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Mobility Tips for Aging in Place

aging in placeFor a growing number of aging Americans who are no longer quite as capable as they once were of getting around without assistance, or of completing everyday activities without help, the idea of moving into a senior care facility simply doesn’t sound appealing.

Instead, they would rather remain in the homes in which they’ve spent their adult lives. Homes that are familiar, and where they feel comfortable and safe. Homes, in many instances, with mortgages that have long ago been paid off.

So many older Americans, in fact, have begun choosing to remain in their homes regardless of their ability to adequately look after themselves that a phrase has been coined for the trend. It’s known as “aging in place.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), aging in place is nothing more than “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”

A senior who chooses to age in place, in other words, is a person who hasn’t yet given up on life. This is a person, you might say, who is confident that he or she can overcome any obstacles that may appear during the quest to continue living a happily fulfilled and well-rounded life.

If that sounds like you, or like someone you love, we have good news: There are any number of simple and affordable home modifications that can make any house a safer and more welcoming place for people with mobility issues, vision problems, or nearly any other impediment that tends to be common in old age.

Here are just a few ideas for transforming a non-accessible home into a place where you or your aging relatives can age in place without constant fear of injury.

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Baby Boomers Take a Proactive Approach to Aging

stair lift rentals in PAIn 2011, the AARP did a survey of older homeowners and found most of them preferred to “age in place” instead of moving into a nursing home or other form of senior housing.

“The overwhelming majority of people want to stay in their homes,” age-in-place consultant Alissa Boroff told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune in 2014. “But the way we’re building homes, we’re not supporting their needs. There’s not enough universal design so people can age gracefully.”

Universal design refers to the concept of building homes so that they work for people at every stage of their lives. When that’s not the case, many homeowners wind up taking a proactive approach to aging and redesigning their homes to fit their eventual needs.

The Star-Tribune profiled a few couples who had remodeled their homes to make them more accessible. One added a bathroom with a walk-in shower and wheelchair accessible sink, while another added a bedroom and bathroom to their first floor.

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Our Guide to Wheelchair Accessible Amusement Parks

wheelchair accessible parks stair lifts philadelphia
Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, Tex.

It’s tough to say exactly how many wheelchair users there are in the United States. Some statistics claim there are nearly 3 million regular users of wheelchairs in the country, while a recent report published by the Disability Statistics Center of the University of California suggests the number is closer to 1.7 million. But no matter how you slice it, one thing’s for sure: That’s a whole lot of people.

If you spend the majority of your day—or your entire day—in a wheelchair, you know full well just how frustrating it can be to get from point A to point B. According to the aforementioned University of California report, for instance, “four-fifths of wheelchair users report that their local public transportation system is difficult to use or to get to.” And “two-thirds of mobility device users have limitations in one or more of the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).” So the fact that most leisure activities aren’t designed to be easy for people with disabilities shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to any of us.

However, there is a good news for wheelchair-bound leisure seekers, both here in the United States and abroad. As accessibility issues are becoming more and more mainstream—and in some circles, more expected—theme parks, amusement parks, and other vacation spots that have traditionally been off-limits to those in wheelchairs are beginning to change their ways.

If you’re looking for a bit of traditional theme park fun but aren’t able to leave your chair, the following guide is a good place to start searching for opportunities.

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Can’t Afford a Stair Lift? Read Our Guide On Stairlift Philadelphia Funding

funding for stairlift PhiladelphiaIf you’re a senior citizen on a tightly fixed income, and if you desperately need to have a stairlift installed in your home, you’re certainly in something of a tight spot. You know that having a high-quality stair lift will significantly improve the quality of your life. But if you’re on a fixed income, it’s unlikely that you have much left over at the end of the month after paying the bills and buying groceries.

If that sounds at all like the situation you’re in, a stair lift—which can range anywhere from $3000 to $5000 for a standard model, and much more if you happen to have a curved staircase—is almost certainly not in the stars, right? Well … not necessarily.

The truth is that there are funds available for people in positions just like yours. Of course, not everyone knows that financial assistance—for stairlifts, of all things!—is actually out there. And even those that do might not necessarily know where to look. You, however, have come to just the right place. Keep reading for a primer on where to go and what to do to acquire the funds that could make a new home stair lift a very distinct reality.

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How to Tell If Your Aging Parents Need Help At Home

stairlift rentals NJ for aging parentsAging. Getting older. Growing more frail. They’re all unavoidable facts of life.

And as most of us move from our 40s to our 50s and beyond, we begin to see those changes taking place in our parents. For many of us, the rather unsettling experience of seeing our parents weaken both physically and psychologically, and then taking care of them the way they once took such good care of us, is yet another unavoidable fact of life.

We do it, of course, because we love our parents, and because we can’t bear the idea of anything happening to them. That’s always a possibility as seniors grow older, especially if they’re living alone without a caregiver.

