National Parks are regarded as America’s greatest national treasures. In 1916, the National Park Service was commissioned; their purpose is to set aside and maintain pieces of land for all to experience and appreciate the natural ecology, wildlife and historical significance. For many years, a large portion of American citizens were unable to view these expansive and awe-inspiring parks. It was not until the American Disabilities Act of 1990 that parks began to provide handicap accessible trails, campgrounds, exhibits and accommodations for wheelchair users.
Statue of Liberty National Park, New York
Lady Liberty is a robed bronze statue of a woman triumphantly lifting a torch to the skies with her right hand as she clutches a tablet with the date of the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) in her left arm. With broken shackles at her feet and a crown atop her head, this gift from the French represents freedom and democracy for all. The Statue of Liberty has long been accessible on the first floor only. As of July 4, 2013, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty will be totally wheelchair accessible. *The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will be closed to the public until July 4, 2013, due to damages from Hurricane Sandy.
Lady Liberty is a robed bronze statue of a woman triumphantly lifting a torch to the skies with her right hand as she clutches a tablet with the date of the Declaration of Independence (July 4th, 1776) in her left arm. With broken shackles at her feet and a crown atop her head, this gift from the French represents freedom and democracy for all. The Statue of Liberty has long been accessible on the first floor only. As of July 4th, 2013, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty will be totally wheelchair accessible. *The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will be closed to the public until July 4th, 2013, due to damages from Hurricane Sandy.
Denali National Park and Reserve, Alaska
The Denali National Park and Preserve is home to North America’s highest mountain peak, Mount McKinley. Denali is composed of over six million acres of federally protected land. This park features a mix of natural habitats, from forests to tundra, rocky mountains to glaciers. Denali is known to be a birdwatchers’ paradise but is also home to grizzly bears, black bears and caribou.
Denali National Park and Preserve features several ADA complaint trails, all of which are composed of compacted gravel and range from three to ten feet wide. A popular wheelchair accessible trail is the McKinley Station Trail. This 1.5 mile, 6 foot wide trail allows visitors to view the diverse taiga forest, several cultural sites, Hines Creek, and the Alaska Range, among other sites! The McKinley Station Trail also connects to the visitor center and a campground.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park evokes images of Smokey the Bear for some, and ancient boiling springs for others. Yellowstone hosts the globe’s largest collection of geysers. Visitors often stop by to see Old Faithful erupt for a glimpse into one of the earth’s most ancient ecological habitats. Much of the park is laid out into steep mountainsides which are home to wolves, bears, bison and elk, but Old Faithful is totally wheelchair accessible. A 1.5 mile (3 miles round trip) wheelchair accessible trail leads from the visitors center to Morning Glory Hot Spring (pictured below). Wheelchair users should remain alert on the trail as it is shared with plenty of bikers.
Congaree National Park, South Carolina
The Congaree National Park in South Carolina is one of the world’s largest deciduous forests. The biodiversity noted are astonishing and the greenery is absolutely breathtaking in this expansive old growth bottomland hardwood forest. Those who require the use of a wheelchair or scooter may enjoy their 2.4 miles wheelchair accessible boardwalk loop. All public facilities at the Congaree National Park are ADA complaint, including the port-a-johns. Plan to visit this park on a relatively dry day as water levels may rise to cover the boardwalk loop during times of heavy and consistent rainfall.
- For further information on national parks and monuments with universal design specifications, please visit www.nps.gov. If you are traveling to any of these destinations, remember there may be limited wheelchair rentals available. Carrying your own mobility device on the road may lessen the hassle. Many travelers opt for auto lifts for their car, truck, van or SUV, and some choose to bring a folding ramp and/or install a turning automotive seat for added convenience. To learn more about mobility solutions on the go, visit 101mobility.com and give us a call for assistance in your area.
Turning automotive seats are individual seats that can be installed into a vehicle to provide better mobility for the driver or passenger. Turning automotive seats by Bruno are universally fit for a wide range of vehicles, from an SUV to a pickup truck or sedan. These seats are typically purchased through a mobility dealer. At 101 Mobility, we sell and install turning automotive seats for customers nationwide.
