Nov 27

The infographic below from shows that 8% of the population has Diabetes in America, almost 29 million people.

But many cases of diabetes can be prevented through better diet and exercise. This doesn’t mean that we all have to become vegetarians or run marathons, but simple changes to diet, and mild, regular exercise can greatly reduce the chances of acquiring the disease.

As a nation, we have become more sedentary and eat larger portions than our grandparents. We also eat more sugar and processed foods than generations before us. Cutting down on sweets and fried foods, while walking daily might be all that’s needed to keep diabetes at bay.

Diabetes is the leading cause of complications with the feet, which many times result in amputation.

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has created a Diabetes Awareness campaign for the month of November. Details about the campaign can be found on their website at: www.APMA.org.

Diabetes Numbers in America

To see a larger version of this image visit Daily Infographic.

Oct 23

When a main part of your business is installing stair lifts, you understand there’s almost no such thing as a “standard installation” anymore. Just about every set of stairs has something that needs a custom adaptation, whether it’s the track length, adding curves, or deciding if it needs a right or left-hand run.

Some installations are easier than others, and there’s always a few that get your creative juices flowing. You come to expect a challenge with every job, but you know in the end it will be worth the extra effort.

Curved Outdoor Stairlift Installation

Curved Outdoor Stairlift Installation

We recently had a challenge with an outdoor stair lift installation in Pasadena. Living in Southern California, we work with quite few people who have outdoor stairs leading up to the home, and it usually doesn’t pose any difficulties.

This one, however, required two curves, one landing in the middle of the climb, and had to hug close to the outside of the stairs. Oh yeah, and it had to cross through a gate at the top of the stairs. It screamed custom!

Our stairlift of choice for this job was the Handicare Minivator 2000. Handicare has factories in the UK and Netherlands and the Minivator is a unique stairlift that can be mounted close to a wall, or in our case, close to the outside edge of the stairs.

Minivator 2000 Stair Lift

Minivator 2000 Stair Lift

The Minivator 2000 runs on twin tube tracks and is available in a variety of color options for the seat and track. Adding the custom curves wasn’t a problem either.

With the stair lift part of the process in hand, the final piece of this puzzle was getting through the gate. The gate opened outward and right into the path of the stairlift. Because it would be nearly impossible for a single user to open the gate while traveling up the stairs, we opted for an electric gate opener that could open the gate by using a remote control.

We’ve installed plenty of electric door openers in the past, but this was the first time we’ve used one for a gate in the path of a stairlift. We didn’t want to lose the security of the gate by removing it completely and the opener worked like a charm.

The Minivator worked great for this installation and like most stairlifts, has a folding footrest and arm rests for keeping the walkway in front of the unit clear when needed. It also comes with an easy to use cover to keep it away from the elements when it rains.

Sep 18

You don’t need your doctor to tell you that eating a balanced diet and the right proportions will put you on your way to feeling better and healthier. If you do a great job at it and throw in a little exercise, you may not need to see your doctor as often either.

Any age group can benefit from following this advice, but the older we get, the more important vitamins and minerals become for living a healthy lifestyle.

Taking multi-vitamins will help, but sometimes it’s better to get the necessary vitamins and minerals from a natural source, namely food. The tricky part is finding the right food sources for maximizing the benefits and nutritional value of the vitamins and minerals.

The infographic below makes it easy to find the right foods to take care of what ails you, and does a mighty fine job of explaining how all of this works by breaking it down to the type and function of each vitamin and mineral. It also shows the deficiency that is caused by a lack of each nutrient and the optimal food source for each one.

It helps to know there are two types of vitamins – fat soluble and water soluble. Essential Minerals are also broken into two categories – macro and micro. It will make sense as you read through the chart. This may even be worthy of printing out and hanging on the fridge for easy access. Happy eating!

Natural Vitamins and Essential Minerals Found in Food
To see this infographic in its full size, visit Daily Infographic.

Sep 11

Now that Labor Day has passed and we enter into Fall, it’s time to start thinking about home maintenance. Aging-in-Place means staying in your own home for as long as possible. For most of us, we think about adding grab bars and other accessible construction projects that make the home safer and livable as we age.

