Archive for the ‘ Mobility ’ Category

Aging at home is usually most people’s preferred way to spend life’s autumn years.  To do so, it is a good idea to make some changes in order to ensure safety and comfort for ourselves or our loved ones.  Michael Joseph, an experienced interior designer, offers ways to make a home the ideal place for seniors to enjoy their days and to maintain their independence – without the worry of accidental falls or injury.

Thank you, Michael, for your practical tips.

 

 

7 Ways Seniors Can Make their Home Elderly-Friendly

If you are one of those who would like to live out your years in the beautiful home you have so lovingly built over the years when your children were growing up, the thought of shifting to an assisted living facility will certainly not appeal to you.  But as the years roll by, the inescapable facts of slower mobility, weaker grasping capacity, fading eyesight, and the tendency to lose your balance, raise the following question, “What can I do to modify my own home so that I am able to take up the challenges of life independently and in a meaningful way?”

Here are seven simple ways in which you can do this. Take a walk around your home and look at things from a fresh perspective. And if you need advice, there’s a wealth of information online to help you along the way.1

 

1.  Keep your home free of all clutter

Unnecessary clutter can make it difficult and even unsafe for an older person to move around freely at home, so the first step is to eliminate all such clutter. Put away extra stuff that is not normally needed. Ensure that the electrical cords of appliances and electronic equipment are arranged safely out of the way.

 

2.  Make alterations to reduce the risk of falling

Many areas in the home need attention if you are to reduce the risk of falling. Your floors should be made of slip-resistant material, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. Avoid the use of area rugs, but if you must have them, secure them with non-skid tape. If your floors are carpeted, use low-pile carpeting, which is safest for those using walkers or who have a problem with keeping their balance.

Thresholds are a dangerous trip-point so, wherever possible, have threshold-free doorways.

Installation of grab bars around the tub, shower and toilet will provide stability and safety. Make sure that these grab bars are anchored solidly onto the walls. Handrails fitted onto staircases, at waist-length, will be of great help to those who, occasionally, need to steady their balance. Stairs that are all one color can be unsafe for many older people who have fading eyesight or loss of depth perception.  If the edge of the tread on the staircase is clearly defined with a contrasting color, it will help prevent falls.

Cover your entranceway so that during the wet weather it will remain dry and prevent you from slipping. Just inside the entranceway, place a small table and chair or bench for putting down stuff you have brought into your home. This will provide a measure of safety and comfort when you come in and as you change your shoes.

 

3.  Adjust things systematically for easy accessibility

There are heaps of ways in which you can make things easy for yourself, some of which are listed below:

  • Replace door knobs with lever handles that are easy to pull. This will help particularly if you have trouble manipulating the door knobs because of arthritis.

 

  • In the bathroom, replace dual water faucets with single-handle lever faucets, which apart from being easy on your hands, will reduce the chances of scalding yourself at the sink. A pressure-balanced control will do the same in the shower where a hand-held showerhead will be far easier to use for someone with limited mobility. While grab bars may help with negotiating the bath tub, it makes more sense to install a seated step-in shower with an entry which has a minimal step to go over, if any.

 

  • Place light switches (illuminated rocker switches instead of the standard toggle type) lower down on the walls so that they can be accessed easily, even by someone in a wheelchair.

 

 

4.  Improve lighting arrangements

It is essential to have sufficient lighting in every room, in the hallway, near doorways, on the stairways and especially at the main entryway.  Don’t forget the porches and pathways outdoors as well. Put night lights in wall outlets and leave them on at night in the bathroom and kitchen at least. Alternately, install motion-sensitive lighting throughout your home.

Let plenty of natural light enter the home in the daytime but use blinds or drapes to control any unnecessary glare.

 

5.  Beef up security arrangements 

Elderly people are often soft targets for unscrupulous elements, so it is imperative that you strengthen your security arrangements.

 

6.  Reduce Energy Costs 

If your budget permits, you can also strengthen your home’s thermal envelope by changing doors and windows to energy-efficient replacements. Elderly folk can benefit from the greater degree of comfort, security and savings in energy costs that these provide. The newer replacement windows with their dual-paned glazing and low-E coating are much stronger than the old single-paned windows and with laminated coating, they become tougher and more difficult to break into. You might want to consider investing in energy-efficient windows with Comfort365 from Champion Window. These have the Energy-Star labels and you’ll save significantly on your utility bills over time.