But an unfortunate reality of our senior-aged parents growing older, and perhaps more frail, is that adult children often miss the otherwise obvious signs that our parents need help. There are any number of reasons for that, starting with the fact that most senior parents simply don’t want to admit to their children that they need help. After all, growing weaker and increasingly frail is nothing if not a sign of impending mortality; it’s a difficult thing for anyone to face up to. And no matter how old you may be, your parents will likely always view you as their babies; for some senior parents, asking their children for help doesn’t even occur.

But regardless, it is the responsibility of you and your siblings to pay close attention to the mental and physical well-being of your aging parents. Deducing their state over the phone can be difficult to impossible, but if you’re going to be visiting them in person over the holidays, you’ll have an ideal opportunity to look out for any of the more typical warning signs.

If you or your siblings or other relatives notice any of the following, it could be time to discuss the possibility of bring in a caregiver, or even an eventual move into a senior care facility.

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With a Stair Lift, You May Never Need to Give Up Your Hobbies

stair liftAs with every other stage of life, growing older comes complete with its own unique set of pros and cons. It’s an unfortunate fact that the cons are probably the aspects of senior living we tend to talk and think about the most.

If you’re someone who has experienced a loss of mobility, for instance, you may be under the assumption that many of the hobbies and past times you once enjoyed will someday soon no longer be available to you. That’s certainly an understandable worry, especially if you live in a home with multiple floors, and with hobby rooms set up in various locations around the house.

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How a Stair Chair Installation Can Benefit the Other Members of Your Family

how a stair lift can benefitSpend some time reading through the archives of our blog, and you’ll notice soon enough that nearly each one of the posts here describes or otherwise explains a scenario in which a stairlift can significantly improve the life of an elderly or disabled member of your family.

Perhaps that elderly or disabled person is you.

If so, we certainly hope you’ve found something on our blog that has convinced you that a stairlift—whether purchased new or used, or even rented temporarily—truly can make your day-to-day life less stressful and more pleasant overall.

But in this blog post, we’d like to introduce a slightly different concept. We’d like to explain to you the stair lift benefits for the other members of your family as well—family members who wouldn’t normally see a need for a home stairlift.

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How to Maintain Your New Stairlift Installation

maintain your stairliftIf you’re the owner of a new stairlift—or if you’re thinking about purchasing or even renting a model—you’ve probably already given some thought to the sort of maintenance and upkeep you’ll need to perform.

When customers ask us for advice about keeping their stair lifts in top working order, we usually begin by suggesting they think of their stair lift just as they would any other piece of expensive machinery, such as an automobile, a lawn mower, or even a dishwasher.

As with those three examples, a stair lift is a complex machine with many moving parts. In order to keep it operating in the same manner it did when you first purchased it, and in order to keep it safe, you need to look after it on a regular basis.

The service techs we employ at PA Stair Lifts are more than capable of performing any sort of maintenance task, no matter how complicated or seemingly insignificant. But throughout the long life of your stair lift, you’ll save a fair bit of money if you get in the habit of servicing your machine on a regular basis.

Performing light maintenance and cleaning every few weeks is generally sufficient. We suggest simply adding the tasks to your regular housecleaning routine. That’s an easy way to turn regular upkeep into a habit.

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The Weird History of the Stairlift

Gremlins, Henry VIII and Obese Dogs: 7 Interesting Facts About Stairlifts

Q. Which famous historical figure used an early version of the stairlift?

Q. What iconic ’80s monster movie had a stairlift scene?

Q. How did a stairlift manage to offend fans of a travel website?

Stairlifts are practical, they can even be life-changing, but they’re not exactly “fun.”

Still, they’ve had their moments in the spotlight over the years. Here are a few things you might not know about them.

history of the stairlift

The “Stairthrone”

By most accounts, the first stairlift was used by Henry VIII of England in the mid 1500s. It was really more of a “stairthrone,” used to get the overweight king up and down the steps of Whitehall Palace in London.

For much of his life, Henry was quite athletic. But when he was 44, he suffered a serious leg injury while jousting. His health began to decline, while his weight increased. By the time Henry was in his 50s, he had a 52 inch waist (according to records of his armor).

That’s where the stairthrone – described in royal records as “a chair…that goeth up and down” – comes into play. British documentarian David Starkey found evidence of the chair when researching Henry VIII. He says servants would have used a block and tackle system to lift the king up and down.

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6 Ways a Handicap Chair Lift Can Change Your Life

A Handicap Chairlift Can Make Your Life Easier

handicap chair liftFor most of us, the question of whether or not a building or a home has stairs is something we rarely think about.

But for people who don’t have the full use of their legs, not having access can mean the end of a night out. It can mean they can’t shop in a certain store, or visit a friend’s home.

Older or disabled people can face this kind of hardship on a regular basis in public. There’s no reason they should have to face it at home.

That’s where owning a handicap chairlift—like the ones provided by PA Stairlifts—comes in. It’s a piece of equipment that can change your life in any number of ways. Depending on your situation or that of your loved ones, it can also keep you from having to change your life.

Here’s how:

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