But to remain in the home, we also need to think about home maintenance that will keep the home in livable shape. As you consider budgeting for retirement, set aside some money to keep your home in good shape for a long time too.

During the summer, this usually means mowing the lawn, tending to the garden, and other cosmetic necessities. Depending on your area of the country, Spring and Fall require other changes to get you through the upcoming seasons.

Fall Home Maintenance

September is usually still hot in most parts of the country but things will be cooling down soon and it’s time to start thinking about winter.

Fall Age in Place

If you have a pool, it may need to be drained and covered to keep leaves out during Fall and to keep it from cracking as things freeze later in the year. Check the filters and add chemicals needed for the winter.

Windows may need to be changed to double-pane storm windows replacing screens. This helps insulate and keep harsh weather outside.

While you’re at it, check any weather stripping around windows and doors.

It’s still a little early to be thinking about gutters but take a peek at your roof and examine it for leaks or bad shingles. If they need work, they can be fixed now or after the leaves have all fallen when it’s time to clear out the gutters.

Outdoor decks and patios won’t be used in the winter in snowy areas of the country. After you cover or remove the patio furniture for the year, check for cracks or areas that need to be sealed. Maybe the entire deck needs resealing after a long, hot summer. This will help maintain it during the winter and prolong its life.

Before the temperatures drop, plan a visit to the attic to check the insulation and assess for any open areas where heat may escape. A well-insulated attic will reduce heating costs in the Winter and save you money in the long run.

As we age, we think about performing our own physical maintenance such as eating right, exercising, and visiting the doctor for health checkups. Don’t forget to maintain your home as well. You plan on living there for a long time, and tending to it can save money and ensure its health. If you’re unable to make changes yourself, check with local contractors or visit a local home maintenance store such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. They can probably assist you in finding somebody to help.

Jul 24

The Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990 and is celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year.

The infographic below is from last year’s 22nd Anniversary and outlines how the ADA defines “disability” and provides data about the number of Americans living with a disability. It also lists the various types of disabilities, education and employment information, and assistive technology devices.

In addition, a chart shows the historical disability milestones that have passed since 1880 while calling attention to significant sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Nearly 50 million Americans are living with some type of a disability. While that number represents approximately 16% of the U.S. population, it is expected to increase as a large number of Baby Boomers reach retirement age and beyond.

ADA Anniversary

Visit Disability.gov to find 2013 Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary Celebrations in your area.

For more information, and to see this Americans With Disabilities Act infographic in a larger size, visit Daily Infographic.

Jul 18

Making homes safer and easier to use for seniors and people with disabilities sounds like a pretty simple proposition. Add a raised toilet, a few grabs bars, make sure carpets are tacked down and cords are out of the way to prevent tripping and you’re home free. While all of these need to be done, they are just the minimum requirements, and often the easiest.

Accessible Home Modifications

The really tricky accessible home modifications are the ones that require a little creativity. Like adding a wheelchair ramp that needs to be 24 feet long to meet ramp accessibility guidelines when you only have 15 feet of space to do it. Solution: Add a switchback ramp that winds back and forth, gradually sloping up instead of in one straight line.

In the old days of home accessibility, when a doorway was too narrow to fit through with a wheelchair, it was the standard to tear out the entire door and make it wider. Then somebody invented offset hinges allowing the doorway to swing out an extra two inches. The new hinges
can be installed in under 30 minutes at a fraction of the cost of a new doorway. Genius.

Stair lifts were, and continue to be, a creative way of moving people up and down stairways. The early ones only went in a straight line. Then somebody had the creative spark to add curved track and now we have curved stair lifts that can accommodate almost any set of stairs no matter how big or how many turns that might make.

Luckily for aging-in-place specialists, the marketplace for accessibility products is constantly growing and evolving. The products have gotten better, and better looking. If there isn’t a solution for something today, there probably will be soon. And if you can’t find what you need, you can probably figure it with a little creative problem solving of your own when making a home more accessible for seniors and peope with disabilities.

Jul 11

The title to this infographic caught our attention, but most of these 10 Strange Ways to Stay Healthy aren’t really so strange. Okay, maybe a few of them are a little strange.

