Aging in the comfort of your own home is possible with 101 Mobility at your side. Where access is limited, there is a solution to improve mobility–whether it’s a stair lift, wheelchair ramp, auto lift, or grab bar. Check out this infographic that clearly highlights the places in your home that could use a helping hand and what specific product would best increase accessibility:
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If you want to get out on the roads but need to take your wheelchair, scooter, or power chair with you, a wheelchair lift for your car could make things easier. Below are key features for the three most common types of wheelchair lifts. Read on to see whether a Hitch Lift, Curbside Lift, or Hybrid Lift is the right solution for you or your loved one:
There are two main factors when considering an auto lift:
The make and model of your vehicle
The type of mobility device you use (wheelchair, power chair, scooter, etc.)
Hitch lifts come in various models and styles and contain a durable platform for your mobility device. Simply roll onto a platform, and your wheelchair, power chair, or scooter is lifted and secured behind your vehicle. For trunk access, a “swing away” button swings the platform to the side. When traveling without a mobility device, the platform folds to save space and minimize road hazards.
*The primary concern for a hitch lift is if the vehicle’s hitch can support the lift and mobility device.
Curbside lifts are installed in the back passenger side of the car. Curbside lift users simply pull up to a sidewalk, push a button, and a telescoping arm grasps and smoothly guides the wheelchair or scooter into the vehicle. A curbside lift is an ideal choice for caregivers or family members to use.
*Unfortunately, this lift eliminates third-row seating.
Hybrid Lifts are the most user-friendly lifts as well as the most durable. The hybrid lift is a wheelchair lift that lifts, secures, and stores your mobility device in the trunk of your car, away from the elements. The hybrid lift is ideal for wheelchairs, power chairs, and scooters.
*Like the crane lift, the hybrid lift eliminates third-row seating.
Get trusted auto lift advice and information from your local 101 Mobility.
If you struggle getting into and out of your vehicle, a turning automotive seat could really help! Click here to see a post about how they function, how much they cost, and how they can improve your independence on the road.
From all of us at 101 Mobility, enjoy your road trip!
Is there a better way to celebrate the holidays than with some quality craft time?! Here are 7 of the most creative, simple, and hot DIY crafts of the season. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a master, because these crafts are specially selected for people of all ages and skills. Crank up the seasonal music and dive in!
Picture Snow Globes
A winter wonderland craft that shows off the people you love! Simply place any photo into a mason jar and decorate with glitter, ribbons, and anything that screams “SNOW!” For step-by-step guidelines, click here. (photo: parenting.com)
Stockings are a great creative canvas because everyone has their own! Gather some materials and let your imagination take over. Make things more fun by seeing who can make the craziest stocking! (photo: couturecraft.blogspot.com)
Extra present bows, a foam wreath, ribbon, and glue are all you need to create this unique and festive decoration. Click here for a step-by-step tutorial from momspark.net. (photo: blog.willardandmay.com)
The most delicious DIY holiday craft. Gingerbread houses are a classic, and you can make it as traditional or wild as you wish! Snack on some candy and frosting while you create the house of your dreams. Don’t forget the M&M’s! (photo: allisondalke.com)
Name of Lights
A unique craft that’s great for a group of people! Simply cut light shapes out of colorful construction paper and tape them onto a string of yarn. Then, write a letter on each light until you have the name you want! Simple, easy, and fun. (photo: kristinroberts.wordpress.com)
Reindeer Flower Pots
Who doesn’t love Santa’s reindeer? Use old flower pots to make this cute reindeer craft! You can put candy inside when you’re finished for a cute home decoration this season. Click here for step-by-step instructions. (photo: jeffmorrey.wordpress.com)
Make your fridge festive with some ornament magnets! Simply glue magnets to your favorite ornaments and the kitchen is ready for the holidays. (photo: younghouselove.com)
What gift do you give to someone who already has everything? Click here to find out!
Crazy about Christmas? Check out one of our favorite Facebook groups, Christmas Tree, for great holiday photos to hype you up for December 25!