How does a Turning Automotive Seat work?
Bruno offers four different turning seat models from their Valet™ Signature Seating line. Each model is designed to provide certain features depending on vehicle specifications and customers’ needs. In a compact car or sedan that is low to the ground, the turning seat will rotate outward of the car for an easy exit. In SUVs, pickup trucks and other lifted vehicles, the turning seat will slowly rotate to extend out of the vehicle and then lower to the ground – making transfers a breeze. Click here to take a look at the Valet™ Signature Seating line by Bruno.
Is a Turning Automotive Seat right for me?
Turning automotive seats are great for passengers or drivers. A turning seat will not improve driving ability, but it will allow users to either independently exit their vehicle or safely transfer from their vehicle to a wheelchair or scooter. Anyone with a lifted vehicle may find that a turning automotive seat is even more necessary. People who require the use of a wheelchair will find transfers to be easier with a turning seat. Those who rely on the use of a cane or other assistive walking devices may find that a turning seat allows them to safely exit their vehicle with little or no dependence on others for help.
Will a Turning Automotive Seat installation affect my vehicle’s re-sale value?
No. Our skilled service technicians install the seat without causing any permanent structural modifications to your vehicle; turning seat installations do not affect the resale value of your vehicle, and they can be moved to a different vehicle.
What do they cost?
A turning automotive seat can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 depending on your physical requirements, potential upgrades and the make, model and year of your vehicle. Many 101 Mobility franchisees offer special payment plans to eligible candidates.
How do I get one?
There is no one-product-fits-all solution. Many customers who have auto lifts or folding ramps for on-the-go access find that turning seats add to their independence. We work closely with our customers to identify which turning seat will best suit their needs. Learn more about purchasing a turning seat by contacting 101 Mobility today. Have the year, make and model of your vehicle on hand. To ensure the best fit for you or your loved one’s needs, we will send a professional service technician to evaluate your car, truck, van or SUV.
Call 101 Mobility today – 1.888.258.0652
Maybe you’ve asked the question for yourself, or maybe you’ve asked it on behalf of someone you’re caring for: “Do I/we need a fully-converted handicap van?”
The simple answer is no.
There’s no need to spend every penny on converting your vehicle, a process which costs anywhere from $10,000 to over $20,000, according to this CarsDirect.com article. The broad range estimate includes a rear entry wheelchair ramp, undercarriage modifications (i.e. more support for the extra weight and stress on the axles, springs, shocks and brakes), driver’s “cockpit” adjustments — like a place to lock in a wheelchair or a swivel captain’s chair — to a side entry lift. Even purchasing a used, already converted model can be a hefty expense.
We’ve got a more affordable option to suggest, and it’s one that you can adjust to meet your or a loved one’s unique mobility needs:
- auto lifts — Got a sedan, SUV, van, or pickup? There are auto lifts to support whatever style of vehicle you take on the road, with a variety of storage and power options.
- turning seats — Whether you need help getting up and into — or exiting — the driver’s or passenger seat, a turning automotive seat may be a better solution than the costly driver’s cockpit adjustments suggested above.
Just about any vehicle can support an auto lift or turning seat, and all of these modifications are easy to add or remove as needed. Call the 101 Mobility professionals in your area (find the office serving you here) to help you get on the road again!
For additional information on the subject, check out this post: Movin’ Right Along: Driving Safety Tips & Car Modifications for Seniors.
Greg Slepecki, Franchise Owner and his son Brad are proud to announce the opening of 101 Mobility Pittsburgh. These Pittsburgh natives are committed to helping Western Pennsylvania families improve their mobility inside and outside of the home. 101 Mobility Pittsburgh represents 101 Mobility’s 22nd national franchise opening.
