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Going Somewhere? Take your Portable Ramp with you!

Posted on: April 24th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

Portable-Ramp

Going Somewhere? Take your Portable Ramp with you!

It may always seem like a challenge taking your wheelchair or mobility scooter to certain places because it isn’t handicap or wheelchair accessible.  Sometimes visiting family for the holidays can pose a challenge getting in and out of their home safely.  Today, LA Medical has the answer for you, a parent or caregiver.  Today, we’ll explain how packing a portable ramp along with you may help you explore new heights.

Portable ramps are a quick, easy and lightweight option. They work much better than traveling uphill on rough terrain or taking a loved out of their wheelchair to get somewhere, if that is even an option.

Portable ramps come in different lengths, width  and overall design.  Most portable ramps are made from lightweight but extremely durable aluminum and can be carried around like a suitcase.  Portable ramps can range from suitcase ramps and threshold ramps to tri-fold ramps.

Another great option to better navigate your home is to install rubber threshold ramps to allow the wheelchair or power chair user to get around without putting a lot of effort into getting over bumps in the hallways or doorways.

With fall ending and winter slowly beginning, it’s important to keep all leaves, snow and other debris clear of the ramp surface.  This will allow the user to move freely over the ramp and not catch a stick for example that may cause them to go off the ramp.

Wet leaves can cause your ramp to be very slick, like wet snow or rain and can limit you to stay inside the house if nobody is around to help you get in and out safely.  Even though portable ramps are pre-installed, it’s always wise to make sure all the screws and bolts are tight to insure that nothing will come loose over hundreds of times using it.

Let LA Medical know how we can help pair you and your power chair or wheelchair with the right portable ramp today!

Caring for a Child with Special Needs- Part 2

Posted on: April 17th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

Caring-for-Child-with-Needs-2

Caring for a Child with Special Needs- Part 2

LA Medical is sharing a few of the best tips and suggestions we have heard from wonderful parents of special needs children who we talk to every day.

Remember that a diagnosis is important, but will never tell the whole story of your child.  A diagnosis is the first step to getting the proper care and discovering what to expect, but that will never tell the story of your child. Just like height, skin color or eye color, a diagnosis is just one part of who they are.

Take notes. You may be at a conference or watching TV when someone shares a wonderful piece of advice. Write it down and look it up later. You’re note file will probably be pretty big in the years to come.

Accept that other people may not know how they should act around you or your child and they will take their cues from you. The more comfortable you are, the more comfortable they will be. Don’t be offended if they ask a question that may seem odd or insensitive; they probably just don’t know the answer or what to ask in this situation.

Having said that, don’t let people use outdated, offensive or stereotypic phrases or words in discussing your child. If they use one of these terms, simply say firmly but politely that you find that word or phrase offensive and offer a better one. Changing many years of culture and habits takes time.

Daycares and other businesses are only required to make “reasonable accommodations” and affordable changes to their staffing and environments. Use the ADA as a tool to educate, not a club to threaten. It may take some extra time and experts to help find the right care and the right people to care for your child.

Let LA Medical be a resource for you when you are looking for wheelchairs, ramps and other home medical equipment that you or a loved one will need.

Flying with Ease: Airport Wheelchair Travel 2

Posted on: April 10th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

Wheelchair-plane-travel-2

LA Medical is continuing on with wheelchair travel and making sure your needs are being taken care of by the airport or airline.  Every airline has a list of reservation requirements that vary for rules or regulations.  LA Medical wants you to be aware of certain regulations such as providing medical certificates and battery storage for power mobility products.

If you or someone you know has a condition where they require additional assistance on the aircraft, they may need to provide the airline or travel agent with a medical certificate.  Under certain conditions, you may need to apply and receive a medical certificate from your doctor.  You may need to be examined by an FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) to receive a medical certificate before you board a plane. You must state if you need or have one of these:

  • Medical oxygen while on-board
  • If you have a communicable disease or infection
  • Require medical attention during the entire flight

Every airline has different rules and regulations to work with you in these predicaments.  Contact your airline or travel agent with any questions.