Happy Holidays from all of us at 101 Mobility!
Need gift ideas for the important, but tough-to-buy-for, seniors in your life? Use this guide to inspire your shopping this holiday season:
- Time together: Your time is one of the most valuable gifts you can give. Many older adults would rather spend time with the people they love instead of having another necktie or dust-collecting knickknack to knock about. A word of caution: don’t give the gift of time if you can’t commit to fulfilling it.
- Chore vouchers: Vouchers or coupons for help with basic chores (meal prep and clean-up, laundry, dusting, vacuuming, etc.) can be a meaningful gift for seniors. When you offer the chore voucher, set up dates to fulfill them as soon as possible.
- Helpful apps (& set-up help): There are tons of great apps for seniors today, from medication reminders and brain games to care management tools and digital Mahjongg. But who has time to set them up? Download a few apps for the senior in your life and spend some time showing them how it works.
- Gift cards for spa services or restaurants: Gift cards for the things that many consider “luxuries,” like going for a pedicure or enjoying dinner at a nice restaurant, are a terrific idea for older adults. (It would be wise to offer the gift of time as an added bonus, so you know that the gift cards will get used.)
- VTech CareLine Phone System: According to Alexis Abramson, Ph.D., this home telephone and personal communication system empowers seniors to stay socially connected in a way that supports their hearing, dexterity or vision challenges, thanks to the “large displays, photo speed dial & reminder capabilities, volume boost and a wearable pendant with one-button dialing that directly calls those pre-selected people who seniors communicate with most or for emergencies.”
- Liz & Ett adaptive clothing: After caring for both of her grandmothers, Liz Emery saw the need “for stylish apparel adapted to the needs of women with limited mobility.” Shop her online boutique for totes, “smockfrocks” and vests (for men and women) that are easy to wear and wash.
- Portable ramps: Look no further than our 101 Mobility site for gifts that make life a little easier for older adults dealing with mobility challenges. Check out our selection of light, modular, and folding ramps for the one that best meets your loved one’s needs.
- Auto door openers: If a senior you know uses a mobility aid like a cane, walker, or wheelchair, opening doors is no easy task. Surprise an older adult in your life this holiday with an automatic door opener from 101 Mobility.
- Lift chairs: Know what’s better than a La-Z-Boy? A lift chair. This super lush, completely comfortable, remote-controlled chair that’s easy to get in and out of would make a great gift for your senior loved one. Read more about them here.
When you have a lift chair, you have comfort. And don’t take that lightly–when I say comfort, I mean the place where happiness, contentment, and delight align. Birds are chirping and bunnies are hopping. A lift chair helps you stand up, sit down, recline, relax, and forget even the tiniest speck of stress.
Because it’s like sitting on a cloud. This is the chair that Goldilocks has been hunting for. Not too hard, soft, big, or small—just right. Something that conforms to your exact body frame and offers just the right amount of cushion. You didn’t choose this lift chair… it chose you.
It features a lush TV position. A lift chair has a big button that says “TV” on it. Press it, and you are automatically reclined into the most divine viewing position of your life: your feet are up, your back is stretched, and your neck is cradled in a headrest made of what you think can only be a several hand-selected cotton balls. Go ahead, turn on the TV—The Voice starts in three minutes!
Standing up is (almost) effortless. Has you ever been so cozy that the thought of getting up is unbearable? I know you’ve been there. You start thinking of how long you’ll hold that position… and suddenly… you aren’t that hungry. Dinner can make itself, for this very second must have your full attention. If standing up is the worst part of your day, a lift chair is the perfect assistant. At the push of a button, it sits you up from a reclining position and places you on the ground with a gentle touch. Lazy? No. Useful? Absolutely. You got up, didn’t you?
It’s automatically controlled by a fancy remote. The only annoying thing about recliners is that lever you have to find and yank before it catapults you from your cozy nest. A lift chair features a specialized remote that fits into the palm of your hand. Go ahead—lose control, because you have all of it at your fingertips.
