Daily Living Aids – Arthritis

Around 10 million people in the UK have arthritis and it can affect all ages depending on the form of arthritis. Arthritis can have a drastic effect on someone’s day to day life and so we have listed some aids which can help with daily activities.

Getting around

  • Fischer Canes – The orthopedically shaped Fischer handle distributes pressure evenly across the hand, ideal for people who have difficulty gripping.
    fischerhandle
  • Walkers with Arthritic Attachments – These walkers are great for people with limited hand use and offer additional support in the form of padded gutters which allows you to rest your forearms comfortably.560806
  • Cane stay – Cane Stays enable you to lean your cane against a wall or counter when in and out of the home.MP-99500-3

Getting Washed & Dressed

  • Long Handled Sponges – A simple solution if you find it hard to reach certain areas due to stiff joints etc. Different shaped sponges are also available so you can even wash in between your toes with ease!aa1831b_a_1
  • Button & Zipper Hooks – Enable you to do up buttons and zips with ease and without fuss, ideal for those who are loosing dexterity in their hands and fingers.f22624.main
  • Dressing sticks – If you have trouble reaching and bending your arms then the dressing stick might be for you.F21462_4
  • Bra-Angel – The Bra-Angel was made specifically to assist those with mild to moderate upper limb restrictions or limited hand dexterity to fasten a bra.559668
  • Elastic Shoe laces –Enables you to slip your foot into your shoe and you won’t have to keep tying your shoe laces!F19406_4
  • Shoe horns – Shoe horns aid with sliding your foot into your shoes without the need to use your fingers.71w1dSBYIOL._SL1089_

In the Kitchen

  • Tap Turners – Taps can be quite hard and fiddly to grip but the soft textured handles of tap turners provide a comfortable and secure grip when placed over the head of the tap making it a lot easier to turn. There are different tap turners for different styles of tap head.Derby_Tap_Turners
  • Large Handled Cutlery – Cutlery with wider handles make them easier and more comfortable to grip. There is a choice of weighted or non-weighted as well as different handle material such as foam or rubber materials.$_35
  • Angled Utensils – Angled knives etc can take the strain off your wrists and make it easier to grip.N05461.MAIN
  • Jar/Bottle/Tin Openers – There are many different aids to help with opening containers such as anti-slip discs which help with gripping jars; electric can openers as well as an “easy squeeze” can opener.241
  • Two Handled Mugs – These are ideal for people who find it difficult to drink from standard mugs due to frail hands, weak wrists or not being able to grip enough.Wade-Dignity-Two-Handled-Mug-White
  • Kettle tippers – Kettle tippers reduce the strain on the wrists dramatically and the worry of spilling hot water down you as you aren’t having to pick up the weight of the kettle. You just have to fill the kettle up using a small jug then use the kettle tipper to pour your boiling water out.M82599_1000_667

In & Around the Home

  • Key turners – Key turners can hold up to three keys and provides extra leverage and grip. They are lightweight and the keys fold away into the handle when not in use.asn3172-blue-key-turner
  • Pill Poppers – Instead of having to fiddle with blister packs and drop your medication, the medication is collected in the tube and can be poured out into a hand or container.41Elq-mbmaL._SX300_
  • Plug tugs – Makes it easy to remove a plug from a socket and reduces the strain on the fingers and wrists.prodmainimg2300_grande
  • Pen/pencil grips – These go over your pens and pencils and give your something larger and softer to grip onto making it easier and more comfortable to write.G45849_4
  • Playing Card Holders – This makes holding a hand of cards very easy!vm705
  • Book Stand – For those people who like to read but find it hard to hold the book comfortably.M76667_835_1000
  • Big Button Phones – Phones with larger buttons make it much easier to dial numbers which is great for those with reduced dexterity.m76459.main
  • Long Handled Dustpan & Brush – The long handles eliminate the need to bend down or kneel on the floor, putting less strain on your joints.M52997_1
  • Easy Grip Gardening Tools – Easy grip tools are designed to increase grip and comfort when gardening. Ergonomically angled handles keep the hand and wrist in a natural position whilst gripping.m78172_c

If you have any questions or would like to order any of these daily living aids then you can:
Call us on: 01420 549481
Email us: info@outandabout-uk.com
Or visit our showroom at: 25 Southview Rise, Alton, Hants, GU34 2AB.