 

7.  Widen entry doors

If you intend to install a new entry door, consider widening the doorway to make it easy to maneuver a wheelchair easily through it and fit the door with a wide-angle peephole at a lower height for the simple reason that with age, height also decreases.

 

Additional Resources:

American Association of Retired Persons: www.aarp.org

Home Modification Resource Center: www.homemods.org

National Council on Aging: www.ncoa.org

The AARP Home Fit Guide at homefitguide.org

Rebuilding Together: www.rebuildingtogether.org

 

 

About the author

My name is Michael Joseph, a freelance writer who has had 12 years of experience as an interior designer. I have a natural flair for interior and exterior home decor. I believe home improvements should not only be aesthetic but sensible and energy-efficient as well.

 

Family caregivers (carers) may eventually be faced with finding the right equipment for their loved ones.  One such type of equipment is mobility equipment, which can greatly impact the quality of life of a loved one who can no longer get around on his or her own. Using wheelchairs may allow the caree to see more or do more. Selecting the right one, however, requires a bit of research on the caregiver’s (carer’s) part.

The Care Shop shares some useful information for when it’s time to find a wheelchair for your loved one.

Thank you, Care Shop Medical Team, for your tips.

 

 

Choosing the Right Wheelchair

When a person’s mobility is affected, getting around can be a challenge. Whether it’s due to a disability or old age, being able to maintain a good level of mobility is an extremely important factor in a person’s overall quality of life. This can be achieved through various medical aids, such as walking apparatus and wheelchairs, which can be found through organisations such as the Care Shop. A wheelchair is a convenient and simple way to get from place to place, but choosing the right kind of wheelchair can represent a challenge in and of itself. Each type of wheelchair comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages that are worth considering. There are three main categories of wheelchair:

  • Self-Propelled – These wheelchairs are manually controlled by the person using it.

 

  • Attendant-Propelled – These wheelchairs are controlled by someone else, such as a Carer.

 

  • Electric Powered – These wheelchairs are powered by electricity and come in two types. A class 2 wheelchair can be used on the pavement, while a class 3 can be used on the pavement and the road.

 

Wheelchair - www.mobilitynationwide.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.mobilitynationwide.co.uk

 

When looking at your options, you need to think about what you’re going to use the wheelchair for and for how long. Is the wheelchair temporary and strictly for short-term use or do you need a model for an extended period? Will the wheelchair only be used outside or inside? Answering these questions will give you a much better idea of what to choose. For example, electric powered wheelchairs are good for outdoor use but they can be heavy and awkward to move around, whereas some self-propelled wheelchairs can be adapted and adjusted to better suit the needs of its user. Self-propelled wheelchairs would be suited for someone that is relatively active and for short trips, while attendant-propelled and electric powered chairs can be used for longer journeys.

Wheelchair in use - www.blog.easystand.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.blog.easystand.com

 

In the case of attendant-propelled wheelchairs, there are other things to consider. If the wheelchair is going to be manually pushed by someone else, then the wheelchair needs to be usable by them as well as the person sitting in it. So, is it easy to manoeuvre? Can you easily lift it? Will it fit in the boot of your car? These are questions that you must ask yourself in order to find which wheelchair is the right one for you. It also helps to understand how the design of wheelchairs works; large rear wheels, for example, make the chair easier to manoeuvre than smaller wheels. If you plan to use it frequently then you might benefit from a lighter, foldable model that you can place into your car with ease.

The ultimate aim in choosing your wheelchair is to end up with a model that meets your needs and requirements as an individual whilst being comfortable and easy to use. It’s recommended that you test each wheelchair thoroughly before you buy it, preferably somewhere where you’re most likely to use it, such as in the home or out on the road. This will help you to determine whether it’s the right chair for you.

 

 

This article was contributed by The Care Shop Medical Team – Care Shop are leading suppliers of medical products for care homes and hospitals.

 

 

Family caregivers and relatives need to be on their toes when it comes to safety and security for their loved ones. Seniors, who may not be up-to-date on the latest technology or wave of clever scams, could easily become victims.  Naomi Broderick’s article below provides some tips to give them a better chance of avoiding these ruthless schemes.