Get comfort, convenience, and more with a luxurious lift chair. Start now by finding your local 101 Mobility!
Show Your Appreciation For Our Veterans
Living in America has its privileges. We can freely express our opinions and faith, pursue any career we choose, and write about anything that interests us. While we sometimes take these liberties for granted, it’s important to remember the people that made our way of life possible—and what better time than Veterans Day? Here are five simple ways to appreciate a Veteran.
Say Thank You
Out loud, to their face, with sincerity. If you see a Veteran (given away by commemorative hats, t-shirts, or other attire), stop by and say something like “I really appreciate your service for this country” or “Thank you for fighting for my rights.” It’s such a simple gesture but goes a long way for a Veteran who made your freedom possible.
Write it Down
Personal letters for deployed troops and Veterans are in demand. Connect with a Veteran via mail—tell them a little bit about yourself. Ask questions, but stray away from war and political topics. Remember: this thank you is about appreciation and respect, so try to keep the message upbeat and positive.
Doing some early spring cleaning? Consider donating the things you can’t keep to a local Veteran center. Things like clothes, coffee, board games, and books can make a huge difference in a Veteran’s life. Items like Beanie Babies and WebKinz are in high demand by Operation Gratitude. Get a lot of Halloween candy this year? Give some “sweet” donations to local Veterans!
Financial contributions are always encouraged. Non-profit Veteran centers like Operation Gratitude offer a specialized Veterans Care Package Program so Veterans know that their service is forever appreciated and remembered. Every $15 donated to Operation Guideline sends another care package to an appreciative Veteran. Learn more about financial contributions here.
Men and women have served in the military to ensure this country’s freedom and the ability for each voice to be heard. Go to your local government center and get registered. Do some web searching about politics and local candidates in your area, and start thinking about the next election.
For creative ideas to honor our service men and women currently serving in the military, check out our blog post: 4 DIY Gifts for Veterans Day.
During my time as a Certified Nursing Assistant, I was able to learn a lot from my senior patients. Being a caregiver on a day-to-day basis calls for fresh ideas to promote social, intellectual, physical, and overall wellness. Here are some creative tools and resources from caregivers encouraging exceptional patient care to seniors and the disabled.
1. Online Communication—Interaction with other caregivers on the web who are experiencing the same situation could create a sense of community. Online forums and support groups allow members to share stories, tips, technological developments, and even insurance information about various subjects and topics. Groups on www.caring.com include posts about Alzheimer’s/Dementia, Caring for a Parent, Diabetes, and more.
2. Health Tracking Programs—Monarcares allows caregivers to store their patient’s information in one secure and private place. Easily access medical, financial, and legal records via a web-based application. Coordinating a care plan for an aging adult or a patient with disability has never been easier!
3. Assistive Devices—Assistive devices like stair lifts, wheelchair ramps, grab bars, or automatic door openers could improve mobility and eliminate struggles around the home, making for happier patient and a less worried caregiver. 101 Mobility offers these devices with professional installations. Click here to find the location nearest you.
4. Tablet/iPad—Tablets and iPads are a great way for seniors to stay connected and enhance cognitive development. The user-friendly “swiping” control is great for those struggling with arthritis. Additionally, screen brightness levels can be adjusted for improved visibility.Seniors can face time with family, read a book, play a game, or swipe through photos of their grandchildren with ease.
5. Skype—Seeing loved ones in real time could make all the difference. If your patient is away from family or doesn’t get to visit them very often, Skyping could help them visibly and audibly reconnect on a level they hadn’t thought possible. Telling their grandchild a bedtime story or seeing their daughter’s kitchen remodel in real time could strengthen a senior’s familial bond and eliminate loneliness.
6. AARP Caregiving Resource Center—For relevant blogs, senior housing, assessment checklists, and endless advice, AARP is an exceptional caregiving tool. This site is a go-to for family and patient planning and covers all the bases—from insurance to grief and loss counseling. See how it can make a difference in your caregiving plan by checking it out here.
