Saturday, 27 April 2013

Dealing with Agitation While Transporting Your Senior

Following are a few tips on how to deal with older people who might be feeling grumpy when being transported in a medical van. Remember to care for the elderly with grace and love as they need respect. Basically, treat them as you would want to be treated when you get old.

Be Caring and Respectful:
Do not "boss" senior citizens around. Be very careful and let them retain their independence, at least as much as they can. The ride will become less of a stress for the patient and for the assistants if the patient is given the freedom to do some things his/her way. It's also important to listen to them and try to pick up on ways to help them without really offending them. Remember that pride may not let them feel comfortable when asking for help.

Keep it Safe:
Safety of the patient is extremely important. Travel for older people must be planned carefully. All pre-existing medical conditions should be well managed. The medical transportation vehicle should be equipped with all regular medication to last the whole trip. Obesity, coronary heart disease, and sitting for too long are known risk factors that tend to develop blood clots in the veins of the legs. Hence, the seats must be comfortable with enough leg space for the senior to stretch his/her body time to time.

Ensure Timely Transfers:
Making elderly wait for too long to be transported can also agitate them and make them cranky. The drivers should make sure they pick the person up on time and deliver them to the destination without hassle. Medical transportation vans must use GPS to ensure timely arrival and departure. Also, the drivers should realize that old people have fragile bodies and therefore require smooth transfer.

The right van for senior citizens:
  • The patient should feel secure when boarding the vehicle. Each van should be cleaned and maintained regularly to offer the best possible safety, experience, and comfort for both the senior and caregivers.
  • Also, patients that have problem walking without help should be offered wheelchair vans equipped and designed to transport disabled persons. The van must feature safety straps, a power lift, and lap belts to maintain optimum level of comfort and safety for the patient. For patients that can walk on their own, the vans must offer reliable and safe transportation. Also, there must be proper climate control system installed inside the vehicle to ensure a stable atmosphere. Old people cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. Proper air conditioning/heating ensures that they remain calm.
  • Another way of making the journey comfortable for the senior is by providing them with easy modes of payment. The company must offer the flexibility of paying through credit cards. There should also be the facility of online booking. Going through the hassle of carrying cash can confuse and irritate several people.
Elderly care basically involves fulfilling special requirements and needs that are unique to the old person. This term encompasses services such as medical transportation, offering proper equipment when travelling, nursing, and the like. The staff responsible for offering such services is pre-trained in handling older people in a loving and professional manner. They are taught to be patient and understanding when the patient is grumpy or irritable. They also know how to comfort the individual and make him/her feel secure. Hence, when the need for transporting senior citizens arises it is best to depend on professionals, for a comfortable trip. It is also good to prepare the senior beforehand about the upcoming trip so that there are no hidden surprises.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Wheelchair Accessible Vans: Rear Entry Vs Side Entry

One of the most important decisions you will ever make when investing in a wheelchair van is whether to put the ramp on the side or rear end of the automobile. Both are excellent options but like everything else, they have their pros and cons. The environment you live in and the personal preferences of the wheelchair bound person will have the greatest impact on your choice. Apart from this, budget may also be a consideration.

Side Entry:
Side entry vans are more popular of the two choices. They essentially involve lowering the vehicle floor and allowing for head space for fitting the chair into the automobile. Side entry vans come with removable front seats, helping the patient ride in the front spot. They have the ability to house both in-floor ramps and fold-out ramps.

Advantages
  • One of the biggest advantages of side-entry wheelchair vans is that they are not affected by parallel parking. Wheelchair bound passengers can easily get in and out of the automobile parked parallel to the curb. This is helpful for people who reside in neighborhoods where parking is not available.
  • Side-entry gives wheelchair operators the ability to ride in the passenger seat. Hence, couples who wish to sit in the front together can do it in such vans.
Disadvantages
  • The side-entry van requires extra space when the ramp has to be deployed on the vehicle’s side. In case someone parks in the extra space, the van has to be moved to deploy the ramp.
  • Space is extremely limited for long or large wheelchairs to move around once they are inside the side-entry wheelchair vehicle.
Rear Entry:
Rear entry vans feature fold-out ramps and are built with lowered areas for the wheelchair. This feature provides more space, permitting bigger machines to fit. However, the chair cannot get in the front seat, i.e. the patient cannot drive the van or travel as a front-seat passenger.

Advantages
  • Rear-entry method affects a very small area of the automobile and has lesser affect on the structural integrity of a van. Due to this, such conversions are comparatively less expensive than side entry conversions.
  • Even though the floor has to be lowered there are absolutely no alterations made to the sides. Moreover, rear-entry conversions are raised higher at the back. Hence, greater ground clearance leads to more space than a side-entry vehicle.
  • When the patient enters a rear-entry vehicle, there is absolutely no turning needed to get the wheelchair in the traveling position. All the patient needs to do is simply move as far up as needed to get to the device that secures the chair.
  • A rear entry minivan can easily park in regular parking spaces. With the ramp at the back, no extra space is required at the side. A rear-entry van is also useful in places where double parking is needed for unloading and loading.
Disadvantage
  • Rear-entry vehicles make unloading and loading wheelchair passengers impossible when parked parallel. Unloading or loading on the street before parking or parking at the very end of the street are the only options.
  • Rear-entry vans do not allow the patient on the wheelchair to sit next to the driver because the surface is only lower behind the front seats. Instead they have to sit in the second or third row of the vehicle unless they can manually transfer from the wheelchair to the front passenger seat.
Buying a wheelchair accessible van is a huge investment, and you must consider all aspects before taking the decision. Every entry has its drawbacks and benefits.