Adjustable walking canes make it easy to find the right height for a cane without knowing the user’s cane size ahead of time. The height range of an adjustable cane is adequate for most users, except for those who are much taller or shorter than average.
To adjust the walking cane, have the user stand up straight with arms relaxed at his sides. The top of the cane should reach the user’s wrist. When the user’s hand is resting on top of the cane, his elbow should be bent at about a 30 degree angle.
To adjust the walking cane to a different height, push in the release button and slide the cane up or down to the desired height. Make sure the release button pops all the way out of the new adjustment hole.
A quad cane is for individuals who need more support than a single-point cane. The larger the base, the more support that the quad cane will provide. A single-point cane is lighter, smaller, and easier to use.
The wrist strap slips over your arm to free both hands when you are not using the cane. Simply slip it over your wrist and slide the strap up your arm. The strap should never be used while you are using the cane to walk.
The rubber tip provides traction to keep the cane from slipping during use. In time, the rubber tip may wear out and need to be replaced.
Portable wheelchair ramps make it possible to access areas that are otherwise off limits in a wheelchair. With a portable ramp, you can load a wheelchair into a vehicle or access stairs and landings. The following advice will help you use a portable ramp safely.
Yes, if you follow these guidelines: 1) Never exceed a 2:12 slope ratio for an occupied wheelchair. 2) Always make sure a qualified assistant is present when you use any portable ramp. 3) Make sure there is enough head clearance to safely load the wheelchair and person. 4) Make sure there is enough side-to-side clearance to set up the portable ramp. Most ramps require at least 30 inches of side-to-side clearance.
A yellow safety level is attached to the side of all PVI utility ramps and multifold ramps. Check the level before using the ramp to see if it is on a safe slope. The ADA recommends using the least slope possible. A ramp used to load an occupied wheelchair should be on a slope no greater than 2:12 (2 inches of rise per 12 inches of ramp length).
PVI utility ramps, solid ramps, and folding ramps come with steel security pins to hold the ramp in place and keep it from slipping.
First, measure the rise in inches from ground level to the top step or landing where the ramp will sit. Then find the maximum ramp incline and ramp length using the chart below. A 1:12 slope equals a 4.8° incline. A 2:12 slope equals a 9.5° incline.
Looking for a rollator? These tips will help you figure out which rollator best fits your needs.
Rollators come with either three wheels or four wheels. Three wheeled rollators have a smaller, lighter frame, which makes it easier to fit through doorways and make tighter turns. Four wheeled rollators offer more stability, and the larger frame leaves room for a padded seat.
If you plan to use the rollator outside, choose a larger wheel size. The larger the wheels, the easier it will be to push. Smaller wheels work well for indoor use.
There are two basic types of rollator brakes available: loop lock and push down. Loop lock brakes allow the user to control the brakes with their hands. To slow down or stop, the user squeezes the hand brakes, which are similar to bike brakes. To lock the rollator in place, the user pushes down on the hand brakes until they snap in place. Loop lock brakes offer greater stability than push down brakes.
Push down brakes engage when the user pushes down on the frame. They are simple to use and easy to operate for individuals with limited hand dexterity or who have trouble operating a hand brake. Push down brakes may not be a good idea for petite individuals who can’t push down heavily enough on the frame or for heavyset individuals who apply too much pressure to the frame as they walk.
Make sure the rollator handles will adjust to a height that is comfortable for the user. This is especially important for individuals who are taller or shorter than average. The handle height range varies for each rollator model. The weight capacity of the rollator should be sufficient for the weight of the user. Heavyset users may need to purchase a bariatric rollator.
One option to consider if you need both a transport chair and a rollator is a combination rollator and chair, such as the Duet by Drive Medical. One mobility aid serves two purposes and can either be pushed by the patient while walking or pushed by the caregiver while the patient is seated. This combination device can save you the cost and hassle of extra equipment.
Some rollators come with a padded seat (available on four wheeled models) and a storage bag or basket. The seat allows the user to take rest breaks, and the storage area provides space to carry personal items, leaving the hands free to push the rollator and operate the brakes. Other options include cup holders, oxygen tank holders, cane holders, trays, lights, and other accessories. These accessories are usually purchased separately from the rollator.
A walking cane is the “entry level” walking aid for improving balance and providing support. Unlike a walker, a cane can take you almost anywhere. There is no need to worry about doorways being too narrow, folding walkers being too heavy to lift or move, or mobility aids that are too bulky and heavy to easily transport in your vehicle.
The most important thing to remember when choosing a walking cane is to make sure the cane can be adjusted to the right height. If the cane is too short or tall, it will affect your posture. You will either lean over too far as you walk (which can cause you to lose your balance), or you will not be able to use the cane to properly bear weight. An ill-fitting cane can contribute to a fall.