Have you used any of these tools or resources during your time as a caregiver? Do you have any advice to share about your personal caregiving experiences? We want to hear about it!
Before his dementia advanced, my grandfather was busy creating woodcarvings and other treasures in his workshop—his strong, work-worn hands guiding heavy pieces of wood through table saws with ease and grace. But when he lost the ability to walk, getting him to the workshop was next to impossible – not to mention he wouldn’t have been able to safely manipulate the tools and equipment.
For seniors who are bedbound or homebound (as well as their caregivers), it’s important to stay engaged and active in order to avoid depression, isolation, and boredom, which can sometimes lead to other physical ailments too (i.e. bedsores, insomnia, weight loss). Here are 8 activity ideas to inspire you:
- Explore the world via the World Wide Web. Some older adults are still hesitant about using computers, but there are so many ways to get online these days – and so much to do when there – that it’s often worth the time, expense, and effort of introducing it. Look up your alma mater, , play games, stay in touch with family and friends, make new friends, research everything you’ve wondered about: the possibilities are endless.
- Mind the view. This is especially important for those who are bedbound. In the article Staying Happy When You’re Homebound, you’ll find great suggestions for keeping the view outside the window(s) interesting, and how they can be a source of ongoing intrigue and activity (i.e. people-watching, bird-watching, gardening).
- Board games don’t have to be boring. From Scrabble to solitaire and jigsaw puzzles to Jenga, games are a great way to connect generations and keep caregivers/carees from resorting to hours of mindless TV-watching. If you’re open to digital games, there’s a host of them online, and many retirement communities have found the Wii to be a wonderful way for seniors to stay physically active without leaving the building.
- Write a letter or call someone — without using a computer. It’s such a simple activity, but has great benefits. Correspondence keeps you socially connected, gives you something to look forward to, and ensures that someone outside the house knows how you’re doing.
- Tinker. So maybe you can’t work on a vehicle or build a piece of furniture if you’re bedbound, but there are certainly smaller items you can take apart and reassemble, refurbish, and rewire.
- Do something creative or learn something new. Drawing, knitting, crocheting, painting, calligraphy, working with modeling clay, writing poetry, listening to music or lectures: these can all be done at home and even from bed.
- Work/volunteer. Whether it’s making follow-up calls or providing advice to businesses or tutoring students, many jobs can be done from home these days. Learn more in this article from AARP: Work from Home Jobs for Retirees. Or do it the old-fashioned way: look up a few local non-profits in your phone book and call to see if they need any help.
My grandfather loved getting mail from Publisher’s Clearing House (PCH). Though he occasionally bought a few of the advertised knickknacks in hopes of a big sweepstakes win, I’m thankful it never went further.
Unfortunately, many seniors find themselves the targets of scams that are much bigger — and way more financially damaging — than PCH.
According the National Council on Aging, the top ten scams impacting seniors are as follows: health care/medicare/health insurance fraud, counterfeit prescription drugs, funeral and cemetery scams, fraudulent anti-aging products, telemarketing (i.e. fake accident policies or fake charities soliciting funds), internet fraud, investment schemes, homeowner/reverse mortgage scams, sweepstakes and lottery scams, and the grandparent scam (i.e. a phone call from a grandchild asking for money via Western Union).
Here are a few tips for preventing the financial harm that scams can cause:
Tip #1: Ask questions. If a piece of mail seems fishy, an email suspicious, or a call bizarre, then it’s probably not legitimate. Ask questions of the sender/caller to learn more about the nature of their request and the so-called company they’re representing. If it’s a scam, they’re likely to get nervous, hang up quickly or drop online communication once you start investigating further.
Tip #2: Be on your guard. You don’t want to be so cautious that you become paranoid. However, it is important to be vigilant, to be aware of your finances, protective of your identity, and the way your personal information is shared. Unfortunately, many financial abuse scams involving seniors happen at the hands of family members or close friends trusted with highly sensitive personal data. Be sure that the person you choose to manage your family’s finances has been thoroughly vetted and is held accountable by an objective third party or other trusted family member.
