If you or a loved one use a wheelchair, you may need to make some changes to your home to make it easy to move around.
While the obvious option is renovating areas such as the entrance to your home and installing equipment such as wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, and patient lifts, there are other, simple and cost-effective steps you can take to help you access all areas of your house.
Read on for the simple steps to take for a wheelchair accessible home that you can take BEFORE you consider installing costly equipment and making big home accessibility renovations.
Modify Your Entrance for Wheelchair Accessibility
Entering the house is not normally challenging, but standard house entrances pose a lot of challenges for wheelchair users, including multiple doors, a threshold, and narrow door frames. However, there are a few simple changes you can make to your front door/entrance to make your home more wheelchair accessible.
Firstly, consider removing your storm door. It can be extremely difficult to hold open one door while you reach into the doorway to open the interior door (all from a seated position), and at the same time propel yourself over a threshold. Removing your storm/weather door will remove one more obstacle out of your path.
Secondly, install threshold hinges on your interior door to give you more room to enter the house with your chair. Regular door hinges allow the door to swing open while it remains inside the doorway, giving you less room to move, especially if you are using a manual chair and need to propel forward by placing your hands on the OUTSIDE of the wheels of your chair.
Offset hinges, on the other hand, allow the door to swing completely OUT of the doorway, widening it by up to 2” without the need of remodeling your entire door frame. While this may not seem like alot, the difference is definitely noticeable when trying to enter the house in a wheelchair or other mobility aid.
Thirdly, consider investing in a threshold ramp to tackle the weather strip at the front door. Rubber threshold ramps by Pride Mobility meet ADA slope requirements, and come with 0.5” increments. They can easily be installed in any standard doorway, and provide a total of 36” of usable space.
Finally, also consider investing in an automatic door opener. While these can range in price up to $2500, they are a great investment when preparing a wheelchair accessible home.
Units such as the Leader SW100 are a good choice. The Leader SW100 can easily be installed on all types of doors, and can be activated by a remote that can be handheld and attached to a wheelchair.
Decorating for a Wheelchair Accessible Home
While we all like our homes to be beautifully and stylishly decorated, some of the ways we do this are not always practical for a wheelchair user.
When creating a wheelchair accessible home, firstly consider the type of flooring you currently have in your house. Hard surfaces (such as laminated wood or asphalt tiles) are the easiest for manual wheelchair users to propel over and also generally require less power from power chairs.
Carpeted floors, however, are notoriously difficult for wheelchair users, and should be avoided wherever possible. Hence, avoid placing rugs and carpets in areas that receive a lot of traffic, such as hallways, walkways, and entrances into rooms.
Also make sure you leave a clear path through your living, dining, and bathrooms that are free of mats that may make it unnecessarily hard for you to move around in your chair. Remove them from any areas where you need to turn your chair (such as corners) to avoid the extra difficulty, and if you DO want to place a rug somewhere, make sure you use something with a thin pile.
Secondly, make sure you place your furniture in such a way that gives you enough space to freely and comfortably move around the house in your chair. While you may have a large, open plan living format, you may be causing yourself unnecessary difficulties by cluttering certain spaces with furniture.
Start with the hallways and entrances to individual rooms and make sure they are clear of any furniture. Also, consider areas where you generally find yourself turning your chair, and make sure you leave those spaces open to give you enough space when doing so.
Finally, consider raising some of your flat surfaces such as tables, desks, and dressing tables using bed risers.
This will boost the height of the surface, making it more comfortable to perform daily tasks such as eating dinner, or working from your desk.
Lighting for a Wheelchair Accessible Home
Proper lighting is super important when planning a wheelchair accessible home and when preparing to age in place.
Many people live with significant vision loss, and with our increasing use of technology such as smartphones and laptops, it is becoming increasingly common for people to lose their sight as they get older.
Luckily, there are many simple and cost-effective lighting solutions you can install in and around your home today that will make it easier, safer, and more comfortable to age in your own home.
Motion sensor lighting fixtures are probably the most suitable for wheelchair users. They can be installed both indoors and outdoors, and are automatically turned on when someone steps within the light’s radius.
The light panel can be rotated 180 degrees to provide you with the best angle.
To switch the device on/off, simply touch the two metal pins located on the front of the LED panel.
With 2 self-adhesive sticky tapes found at the back of the panel, no installation is required. Simply stick the light on any flat surface and save yourself the electrician costs of wiring a light bulb.
Simply stick the OXYled light on any flat surface and save yourself the electrician costs of wiring a light bulb.
With each use of 3 x AAA batteries (not included), this 4 bright white LED has a life of up to 100 hours, before it needs to be changed.
Portable Wheelchair Ramps for a Wheelchair Accessible Home
Last but definitely not least, my final tip for a wheelchair accessible home is investing in a portable wheelchair ramp such as the Roll-A-Ramp.
These ramps are a great alternative to expensive chair lifts or permanent wooden ramps, and can be used in a variety of situations. Roll-A-Ramps come in four different widths and can be built to the length you need:
26″ – Suitable for mini-van use and narrower chairs or walkers
30″ – Standard size suitable for most applications
36″ – For public applications or larger wheelchairs
These ramps also feature patented link construction, meaning you’ll never get stuck with the wrong size ramp; simply add additional links to change the length of your ramp with the simple tools provided.
Standard Roll-A-Ramps are made from aircraft-grade aluminum tracks that support up to 1000 pounds, and can also be fitted with 12” twin tracks to support up to 2000 pounds.