101 Mobility Pittsburgh is a locally owned, family operated business. The Slepeckis were born and raised in the Pittsburgh area and understand the unique mobility needs of residents from the rough, hilly Pittsburgh terrain. They explained how most homes in the area are two to three level homes with upstairs bathrooms and downstairs kitchens, making stair lifts a must-have for those who plan to successfully age in place.
This charismatic father and son team have seen first-hand how people with mobility challenges have become an under-served demographic. It is their goal to provide the reliable mobility solutions that every Pittsburgh resident should have at their fingertips. Greg adds,
“The residents of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas are good people, blue-collar families who just want to stay in the home that they raised their children in.”
Greg recalled a personal experience with his late mother to describe how his parents relied on a stair lift to age comfortably in their home,
“My mother was nearly blind to the point of counting steps…she would count each step as she climbed the stairwell. We searched everywhere for something to help and there was no go-to name or business for mobility equipment in Pittsburgh; I think there is a general lack of awareness for what’s available.”
Prior to joining the 101 Mobility family, Greg Slepecki worked in one of Pittsburgh’s oldest companies as the President of Matthew’s International Architectural Group. He ran seven international manufacturing plants from Australia to Canada, California and New York. From constructing the memorial for Elvis Presley’s grave to engraving super bowl trophies, Greg has been a part of it all. Son, Brad Slepecki is experienced in disaster restoration/construction with a talent for exemplary customer care and relationship building. Brad will join the service and sales teams as Greg oversees the operation. The Slepeckis are also happy to have Primio LaLama join their 101 team as the top sales and technical person. Primio has been providing Pittsburgh families with 101 Mobility products for over three years.
Brad and Greg believe that their broader breadth of mobility products ranging from wheelchair ramps to porch lifts and more, in-depth product knowledge and franchise support system which allows for more ingenuity, will give them an upper hand over any competition. This Pittsburgh duo is working hard to brand themselves as the number one source for accessibility solutions across Western Pennsylvania with the goal of becoming a household name.
Call 412.428.9485 or visit http://pittsburgh.101mobility.com/ for assistance or additional information.
Whether your great aunt’s recent injury has landed her in a wheelchair or your wonderful developmentally delayed nephew will be visiting for the first time, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind so that everyone feels a little bit more at home.
- Remove all throw rugs and low-lying clutter that could result in falls.
- Create a floor plan that allows for maneuverability from serving areas to seating areas, any lounging areas and restrooms. This may mean temporarily removing end tables or other pieces of furniture. *Rule of thumb: Wheelchairs are usually 24-27 inches wide – Walk with one arm extended throughout aisles to ensure enough space.
- Have hand sanitizer available, most bathroom counters also do not allow for easy wheelchair access.
- Extended stays? Pick up a shower seat and install a removable shower head for easy bathing.
- A ramp rental is particularly useful. The suitcase ramp is the most versatile of products and can serve as a threshold over indoor or outdoor steps. 101 Mobility also offers stair lift rentals and vertical platform lift rentals.
Alzheimer’s or Dementia
- Engage them! Answer their questions in a positive way; don’t make your relative feel bad for not remembering.
- Names and recent events may not be easily recalled or remembered at all. You may need to tell your relative about your wedding which she or he attended last year as if it is the first time they are hearing about it.
- Speak with your relative’s caregiver to learn what their emotional triggers or stressors may be. If you see them getting upset, try to distract them with an activity.
- Lock your doors and block off staircases. Put up a sign to direct people to your bathroom, everyone will be thankful for that!
- Try to have a bedroom or quiet space prepared, people with dementia may get restless and decide to take a nap.
- Resist the temptation to offer unsolicited advice to the child’s parents.
- Do not undermine the child by addressing the parent with questions like, “Is Sarah excited for dinner?” Instead ask Sarah.
- Understand that parents need to stick to their child’s routines as closely as possible; prepare a place suitable for quiet times.
- When introducing yourself, shake hands or hug just like you would anyone else but be sure to say your name as you do so.
- If you are also introducing someone else, mention what direction they are in, “This is Aunt Lisa to my left”.