Tip #3: Don’t give out sensitive personal information. On the phone, on the internet, in the store: whether it’s your home address or Social Security Number, it’s almost always unnecessary for retailers, vendors or others to have this information. If someone asks for this data, ask questions (as per tip #1) as to why it’s necessary, and if the answer is vague (as it’s likely to be), cancel your order and walk away from the transaction.
Tip #4: Research their credentials. Along with asking questions, it’s important to dig a little deeper on the experience, track record and background of the person or business promising great things at a great price. This is especially true in the case of purchasing, renting or installing mobility equipment. Don’t just go for the cheaper rates. Work with a recommended, experienced professional company or individual to be sure that the equipment is safely and properly installed.
Tip #5: Beef up your online security efforts. If you are active online — even just for a few hours here and there — make sure all your systems are secured. Change your passwords often, backup your important documents, do regular virus checks, enable a spam filter on email, and stay away from spammy sites.
On February 13th, 2013, students at the University of North Carolina Wilmington hosted the 19th Annual Young at Heart Social. More than 100 seniors from the community came to UNCW’s campus to socialize and dance with UNCW’s student volunteers.
Due to our local presence in Wilmington, we felt that this is one event that our team needed to be involved with – so we went and tried our best to keep up with the seniors as they danced the jitterbug, waltz, and electric slide among many other dances. In between favorite songs, we seized the opportunity to speak with the local seniors.
Meet the musician who jammed all night long, from jazz to blues and other classics – this band man was the cat’s meow!
When asked if they were married, the woman with the flower in her hair exclaimed, “Of course we are married! Look at how I am matching his tie!” The couple has been married for 45 years.
This 73 year old dancing queen was a bell of the ball, she enjoyed herself throughout the night and was an amazing dancer. Her words of wisdom were simple, “Always dance.”
Gertrude in the red and Joe in his vest have been happily married for 60 years. Gertrude immigrated from Holland in 1948 and fell in love with Joe. They both danced throughout the night, teaching others how to box step.
This young man politely asked this beautiful woman to the dance floor. She tapped her feet on the hardwood as he scooted her around. After a song or two, the young man knelt down to both knees at eye level. They are pictured sharing an embrace after several songs, both delighted!
This is Maureen Parks. She has had Parkinson’s for 18 years and can’t stand without assistance or assistive technology. Our Marketing Director, Joel Brenner, had the pleasure of escorting Ms. Parks to the dance floor. Joel describes the dance,”She was able to stand as long as I held her and we danced, she told me that dancing with me was the first time in a long time that she didn’t feel old or Ill. She trembled in my hands as the music played, and she was nervous I think about being judged, but we just made a dance out of it and laughed together. When her caregiver came to tell her it was time to go she got sad… I begged the caretaker to wait for the end of the song and she obliged. That caused one of the best smiles I’ve seen.”
“We met in Brooklyn and been married for 50 years!” exclaimed Richard. When asked what has held them together, Betty gushingly says with a smile, “He’s a really good guy.” Richard responds, “She has always been patient with me!”
It was our pleasure to be involved in such a fun-natured event that helped to bridge the gaps between generations. We saw everyone whether they were wheelchair bound or not, young or old grooving to band’s jazzy tunes and smiling. Our belief is that more needs to be done to bridge gaps between the generations. We all have a lot to learn from each other and we can all contribute to making our communities a better place. Happy Valentines Day!
We are active members of our communities. Click here to reach out to the 101 Mobility location closest to you!
101 Mobility St. Louis opens as the city’s only nationally branded full-service sales, maintenance, and installation provider of a complete line of mobility equipment, including stair lifts, auto lifts, ramps, porch lifts, patient lifts, power wheelchairs, scooters and more. Owner, Brad Kolhbrecher proudly represents 101 Mobility’s 23rd franchisee.