They also feature quick release pins that allow the user to quickly split the ramp into different sections, and come with a 10-year warranty.
Roll-A-Ramps can be used to access your apartment/home, enter vans or other vehicles, and enter restaurants, shopping malls, schools, and hotels.
One final benefit of the Roll-A-Ramp is that you won’t need a building permit to install it in your home like you would when installing permanent ramps.
This 8 ft long by 30 in wide Roll-A-Ramp creates entry ramps to homes, vehicles or offices.
For convenience, you can roll it up and put it away.
It’s perfect for use on 2-3 steps.
The versatile ramp design uses two bolts to connect each section, allowing you to add or subtract length as needed.
The Roll-A-Ramp has a cambered section for easy on and off at the top of the ramp.
Its constructed out of lightweight extruded aluminum construction with anodized surface and built-in safety rails.
Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided some helpful ideas. I welcome your comments below.
Natural Remedies to Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome, CFIDS, CFS, Myalgic encephalomyelitis.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex illness affecting the brain and multiple body systems.
It is defined by incapacitating fatigue that is not relieved by rest, and at least four of the following symptoms for at least six months:
impaired short-term memory of concentration which significantly affects normal activities
tender lymph nodes in the neck or underarms
pain in multiple joints with no joint swelling or redness
headaches of a new type or severity
general malaise following physical exertion that lasts more than 24 hours
Other common symptoms include: bloating, nausea, diarrhea, night sweats or chills, brain fogginess, dizziness, shortness of breath, chronic cough, visual disturbances, allergies or sensitivities to foods, alcohol, chemicals, irregular heartbeat or palpitations, jaw pain, or eyes or mouth.
The Centers for Disease Control officially recognized this condition in 1988. Chronic fatigue syndrome is more common in women than men, and the majority of people affected are in their thirties.
According to homeopathic thought, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome comes about from an imbalance in the vital force. Your vital force is an intelligent energy principle in your body, which organizes and balances the many functions of life, and provides protection from illness.
Your vital force can become imbalanced from many factors including stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, exposure to the elements, emotional trauma, and injuries.
There can also be hereditary imbalances in the vital force which also lead to increased susceptibility to disease.
Infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria and fungi find that the weakness in your vital force and its physical counterpart, the immune system, provides an opportunity to take hold in your body and grow.
Whether this creates symptoms of illness or not depends on how well your body-mind is meeting the challenges of life. The vital force produces symptoms such as the fatigue, swollen glands, mild fever and muscle and joint aches typical of CFS as part of its attempt to restore balance to your system.
In CFS cases, the vital force is unable to restore the proper balance after an acute illness, the person never recovers their full vitality, and the illness becomes chronic. If your vital force is functioning well, even if the virus is still present, you will not feel sick.
At present, there is essentially no effective treatment offered by orthodox medicine for CFS. No antiviral or antibiotic drugs make any difference in the course of the disease, so the issue in treating chronic fatigue syndrome is not about killing viruses or preventing their replication, but to strengthen your vital force.
Many people are infected chronically with viruses and bacteria, but suffer no illness whatsoever, because their vital force and immune system are strong and healthy. In fact, it is virtually impossible to be alive and not be infected with some pathogenic organisms. What is important is how your body responds to remain healthy.
Alternative Medicine for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Although alternative medicine use is quite popular among people with chronic fatigue syndrome, keep in mind that so far, scientific support for the claim that any form of alternative medicine can treat chronic fatigue syndrome is lacking.
That doesn’t mean they don’t work, only that they haven’t been subjected to expensive scientific studies. Remember, the best treatment for your chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is what makes you feel better, period.
Ginseng for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Ginseng is an herb that has been used in Asia for centuries to increase energy and combat fatigue. A survey of 155 people by researchers at the University of Iowa with persistent fatigue found that ginseng was considered one of the most helpful treatments, with 56 percent of people who used ginseng rating it as effective.
Another study found that ginseng significantly enhanced cellular immune function by peripheral mononuclear cells (blood cells that are a critical component in the immune system to fight infection) in people with chronic fatigue syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
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Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NADH)
NADH is a naturally occurring molecule formed from vitamin B3 (niacin) that plays an essential role in cellular energy production.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of NADH in 26 people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Participants received either 1 mg of NADH or placebo for 4 weeks. At the end of the study, 8 out of 26 (31%) responded favorably to NADH in contrast to 2 out of 26 (8%) who responded to placebo.
Carnitine, found in nearly all body cells, is responsible for transporting long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria, the energy-producing centers of cells. It allows these fatty acids to be converted into energy.
Some studies have found that carnitine levels in the body are decreased in people with chronic fatigue syndrome and it has been linked to muscle fatigue and pain and impaired exercise tolerance. However, other studies haven’t found an association between carnitine deficiency and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
One study examined the use of L-carnitine in 30 people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
After 8 weeks of treatment, there was statistically significant clinical improvement in 12 of the 18 parameters, with the greatest improvement occurring after 4 weeks of treatment. One person was unable to complete the 8 weeks of treatment due to diarrhea. There was no placebo group in this study and it wasn’t blinded, so more clinical trials are needed.
Supplemental L-carnitine is generally well tolerated, however, high doses of L-carnitine may cause digestive upset and diarrhea.
Coenzyme Q10 (Co Q10) is a compound found naturally in the mitochondria, the energy-producing center of our cells. Co Q10 is involved in the production of ATP, the main energy source of body cells. Co Q10 is also an antioxidant.