Thank you, Naomi, for contributing this post.

 

 

How to Prevent Elders from Becoming Victims

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Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/4636267865/

Jeanne, an elderly aunt on my father’s side, had received a phone call recently from her niece who had gotten arrested during Spring break while away in Spain. She sounded desperate, pleading for bail money and promises that she wouldn’t tell her parents. My aunt, concerned and caring, wired over nearly five hundred dollars on good faith. Except her niece had spent Spring break with her parents in Oregon, had never had been to Spain, and was certainly never arrested.

It’s unfortunate that the elderly are often seen by many as defenseless targets to be exploited rather than people to respect and appreciate. And in Jeanne’s case, it could easily be said that she got away relatively unharmed compared to other victimized elders. While we don’t want to keep our loved ones away from socializing and enjoying life independently when they can, we also want to keep them away from those who would take advantage of them. Here are a few ways we can make a difference in keeping seniors healthy and away from those who would take advantage of them:

Maintain Good Home Security

Seniors are hardly more vulnerable than when home alone. Although caregivers tend to avoid it, circumstances and unexpected events can make being home along a necessity from time to time. This is a particular problem for seniors with serious medical conditions who need supervision. Besides the risk of potential health crises, crooks are not likely to be deterred by seniors left home alone.

To ward away unwanted guests, consider installing a home alarm system to detect when there is a break-in. Senior citizens should be carefully advised with how to arm and disarm the system in order to prevent false alarms – or worse, like an unreported invasion. In addition to a professional system, maintain well-kempt premises, keep lawn equipment and other debris from the area, and consider motion-sensing lighting. All of these will deter potential thieves from taking advantage of your residence when your elders are home alone.

In addition to detecting burglars, security systems can also be used to detect fire or gas leaks. This might be particularly important for elders who are mobility-impaired. There are also several varieties of life monitoring programs which can detect when someone is suffering a medical problem, and these services work to immediately dispatch medical aid when necessary.

Educate Elders on Scams and Schemes in the 21st Century

Sadly, elders are more susceptible to falling prey to scams for several reasons. For one, older individuals are less likely to understand how information can be retrieved and used against others online. In an era of social media, it can be exceedingly easy to learn a lot about someone that an elder wouldn’t expect a stranger to know. Scammers often use this “foot-in-the-door” approach in suckering in unfortunate people.

Some sites take advantage of seniors’ lack of knowledge regarding terms of use and information security; often, people posing as representatives of banks, insurance companies, or family friends might make offers or point out urgent problems that require their personal information. These scammers are highly resourceful, and can make their proposition seem very authentic.

Elders should be taught that personal information should never be transferred online, no matter how urgent someone makes something out to be. If they believe something to be authentic, advise them to contact someone else from the company or research the potential scam online. This can be particularly easy for unknown telephone numbers. Internet search tools make it as easy as typing the number in to see if there have been any scam reports.

In general, elders should be taught to verify any information through an official site or number before giving anyone their personal info. As with advertising, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Seniors should be taught to not give into pressure or emotional manipulation. Check GuardOnline.gov for more tips on online safety.

What other tips do you think caretakers can benefit from in helping senior citizens avoid becoming victims at home or online?

 

About the author: Naomi Broderick is a full-time mother of three and a part-time professional writer who enjoys blogging tips and advice about home security. She currently writes with Protect Your Home.

 

The new caregiver links below provide tips and experiences from other family caregivers, spiritual motivation and support, as well as getaways to find inspiration and relaxation.

 

HELP WITH HOME CARE

Boomer to Boomer Online  – sharing information, lessons, tips, stories about caregiving

Care to Know  – information, experiences about home care; support for caregivers & families

Community Care Access Centre   – connecting you to care to remain at home; long-term care, Ontario

OTCsafety  – information, tips to safely use over-the-counter medicines

We Shop and Deliver  – groceries delivered to your home – available in some states in US

Your Task Angels   – help with homecare, errands, transportation

 

 

HEALTH & MEDICAL

Parkinson’s Disease Foundation   – research funding, information, strategies for living with Parkinson’s