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How to choose the Riser Recliner for you – The Other Options

After you’ve chosen the action, the size and the style of backrest for your riser recliner there are a few other things to consider. Depending on each manufacturer there are different options and extras available. Some of the different options to think about are listed below.

Fabric
There are lots of fabrics to choose from, and depending on your needs you might need one with certain attributes. The fabrics could be general domestic fabrics, waterproof, anti-microbial, flame retardant, stain resistant, breathable or a combination. For example if someone is prone to spilling drinks etc. then a stain resistant waterproof fabric might be appropriate.

Antimacassars & Arm caps
Antimacassars and arm caps provide added protection for the chair, helping to prevent staining and marking as well as general wear and tear ensuring that  your chair retains its “new look”. An added bonus of having antimacassars and arm caps is that they can easily be cleaned or replaced.
dropincushion
Pressure Care
The more time you spend in your chair the greater the risk of pressure problems. These can be prevented with appropriate cushioning. There are low, medium and high risk pressure care options.  The high risk options are for the people who already have, or are at a high risk of developing a pressure sore. It is important to check that your chosen chair manufacturer can supply what you need.
wooden arms
Wooden Handgrips
Some people find wooden hand grips a necessity as it gives them something easier to grip onto as they stand up, although you may prefer them just because of the style!

Neck Pillows
Depending on which back rest you have chosen you might feel that you need an added cushion to support your neck. Depending on the manufacturer there are different shaped pillows and different fillings available.

Wheels & Feet
There is usually a choice of solid feet or lockable castors. So if, from time to time, you want to move the position of your chair, then lockable castors would probably be useful.
hazardsnsor
Hazard Sensors
Hazard sensors are an added safety feature that some manufacturers offer. The sensor detects when something is in the way when your chair is being lowered and automatically stops the chair. This is very useful if small children or animals are likely to be around or if you were to drop something close to the chair!
shrouded-mechanisms-200x200
Shroud Mechanism
The shrouded mechanism is for a combination of safety and aesthetics as the fabric covers the chairs mechanisms and reduces the risk of children or animals crawling underneath etc.
drop down arms
Drop Down Arms
Having drop down arms might not be a consideration for some, but for those who need to side transfer in and out of their chair they could be essential.

If you have any questions or would like to try out different Riser Recliners then you can:
Call us on: 01420 549481
Email us: info@outandabout-uk.com
Or visit our showroom at: 25 Southview Rise, Alton, Hants, GU34 2AB.

How to choose the Riser Recliner for you – The Actions

When choosing an electrically powered riser recliner you should first decide exactly what it is you need the chair to do for you. Different models of chair are built to deliver different movements which offer you the choice of different positions, from a standard sitting position to a position which enables you to get out of the chair with ease. So when selecting the right chair for you  it’s very important to understand such differences. Most riser recliners will have either one or two motors. All riser recliner chairs have the “rise” movement which helps you to get out of the chair by rising and tilting. Beyond this movement, the number of motors and the different actions they have been designed to accomplish will determine the different positions that can be achieved. All of the positions on all riser recliner chairs are selected by operating buttons on the handset controller which is linked to the chairs motors.
Below we list the different combinations of motors and actions from which you can choose what will best suit you. To help you we have included diagrams of the different positions that each such combination can achieve.