A survey of 155 people with persistent fatigue found that the percentage of users who found a treatment helpful was greatest for Co Q10 (69% of 13 people).
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DHEA is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands and in smaller amounts by the ovaries and testes.
DHEA can be converted in the body to other steroid hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. It is also involved in memory, mood, and sleep.
Levels of DHEA in the body peak when a person is in his or her mid-20’s and then slowly decline with age.
Studies have shown that DHEA-s levels are abnormal in people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Essential fatty acids have been used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. One theory about how they work is that viruses reduce the ability of cells to make 6-desaturated essential fatty acids and supplementing with essential fatty acids corrects this disorder.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 63 people, participants were given either a combination of essential fatty acids from evening primrose oil and fish oil (eight 500 mg capsules a day) or a placebo.
After 1 and 3 months, people taking essential fatty acids had significant improvement in chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms compared to those taking the placebo pills.
Undertaking a digestive enzyme regimen has been successful in with people with CFS and FMS because it encourages cell nutrition by feeding and fortifying the nervous system, endocrine system and the digestive system.
High quality, pH balanced digestive enzymes when taken in adequate quantities, work throughout the entire digestive system and help to fortify the pancreas.
Providing adequate digestive support is a particularly important issue for those suffering from CFS and FMS.
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Researchers have found that if you have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), your body likely produces high levels of immune cells directed against the toxins given off by unhealthy gut bacteria—a sign of leaky gut and a cause of inflammation.
In fact, the severity of both chronic fatigue symptoms and digestive symptoms was found to directly correlate with the number of these immune cells directed against toxin-generating gut bacteria.
Probiotics are “friendly” microorganisms (typically bacteria or yeasts) that can live in the gastrointestinal tract or on other mucosal surfaces and have beneficial effects on human physiology and health.
There are three general probiotic benefits which researchers believe may help in the treatment of leaky gut and chronic fatigue syndrome:
They increase the numbers of healthy bacteria that live in the gut while decreasing the unhealthy bacteria;
They improve the ability of the gut wall to act as a barrier to keep unwanted compounds out of the body;
They decrease your body’s own production of inflammation-producing compounds, lowering inflammation in the gut and throughout the body.
Very large doses of vitamin C have been successfully used to boost the immune system for 50 years. Frederick R. Klenner, M.D. pioneered megavitamin C therapeutics back in the 1940’s, giving thousands of milligrams of vitamin C by injection for a wide variety of viral illnesses.
Research shows that vitamin C provides protection against oxidation. In fatigue experiments with mice, our research showed that a high dose of vitamin C reduced evidence of fatigue.
In human beings, a daily dose of 50-100 mg is adequate to protect against vitamin C deficiency, but the dose needed for protection against oxidation is many times higher.
In a Japanese study, when they administered 3,000-4,000 mg of vitamin C per day to the CFS patients theystudied, one-third of them reported an improvement in several symptoms of the illness, such as low-grade fever, fatigue and myalgia (muscle pain).
Most people with ME/CFS who take magnesium, whether oral or injected, report increased stamina and energy.
Many include better sleep as an additional benefit (most likely due to magnesium’s muscle-relaxing effects).
Dr. Paul Cheney has observed that magnesium glycinate causes the least intestinal upset and is the most easily absorbed.The usual recommended dosage is 200 to 400 mg/day taken with food, although CFS/ME patients are cautioned to start with a smaller dose and increase it gradually.
Look for a magnesium glycinate which doesn’t contain Magnesium Stearate, a biofilm which blocks nutrient absorption. I like the formulation from Metabolic Maintenance.
Beta carotene, called provitamin A, is a precursor of vitamin A found in fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene is water soluble and, unlike vitamin A, does not accumulate in the body. As a result, it can be used safely in high doses.
Provitamin A enhances immune function. It stimulates immune cells called macrophages and helps trigger increased immune activity against certain bacteria as well as candida.
Beta carotene is also a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the body from damage by free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that occur as by-products of oxygen use in the body, exposure to ultraviolet light, and other natural processes; they can damage the cell membranes as well as other parts of the cell. Antioxidants like beta carotene neutralize free radicals.
In addition to the numerous studies on beta-carotene’s effectiveness for heart disease and cancer, researchers have been exploring the nutrient’s potential for treating chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, male infertility, and psoriasis.
Interestingly, low levels of beta-carotene and other antioxidants have been linked to the development of cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens that impairs vision.
Preliminary studies also point to a possible connection between too little beta-carotene (along with low levels of vitamins A and E) and subsequent development of lupus, an autoimmune disorder.
Licorice’s key therapeutic compound, glycyrrhizin exerts numerous beneficial effects on the body, making licorice a valuable herb for treating a host of ailments.
In particular, licorice seems to prevent the breakdown of adrenal hormones such as cortisol (the body’s primary stress-fighting adrenal hormone), making these hormones more available to the body.
By enhancing cortisol activity, glycyrrhizin helps to increase energy, ease stress and reduce the symptoms of ailments sensitive to cortisol levels, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromylagia.
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An Australian study found that plasma concentrations of glutamine (and to a lesser degree, muscle concentrations) were lower in CFS subjects.
They said further studies could investigate whether glutamine levels are a secondary observation, resulting from some central dysfunction in CFS, or whether low plasma glutamine might indicate susceptibility to CFS.