- If dashing out of a conversation to grab a pie out of the oven, remember to say so!
- When showing your guest around, allow them to grab your elbow for assistance if needed and provide verbal forewarnings of any inclines or steps that the guest may incur.
- When showing a blind guest to the table, placing their hand on the chair and allowing them to take it from there is often enough.
- If there is food on the table for serving, explain the location of the food by clock measurements, “Rolls at your 12 o’ clock.”
- You absolutely do not have to speak louder unless you know the person is also hearing impaired.
Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- There is no need to yell or make dramatic movements with your mouth while speaking.
- Keep eye contact with a hearing impaired guest as you are speaking to him or her, NOT the translator.
- Keep a text-ready cell phone or note pad and pen handy for when a translator isn’t around.
- Learn a few things in American Sign Language, like “Welcome”, “Eat”, “Enjoy”, “Happy Thanksgiving”.
- Make name cards explaining what each dish is and key ingredients.
Most Americans have a destination in mind that they would love to explore. Unfortunately, too many Americans feel confined by aches and pains or disability. According to a study by Dr. Liza Lezzoni of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, arthritis and other joint problems, back problems, accidental falls, heart disease, motor vehicle accidents, and chronic lung disease are the primary causes behind adult mobility issues. However, mobility difficulties are not exclusive to the elderly community by any means. Children who endured traumatic injuries or have been diagnosed with neurological or musculoskeletal conditions also face accessibility issues. Discover how today’s medical equipment and tourism programs are enabling the mobility challenged to sightsee in foreign lands or visit cherished yet distant family members.
Scooters or power chairs are a great investment for someone with respiratory or heart problems who enjoys being on the go. If you would love to hit the road but are worried about transporting a scooter or power chair, an auto lift or turning seat may be the perfect solution for you or your loved one.
- Auto lifts and turning seats can be universally fit for any sedan, van, SUV, or pick-up truck and because they are professionally installed into existing drill holes, these automatic mobility solutions can be switched from car to car!
- The super portable suitcase ramp also works as an excellent mobility aid when on the road – roll the wheelchair or scooter out the car and over curbs or other thresholds for increased accessibility.
Ask a 101 Mobility Expert about these multi-faceted travel enhancing options!
Rail – Amtrak
As with any travel plan, time is of the essence!
Book reservations well in advance. Amtrak recommends at least 14 days of notice. To prevent anything from slipping through the cracks, call a few days before departure to confirm that all the necessary accommodations will be in place. Amtrak offers the following choices to increase freedom and ease of travel:
- Wheeled mobility device space
- Transfer accessible seats to stow a wheelchair under your seat – added convenience!
- Accessible bedroom accommodations available by reservation
- Train platforms, no problem! Request in advance for use of mobility lifts.
- If you or a loved one requires an oxygen tank, be sure the tank can operate without the use of electrical power supplied onboard for at least 4 hours in the case of a power outage.
- If you or the one you care for requires assistance bathing, using the restroom, dining or other related activities, please make arrangements for companionship.
- Amtrak offers a 15% discount to those traveling with a disability in addition to a caregiver with acceptable documentation.
“…throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Check the resorts below for ideas on your next trip. There are accessible travel options out there to make visiting your dream destination a reality! From snow covered mountains to the Bacardi clear waters of the Caribbean, there is someplace to be enjoyed by everyone.
- Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico – Founded by a US Marine veteran who suffered a spinal cord injury and is now a quadriplegic, this resort is designed to meet the very unique needs of mobility challenged tourist.
- Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort of Utah – Looking for an outdoor adventure? This full service family oriented resort features a variety of adaptable activities including archery and horseback riding.
- African Safari – Hear mighty lions roar and watch elegant gazettes on the African Savannah Accessible Safari Tours, lodging accommodations, and landmarks are all at your fingertips with Access Africa.
- Ski Resorts in Vancouver – These magnificent resorts offer a wide range of amenities including wheelchair accessible playground to watch the kids or grandchildren play and wheelchair friendly shopping centers!