Single Motor
A single motor chair, just as the name implies, only has one motor. This means that the backrest and footrest are controlled by the one motor and as a result move together in a coordinated fashion. On most single motor chairs, the footrest begins to rise before the backrest starts to recline. The handset will have at least 2 buttons; one to bring the chair down from a rise position and into a recline and one to bring you back to a normal seated position and to rise (the handset might also have a third On / Off button).
SM A

Single Motor “Tilt-in-Space”
Just like the regular single motor the back and footrest on the single motor “tilt-in-space” chair is controlled by the one motor, meaning they move together in a coordinated fashion. With “tilt-in-space” the angle between the backrest and the seat remains virtually constant as the chair reclines this means that your back will not be stretched as the chair reclines or compressed as it returns to the normal seating position (which is the case if the back moves independently of the seat and thus increases and then reduces the angle between the two) which some users find more comfortable. However more importantly, a single motor “tilt-in-space” chair also means you are able to have your feet higher than your hips which is good for circulation, so if you have problems such as oedema then this would be an ideal action for you. Just like the normal single motor chair there will be at least 2 buttons on the handset controller, one to bring the chair down from a rise position and into a recline and the other to bring you back to a normal seating position and to rise(the handset might also have a third On / Off button).
SM TIS A

Dual Motor
A dual motor chair has two motors, this means the foot and back rest are controlled by different motors so can be moved separately giving you more flexibility in the positions you can achieve. For example if you’re someone who likes to have their feet up but keep the backrest straight then this is the ideal action for you. Unlike the single motor chairs the handset controller on the dual motors has at least 4 buttons. This enables you to control each movement separately, one button to recline the backrest, another to bring the backrest to a normal seated position, the third to bring the footrest up and the fourth to bring the footrest back to a normal position and if this button is kept down it will rise and tilt making it easier for you to get out of the chair (the handset might also have a fifth On / Off button).
DM A

Dual Motor “Tilt-in-Space”
A dual motor “tilt-in-space chair”, also called the ‘Super Dual Motor’ has two motors, so again you are able to move the back and footrest separately. However as it’s a “tilt-in-space” action, the movements are different to a normal dual motor. The difference is that the footrest and backrest move together in a coordinated fashion and the seat to back angle remains constant. After the footrest has reached its highest point you can then continue to move the backrest further to an almost full recline (almost horizontal, rather like a bed and for some just as comfortable!). Just like the normal dual motor chair the control has at least 4 buttons that enable you to control each movement separately. One button to recline the backrest, another to bring the backrest to a normal seated position, the third to bring the footrest up, and the fourth to bring the footrest back to a normal position and if this button is kept down it will rise and tilt you out of the chair (the handset might also have a fifth On / Off button).
DM TIS A

If Space Is An Issue….
One thing to remember about riser recliners is that you need to leave space behind the chair to allow the back to recline. So if space is at a premium you should think about a ‘Wall hugger’ which means you can have your chair a lot closer to the wall. Wall hugger’s are available with different actions such as dual motor and dual motor “tilt-in-space”.

And So, What Next…..
Once you’ve picked the best action to suit your needs, you’re on the way to choosing the best Riser Recliner for you. The next step is to make sure the chair is the right size for you and this means knowing your measurements and the sizes of different makes and models of Riser Recliner Armchairs.

If you have any questions or would like to try out different Riser Recliners then you can:
Call us on: 01420 549481
Email us: info@outandabout-uk.com
Or visit our showroom at: 25 Southview Rise, Alton, Hants, GU34 2AB.

Four Reasons For Installing A Stairlift

  1. Platinum-Curve-Stairlift-_0022-Pod_CroppedYou can stay in your own home and hold on to your independence for longer.
    When stairs start becoming difficult some people decide the time has come to move to a new bungalow or an apartment; others decide to alter the ground floor of their home to make access easy.
    A Stairlift is simple and affordable compared with the upheaval and expense of these alternatives.Life goes on much as before – you simply ride up stairs to the rest of your home!
  2. You will be Safer.
    A Stairlift virtually eliminates the risk of stumbles and falls associated with climbing and gives you, your family and friends greater peace of mind.
  3. Your health will be better maintained.
    You will avoid putting further strain and stress on muscles and joints that are already giving you problems and help protect others from any damage.
  4. Your life will be enhanced
    A stairlift can enhance your day to day life! The time and energy you save by using it to get yourself and things such as laundry up and down the stairs, will leave you with time and energy to do other things you enjoy.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a stairlift assessment you can:
Call us on: 01420 549481
Email us: info@outandabout-uk.com
Or visit our showroom at: 25 Southview Rise, Alton, Hants, GU34 2AB.