Rowbottom, D., Keast, D., Pervan, Z., et. al. (1998). The role of glutamine in the aetiology of the
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While the exact cause is still not fully understood, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has been linked to abnormalities found in both hormonal and cellular immunity.
Tests consistently indicate that those diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) have an impaired lymphocyte (T-cell) response.
Early research has shown the ability of lymphocytes to react to an immune challenge is directly related to their glutathione status (GSH). (Medical Hypothesis, 1999)
Glutathione is arguably the most important water-soluble antioxidant found in the body. Glutathione is a tripeptide made up the amino acids L-cysteine, L-glutamine and glycine. It is believed that the constant use of glutathione by lymphocytes may lead to cellular glutathione depletion and, subsequently, immune failure.
Dr. Bounous, from the Department of Surgery at McGill University, has put forward the hypotheses that “the competition for glutathione (GSH) precursors over time may lead to muscle fatigue (myalgia) and other symptoms associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” He further states, “Because glutathione is also essential to aerobic muscular contractions, an undesirable competition for glutathione precursors between the immune and muscular systems may develop.”
Whey protein is the most effective way to deliver precursors for glutathione (GSH) synthesis. It has also been shown to raise glutathione levels in humans and animals.
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Researchers at the Gottfries Clinic, affiliated with the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Gothenburg University in Sweden recently published in the journal PLoS One that therapy based on vitamin B12 and folic acid can improve to some extent the overall health status of patients with chronic conditions like myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and fibromyalgia.
The study is entitled “Response to vitamin B12 and folic Acid in myalgic encephalomyelitis and fibromyalgia.”
Tyrosine supports healthy mood and memory while under stress. It also helps to form the bioactive factors vital to cellular growth and maintenance.
L-tyrosine is typically synthesized from phenylalanine, which is available from many dietary sources. The most significant sources of phenylalanine are generally high-protein foods such as meat or fish. Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt also contain high levels of phenylalanine. Additional foods that contain phenylalanine include avocados, bananas and lima beans.
The most common signs of l-tyrosine deficiency includes flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, swollen joints, aching muscles and pale skin. A lack of interest in recreational activities is also an indication that you may benefit from l-tyrosine supplements.
Additional signs of a tyrosine deficiency are low levels of thyroid hormone, which requires l-tyrosine. These signs include weight gain and water retention in the absence of any changes in activity level or diet.
Interestingly, a deficiency in L-Tyrosine is often seen in those with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Even though its causes and diagnosis are still somewhat indefinite, there is hope for people with chronic fatigue syndrome to lead vital, happy lives with proper prevention and effective natural treatment.
Good dietary habits are crucial for relief of chronic fatigue, but many people must also use nutritional supplements to achieve high levels of certain essential nutrients. Keep an open mind and be patient.
You can find a lifestyle and supplement system which helps your body recover its natural vitality. Keep an open mind and be patient as you work toward regaining your health.
From the best strategies for using medications and nutritional supplements to the most recent alternative therapies and recommendations for lifestyle modifications, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution delivers extensive wisdom in a condensed volume, making it truly accessible.
Dr. Teitelbaum also presents the simple-to-apply SHINE Protocol, addressing Sleep, Hormonal support, Infections, Nutritional support and Exercise.
Helping all readers develop an individualized program, Dr. Teitelbaum has created a new lifeline for anyone seeking compassionate, proven approaches for restoring wellness and regaining optimal energy and vitality.
Heated bedding of all types should meet current Underwriters Laboratories electric bedding safety standards.
It’s also important to read and follow manufacturer guidelines. Special care should be taken — or use avoided altogether — when selecting heated bedding for infants, the elderly, and those that are otherwise less sensitive to heat.
Pet owners are advised to consider low-voltage heated bedding, or a mattress pad that’s under the rest of the bedding so that it can’t be chewed on by a four-footed companion.
Durable, Machine-Washable Electric Blanket Materials
Some electric blanket manufacturers specify hand-washing only; however, trying to wrangle a large, wet blanket can be difficult — and it can be hard to rinse it thoroughly as well.
Machine-washable blankets are much easier to clean. When you do wash it, it shouldn’t pill, shed or bleed color. Always be sure to detach the power cords before cleaning.
Easy-to-Use Electric Blanket Temperature Controls
Because you might want to adjust the temperature in the middle of the night, you want the controls to be intuitive and within reach.
Many electric blankets and other heated bedding use digital controls, but others use analog dials. User ratings don’t seem to be influenced by the style of the controller, but we see some comments that in some instances, the dial can be easy to jostle. A few electric bedding products offer wireless controls.
Range of Electric Blanket Heat Settings, Including Preheating
To get the most use out of your electric blanket, throw, or mattress pad, you’ll want to be able to choose settings appropriate for everything from a cool summer evening to a winter blizzard.
Many electric bedding models offer 10 settings, though some, including our top-rated heated throw blanket, offer fewer without receiving very much negative user feedback over that.
Electric Blanket Automatic Shut-Off
An automatic shut off allows you to fall asleep safely with the blanket still on.
Electric Blanket Dual Control Options
Many couples sleep “differently” with one partner preferring a hotter or colder environment. Dual controls, which are usually found on queen-sized and larger blankets, allow each person to adjust the heat on his or her side of the bed. Some heated bedding take things a bit further by allowing adjustment of individual zones (such as the feet) for either user.
Things to Know Before You Choose an Electric Blanket
How often will you use your electric blanket?
