“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” While it may be a little bit different this year due to the ongoing pandemic, the holiday season, which often brings joy and cheer is officially here. It is a very busy time as we scramble to decorate, find gifts, and bake holiday cookies.
After a long winter, the weather is finally warming up – and there’s no place most of us would rather be than outdoors. Whether you define it as the chirping of birds or the smell of wildflowers, spring is definitely in the air. It’s a beautiful season – and we think it should be accessible to everyone.
As we age, our home may not be as easy to navigate as it once was. Getting up and down a set of stairs may be a chore because of decline in mobility. The risk of slipping and falling in the bathroom is likely much higher, especially if there are no grab bars in the bathtub/shower, or near the toilet.
An option for seniors who are having a difficult time staying safe at home is a senior living facility. In most areas around the country, there are many senior living facilities that offer care and assistance.
However, a senior living facility does not have the familiarity and comfort that a home does. A home is full of memories from parties and gatherings with family and lifelong friends. It is the place where a majority of seniors prefer to stay as they age.
Outdoor wheelchair lifts, which are also commonly known as vertical platform lifts or porch lifts, provide a safe and easy way to access the front or back entrance of a home. During the winter months in the Midwest and Northeast, the outdoor elements, such as snow and ice can make it difficult to use the lift at times.
Lifeway Mobility announced today that it has acquired the assets of Home Mobility Solutions, Inc. (HMS), Downers Grove, IL, through its subsidiary, Extended Home Living Services, Inc (EHLS), Arlington Heights, IL.
Founded by Mike Cleary, HMS has served greater Chicagoland and northwest Indiana, offering accessibility solutions including stairlifts, wheelchair lifts, modular ramps, bathroom modifications and elevators, for over 12 years.
A through the floor home elevator is exactly what it sounds like. It is a home elevator that literally travels through a floor cutout in the ceiling of the lower level and the floor of the upper level. These types of home elevator models are newer to the market when compared to hydraulic elevators and some of the other types of traditional style home elevators.
If you have worked in or been to an elementary, middle, high school or even a university lately, you may have noticed that there are many diverse situations that need to be accommodated for: wheelchairs, walkers, space for physical and occupational therapy, barrier-free playground equipment, etc.
Many schools throughout the country are older and were not built with these accommodations in mind, and despite the Americans with Disabilities Act, some schools are not as compliant as they could be. So, if you are an administrator looking to adapt your school’s environment or a parent wanting more access, read on for more tips on accessibility!
If you or a loved one use a wheelchair or a mobility device like a power scooter, walker, rollator or cane, you know that winter weather can make leaving the house even more difficult. Home access equipment like a vertical platform lift (VPL) can help alleviate this challenge, but snow and ice can still be an issue.
Fast approaching is that wonderful time of year when family and friends gather to celebrate the holidays. Often that means events and parties that include elderly parents, friends or relatives. Whether an elderly relative or friend with limited mobility is coming for the afternoon or staying longer, it is best to consider their safety and comfort.
If you have limited mobility and require the use of a mobility aid such as a wheelchair, scooter, or walker, you’d likely benefit from having a ramp or vertical platform wheelchair lift (VPL) installed in your home.
While commercial and residential vertical platform wheelchair lifts look similar, there are differences between the two that make commercial units suitable for use in schools, churches, theaters, restaurants, and other public buildings.
Do you or one of your family members use a wheelchair or have difficulty with the stairs outside of your home? Lifeway Mobility Chicago, formerly EHLS, offers a number of products that can eliminate the hassle of getting up and down the stairs, and provide you, a friend, or family member with a safe solution. The products that Lifeway sells and installs are wheelchair lifts, stair lifts, wheelchair ramps, and even pool lifts for those who need assistance getting into a pool at home! An outdoor accessibility solution will increase your independence and allow you to enjoy your front yard and/or backyard again! Below are a few details that will help choose the best possible solution for your Chicago area home
Best Outdoor Wheelchair Lifts for Homes in the City and Suburbs of Chicago, IL
A porch lift, which is also known as an outdoor wheelchair lift or vertical platform lift, is a common solution for wheelchair and powerchair users that need assistance getting in and out of their homes. These type of lifts are cost-effective and have a large enough platform that will enable wheelchair and power chair users to get in and out of their homes safely and independently. The porch lifts we sell and install are made by the top manufacturers in the industry: Bruno and Savaria. Make your deck, porch, or garage accessible with a porch lift from Lifeway Chicago!
The two pictures below are porch lifts that we recently installed in the Chicago, Illinois Area
Inclined Platform Lifts
Lifeway will usually only recommend an outdoor inclined platform lift when a porch lift or outdoor stair lift cannot be easily accommodated. Like porch lifts, inclined platform lifts have a large platform that wheelchair and powerchair users can easily roll onto. However, instead of traveling vertically, these lifts carry users over the staircase on a rail system that is mounted alongside the stairs. Some even refer to them as a "magic carpet" because of the size of the platform and the way they ride. There are models available to accommodate straight and curved staircases and even ones with multiple levels or intermediate landings.
Best Outdoor Stair Lifts
An outdoor stair lift is perfect for those who have limited mobility and need assistance getting up and down the stairs. Stair lifts provide a safe and easy way to access the front yard, back yard, patio or even a lake! (see photos below) Bruno's straight and curved outdoor stair lifts are built to withstand all four of Chicago's weather seasons. Restore your independence and enjoy Chicago's beautiful summer weather with a stairlift!
A wheelchair ramp is one of the most common accessible solutions for those who need assistance getting in and out of their home. There a number of wheelchair ramps available including aluminum modular, wooden, and concrete. All of these ramps are great accessible solutions for wheelchair and powerchair users. One foot of ramp is necessary for every inch of vertical rise.
