may be your salvation.

• Shopping can be a real pain. Firstly, you cannot carry your purchases while on crutches. Putting items in your backpack or pockets may look like you are a shoplifter. Buy from places that offer home delivery or shop online as much as possible. When you cannot avoid going to the store, ask a friend to accompany you and help by carrying your shopping home for you.

• Cooking and eating can be a pain. For cooking, keep a high stool in the kitchen so you can sit while working on the counter or the stove. A light one that you can easily push around with non-slip tips is the best. Carrying food to the table is another problem. Keep portable spill proof containers handy so you can put food in them and place the containers in your backpack and then move to the table where you eat.

• If you live in a house with more than one floor, have everything you need kept at the ground level. Climbing stairs with crutches is not just very difficult, you could easily fall and injure yourself even more.

• You will need to do local traveling – work, social activities and so on are an important part of life and being on crutches should not be allowed to put them on hold. Driving will not be possible and public transport will be inaccessible on crutches. Taxis are difficult to enter and exit and you could hurt yourself in the process. The best way to be mobile and remain active while you are on crutches is to use a Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT) service. This service will provide specially equipped vehicles for those on crutches or with other mobility problems. Use a company that offers a full range of services including doorstep pick up, event standby and so on. Being able to remain mobile will help you to recover and get rid of the crutches.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Life after Losing a Leg

The thought of amputation is one that the mind does not want to dwell on. However, it does happen and it is done when a limb is damaged beyond repair or when not removing it could lead to other medical complications. Of all amputations,those of the leg are most common. Losing one or both legs is a hugely traumatic experience, both physically as well as mentally and spiritually. That is why physiotherapy and counseling are essential components of any amputation procedure.

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Be Prepared For Change

Change is not limited to the way your body is now different. It is in the way you interact with the world and the world interacts with you. You should be prepared for:
  • Getting used to the prosthetic. It will never be the same as a real leg, but it is, literally, the next best thing.
  • People treating you differently. People you don’t know and even those you do, will not be sure how to treat and respond to you. It is not that they feel sorry for you or have pity. It is usually because the situation is unfamiliar to them as it is to you and they are not sure of what to say or do. Give it time, once everyone is used to the changed situation, relationships will develop naturally.
  •  New opportunities. Keep an open mind and opportunities that did not exist earlier will appear. From helping those in similar situations to participating in special sporting events and working on developing devices, systems and policies/processes for those who have lost a limb, the opportunities to make a positive impact will present themselves.
  •  Frustration. There will be challenges that did not exist before. Overcoming them will often take time and patience. Getting frustrated because things are not as they were will do you no good. Being told that “these things take time” or that “it will all work out” can often just add to the frustration. The fact is that both statements, however trite, are true. Do not be in a rush for your first success – it will come in its own time. After that, the rest will fall into place sooner than you hope.

Get Back To Normal Soon

Getting back to normal when you have lost a limb may sound absurd. However, it is surprising how soon the human body and spirit can adapt to the change. Making a positive effort to return to the pre-amputation life is critical. A large part of this is leaving the home and going back to the outside world to once again and do the things you did in the past. Yes, there may be special precautions you have to take and some limitations on what you can do, but by and large, you will be able to return to your life as it used to be. One important factor in that is travel. This will be difficult at first because getting back in the driver’s seat will take time and practice. Relying on friends and family to take you around will rob you of your independence. This is where Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) comes in.This is like a taxi service for those with mobility limitations. The service will provide specially equipped vehicles for taking you where you want to go. With doorstep service, event standby and specially trained drivers, NEMT is the way to regain your mobility and get your life back on track.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Adjusting To Life in a Wheelchair

If you have a friend or loved one who has become a wheelchair user, either permanently or for a short time, you will have seen how difficult the transition from legs to wheels can be. The physical limitations surface immediately and continue to arise during the initial stages of getting used to the wheelchair. Besides the physical issues, depression at the loss of the use of one’s legs is another major area of concern. Once the initial problems are overcome, the depression will decrease, and life can once again be active and fulfilling. The key is to find solutions to the problems that the user faces.

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Problems and Solutions
  • Invest in a good wheelchair. Not all of them are the same and a comfortable one that fits the user well will make a big difference. Ensuring that the chair has the customizations that the user needs will increase the comfort levels and make getting used to life in it much easier.
  • Make modifications to the home. Removing carpets and rugs and rearranging furniture to enable free movement in the house is essential. Climbing stairs is out of the questions so if the house is on more than one level, the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and other areas of daily use must be relocated to the ground floor. These rooms must be modified to make them wheelchair friendly. There are online resources that will offer advice on what needs to be done and provide information on contractors that can make the required changes. Being comfortable and independent at home will be a big confidence booster.
  • Even though the house has been modified, do not allow the user to remain housebound. In the initial stages, users often feel self-conscious about being in the chair and also think that they are a burden to others who may have to help them in some activities. Getting out of the home may meet with some resistance, but the user must be encouraged to leave the house and return to the world that is outside. In most cases, regaining of interest in going out and participating in the wide range of activities that a wheelchair user can undertake happens in a surprisingly short time.
  • One of the most difficult aspects of going out can be transportation. While specially equipped vehicles for wheelchair users are available, not all of them will be able to drive and there are some places where driving may not be practical. Depending on friends for transport will only increase the feelings of loss of independence. This is where Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) plays a major role. NEMT is not an ambulance service. It offers specially equipped vehicles for wheelchair users and can be used for any road travel requirement. This includes, but is not limited to, such things as social visits, going to cultural events, shopping, traveling for medical checkups and so on. The best NEMT services have trained drivers who understand the needs of wheelchair users and can provide them with any assistance they may need. With doorstep pickup and standby services, NEMT will enable the wheelchair user to once again regain the mobility and freedom that is such an essential part of enjoying life.