If you live in a cold climate or often are cold in the evenings, you may want to outfit your bed with a reliable heated mattress pad. On the other hand, if you will only use the product a few weeks or months per year, a blanket may be more practical.
Measure your bed and electrical outlet.
Electric blankets and mattress pads are sold in normal bed sizes, such as twin, full, queen and king, but it’s best to be sure.
Most electric blankets have power cords that attach at the foot of the bed, with controls that stretch up to the head of the bed. If the cords aren’t long enough to reach a power outlet, you may need to rearrange your furniture. Most manufactures recommend that, for safety, extension cords not be used.
Do you have pets that sleep in bed with you?
Heated bedding can pose a hazard to pets if a claw or tooth exposes one of the heating elements. If you do sleep with a pet, experts suggest a low-voltage bedding option to minimize the risk of electric shock. In addition, a heated mattress pad is less likely to become a chew toy than a blanket that sits atop the bed.
Heated bedding won’t last a lifetime.
Judging from user reviews, all types and brands of heated bedding suffer from so-so durability — with the controls and heated wiring both being trouble spots.
While it’s never a bad idea to buy a model with a good warranty and then keep all packaging, receipts and other documentation of your purchase, user feedback indicates that warranty limitations and the hassle of returning the bedding to the maker lead most to just toss a blanket or mattress pad that has failed and buy a new one.
If durability is a top concern, electric mattress pads seem to enjoy a somewhat better track record according to experts and in user reviews.
Most heated bedding sold in the U.S. is made by one of three companies. Perfect Fit industries makes bedding under its own name as well as the Soft Heat, Select Comfort and Chattam & Wells brands. Sunbeam also manufactures the Slumber Rest, Therapedic and Imperial lines. Biddeford Mills makes Cannon, Sealy and Delightful Nights electric bedding.
While color choices, and materials and features (including the style of controller) may vary between brands and models, all heated bedding made by the same manufacturer will use the same core technology and should perform similarly.
Thoughts, questions, tips? Feel free to comment below.
Begin by asking the person with a mobility issue where they’re experiencing the most difficulty in the home. Aside from mobility and safety issues, you can also help them think about other areas where they may be experiencing some difficulty, such as how and where things should be stored, how to clean certain things around the home, and how to make food and meal preparation easier for them.
After you both have written some key issues and concerns down, go into every room of the house and really study each area, going through the person’s daily routine in your mind, and think about what they do in each of these rooms and what problems they may encounter. Every little thing, from the alarm clock in the bedroom to how the food is placed inside the kitchen cupboards, needs to be taken into consideration in order to achieve a good level of comfort, ease and safety.
Dissect the home room-by-room, including corridors and stairways, with special concentration on the most crucial areas for safety concerns, like the bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen:
Alarm Clock -purchase and alarm clock that has large enough controls to make it easier to use than one with small buttons and dials. See Help for Low Vision for more convenient product ideas.
Nightstand – use a non-slip or non-skid material on the bottom or base of items that are needed on the table.
Rugs – to prevent falling, tripping, or slipping, avoid using area rugs. If these types of rugs are needed or desired, be sure to attach the rug to the floor so it won’t slip when under foot, and avoid using rugs which are thick.
Closet – place storage items at eye level. Install concertina-style closet doors which slide and fold, making opening and closing easier. Fit door(s) with handles that are comfortable and easy to grip. Arrange clothes according to how often they are worn.
Personal care corner – if you have room to do so, create an area in the bathroom that’s specifically for your loved one where they can sit down for personal activities. If the bathroom isn’t big enough for this, try to place a comfortable chair that will fit at the bathroom counter just long enough for them to get ready with a bit more ease and remove when no longer needed.
Hairbrush – use brushes and combs with long handles. Hairdryer and other electronic devices used for personal care – leave these permanently plugged in to avoid problems with taking the plugs in and out of a socket. Whenever possible, try and use cordless products.
Medicine Cabinet – if there’s room, try and place it at eye level; otherwise, make arrangements to store medications and other toiletries that are needed with regularity in an easy-to-reach container.
Toilet paper dispenser – use one that stays firmly attached to the wall and is in easy reach.
Door privacy; make sure that it can be easily unlocked from outside if needed, as well as using a lock that’s easy for the person on the inside.
Chairs – when preparing meals, it’s a good idea to have an office chair or studio chair to sit in while doing so.
Coffee maker – choose a simple model with a handle that’s easy and comfortable to grip, and has an accurate spout. Consider getting an electric coffee maker; leave it plugged in permanently to make shutting it on and off easier.
Electrical sockets – place appliances to give easy access to electrical sockets when needed.
Cupboards and drawers – arrange food items on sliding trays and carousels. Place heavy items such as soup or vegetable cans at eye level. Select the most frequently used plates, cups, and cookware and place them within easy reach; avoid putting these things on high shelves. Put utensils in an easily accessible drawer. Carefully consider the needs of the person using the kitchen when selecting handles and knobs for cabinets and drawers.
Food cart – utilize a food cart with wheels and at least two levels to serve meals. Food and dishes can be wheeled where needed and easily taken off and placed back on to cart.
Kitchen knives – get knives that are right-angled or have a knob handle. Select chopping boards that are non-skid and easy to clean. For cutting food, get special utensils that have a cutting guide to keep the food and utensils safely in place.
Kitchen sink place a shock-absorbing rubber mat on the bottom. Install a mixer-tap with thermostat control instead of individual hot and cold handles. Microwave – choose a model that has touch-sensitive controls or soft-notched buttons.