Aluminum modular ramps are the most popular because they are cost-efficient, easy to install, require little to no maintenance, and will not rot or rust. There are three different surface options available for the aluminum ramps we offer: solid, expanded metal, and perforated. All three surface options are slip-resistant, and the expanded and perforated options provide increased drainage for rain and snow. Aluminum wheelchair ramps are also the quickest wheelchair ramp option available. These types of ramps can be installed and ready to use in a few hours.
Aluminum Ramp in Joliet, Illinois Aluminum Ramp in Yorkville, Illinois
Pool Transfer Lifts
A pool lift provides a safe and easy way for those with limited mobility to enter and exit a pool! Everyone enjoys going in a pool on hot summer days in Chicago. However, entering and exiting a pool may be difficult for those with limited mobility. A pool transfer lift safely lifts a person in and out of the pool, allowing them to enjoy the pool just like anyone else would!
For more information on any of these home accessibility solutions, please call us @ 847-215-9490!
If you’ve been researching home accessibility or products such as stair lifts or ramps, you may have come across the term universal design. While it may sound like some sort of New Age philosophy, it is really the cornerstone of the accessibility movement.
According to the National Center for Caregiving, there are an estimated 44 million American adults who provide unpaid caregiving to seniors and adults with disabilities. Of these, 14 million are considered “high-burden” caregivers who provide 21 or more hours of unpaid caregiving per week. Many of these caregivers are untrained and underprepared. The high stress and physical demands of caregiving can have serious consequences on the caregiver’s emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
Most parents can clearly remember the first years of their child’s life - patiently waiting for those first steps and making sure to hover close by in case of a fall. Once walking is "mastered" parents will still make sure to do what they can to prevent slips or accidents from happening in the home. It’s in our nature to make sure that we help loved ones as much as we can to keep them safe. But, the “I can do it myself” was the familiar cry that told us how badly they wanted to be independent.
Your Children Want You to be Safe & Comfortable at Home
Those days are long gone and now, and as the "Golden Years" approach, it is those same children who worry about YOUR safety. Getting in and out of the slippery bathtub or shower, or going up and down the stairs poses the same dangers for you as they once did for your children when they were learning how to walk. Unfortunately, your adult children are not always around to help keep you safe and prevent falls and injuries from happening. Their concern is also for your safety, but may sometimes feel like an intrusion as you face the fact that you are no longer completely independent.
Your children may try to make decisions for you that you may feel are not in your best interest. But in reality, they are looking out for you because they love you and want to keep you safe in your home. Moving to an assisted living facility or moving in with family members may solve any safety issues you are dealing with in your home. However, it would also mean that you will have to leave the home that you love and the community of friends and neighbors that have become so important to you. If you add a stair lift in your home or a few modifications to your bathroom, you will have the perfect solution– being able to age in place in the home that you love, while still maintaining your independence and safety as well as your loved ones' peace of mind!
When the stairs in your home start to become a challenge, a stairlift can easily be installed by one of our factory-trained technicians. A stair lift will allow you to simply sit, push a button, and be transported to another floor (and they are a great way to transport laundry or other heavy items). Battery operated for safety during a power outage, stairlifts are attached to the stairs in your home and can easily be removed when no longer needed. Convenient, comfortable, and attractive – a stairlift will remove the hassle of climbing up and down the stairs every day.
A great way to get familiar with how stair lifts work and ride is to visit a local stair lift showroom. It will enable you to ensure that a stair lift is right for you and it will allow you to get comfortable with how it works. Lifeway Mobility has showrooms in each one of the regions that it serves --- Chicagoland, Connecticut, Minneapolis & Massachusetts.
Bathroom Modifications & Wheelchair Lifts
Bathroom modifications can range from simply installing grab bars to steady yourself, to creating a completely wheelchair accessible shower. If a wheelchair becomes necessary on a long-term basis, a vertical platform lift or inclined platform lift can easily transport you between levels, both inside and outside your home (and they even withstand all four weather seasons in the Midwest and Northeast). Similar to an elevator, a vertical platform lift does not have an enclosed cab but travels vertically on a tower. Outdoor wheelchair lifts are often called "porch lifts" and can take you from ground level up to the home’s entrance.
A home elevator is another option for people who are planning to “Age In Place” in their homes. A home elevator is an economical alternative to moving that will provide you with added convenience and comfort, while also adding to the market value of your home. While once considered a luxury item, home elevators have recently become more popular in homes of all sizes and price ranges. A great convenience for transporting anything from luggage to groceries, a home elevator will provide you with the peace of mind in knowing that mobility in the coming years will never present a problem.
There is also more of a modern-looking residential two-stop elevator known as the "through the floor elevator". It requires less construction than a traditional home elevator because it does not need a space-consuming hoistway. This type of home elevator will save you money and leave you with more usable floor space than a traditional home elevator would.
Certified Aging in Place Specialists
A Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) is a professional that specializes in designing and creating environments that will maximize your safety and provide you with complete access to all the areas of your home. Coordinating the plans of a CAPS professional with an accessibility contractor will provide you with the expertise and skills to create the best possible solution for you. It will allow you to age in place in the home you love, both safely and independently, for years to come!
Contact us for more information on the accessibility products covered in this post or to schedule a free consultation.
A Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) is a professional who has completed professional training in aging in place. The training and certification is offered through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in conjunction with Home Innovation Research Labs, the NAHB 50+ Housing Council, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
The holiday season is once again here! There are so many things to remember: buying gifts, decorating the house, making travel plans, etc. It’s also important to remember family members and friends who may find it difficult to get into and out of your home while visiting. Similarly, you may find it personally difficult to access a relative’s home if you have limited mobility.