Basic Spine  –  brain & spine care, CA

Gayle Paul  – psychotherapist, relationship expert; tips & research on happiness

Lewy Body Dementia Association  – outreach, education, research, support for those affected by LBD

Connecting-Nurses   – nurses sharing ideas, advice, innovation

 

 

MOTIVATION & DIVERSIONS

The Best Brain Possible  – information & inspiration to improve your brain & your life

Rest Ministries   – spiritual, emotional support for people living with chronic illness, pain

It’s Because I Love You by Linda Joan Arzente, BSN, RN  – information guide on senior caregiving; tips, checklists for good caregiving

Wheelchair Accessible Holiday Homes for Disabled People  –   holiday villas in France, Hungary, The Netherlands & Thailand for disabled people

Camping-Holiday-Sites   – camping holidays in Europe

Gypsy Nester    – celebrating life after kids: adventures discovering the world!

Clever Housewife  – helping others with budgeting, parenting, recipes, DIY, etc.

Puzzle with Me   – puzzles for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their caregivers; 10% of revenue goes directly to Alzheimer’s Disease International for research & support

 

Are the elderly necessarily “old”?

I’ll bet most of us hadn’t thought that the terms could actually be two separate things!  The article below puts aging into perspective and helps the elderly use exercise as a way to deter “old age” from creeping up on them too soon.  Exercise and physical activity may just be the real fountain of youth!

Thank you, Ross, for opening up our minds and setting the record straight about exercising and aging.

 

Why rising longevity needn’t mean more “older” people

by Ross Stevens

 

We read so much these days about ever increasing longevity and how this is going to put so much pressure on the health service and on local authorities who
are responsible for care of the elderly. All this assumes, rather pessimistically, that people are going to carry on becoming “Old” at the same age as in the past.

Perhaps if more effort was put into helping people prevent old age showing itself until much later in life, the burden on welfare services would not necessarily rise in line with rising life expectancy. Tomorrow’s 80 year old could be like today’s 70 year old. Probably the most essential contribution to such an effort would have to come from much more focus on exercise and physical activities for the elderly.

The problem is that people have it ingrained in their minds that the elderly don’t “do” exercise. Here are some of the usual myths that abound and why they are totally unfounded:

 

Myth 1: There’s no point in exercising. I’m going to get old anyway.

Fact: Exercise and strength training helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk of succumbing to a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity.

 

Myth 2: Elderly people shouldn’t exercise. They should save their strength and rest.

Fact: Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy for the elderly.  There is absolutely no doubt about this whatsoever. Inactivity often causes the elderly to lose the ability to do things on their own and can lead to more hospitalisation, doctor visits, and use of medicines for illnesses.

 

Myth 3: Exercise puts me at risk of falling down.

Fact: Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling.

 

Myth 4: It’s too late. I’m already too old to start exercising.

Fact: You’re never too old to exercise! If you’ve never exercised before, or it’s been a while, start with light walking and other gentle activities.

 

Myth 5: I’m disabled. I can’t exercise sitting down.

Fact: Chair-bound people face special challenges but can lift light weights, stretch, and do chair aerobics to increase range of motion, improve muscle tone, and promote cardiovascular health.

 

Of course, people of a certain age cant just charge off and start exerting themselves willy-nilly, especially if they have not exercised much in the past.  The trick is to embrace the exercises that can benefit an ageing body, without damaging it. The goal of exercise for those aged over, say, 60 is not to burn calories or increase muscle bulk, but to build strength, endurance, balance and health for a better quality of life.

 

So, what are the best options available at little or no cost?

Swimming

Swimming is a longstanding favorite of gerontologists and the elderly alike.  The benefits of swimming seem specifically tailored to the needs of the over 60s. Physical activity done in water takes away the pressure on painful joints and muscles. Movement is gentle and need not strain the body. It also helps build muscles and can have a strong positive effect on the heart and circulatory system. Additionally, there are many opportunities for swimming, as most larger towns and cities have public pools and many provide classes well suited to elderly swimmers.

 

Walking

Walking can be done at the precise pace that an older person is comfortable with. It improves cardio-vascular function and strengthens leg, pelvic and spinal bones and leg and core muscles. It is important to start slowly and
take precautions. For the very elderly and those in recovery, it may be wise to walk with a partner who pushes a wheelchair behind you. Even in these
circumstances, to walk is to build the strength to fight against permanent immobility.

