Category: Mobility Aids

Apr 22

The right cane is essential, whether you need one to balance as you walk or to help compensate for an injury or disability. You have many choices but the most important thing is a finding a cane with a good fit that will be comfortable to use and decrease your chance of falling.

See the Mayo Clinic’s slideshow on choosing a cane

Read the story

Apr 3

cane1Cait came across this on Etsy and it’s giving us stick envy.cane2

Woodworkers in Texas at Brazo’s Walking Stick make these sturdy beasts from ash or oak with a 36-inch ruler on the side — perfect for placing plants in the garden.

The handsome Yard Stick has a metal tip which doubles as a dibber, so not only is it a sturdy walking aid, it’s also a functional garden tool.

We fancy it would make walking around the backyard a more majestic experience and quite elevate tedious, but necessary, summer-long bug smashing.

Sep 29

Cait watched the Gimpliment for every household and office.

telestik.pngBilled as “The smallest most portable reaching aid,” the TeleStik’s magnet, hook and adhesive let you retrieve items from high kitchen cabinets or from under a heavy sofa or behind the washing machine, where you dropped the sock.

Cait says she watched a woman with limited strength and hand mobility delight in being able to pick up with ease a wallet, a fallen magazine and car keys.

After watching the video on the TeleStik Web site, Marty got one and uses it to pick up dropped pens in the office and retrieve pins while sewing — you know, the ones that don’t get found until you step on them.

TeleStik comes in several models, is lightweight and can fit in your purse.

Dec 5

Marty needed a Mobigrip on a recent flight when her iPod slipped off her lap and under the seat in front of her.

The iPod then slid so far forward she couldn’t retrieve it until the plane landed and she could get down on her hands and knees in the aisle and hunt for it. Not a fun time. Not a pretty picture.

The Mobigrip is a peel-and-stick gizmo that attaches to the underside of a cell phone, iPod, glucose meter, television remote and so on. The Mobigrip’s band slips over your finger, making it more difficult for the object to fall. Useful for people who have limited hand strength or are just plain klutzy, like Marty.

The Mobigrip people have this cute video on their Web site, where you can see the various Mobigrip colors.

Nov 8

If we can live long enough and not go bankrupt, the world is going to have some very interesting things for us to play with as we age.

Honda, for example, has developed a motor-driven assisted-walking device designed to reduce stress on people’s knees and help them up stairs. The device, which supports your body weight, is being tested in Japan, where it’s proving helpful to factory workers on assembly lines.

The video above demonstrates the 14-pound device, but is annoying because the video has no sound. What it should tell you is that to use the device, a person places the seat between her legs, slips on the gadget’s shoes, and then pushes a button to turn it on.

Between the seat and shoes are motor-driven metal legs to assist the person in walking. The battery-powered device also has a computer and sensors that respond to the person’s movements.

Honda is among a number of companies developing robotics for factory workers, the elderly, the Gimpy - and let us not forget the Lazy - who need assistance in walking.

Click here to learn more from the Canadian Broadcasting story - or above to watch the annoyingly silent video.

Sep 25

Necessity being the mother of invention, the best Gimpliments often are designed by the people who need them most.

tray-kitchen.pngThat was the case for Matt Elfein who designed this deceptively simple adjusting pole and tray when he could find nothing to assist him on his wheelchair.

Cait recently had the opportunity to test the tray and found it lightweight and easy to use — even for those with limited dexterity and hand strength.tray-laptop.png

Matt’s tray solves a key problem for walker- and wheelchair-users who struggle to carry hot food and beverages on trays and push carts. Cait watched Matt use it one day in a restaurant when his knees couldn’t fit under the table and he used his tray to eat dinner.

A primary reason Matt developed the tray, he told Cait, was that he was tired of dropping food on himself. The tray, he said, makes him much more independent - including as a parent. Now, for example, he can bring his children a snack on movie night or make breakfast more easily.

Click here to see a video and numerous uses for this great tray — including in business and class settings.

Sep 19

Great Britain is so far ahead of most other countries when it comes to being Gimpy friendly and it appears they have claimed another first.

The BBNav, with a 4.3-inch touch screen and hands-free Bluetooth calling capabilities, is a navigation device with information on 40,000 Gimpy points of interest in 150 cities and towns in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

nav-2.png

Let’s say you’re headed through Surrey, England, toward a long weekend in London. Touch the screen and the BBNav will show you every Gimpy friendly parking spot, bathroom, boating ramp, shop, hotel and beach.

It will even show you where to rent a scooter or a wheelchair for getting around the town. In other words, you can easily find a good Gimpy friendly restaurant for lunch in Surrey and then find a hotel in London and call ahead to book a room.

What a brillant little device. Here’s hoping the BBNav is such a hit the company will see the benefit of including other countries - soon!

Sep 10

Just by looking, Paul Schulte, a member of the U.S. wheelchair basketball team, can look at a competitor’s chair and discern that player’s style and moves.

Schulte, according to Read the story, has an almost “eerie clairvoyance” when it comes to sizing up wheelchairs. And he should. Not only is he an outstanding sportsman but he’s also designed many of the chairs in play today.

Click here to read the Times story about Schulte and the science of wheelchairs.

Aug 26

NPR aired a good show from San Francisco where more people are riding electric-assist bikes to deal with the difficult terrain.

Mainstream media and cycling fiends not that long ago dismissed electric-assist bikes. Now, finally, these bikes are gaining a serious following.

NPR for previous posts we’ve done on electric bikes.
























































































Aug 19

The Associated Press says the rising price of fuel and better design are increasing the number of electric bicycles being sold in the United States.

The nice thing about an electric bike is you can pedal and use your muscles to get a workout and then switch to the electric assist when you face some insurmountable hill.

Wired.com has this list of its favorite electric bikes, while Marty favors this electric bike - decided upon after several months of research and road testing. (Marty tried so many the poor bike shop owner thought she never was actually going to buy one.)

Eds. Note Marty figures her bike didn’t make Wired.com’s list because it’s a little too comfortable and middle-aged looking for the boys at Wired - who until recently frowned on electric bicycles as wimpy.

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