 

Mobility Scooters & Powerchairs – The Rules

There is a lot of confusion about the rules and regulations that apply to owning and driving a mobility scooter or powerchair so, to help, we have outlined below the most important regulations that you should be aware of.

Driving Skills
It may surprise you to know that you don’t need a licence to drive a mobility scooter or powerchair neither is there any requirement to have tuition, pass any test or undergo any formal assessment. However this does not mean that you should use one of these vehicles without first thinking of the potential dangers involved, both for you and other users of shops, pavements, promenades or road, if you lack the skills and awareness of risk that a proper course of training can give you. We strongly recommend you find a training course. Follow this link to find a centre near you offering scooter classes. http://mobility-centres.org.uk/find_a_centre/
We offer a Scooter and Powerchair familiarisation session which has been designed to help develop the skills and confidence to drive safely and with confidence. This involves
• An assessment of you as a driver – sight, hearing, steering ability, ability to control speed.
• Familiarisation with the vehicle controls.
• A summary of the ‘highway code’ as it applies to Scooters and Powerchairs.
• An extensive ‘accompanied test drive’ around the large pavement area outside our showroom.
• A pavement and road ‘accompanied test drive’ around our local area and down into and back from the town centre.
These sessions are offered to all customers who want to buy or are interested in buying such vehicles.
To those who purchase from us these sessions are Free of Charge.
To those who are just interested we make a nominal charge of £20 which is refundable should a purchase be made.

Insurancescootersccident
It may also surprise you to know that there is no mandatory requirement for you to insure your vehicle or yourself.
However insurance is an option we strongly recommend. Should you have an accident where you damage your scooter or powerchair, injure yourself or worse still somebody else or damage private or public property you will be personally liable; there have been instances where users have been found liable for damages amounting to thousands of pounds.
Basic Insurance is not expensive – £69 per annum currently – a small additional price to pay for peace of mind!

Eyesight
There is also no legal eyesight requirement to drive mobility scooters or powerchairs, but at the very least you should be able to read a car’s registration number from a distance of 12metres (13 yards). And you must check that you can still do this regularly.

You must have a disability
If you are not disabled, you can only drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair when:
• Demonstrating a vehicle before it’s sold
• Training a disabled user
• Taking the vehicle to or from maintenance or repair.

Vehicle Licences
All Scooters and Powerchairs are classified as ‘Invalid Carriages’.
Some have to be registered with the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Although no tax is payable. There are two Classes of Scooters & Powerchairs:
• ‘Class 2’– these have a maximum speed of 4mph. THEY DO NOT need to be registered as they can’t be used on the road (except where there isn’t a pavement or when crossing a road)
• ‘Class 3 ’ – these have a maximum speed of 4mph off the road, and 8mph on the road. THEY DO need to be registered as they can be driven on the road.

  • Because Class 3 vehicles can be driven on the road there are some important rules and features your scooter or powerchair must have:
    • You must be at least 14 years old to drive a Class 3 vehicle.
    • A maximum un-laden weight of 150kg.
    • A maximum width of 0.85 metres.
    • A device to limit its speed to 4mph for when you chose to or are not able to drive on the road.
    • A maximum speed of 8mph.
    • An efficient braking system .
    Front and rear lights and reflectors.
    • Direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal.
    • An audible horn.
    • A rear view mirror.
    • An amber flashing light if it’s used on a dual carriageway.
    • You can’t drive on bus lanes, ‘cycle only’ lanes or motorways (You should avoid using dual carriageways with a speed limit of over 50mph).