- Cruise – Royal Caribbean Cruise lines provide support and comfortable accommodations for guests with mobility impairments.
We’re not trying to rush the seasons here — just offering a reminder. Now is the time to plan ahead and prepare for those “dog days,” because as fun as summer can be, there are special risks to consider, issues (like heat stroke, bee stings, and dehydration) that surface regularly in June, July and August. Make this summer safer and more enjoyable with these tips…
Here comes the sun: Extensive and unprotected sun exposure is not good for anyone, but the danger to seniors and children are far greater. Staying out in the heat too long, say the health experts at MedlinePlus, can cause heat stroke (a life-threatening illness), heat exhaustion, heat cramps or heat rash. Prevent a trip to the ER by drinking plenty of waterand fluids that replenish salt and minerals; skip alcoholic or caffeinated drinks as these will dehydrate you. Cut down on the time you spend in the sun, but if you must soak up its warmth, protect your skin with sunblock, an umbrella, hat, or better yet, all three.
Also, many medications don’t mingle well with sun exposure. Read the warning labels carefully and avoid going outside for extended periods of time if the risks are too great. If you have to be outside, be sure to dress appropriately, use sunscreen, and stay fully hydrated. Ask your doctor what he/she recommends in terms of sun exposure (i.e. avoid it entirely or take certain precautions first).
Pet owners: don’t leave your furry friend in the car, even for just a quick errand. Even with the windows down, the temperature inside a parked car on a sunny (or hazy), warm day can reach the boiling point, causing serious damage or death to your beloved animal. Be sensitive to your pet’s heat tolerance at home too. It’s OK if Fido enjoys catching some rays in the backyard as long as there are shaded areas where he can get relief from the heat. Make sure there is always fresh, cool water for your pet to drink. Take shorter walks in the summertime, or take them earlier or later in the day, before the sun is at its strongest.
Heat is hazardous no matter where you are. Yes, it’s important to stay protected when you’re outside or traveling in the car, but keeping cool inside the house is equally important. This Summer Safety Guide for Seniors (from the New York Chapter of the Red Cross) offers several great tips for beating the heat all summer long. First, limit strenuous physical activity, particularly during the sun’s peak hours (10am to 4pm). If you must be active or need to exercise, get up early, says the article: the coolest part of the day is between 4 and 7am.
If your senior family member lives in an older home and doesn’t have central air or window units — or can’t afford the subsequent electric bills — there are a few cost-effective tricks for staying cool in the summer heat. First, break up the day by heading out to an air-conditioned restaurant, mall, movie theater, library, or local senior center. A cool bath or shower, or a damp cool washcloth (with ice cubes tucked inside) dabbed on the face, wrists and back of the neck may offer a welcome reprieve, says the Red Cross. (Note: the installation of grab bars in the bathroom may be a wise idea if you are concerned about a senior loved one who may take a cool shower during the day when you, the caregiver, is away.)
Another way to beat the heat: close the curtains on windows that get a lot of sunlight and hang out in the coolest part of the house (the basement feels great in the summer, doesn’t it?). Portable, hand-held fans/misters and strategically-placed box and standing fans also help keep the air moving.
Man vs. the machine: In the winter, you’re checking furnaces, space heaters, fireplaces and the like. In the summer, check your fans and cooling systems (whether you have central air or window units). Clean out dusty, dirty filters; examine circuits, plug-ins, and power sources, and if you have AC in your car, check your coolant levels.
Have an auto lift, vertical platform lift, or some other type of outdoor mobility equipment? Take time to check all the moving parts and make sure things are working properly. Check first with the company who installed the lift: they may provide professionals who can visit your home to service the equipment, or their team can offer guidance over the phone regarding how to perform a basic check. You can also call our 101 Mobility team at 1-888-249-3092 for assistance.
Strong summer storms can cause power outages, flash floods, fires, and other dangerous situations, particularly for seniors who live alone and in a rural area, away from neighbors or family. Disaster preparedness is key.