When you stand up straight with your arms relaxed at your sides, your wrist should meet the top of the cane and your hand should hang just below it. When your hand is resting on top of the cane, your elbow should be bent at about a 30 degree angle.
Some walking canes are adjustable to accommodate a range of heights. This is the easiest way to make sure you get the right height for your cane. Make sure you are wearing the same type of shoes that you typically wear while walking. The thickness of the soles will affect how high you need to adjust the cane.
You can also order a custom walking cane cut to your specific height. Custom canes can be ordered in all styles and colors to reflect your personal style.
Helping a loved one slide over on a transfer bench requires considerable caregiver strength. If your loved one needs help scooting over, we recommend a sliding or swiveling transfer bench. Keep in mind that sliding a transfer bench over with a person sitting on it still requires considerable strength. Use proper transfer techniques to avoid injury, and ask your loved one to help with the transfer as much as possible.
To prevent slipping, choose a transfer bench with drainage holes and a textured seat. To reduce slipperiness even more, place a folded towel on the seat. A colored towel provides a visual contrast between the tub and the transfer bench, which is helpful for individuals with poor vision or trouble with depth perception.
Most transfer benches include a built-in slot for the shower curtain. Simply cut two slits in the shower curtain where it falls above the slot, and slip the shower curtain cutout through the slot. If your shower has sliding doors, you will need to replace the doors with a shower curtain in order to use your transfer bench and keep the floor dry.
Your transfer bench comes with adjustable height legs. Press the release button on the leg, slide the leg up or down to the desired height, and make sure the release button pops all the way through the adjustment hole. Adjust the two legs outside the tub to the same length. Adjust the two legs inside the tub to the same length as well. All four legs should be adjusted so that the transfer bench is level.
Wash the transfer bench with mild soapy water. Wipe the bench dry after every use.
Your transport wheelchair comes fully assembled and ready to use, with the leg riggings (if included) packed separately in the box. Setting up and adjusting your transport chair is simple and quick. Just follow the instructions in the user manual and watch the videos below for tips on using a transport wheelchair.
There are two different types of transport chair riggings: tool-free and tool-adjustable. If your riggings do not include locking cam levers, you will need to use an Allen wrench to adjust the height.
When it comes to choosing between a manual wheelchair or power chair, the choice is not always an easy one. A number of factors come into play, including your insurance coverage, your budget, your upper body strength and endurance, and your need to transport the chair easily.
Manual wheelchairs require the user or caregiver to push the chair. For users who spend most of their time in a wheelchair, being able to propel the wheelchair by themselves is important for their sense of independence.
Pushing a manual wheelchair requires physical effort, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. For one, it strengthens your upper body and improves your physical fitness and endurance. On the other hand, if you have limited strength and endurance, propelling a wheelchair can sap all your energy pretty quickly. Also, there is the possibility that long-term manual wheelchair use may lead to overuse injuries that affect your shoulders, wrists, or elbows.
A manual wheelchair is lighter in weight, more reliable, easier to transport, more affordable, and more access-friendly than a power wheelchair. Even if you use a power wheelchair, it may be a good idea to have a manual wheelchair on hand in case your power chair breaks down.
Power wheelchairs allow you to go long distances without tiring. They make mobility and independence possible for users at any level of strength, ability, and endurance. They can be modified as needed if your needs change over time, and the power seating options allow you to tilt, recline, and adjust positions at the touch of a button.
The downside is that power wheelchairs are more expensive than manual chairs. Users who pay out of pocket may find the price a bit too steep. They are also larger, bulkier, and heavier, which means they are difficult to transport. They are less reliable than manual wheelchairs and can be expensive to repair.
Manual vs. Power Wheelchairs
|Manual Wheelchair||Power Wheelchair|
Van ramps come in all shapes and sizes. Two of the simplest types of van ramps are portable utility ramps and mounted van ramps.
Utility van ramps are portable, which means they require no installation. They are simple to set up and easy to handle, and the ramp separates into two pieces for lighter carrying weight. Since the utility wheelchair ramp is portable, you can use it with more than one vehicle, and if you ever upgrade your vehicle, there’s no need to worry about re-installing the van ramp.
Utility ramps are the most affordable option for making your vehicle wheelchair accessible. The PVI utility ramp is designed for rear door use only, so if you want side door access, you’ll need to look at other options.
Mounted van ramps are semi-permanently mounted to the van floor. They are available with manual or power operation. Manual ramps are easy enough for the average user to install at home. Power ramps are more complicated to install, and some may require professional installation.
These van ramps are designed for either side door or rear door access. Both the rear door and side door ramps fold and store vertically inside the doorway. The side door van ramp folds out of the way to leave enough room for other passengers to get in and out of the van.
If the van has a threshold across the rear door opening, a conversion kit may be required to properly install the rear door ramp.