Parking
All normal parking restrictions apply to mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs. Your vehicle shouldn’t be left on a footpath or pedestrian area where it obstructs pedestrians, including wheelchair users and people with prams or pushchairs.

Right of Way
Remember, when riding on pavements and footpaths pedestrians have right of way!

By following these simple rules you will stay safe and secure on your mobility vehicles. If you have any questions you can call us on: 01420 549481 or email: info@outandabout-uk.com

Mobility Scooter Review – Invacare Orion

ORION SCOOTER

At Out & About we sell a wide range of mobility scooters but one of our favourites is the Invacare Orion!

The Orion’s great advantages are:ORION

  • It’s an 8mph scooter that can be driven on the road but it also has a 4mph speed limiter for when you need to travel at the legal limit of 4 mph on pavements, shopping centres, shops and the like.
  • Its large wheels, a powerful motor and 50ah batteries mean that it can handle rough terrain and travel longer distances (26miles maximum).
  • It has a turning radius of just 140cm making it far more manoeuvrable than other, larger scooters.
  • All round suspension and pneumatic tyres give you a smoother, more stable and comfortable ride.
  • Its lighting system includes an easily visible Dual-Bulb headlight, automatic indicators and an integrated heavy-duty brake light for greater safety.
  • Its two step disengaging lever is an important safety feature and means you cannot accidently put your scooter into freewheel mode.
  • And last but certainly not least, the NEW  ‘Electronic Speed Reduction’ system, which automatically reduces the scooter’s  speed when you travel round bends and turn corners, ensures you enjoy a safe and comfortable drive!ORION LOCK BOX

And as if this wasn’t enough there are also a number of great optional extras such as a lockable front box so you can more securely keep your personal belongings.

If you want the full specification for the Invacare Orion and the optional extras or you have any questions about it you can:
Call us on: 01420 549481
Email us at: info@outandabout-uk.com
Or visit:
http://doclibrary.invacare.fr/Office/Europe/Marketing/MktDocUK.nsf/VALLMDocument/AD73D867F5166E8080257C0C00348C06/$File/4P%20Orion_UK.pdf

Taking care of your scooter batteries: THE DO’S & DONT’S

CHARGER PIC

Not all batteries are the same. What’s a good way to care for one type of battery can damage another type

Scooter and Powerchair batteries are designed to “Deep Cycle”, and when they aren’t being used they like to be kept on charge and left to ‘trickle charge’. Trickle charging uses very little electricity – a fraction of what it takes if you leave your TV on standby – and ensures that your batteries are always topped up and are ready for use.

To get the best out of your batteries:

  • DO
    • SCOOTER STORAGE COVER PICKeep your batteries and scooter in a cool dry place – Waterproof covers are available for different sized scooters.
    • Put your batteries on charge when you have finished using your scooter for the day, and leave them on charge until the next time you use your scooter – unless you are going away for an extended period of time or storing the scooter away for winter.
    • Fully charge your batteries and disconnect them if you are not going to be using your scooter for more than a month, then, at least once a month, you should fully recharge your batteries and disconnect them again. Remember to fully charge your batteries before you start regularly using your scooter again.
  • DO NOT
    • Take your batteries off charge before they are fully charged.
    • Leave your charger connected to your batteries if the mains socket is switched off – If there is no current flowing from the mains through the charger to your scooter the flow of power will go into reverse and the power in your battery will be drawn out. The longer you leave it this way, the more seriously your batteries will be depleted, leaving them at severe risk of failure on your next journey.
    • Use the incorrect charger for your batteries – if you break or lose your charger be sure to replace it with one that’s approved and or supplied by the scooter manufacturer or by specialist mobility dealers.

Batteries don’t last forever but by following these simple suggestions you can keep your batteries in good condition for longer.

 

Contact us on 01420 549481 for further information.