This document from the CDC offers disaster planning tips for families of older adults. Besides having a basic emergency supply kit, the CDC recommends that seniors have “a personalized emergency plan listing where they can go in an emergency, what they should bring with them (such as medications, eyeglasses, hearing aids and extra batteries, oxygen, or assistive technologies), how they will get there, and who they should call for help.” Should evacuation be necessary, special provisions must be made to transport equipment for those family members who rely on a mobility, communication, or assistive device, such as a power scooter or walker (or a service animal). A list of medications, emergency information, doctors’ and pharmacy contact numbers should also be kept safely in a waterproof bag, says the CDC, along with a backup list of this same information at a friend’s home or other remote location.
Have a pool/spa, or do you plan to spend time in one this summer? Check out our post “Making Your Pool or Spa Mobility-Friendly” here.
- Michelle Seitzer
101 Mobility is pleased to alert Texas residents to a program available through the Texas Comptroller’s Office that may exempt you from paying the motor vehicle sales and use tax. The Texas Motor Vehicle Orthopedically Handicapped Exemption Certificate may qualify residents of that state for an exemption from paying motor vehicle sales tax if they also need to install an adaptive or mobility device.
This program is open to those individuals, partnerships, corporations or associations who purchase vehicles to transport an individual who has “limited movement of body extremities and/or loss of physical function.” It is a requirement of the program that the physical impairment “must be such that the person is either unable to operate or be transported in a reasonable manner in a motor vehicle that has not been specially modified.”
To qualify for the sales tax exemption, the vehicle must be primarily driven by, or used for the transportation of, the orthopedically handicapped person. This means the vehicle must be used at least 80 percent of its operating time to transport the orthopedically handicapped person. The vehicle also must be or will be specifically modified for operation by or for the transportation of a person who is orthopedically handicapped at the time of purchase.
Examples of modifications that are eligible for this program include:
- Modifications to the conventional brake, acceleration system or steering system to facilitate the operation of the vehicle by an orthopedically handicapped driver.
- Permanent modifications to the vehicle by the installation of such items including:
By completing the Texas Motor Vehicle Orthopedically Handicapped Exemption Certificate, which includes information from the purchaser, seller, about the vehicle, and from the orthopedically handicapped person’s Practitioner of the Healing Arts, you could be on your way to receiving a sales tax exemption.
In the Southeast and along the Gulf Coast, the fall is storm and hurricane season. Are you prepared for the upcoming storm season?
Use these few tips from 101 Mobility to ensure you are prepared for any upcoming storms.
- Check and charge the batteries on your powerchair and scooter.
- Bring your wheelchair or scooter inside and keep it secure, covered and away from windows during heavy storms.
- Don’t forget to have the basics on hand including water, canned goods, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, radios, blankets, and pillows.
- Be sure to refill any prescriptions.
- If your vertical lift doesn’t have battery backup, have an alternate plan for exiting your home in case you lose power.
- Charge your cell phone.
- Be sure you have filled your car’s gas tank.
- Bring anything inside that can be blown around by high winds.
After the storms have passed:
- Check ramps for debris.
- Check ramps for stability in case they have shifted.
- Check your car and exterior lifts for damage.
- Drive only if necessary. Avoid flooded areas.
If you are in need of ramp rentals following a storm in your area, please contact your local 101 Mobility office. We can deliver and install most ramps within 24 hours.
- Happy Mother’s Day from 101 Mobility!
- How to Celebrate Special Needs Teacher Appreciation Day
- ALS (Lou Gherigs Disease) and my walk to defeat it
- Hotwheels versus 101 Mobility in Adaptive Hockey
- Wheelchair Accessible National Parks and Monuments
- When Hoarding Complicates Your Spring Cleaning Plans — and How to Overcome It
- Turning Seats for Cars, Trucks, Vans and SUVs: FAQs
- Don’t Try This At Home (If You Want to Age in Place)
- How the National MS Society and 101 Mobility Rochester Changed a Life
- Safe Patient Handling Equipment Tips