Battery operated wheelchairs or mobility scooters must be looked at more in-depth while going through security. Newer power wheelchairs and mobility scooters have lithium-ion batteries installed which makes security checkpoints go a little smoother.  But what do you do if you have an older machine?

While going through security, your wheelchair or scooter will not have to be disconnected from the battery, but your equipment must have an effective method of preventing accidental activation during transport or flight such as removing the key, turning on a kill switch, removing the power arm or taping a switch in a closed position.

Wet cell batteries, or spillable, require special preparations to be transported.  The battery must be disconnected and terminals must be protected from causing an electrical short.  Sometimes wet batteries will be transported in a special box to reduce damage and leaky batteries.  Dry cell, or non-spillable, batteries have fewer requirements for transport and handling.  Dry cell batteries can stay plugged in during transport.

Contact LA Medical today with all of your mobility questions!

Rolling to your next Flight: Airport Wheelchair Travel

Posted on: April 7th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

airport wheelchair travel

If you or someone you know has a disability, wheelchair travel can sometimes bear a headache or two.  Airlines and their travel agents are available to assist you or someone you know with any reservation requirements you may have while traveling with a wheelchair.  LA Medical wants to share with you what you can do to prepare for your next trip and how to successfully navigate airport wheelchair travel.

If you’re planning a simple weekend getaway or something more exotic, make sure you set up reservation requirements with the airline you’re flying with.  Every airline has different accommodations to serve the needs of their passengers.

Manual wheelchairs are provided by every airport and airline.  You may request wheelchairs at time of departure at the front door, after security and before and after departure.  Special aisle wheelchairs help someone who has a regular wheelchair that will not fit on and get through the small aisles of an aircraft.

Mainline aircraft, or passenger planes, include one onboard wheelchair that is designed to fit in the aisle of an aircraft. This chair is also used to get to and from the lavatory.  This wheelchair isn’t used for outside the aircraft.

Whatever wheelchair you or someone you know may have, most airlines will accommodate transporting your equipment.  Here’s a general list that airlines can transport, but not limited to:

  • Folding, non-folding and collapsible manual wheelchairs
  • Electric or battery-powered wheelchair
  • Electric or battery-powered scooters
  • Crutches or prosthetic devices

Make sure to contact your travel agent or preferred airline ticketing office within 48 to 72 hours before purchasing tickets to set up your special reservations with your wheelchair. LA Medical wouldn’t want you to get all the way to the airport with nothing setup.

LA Medical offers many wheelchair travel options to suit your needs.  Take a look at our standard, power wheelchairs or complex power chairs today!

Tips for Traveling with Special Needs

Posted on: January 30th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger

Now that the holidays are over with and you’re home safe, do you want to treat yourself to a quick vacation outside of California? Where would you like to go? Travel safe and sound with LA Medical’s tips for traveling with special needs today in our last blog of January.

Mobility Travel Tips

Do you get nervous about traveling with your mobility device beyond California’s borders? LA Medical knows traveling with a wheelchair, walker or other mobility devices can be frightening for some new users, but with a little preparation and knowledge of the process, you’ll realize there is nothing to worry about.

Going through the security line at an airport is different when you have a wheelchair or oxygen equipment because you’ll be unable to move through the standard scanners. This means you’ll need to endure a pat down from a trained TSA agent.  The TSA agents may also assist you in removing your shoes and placing your travel items on the x-ray belt.  Keep in mind that TSA agents should never ask for you to be removed from your wheelchair during this security process.

Commercial airlines have grown very accustomed to accommodating the disabled passenger and will direct you through their well-oiled process from the moment you step into the airport.  Like in all cases, the airline will be more prepared if you notify them.  As soon as you book your flight, contact the airline and let them know you’ll be traveling with a mobility device so that they can be ready for you.

When boarding the plane, you’ll need to store your mobility device and be transported to your seat using a special aisle wheelchair.  Your wheelchair will either be stored in a closet or possibly gate-checked to be stored in the lower level of the plane.