Lamps be sure to use sturdy table or floor lamps that won’t easily tip over and will give off the amount of light desired; some lamps are touch-sensitive, and are easier to use for someone who may have problems manipulating a small switch. See The Right Lighting Prevents Falls.
Telephone it’s best to use a large button cordless, allowing for use anywhere in the room; keep cords, base, and telephone connection out of the way of general passage areas. See Help for Low Vision for more product suggestions.
Floor/area keeping as clutter-free as possible. Use shelves to store items, and place things which are used most on the bottom for easy-access. If parking the car inside, be sure that there is plenty of clearance on all sides to ensure safety when getting in and out of it, as well as when walking around it to get to something. Work benches should be kept clean, with any sharp or flammable items stored in their proper place, inside a safe container.
Door use an electric garage door opener with remote control and wall switch.
Picking up a utensil to feed one’s self is a luxury that people take for granted. For others with neurological conditions causing tremors, this basic activity can be a source of frustration and embarrassment.
GYENNO’s ‘Smart Spoon’ tries to eliminate that problem. It’s a stabilization utensil gadget that offsets 85 percent of unwanted tremors for users affected by diseases like Parkinson’s.
The spoon has been in production for almost a year, and was revealed at the Consumer Electronics Showcase in Las Vegas in early January 2017.
While GYENNO’s product is still new to the North American consumer’s market, the technology has been employed in China for a while.
The utensil uses sophisticated stabilization control algorithms and motion learning technology to adjust to the user’s tremors, helping the person eat regularly.
This video is produced by the manufacturer, and demonstrates how the GYENNO Smart Spoon helps people with hand tremors eat independently:
The Smart Spoon is similar to another stabilization utensil from Lift Labs called Liftware, a Google purchase back in 2014.
GYENNO holds a patent for their own spoon’s tech, which they’ve called the best on the market.
“The GYENNO uses special PID [proportional–integral–derivative controller] control technology and attitude stabilization technology to make a better performance, higher frequency response and more accurate position control,” said Dehuai Li, marketing officer at GYENNO, in an interview with Motherboard.
“That makes [the GYENNO Spoon] 85 percent tremor canceling while Liftware just 75 percent.”
The GYENNO Package Contains:
1 Spoon Head
1 Fork Head
1 Power Cable (the fully-charged battery can run for 180 minutes).
The GYENNO Spoon already has hundreds of users who have raved about being able to feed themselves once again, Li said.
“You want to feed yourself, you don’t want someone else to feed you,” he said. “It improves your confidence and dignity. Many of these diseases have no cure, so we want to improve the quality of life.”
Through its cloud-based data collection, GYENNO has created its Medical Chronic Disease Management program to provide physicians and scientists with valuable information and statistics on the progression of symptoms and the disease in general.
For example, GYENNO Medical synchs the real-time symptoms of hand movements recorded by the GYENNO Spoon to study how the hand movements and tremors are expressed (frequency and amplitude, speed, accelerated speed and rotation of hand tremor). GYENNO collects data from users to assist scientists and physicians with research on disease progression, utilizing data-mining technology to explore data characteristics to help with early Parkinson’s Disease screening.
This video discusses everything that comes in the GYENNO Smart Spoon box, and provides a brief review:
Thoughts, questions, tips? Feel free to comment below.
Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas. I welcome your comments below.
Nowadays, due to lifestyle changes, intake of processed foods and genetics, very few people are unaware of the prevalence of the disease called ulcerative colitis.
“Colitis” means the inflammation of the colon, or more largely, inflammation of the large intestine (that comprises of colon, caecum and rectum).
Ulcerative colitis is a disease of the colon, which is the largest part of the large intestine, characterized by ulcers (or open sores). These ulcers are painful wounds, they may bleed and also produce mucus as well as pus.
The mucosa or the inner lining of the large intestine becomes red and swollen. The most severely affected of all parts is the rectal area. If the lining of the colon is damaged, it may begin to cause bloody diarrhea.
A rare substance has been observed to reduce the effects of ulcerative colitis. It is not a medicine. It is honey, and not the regular honey. It is called Manuka honey.
The means by which Manuka honey helps aiding ulcerative colitis would be discussed in the subsequent sections.
What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is called so because it has made by bees from the nectar obtained from the “Manuka trees” which are native to New Zealand and Australia.
It has a distinctive taste and many people describe this taste as “earthy and herbaceous”. It is highly viscous in nature and has a colour varying from dark cream to brown.
Manuka honey is not like “just any honey”. It is very treasured and it has many medicinal properties. It is also called “alternative medicine” by some scientists.
Manuka honey has been known to help taking care of wounds. It has been found to have anti-bacterial properties. It increases the wound contraction and hence helps in faster healing.
How Does Mauka Honey Help Ulcerative Colitis?
Manuka honey is the highest graded honey in terms of medicinal properties. You would be surprised to learn how it helps in tackling ulcerative colitis.
Manuka Honey Fights Pathogens
It has been found that there is a large concentration of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori in the gastro intestinal tract of ulcerative colitis sufferers.
This bacterium is known to cause autoimmunity, where the body’s immune system begins to destroy the cells of the body itself. Ulcerative colitis is believed to be an autoimmune disease that may be a result of genetics or some environmental factors.
H. pylori also makes the inner lining of the gastro-intestinal tract more permeable; and hence more vulnerable to pathogens and infections. H. pylori has been found to be sensitive to the honey. This is because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the honey, which is about 20%.
