I’m currently in the progress of updating the accessories section of the wheelchair seating area of the website. The original seating accessories page had very few products mentioned and not much information about what is there.
Proper seating requires the best possible pelvis position and stability. The Hip Supports and Seat Options page has a number of products and information on how positioning and stability can be achieved using aftermarket products.
As you may or may not know the Mobilitybasics.ca website is supported by our advertisers. These companies make it possible for our visitors to get all kinds of information relevant to disabilities and home medical equipment for free and without any requirement to sign up for newsletters or provide any personal information.
So, when one of our advertisers has something they want to promote I’m happy to oblige and help them any way I can. This helps them, me and our visitors.
I’ve added a page to the wheelchair section of the site today with information on Rowheels replacement wheelchair wheels. I came across these wheels when researching different types of alternative drive systems for manual wheelchairs and thought this was something many people may be interested in.
These wheels provide benefits to the user in terms of more efficient wheeling, improved posture, reduced shoulder injury, strengthened back muscles and improved range of motion.
These wheels, as the name suggests, propel the wheelchair when the user turns the hand rims backwards. Like a rowing a rowboat, the user pulls backwards to propel the wheelchair forward. The difference is, of course, the wheelchair user will be facing the direction they are going.
There is a lot of data and studies to support the theory of pulling back to propel forward and when I think about how one propels a wheelchair it actually starts to make sense.
While pulling backward to propel forward may have many benefits, I’m not sure that these are wheels that a long term wheelchair user could easily change over to. I’m sure the learning curve experienced by user will vary greatly and new wheelchair users will probably have less issues with this departure from normal wheel chair propulsion.
Okay, this is a little bit different from the normal stuff I post about but thought my visitors might be interested in it.
There is an article in the Toronto Star today about a little girl who uses a home made wheelchair built by her parents. The young girl is paralyzed below the arms by a tumor on her spine and there was no expectation she’d be able to even pull herself around on the floor for two or three years. Apparently it didn’t take long before she figured out that by pushing and pulling on the wheels she could move around their house independently.
Her mom went online looking for wheelchairs for toddlers and found a design that they could make at home for about $100.00 using an off the shelf toddler seat, a cutting board, a couple of small bike wheels and a couple of casters.
I’ve recently been looking at propulsion aids for people who have limitations that make propelling a wheelchair difficult. The last few wheelchair devices I added to the site were to make propulsion easier by using motors. Today I’ve added a page on the Neater Uni-Chair.
The Neater Uni-Chair is designed to provide people who only have the use of one foot and one hand independent mobility in a manual wheelchair. The Uni-Chair uses a single handrim that propels both wheels through a specialized differential and a movable footplate that allows the user to steer the wheelchair with their foot.
This chair is manufactured in the UK but is available in North America through their US distributer.
I’ve added a new product page to the website’s wheelchair section on the Xtender power assist wheels for manual Quickie wheelchairs. The Xtenders are options for Quickie wheelchairs only and can be added to compatible models at the time of purchase or as an add-on later.
The Xtenders are similar in theory to the Alber e-Motion wheels I added yesterday but have some specific differences. For one, they only are compatible with select Quickie Wheelchairs. Two, they are available in two models depending on the needs of the user. Three, they can be ordered with either Lithium or Nickel batteries. Four, the wheels actually communicate with each other to provide controlled tracking.
I’ve just added a new product page to the Mobility Basics website about the power add on wheels from Invacare. These wheels are battery driven and can be added to many different makes and models of wheelchairs the make propelling the chair easier for the user.
The wheels are operated by pushing on the handrims and can greatly increase the speed of the chair and the power of the user. The combined improvement in propelling the wheelchair leads to more independent use and much reduced fatigue.
The e-Motion wheels can be pushed as regular wheels are pushed and activated when needed for enhanced propulsion or kept activated all the time for constant assistance.
I received an email the other day from our friends at Home Healthcare Solutions in Ireland that contained an Infographic they have created on Virtual Health Care and asked me to share with our visitors.
I can see the value and many of the benefits of Virtual Health Care and agree wholeheartedly that we can use technology to increase productivity in the healthcare field and save time and money for patients.
While having a level area to use at the top of a ramp when trying to access a building via its doorways seems like a no brainer, situations where the threshold rise is only 1, 2 or even 3 inches are often dealt with using a simple threshold ramp. In the USA the accessibility regulations now require that even for these low rises that there be a level area in front of the doorway of buildings.
It really does make sense that this level area be available regardless of the rise. Trying to manipulate a door and pass through it using a wheelchair is hard enough without having to deal with gravity pushing you back down the slope whether it’s a 30′ modular ramp or a 3 foot threshold ramp.
How to create these level areas are up to the building owner. They can pour concrete and create sloped access to the platform, they can create the platform out of wood and use threshold type ramps to access the platform, or they can purchase a level entry ramping system that is installed over the existing sidewalk or porch.
This is a little different but I thought it was worth sharing with visitors. I came across this article in the CBC.ca website about a man who suffers from quadriplegia and can now, with the help of a computer and other hardware, move his hand in a controlled manner. It’s not a cure or a fix for paralysis but it is a step towards a solution.
As I understand it, a person with spinal cord injury will often be able to send a signal from their brain to make a movement and the limb, that they want to move, will be able to accept the signal but the problem is, the signal stops at the location of the spinal injury. Right now they’ve connected this fellow’s brain to a computer so that when he sends the signal to move the computer processes the signal and sends it, using wires, to sensors on the person’s arm. When the arm receives the signal it moves.
So basically, what they have done is created a new route from the brain to the arm muscles to enable movement. The eventual goal is to create a new biological route for the brain signals to take to reach the muscles that bypass the injury.
It’s not as simple as it might seem. The person has to train themselves to think about the movement consciously and has to be connected to a computer to make it work but it seems to be a step to figuring out how to get the signals from the brain and to the muscles in cases where the pathway has been cut by an injury.
This is not, and as far as I know, will never be an option for those who suffer from paraplegia or quadriplegia due to disease and it’s not something that will provide a solution to people who suffer from these conditions in the near future.