Many people think staying healthy involves making sacrifices or doing things that can be difficult, such as exercising regularly or eating foods that are healthy, but aren’t always the best tasting. It’s true that good diet and moderate exercise are important, but most of the items on this list are fun and easy to do.

Variety is the spice of life and adding these items to your daily or weekly routine should be quite pleasurable. Enjoy!

10 Strange Ways to Stay Healthy Infographic

To see this in a larger format, visit Daily Infographic.

Jun 27

You may have seen one at the hospital or rehab facility and thought it was funny looking…and very hospital-ish. It is. But a Goose Neck Faucet Spout with Winged Handles is very practical in the home, as well as a medical facility.

Goose Neck Faucet Spout with Winged Handles

The separate hot and cold knobs on the sink are “winged” handles, so they can be pushed and pulled instead of turning. While great for people who suffer from arthritis, they are extremely functional as they can be turned on and off with a finger or elbow. This suits people with difficulty turning knobs or when hands are full holding other items.

The goose-neck spout has a high clearance and offers more space below than a standard faucet, making it easier to fill water bottles and inflatable bathing sinks for the bedroom.

It’s also ideal for cleaning urinal bottles in the bathroom and other items. Believe it or not, many people do these things in the kitchen sink because most bathroom fixtures don’t have as much clearance as in the kitchen. Why not keep everything in the bathroom where it belongs?

Because the bathroom becomes a central space for people with disabilities, installing grab bars and safety items is the first priority for making a bathroom more accessible. Don’t overlook accessories that make the bathroom more functional too. Items like Goose Neck Faucets with Winged Handles aid caregivers and the people they care for while making life just a little bit easier.

We usually try to use accessories for the home that are elegant and functional while staying away from items that scream “institutional” or look like they belong in a hospital. This is one of our exceptions because they perform so well.

The universal design and accessibility industry has a come a long way in the past decade with great looking, functional items for the bathroom. Many of today’s grab bars don’t even look like grab bars because they blend in as dual-purpose items. We hope that somebody will come up with faucet and handle options that are more elegant and functional as well in the near future.

For now, we’re relying on the winged handles and goose neck faucet to provide great functionality for the bathroom. You or your contractor can order these on our website at:
www.AccessibleConstruction.com/services/bathrooms/20.html

Jun 20

This is one of the best videos we’ve seen that explains what Alzheimer’s Disease is, and how it spreads throughout the brain.

What is Alzheimer's Disease

As the video illustrates, Alzheimer’s begins when Plaques and Tangles form in the Hippocampus and kill brain cells. As the disease progresses, it spreads to other parts of the brain, first to the language center and finally to all other areas until breathing is compromised.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, it is important to understand the disease and how it may control a person’s thoughts and emotions, as well as physical well-being.

One in ten people over the age of 65 will get Alzheimer’s Disease. While many live for eight to ten years after being diagnosed, at some point they will need monitoring, a caregiver, and some form of mobility equipment to carry on with their daily lives.

Thanks to AboutALZ for this very interesting and informative “pocket film.” To find out more, visit: www.AboutALZ.org.

Jun 13

This came to us in an email and we found it both funny and enlightening.

A C-130 was slowly lumbering along when a young, cocky fighter jet flashed by.

The jet jockey decided to show off.

The fighter pilot told the C-130 pilot, “watch this!” and quickly went into a barrel roll followed by a steep, fast climb.

Fighter Jet

He then finished his maneuver with a sonic boom as he broke the sound barrier. The fighter pilot asked the C-130 pilot what he thought of that?

The C-130 pilot said, “That was impressive, but watch this!”

The C-130 droned along for about 5 minutes and then the C-130 pilot came back on the radio and said, “What did you think of that?”

C-130 Airplane

Puzzled, the fighter pilot asked, “What the heck did you do?”

The C-130 pilot chuckled. “I stood up, stretched my legs, walked to the back, used the bathroom, and then got a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll.”

When you are young and foolish – speed and flash may seem a good thing.

When you get older and smarter – comfort and dull is not such a bad thing.

Older folks understand this – it’s called S.O.S. – Slower, Older and Smarter.

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