 

Exercises at home

Older people can do many exercises in their own living rooms. These exercises are usually gentler versions of common work outs, such as wall press-ups (the same as a normal press-up except against a wall, not the floor) and light-weight arm curls can help build strong chest and arm muscles. Many exercises may be done from a chair, such as “squats” (lifting your body a short distance from the chair without using arms or momentum) and leg lifts. These exercises are convenient to do and help maintain bone and muscle strength throughout the body.

 

Warning Signs

However enthusiastic they may be, it goes without saying that elderly people need to be sensible and be particularly aware of warning signs that indicate fatigue or an emergency while exercising. The warning signs include chest pain or pressure, excessive shortness of breath, any intense pain, dizziness and nausea. If these symptoms occur, they should stop at once. If they persist, they
should consult their doctor.

 

 

Hallmark Care Homes

“Ross is a reformed tea addict who now gets his buzz from running and going to the gym. He is a copywriter for the digital generation and enjoys connecting with others in the industries he writes on behalf for.”

 

 

The new caregiver links below bring you in-home care, technology to keep loved ones safe at home, an app for issues that you need to discuss with your doctor, medication management, health and support for caregivers and patients.

 

 

FINDING CARE

PG Caregiving    –  find caregiving help, resources, information; MD

Encompass Senior Solutions Omaha   –  assessment, in-home care, living strategies for Seniors and their families; Omaha, NE

Potomac Valley Nursing & Wellness Center    – community for Seniors provides skilled nursing, rehab, palliative, Memory Care

Comfort Keepers    –  in-home Senior care, technology to keep Seniors safe at home or call for help in an emergency -Kingsport, TN

Well Being Senior Solutions    –  Holistic in-home care, medication management, fall prevention in Fresno, CA

Senior Homes    –  find local Senior homes: assisted living, nursing homes, Memory care & retirement communities. Information & articles on Senior homes to help you make the right choice

Caregiver Monday    –  the latest tips, news, resources to help caregivers take care of themselves, manage stress, find support

The Accidental Caregiver by Gregor Collins    –  the transformation of a self-absorbed actor to a loving caregiver

Express-Well    –  app to organize your thoughts & medical information to make the most of your doctor’s visit

Mountainside Medical Equipment    –  factory-direct medical equipment & supplies

Home Buddy    –  medical alert system, medication dispensers, tele-health monitoring

 

 

CONDITIONS, HEALTH, SUPPORT, PATIENT BLOGS

Healthy Women    –  news, information, resources for women’s health & healthy living

Life Matters with Larry Bofman    –  radio show focusing on the important matters in life

AARP Caregiver Resource Center    –  connect with caregivers, find support, resources, expert advice

Alzheimer’s Society of Peel    –  counseling, support groups, day programs, bereavement, education for families with Alzheimer’s; Region of Peel

805 Therapy    –  support groups, individual counseling, life coaching; Ventura County, CA

TeenScreen    –  mental health checkups for teens

No Boobs About It    –  information, resources, support to get through breast cancer treatment & on with life

A Rape Survivors Journey    –  blog about sexual abuse & domestic violence to help other victims heal, insights on what victims feel/think & their struggle to live their life

eFuneral    –  online resources to research, plan, arrange funeral services

 

The new caregiving links below can help you find support, order orthotics or wheelchairs, or share insights about cancer or aging:

 

CAREGIVERS HOTLINE 1-800-958-2895

Friday – Saturday     10pm – 1am

Sunday                     8pm – 11pm

LIVE 24/7 as of October 19, 2012!