101 Mobility’s national partnerships with trusted brands will enable families across St. Louis to choose from diverse mobility product lines manufactured with specific considerations in mind ranging from dexterity issues to limited space. In a city of stone steps, narrow staircases and turn-of-the-century homes, Brad Kohlbrecher knows that customization is key. His goal is simple,
“There is a great need for mobility solutions in St. Louis and my hope is that we can safely help keep people in their homes.”
As a former Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) of eight years, Brad Kolhbrecher has seen firsthand just how devastating the lack of awareness for mobility solutions can be.
“Throughout my years of experience as an EMT, we’ve had many people have to return to the hospital soon after they were released because their homes were not equipped with what they would need to recover. I’ve seen a lot of senior citizens go to nursing homes as a preventative measure or to recover from a fall. They would go for temporary rehabilitation and end up dying in there. Most St. Louis families simply don’t know that there are products out there to keep their loved ones safe at home. They don’t realize that something like a stair lift costs the same as a month in the nursing home.”
Brad’s own mother-in-law was sent to a nursing home for knee-replacement rehabilitation. She was so unhappy in the facility that she refused to stay. His mother-in-law’s dissatisfaction led him to search for alternate solutions. Simultaneously, Brad was also researching entrepreneurial opportunities when a franchise consultant brought 101 Mobility to his attention. His personal experiences combined with a degree in BioMedics made opening a 101 Mobility franchise in his home of St. Louis a no-brainer.
“It was pretty clear that 101 Mobility made the most sense, all the pieces fit into place.”
Brad and his team of mobility experts will strive to help St. Louis residents maintain their independence and enjoy a high quality of life. 101 Mobility St. Louis is employing an aggressive online marketing strategy joined with focused grassroots efforts to spread awareness about options to increase accessibility for those who are aging or living with a disability.
“We aren’t just selling products but reliable mobility solutions that work for the customer. We will go out of our way to provide solutions for any challenges that a customer may have.”
We’re thrilled that Gordon Raney, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist and the co-owner/operator (along with wife, Jennifer Raney) of 101 Mobility franchises in Tulsa and Dallas, has shared his expertise about choosing the best stairlift in a three-part series here on the blog.
In part one (read it here), Raney talked about the cost of a stairlift, how it would attach to your staircase, and other fundamental basics. In part two (read it here), Raney covered the difference between curved and straight stairlifts, and what power options are available.
This last post in the series is focused on lift modification options and how to measure for stairlifts.
Can you modify a stairlift if needed?
Raney: If there is a special issue or circumstance regarding stairlift use, an individual should not hesitate to contact a reputable dealer. Manufacturers of some lifts are willing to modify the units in order to meet the needs of their customers, and it’s possible that they’ve developed a solution through their years of experience. At 101 Mobility, we are currently working with one manufacturer to retrofit a larger seat and footrest combination onto an older lift in a customer’s home.
Items such as the stairlift controls and different seating and restraint devices can be often modified to suit a customer’s needs.
How do you measure for a stairlift?
Raney: Measuring for a stair lift is something that should be done by a professional who has experience in performing installations. I would be wary of groups that offer discounts for taking the measurements yourself, as doing so can lead to disastrous situations. A knowledgeable dealer can also help determine the best location and which side of the staircase may work better for an individual’s home.
Measurements that are generally needed are as follows:
- Total length of the staircase, also factoring in the appropriate amount of rail overhang at the top of stairs in order to ensure proper seat height.
- Net tread and rise of the stairs. Several measurements are needed, as not all stairs within a staircase are the same. These measurements will determine the angle of the stairlift rails and also help determine the appropriate amount of additional rail overhang needed to add to the total rail length.
- Width of staircase should be considered. Instaircases narrower than 32” it becomes difficult to install standard units. Depending on which unit is needed or selected, a wider staircase may be required to allow for proper rail placement and seat clearances.
NOTE: For curved stairlift applications, many manufacturers have developed camera systems that will allow the dealer to perform exact measurements on challenging (i.e. spiral) staircases. This will ensure the best fit and that the stairlift is optimally placed within the staircase.
Browse our selection of stairlifts here.