Honey can act as a bacteriostatic (it means that is stops the activity of the bacteria and the bacteria does not remain harmful anymore); and it can also be bactericidal at different concentrations. 5 to 11% of concentration of Manuka honey proves to be bacteriostatic, whereas 8 to 15% of concentration is found to be bactericidal.
These are achieved because of the high sugar content of the honey. As the solute concentration is higher in the honey (as Manuka honey is very viscous) than the solute concentration in bacteria, the water in the bacteria is drawn out. This limits the growth of bacteria.
Manuka honey has a low pH ; that is between 3 and 4.5, it is acidic and hence most microorganisms are unable to survive in such conditions
The usual honeys consist of a compound called “hydrogen peroxide” which takes away electrons from the membranes of the bacteria and hence disrupts their structure.
However, Manuka honey may have the hydrogen peroxide production blocked due to several factors such as the presence of an enzyme called “catalase”. Yet, its viscosity and pH are enough to fight against any pathogen present.
What does this mean?
Manuka honey has the capability to control the growth of the bacteria that are responsible for causing ulcerative colitis.
Manuka Honey Helps Heal Ulcers
Ulcerative colitis is characterized by ulcers, that are painful and open wounds. Manuka honey has the capacity to heal these wounds. It stimulates the process of healing. This healing can occur only when the infection clears out. As ulcers are pus oozing wounds, it signifies infection.
Manuka honey has a compound called “methylglyoxal”. This leads to the alteration of some proteins present in the honey which gives it high antimicrobial properties.
Manuka honey also draws blood to the site of wound which fastens the healing process. It reduces the effect of “prostaglandins” which are substances that contribute to inflammation. It also reduces the size of the scar and stimulates the generation of tissue.
A study was conducted to check the potential of Manuka honey to help with inflammation, ulcers and oxidation in the gastrointestinal tract in animal model.
Manuka honey pretreatment was given and it was as effective as a drug named “omeprazole” which is used to treat ulcers. Manuka honey successfully protected the gastric lining of rats against lesions. There were no changes in the tissue lining on the rats that were pretreated with Manuka honey.
Gastric ulcers reduce concentration of antioxidant enzymes. However, the addition of Manuka honey increased the levels of these antioxidants preventing the damage to the walls of the gastrointestinal tract.
Manuka honey reduces “plasma tumour necrosis factor-α” which is a protein involved in inflammation; which in turn reduces inflammation. It also decreases the interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 which are substances secreted by the immune system cells of our body and eventually lead to inflammation.
What does this mean? Manuka honey helps in the healing of ulcers by reducing infection and swelling.
An antioxidant is a substance that stops the process on oxidation in the cells; which cause cell deterioration and eventually lead to cell death. Oxidation includes a series of chain reactions where highly reactive radicals are produced.
These radicals need electrons to get stable, which they end up taking from the cells of the body which makes the cells of the body lose their structure and gradual death. Antioxidants are required to inhibit this from happening.
Manuka honey consists of substances called “polyphenols” which have antioxidant activity. The intestines are the sites where many oxidants are produced, more being present in the colon where ulcerative colitis is prevalent.
The reason behind this is that there are many microbes, presence of cells of the immune system and food ingredients present there. The antioxidant capacity in patients suffering from ulcerative colitis is less, hence antioxidants are required to prevent the devastating effect on the cells of the intestines; which can prove to be cancerous.
There are many more antioxidants present in honey, including vitamin C and E. These antioxidants donate electrons to the substances in the cells that are unstable, that is radicals, as mentioned above and cause oxidation. The donated electrons hence neutralize them and the harmful effects are diminished.
The darker the color of the honey, the more is the antioxidant capacity of the honey.
A study was conducted where an experiment was carried out to see the effect of Manuka honey in combination with a drug called “sulfasalazine” as a means of enhancing the antioxidant activity. Ulcerative colitis was experimentally induced in an animal model.
Sulfasalazine is a medicine used to treat symptoms of ulcerative colitis, such as diarrhea and rectal pain. It was found that the combination of Manuka honey and sulfasalazine reduced inflammation of the colon.
It was also proven that this combination increased the antioxidants in the colon and also prevented the peroxidation of lipids (that is, taking away of electrons from lipids in the cell membrane of cells of the colon thereby breaking it down).
What does this mean? Manuka honey consists of various substances which are antioxidants and prevent the damage to the tissues of the gastro-intestinal tract; hence aiding the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Manuka honey acts in synergy with sulfasalazine, a drug used to treat ulcerative colitis, to reduce inflammation of colon.
Manuka Honey Improves Digestion
Ulcerative colitis has various symptoms, including a disrupted lining of the gastro-intestinal tract and diarrhea.
Manuka honey has been known to shorten the duration of diarrhea. It also has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that fight any infection that is present in the intestines.
It has a compound called “methylglyoxal” which interacts with the lining of the digestive system, and since it has antibacterial activity, it controls any infection present as it reacts with the digestive enzymes. However, it does not produce an interference with the digestive system.
What does this mean? Manuka honey is capable of aiding digestion by helping eradicating any infection without interference with the digestive processes.
Manuka Honey Reduces Inflammation
Manuka Honey has proven to reduce inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. This anti-inflammatory action is required for the healing of ulcers as well as for reduction of pain.
Measurements were taken and studies were conducted to find out the measurements of certain substances or proteins in the body that contribute to inflammation.