 

Leave the Light On  – a place for caregivers to talk about their challenges

BarterQuest  – trade goods, services, real estate

eNanny Source  – find nannies

Top 10 Resource Books for Nannies  – career guides, information for nannies written by nannies & experts

Health Appliance  – wheelchairs, mobility & exercise equipment for sale

Optec USA  – orthotic fabrication & patient support

Dancing Giraffe  –  information to inspire, support & challenge people with disabilities

Colma Cremation  –  cremation & funeral services; grief support

Care Giver Project   – awareness of aging, family and caregiver issues

Dr. Amy Caregiver Wellness   – information, support, services for caregiving

What Next  – first-hand accounts of cancer patients, survivors, caregivers so you know what to expect

Family Link  –  communication & monitoring system for seniors

Get Old  – share how you feel about getting old, read how others feel

Caregiver Respite Locator   – search for caregiver respite in your area

Eldercare Locator Caregiver Resources   – Caregiver respite, resources, support groups, counseling, services in your area

 

The new caregiving links below can help you find in-home care as well as a home for your Senior.  Telehealth brings the doctor to your chronically ill loved one and medical alert systems help to keep them safe.  Cadence BioMedical’s Kickstart helps people with mobility impairments walk, improve stability and enhances their rehab!

Do take advantage of the products and services below, which aim to ease your caregiving and loved one’s, too.

 

PROVIDING CARE

Caregiver’s Survival Network  – connect with other caregivers & resources on Caregiver’s Survival Network Facebook Page  (website under construction)

eCare Diary  – bringing resources to caregivers: find care, learning center, shopping

Right at Home  – In-home care and assistance Rancho

Jae-Chell Adult Family Care Home – adult family care home in West Palm Beach, FL

Quality Life Solutions  – geriatric care management, financial and legal services in Fresno, CA

Care Cycle Solutions  – telehealth & managing care for the chronically ill

 

 

HEALTH PRODUCTS

Pink Ribbon Annex  – resource for women who have or had breast cancer: garments, products, information, education & awareness

Type Free Diabetes  – diabetic products, medical supplies, recipes

Dignity Resource Council  – garments for showering or personal hygiene

Sunny SleeveZ  – chemical-free sun protection for arms

Cadence BioMedical  – Kickstart helps to make walking easier with mobility device

Seniors Living Independently  – lift chairs and scooters

Rescue Alert of CA  – medical alert system & medical alarms for Seniors

 

 

COPING WITH CAREGIVING

JOY-spirations for Caregivers & other inspiring books by KarenBoerger

Caregiving Our Loved Ones: Stories and Strategies that Will Change Your Life by Nanette J. Davis, Ph.D.

The Purple Jacket  – caregiving needs of LGBT seniors and caregivers

Stress Free Kids  –  books, CD’s to reduce stress, anxiety, anger for kids, teens, adults

 

 

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT

Norfolk Disabled-Friendly Cottages  – self-catering cottages for able and disabled guests on a working farm in Bircham, UK

Travel-World  – reservations for hotels, cars, flights

Senior Ave  – online source for senior nightlife, travel and social events

 

Numerous agencies aim to enhance the lives of elderly, disabled or chronically ill persons across the country and worldwide.  Finding them, however, seems to be a bit of a challenge.  I think that part of the reason is that unless we are looking for specific services and do some digging, we don’t usually see billboards or hear ads during prime time television or radio about, say, support groups for cancer patients or PTSD literature.  They are frequently tucked away in health sections of the newspaper, which may only catch the eye of someone already dealing with such issues.  Seldom do I see information on new pain treatments or transportation for the elderly, for instance, while I’m out and about so that I am aware of their existence and can research them if and when the need arises.

It so happened that I attended a “Get Acquainted with AGE” meeting in Austin last Tuesday.  The group met initially in their Caregiver Resource Center, which housed on the walls all around the room, information about many organizations and agencies providing services for seniors and their family caregivers.  I had no idea of how many there were!  Directors of AGE, which serves seniors in this capital city, mentioned several ways in which the non-profit helps the elderly and often chronically ill or disabled.  One of the services that stood out in my mind was their Durable Medical Equipment Lending Closet.  In actuality, this program is the means by which a mobility impaired individual can retain some independence.  AGE lends wheelchairs, canes, scooters, walkers and anything else that they have available (through donations) to seniors who need them.  For free.  For as long as they need them.  Wow!

As the group toured the AGE facilities, we were told that this Lending Closet served over 1100 persons in 2009 and about 2500 in 2010!  That day, they had over 200 people on a waiting list, mostly needing wheelchairs or walkers with seats.  Having a disabled husband at home, I cannot imagine him being without his crutches.  I know what it means to him to be able to get up on his own.  I had to get the word out:

 

IN AUSTIN, TEXAS

Please donate gently-used wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, shower chairs, mobility equipment to AGE: Austin Groups for the Elderly!