In preparation for landing, we recommend that you ask your flight attendant to notify the arrival gate that you’ll need wheelchair transport and will need your wheelchair waiting for you when departing the plane.

LA Medical hopes this has helped calmed your nerves and made you a more confident traveler.  If you have any tips for travelers like yourself, please feel free to share in our comments field below.

Accessing Entertainment in Los Angeles

Posted on: July 20th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

There are so many things to do in the greater Los Angeles area, and most, if not all, are accessible for those with physical handicaps. Title 24 of the California Building Standards Code states that public accommodation businesses need to comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state statutes which are said to cover most areas of accessibility.

To those with disabilities, Title 24 has opened up a seemingly endless supply of things to do in Los Angeles. Here are just a few of the places that provide both excellent accessibility and high quality entertainment.

Aquariums- the Aquarium of the Pacific has walkways that are wide enough for those with mobility devices, and those with mobility devices can maneuver right up next to the glass tanks. Wheelchairs are also available at the Information Desk. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium also offers easy access for those in wheelchairs as it is all on one level. The aquarium also rents out sand wheelchairs with extra large wheels to explore the nearby Cabrillo Beach.

Theme Parks- both Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain cater to disabled visitors. Many of the rides and attractions at Universal Studios are handicap accessible, they have an online brochure for visitors to look over before they come and they feature a Guest Relations desk at the front of the park. Magic Mountain has a disabilities guidebook so visitors will know how to approach the park’s many features.

Sights- the attractive sights and endless number of street entertainers on the Venice Boardwalk can be easily seen as it is almost completely flat, and the Los Angeles Zoo provides a Safari Shuttle to shuttle people around the park who need it. They also provide electric and manual wheelchairs for rental.

There are many more places to see in Los Angeles that are accessible to those with disabilities. Check discoverlosangeles.com and latourist.com for more ideas, and have a wonderful time in the City of Angels!

Holiday Travel with Accessibility: Tips for the weary special needs traveler

Posted on: November 22nd, 2011 by LAMedicalBlogger

Have the holidays snuck up on you, too?  Some of us are planning to travel across the state, country or even to another country!   With the holidays around the corner, I began thinking of the travel I have ahead of me and how some of my less mobile family members will be getting to the same places.  I turned to my computer and started researching travel tips for the caregiver, disabled individual or just anyone planning ahead.  There are endless travel tips out there, but here are the best and most unique ones that I’ve found.

If you have additional tips that have worked for you, please share!

Travel Tips:

  • Travel can be very hard on medical devices.  Be sure to pack some spare parts and have a qualified service contact in the area you are traveling to, in case of emergencies.  You can contact us for a recommendation in the area or try www.vgmfreedomlink.com for access to qualified providers across the country.
  • Concerned about the weight of your luggage?  When packing your luggage, try carrying it around the block once.  If you feel you could carry it around the block again, then the weight is fine.  If you feel like you may pass out if you carried it around again, you may need to rethink some items.
  • If you are traveling within the United States, service providers are required to accommodate those with physical disabilities.  However, the service provider is much better prepared if you call ahead and let them know you are coming and what you can and can’t do in relation to your diagnosis.
  • If you require assistance in the airport, be sure to let the airline know when making your reservation.  If you don’t want bruised elbows and brushed knees, you’ll insist on a window seat.   You’ll be seated first as an individual that needs assistance.  The others boarding after you will be climbing over you and possibly nudging you with their luggage during the entire boarding process, not to mention climbing over you during the flight and possibly whacking you by the refreshments cart in-flight.
  • When traveling abroad, remember that the exchange rate is best when you are in a bank or using an ATM.  Also, you’ll find that the exchange rate is better when using cash than when using traveler’s checks.

With these simple tips, your travel should be much more enjoyable and hassle-free.  In review, pack spare parts, have a patient provider contact in your destination city, test the weight of your luggage, call ahead to service businesses you are planning to visit so they are prepared for you, get a window seat on flights and exchange money at banks and ATMs when traveling abroad.  Be safe out there!

Do you have some great travel tips you’d like to share with us?