It was found that there are proteins in the body called “prostaglandins” which are involved in inflammation process as they give a signal to the cells of the immune system to accumulate at the site of injury (ulcers in this case) . Natural honey was found to reduce prostaglandin levels in humans , so does Manuka honey.
Manuka honey, as mentioned in earlier, also reduces the production of proteins such as plasma tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 which all contribute to inflammation.
What does this mean?
Manuka honey reduces inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, wherever required. It in turn reduces pain as well and is hence effective against ulcerative colitis.
Manuka Honey Dosages for Ulcerative Colitis
Manuka honey has been found to be safe to consume and the dosage is not specific.
It is quite logical and easy to understand that Manuka honey is basically honey, and it is used as a sweetener too because of its high viscosity due to the high sugar content.
Hence, diabetics should keep a check on the amount of intake of Manuka honey as it may result in the rise of blood sugar levels, causing further complications.
1 teaspoon of Manuka honey can be put on a slice of bread and taken before meals; which would help in aiding digestion. It assures that the digestive tract is coated with honey before the consumption of the food. It soothes and calms the lining of the digestive tract.
A study was also conducted to confirm that Manuka honey is safe for consumption. The aim of the study was to ensure that there were no allergic reactions that occurred, and that Manuka honey did not change the required microbe concentration of the gut or intestines.
It was found that people who took Manuka honey every day for 4 weeks did not suffer from any side effects. There was no change in the level of antibodies present in the gastro-intestinal tract as well.
Manuka Honey Precautions
Honey is all in all, a sweet substance. People suffering from the metabolic syndrome must keep in check, the dose they take in order to keep blood sugar levels in check.
There have been studies(as mentioned above) that prove that there are no allergic reactions to Manuka honey. However, our body can develop allergies from any substance at any given point of time.
Hence, before beginning with an everyday intake of Manuka honey, one can first take a small amount of honey and check for side effects.
Manuka honey is an organic substance with no side effects, unlike the many medications used to treat ulcerative colitis, including pain killers (which, if taken for a long time induce stomach ulcers) and steroids which weaken the body in the long run. Instead, it adds a lot to the body to help the immune system.
It fights H. pylori
it heals ulcers
it is anti-inflammatory
it is an anti-oxidant.
Manuka honey is a complete package. People have said that Manuka honey has different taste and one would have to get used to the taste. After reading about all its benefits, adapting to its taste is completely worth it!
Keep frequently used items in easy-to-reach cabinets.
Keep the water heater thermostat set at 120 degrees F, or lower, to avoid scalding and burns.
Wipe up spills and remove broken glass immediately.
Use a grasping tool to get at out-of-reach items, rather than a chair or stepladder.
Tools and Equipment to Increase Safety
Consider Monitors and Sensor Pads
Sensors work well for the bed, chair, or toilet. The pads electronically detect the absence of pressure, which in turn sends an electronic signal to the monitor setting off an alarm.
Used on a bed, the pressure pads can be under or on top of the mattress. They are very thin, so they do not disturb sleeping and are plugged into the monitor via a telephone type line. Chair and toilet sensors work in the same way.
There are also pad monitors, like this Floor Pressure Sensor Mat, that detect and sound an alarm if a person steps on the pad (detects pressure).
This type of pad can be used beside the bed, in a hallway or in front of a chair while the person is seated.
Lay Down Some Fall Mats
Fall mats are used in areas where a person could be injured from a fall on a hard floor such as the side of a bed, by a toilet or in front of a chair.
They are cushioned floor mats of various sizes 1-inch or 2-inches thick with beveled edges. They cushion the fall and prevent injuries.
Install Grab Bars
Grab bars provide extra stability and assistance during transfers. They are typically installed in areas where a senior may need something to hold on to for added balance. Bathrooms are a common location for grab bars, since they can help seniors sit down and get up from the toilet and enter and exit the bathtub or shower safely.
When getting in and out of the tub, transfer benches provide stability and help the caregiver get the elderly seniors in and out of the tub safely, without injuring the elderly person or the caregiver.
When getting in and out of the tub, transfer benches provide stability and help the caregiver get the elderly seniors in and out of the tub safely, without injuring the elderly person or the caregiver.
Install anti-slip mats on the bath tub or shower floor. The hard rubber material prevents the elderly person from slipping and provides stability.
This Gorilla Grip Bath and Shower Mat features excellent gripping and fits any size bathtub.
You can also throw in your washing machine! Wash on cold with gentle detergent (no bleach), and air dry.
Note that while the Gorilla Grip mat features hundreds of suction cups, textured and tiled floors do not allow for the suction cup to properly adhere to your surface, so this mat is recommendfor smooth surfaces only.
It adheres really well to tile and textured shower flooring, and customers have washed it successfully in the washing machine.
Canes and Walkers
Canes and walkers help seniors feel steady on their feet. Make sure the mobility device you choose is the correct height for your elderly parent, and has rubber tip or other traction on the bottom, for safety.
Lift slings are used in conjunction with several caregivers or a body lift to move an elderly person who is unable to move themselves from bed to a wheelchair or chair.
There are 3 common reasons that caregivers may need a lift: if the elderly parent is too heavy to be transferred without assistance; to prevent injury to the caregiver; and to prevent the elderly person from injury or falling.
How to Care for Aging Parents, a One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial Housing, and Emotional Issues, is considered “the bible of eldercare”. It is a clear, comforting source of advice for those who care for an elderly parent, relative, or friend.
This book is in it’s third edition, and fully updated with the most recent medical findings and recommendations.