 

I posted this on CaregivingCafe.com’s Facebook Page and got a comment from Trish Hughes Kreis, a caregiver to her younger brother Robert, who has uncontrolled epilepsy.  She asked where she could donate a wheelchair in California.  I’m in Texas, so I Googled this and came up with the list below.  Again, I had no idea about all of these organizations and about the wonderful work that they do for disabled persons in country as well as the world!

Thank you, Trish, for asking the right question!

Please visit her website for education about seizures, working caregiver resources and tools to find the right care facility:

Robert’s Sister

 

If living outside Austin, Texas, please consider donating any equipment that is no longer needed to the organizations below.  They will repair them as necessary and give them to persons young, elderly or disabled both in USA or in many countries around the world.

Mobility-Advisors  –  directory of organizations

HomeCares  – CA

UCP Wheels for Humanity  – worldwide

Wheelchair Foundation  – worldwide

LifeNets  – Indianapolis

Joni and Friends  –  Agoura Hills, CA

Bridge Ministries  – Bellevue, WA

Salvation Army

Goodwill

CareCure Forums

 

I recently re-connected with people from my school days after joining Facebook for CaregivingCafe.com.  I have to say that it has been a fun experience!  I am still learning about it and don’t have much time to socialize right now, but I can see how easily I could linger there for hours.  As a matter of fact, as a caregiver who may need to stay inside with a loved one for long periods of time, Facebook could be a fun way to stay in touch with family and friends!

Having said that, you don’t want to sit for too long:

  • It places 4 times more pressure on your spine (per the physical therapist that treated me for sitting too long!)
  • It tightens hamstrings and calf muscles
  • It can tighten your neck and shoulder muscles
  • It places undue strain on your back if you slouch
  • It interferes with good circulation
  • Lack of exercise / activity has been linked to being overweight
  • Inactivity can lead to heart disease and other serious – but avoidable – conditions

 

During my brief Facebook sessions, I’ve noticed that a friend often comments on his workouts.  I’ve also noticed that he always sounds so positive and happy – and it is contagious!  What a great way to start the day!  Curious to hear his motivation to exercise, when many of us look for ways to get out of going to the gym, I asked him.  Below are his replies.  If his reasons don’t convince you to start moving, the articles at the end of this post hopefully will!  I’m getting my sneakers out as soon as I save this!

 

Thank you for sharing, Jeff!

Why / when did you start spinning / exercising?

I started exercise during college. Playing racquetball, swimming, lifting weights and riding my bicycle outdoors were my main forms of exercise. After college I joined a gym and have exercised regularly to this day. I also bought a Nordic track and weights for home, which I used regularly when my daughter was young and getting to the gym was difficult. In 2005 I had 3 vertebrae in my neck fused due to a congenital condition (spinal stenosis). Once I recovered I ramped up my workout program and focus on nutrition to a new level. I added yoga and Pilates to increase my flexibility and core strength, and 2 years ago added spinning to my workout regime!

What motivates you to keep doing it?

There are multiple benefits from exercising that motivate me to keep it up! Working out and eating right has allowed me to maintain an ideal weight, gives me more energy than I would have otherwise, ensures that I sleep well, and even helps with digestion! When I miss one or more workouts I notice that everything is just a bit out of sync. When I meet people and they find out I am 53, they are usually quite surprised! Good genetics might help, but I am convinced that regular exercise and good nutrition are the key (my rule on nutrition is to be good 90% of the time).

Does working out impact your day in any way?

I look forward to working out after work every day and both weekend mornings! During the week my evening workouts are a great stress reducer. Additionally, I know that when I return home for dinner that my metabolism is fired up for at least a couple of hours. This sure beats coming home from work, eating a large meal, and then watching TV and heading off to bed.

The motivation really comes from just how great working out makes you feel! Once you get into that cycle you will not want to miss it! And regarding spinning [indoor cycling in a group], it may be one of the best aerobic/calorie burning exercises I have ever done. However, not only is it a fantastic workout, but it is fun! The instructors are usually great, playing music and leading you through the ride. I have become close with my spinning friends and we even participate in outside rides and events during spring/summer/fall. If you haven’t tried spinning yet you are missing out!

 

 

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