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How to choose the right seating for your wheelchair

How to choose the right seating for your wheelchair

It’s important to recognise that your wheelchair is both a mobility system (where the chair interacts with the environment), and a seating system (where the chair interacts with the user). As a seating system, the main consideration is how the wheelchair interacts with your body.

Wheelchair seating can be very complicated because of the way the seating components interact with each other, affecting posture, pressure, function and comfort.

The four interrelated goals in seating are:

  • Pressure management
  • Posture support
  • Functional capability
  • Comfort

Remember, a simple adjustment to one seating component may result in other components also needing to be adjusted – having a domino effect on your seating needs. For example, trialling an alternative pressure care cushion with a different profile or thickness may require height adjustments to the headrest, back support, armrests and footplates in order to maintain your level of pressure care, postural support, functional capacity and comfort.

For each adjustment, your therapist needs to consider the impact it has on these four goals, and discuss it with you. In cases where the optimisation of one goal conflicts with another, a compromise may be necessary to achieve the right seating combination for you.

Size, shape & function
Your therapist will also need to consider size, shape and function to help identify issues and choose the right seating for your needs.

  • Size – does the size of the wheelchair and the seating system accommodate your body measurements, providing suitable support and enable function?
  • Shape – does the wheelchair and seating system shape accommodate your body shape and range of motions, providing postural support and balance requirements?
  • Function – does the seating system enable you to function in your day-to-day life and access your environment and community?

Trials are essential
When it comes to choosing the right seating, a trial is usually the best way to go. A trial reveals potential problems in the seating and mobility systems, which must work together to allow you to interact with your environment and remain supported.

When different equipment is being trialled for comparison, remember that changing one component can require significant reconfiguration of the chair to create the same effective setup. For example, in a manual chair, changing from a rigid backrest to an upholstery backrest often results in a change of effective seat depth and wheelchair stability that should be corrected in order to make a fair comparison. Similarly, when trialling different cushion types, be aware of the effective height that that cushion has, as backrests, leg hangers and arm supports may need to be adjusted to accommodate any difference.

Problems can arise when the equipment that has been scripted differs from the equipment that was trialled. While there may be occasions where the preferred size or configuration of equipment is unavailable for trial, the closer the trial equipment is to that being scripted, the better.

Don’t give up!
Even with careful planning, there may be unexpected issues that only become apparent over time. But don’t be disheartened! Each trial provides more information to help understand the limitations and requirements of your seating needs.

Fine-tuning the seating configuration of a trial setup may be required to meet your needs and personal preferences. A small adjustment can often make the difference between a setup that works and one that doesn’t. Where possible, adjusting a single component at a time can help to establish whether there is a direct relationship between the cause and effect for a seating outcome.

Trust the seating experts at Power Mobility
Having the right seating solution for your wheelchair enhances your comfort, control, safety and overall well-being. At Power Mobility, we understand that everyone has unique seating requirements. That’s why we offer an extensive selection of quality cushions and backrests in a range of sizes and materials to suit your individual needs. And you can rely on our expert team to help you make the right choice from our range of trusted brands including Roho, Jay, Spex, Stealth, Star Cushions, Varilite, Equagel and Ottobock. So contact Power Mobility today to discuss the best possible seating solution for you.

An NDIS Registered Provider, Power Mobility provides the perfect combination of quality mobility products, personal service and expert advice. Widely regarded as the power chair specialists, Power Mobility also offers a wide selection of manual wheelchairs, scooters, lift chairs and much more. So give our friendly team a call on 07 3265 4663 or drop into our showroom in Geebung.

Top 10 tips to help maintain your manual wheelchair

Top 10 tips to help maintain your manual wheelchair

Regular maintenance of your wheelchair keeps you mobile and ensures that your equipment is performing at the highest level of safety. Here, we look at some of the most common issues with wheelchair maintenance and how to keep your chair in tip top condition.

How often should I do a maintenance check on my chair?
If you use your wheelchair regularly, its mechanisms will probably be subjected to quite a bit of wear and tear. Because these features are essential to your mobility, they should always be kept in good working order. Follow these simple checks and maintenance tips and you will help prolong the life of your chair.

  1. Check the pressure and condition of your tyres once a month
  2. Check the wear-down and general condition of your brakes once a week
  3. Check your upholstery and footrest every 3 to 4 months
  4. Check the moving parts and adjust the backrest if it has shifted
  5. Check the chair’s frame for rust spots
  6. Look over the wheelchair and its fittings, checking each screw point and testing for looseness. Make sure you also check any joints that are secured with self-locking bolts
  7. Carefully check your anti-tip mechanism
  8. Use a mild detergent to clean your wheelchair, avoiding upholstery and any exposed bearing points. Rinse the chair before storing or using. To wash your backrest or cushion, use mild soap and water. Give your chair a more thorough clean if used in a sandy area or it comes in contact with salt
  9. Improve disassembly time by applying a small amount of oil on modular and moving parts. If you start hearing creaks or notice stiffness in any moving parts, apply oil and schedule a check-up with an experienced service provider
  10. Every 12 months, you should contact an authorised repairer for a full maintenance check and service

 
Common problems in manual wheelchairs
After purchasing your wheelchair, carefully read the user manual’s maintenance section. Most manuals have a section that covers specific points of interest and ways to rectify simple problems.

Brakes
If you notice any braking issues, make sure you check it out straight away. The efficiency of your chair’s brakes can be degraded by incorrect adjustment or placement of the braking system. Having wet or low-pressure tyres can also impair the performance of the brakes. After you have checked for these signs, you should have a good idea of whether your brakes are working correctly or not.

Front wheels
Your wheelchair’s front wheels play an important role in the stabilisation, turning circle and propulsion of your chair. When performing minor maintenance, take a moment to look at the fit, condition and overall functionality of your front wheels. Slight right or left turns and non-fluid movement are two of the most common problems that can occur when the front wheels are out of alignment. To correct this issue, adjust the angle of the front wheels until they can rotate freely on flat ground.

Tyres & inner tubes
Your wheelchair’s mobility can be significantly affected if your tyres and inner tubes are in poor condition. In fact, one of the most common causes of mobility problems is having low tyre pressure. When your tyre pressure is too low, you have to exert far more energy to propel and direct the wheelchair. However, if your tyre pressure if too high, you run the risk of bursting the tube and outer tyre. Check your user manual for the recommended pressure range.

How to store your chair
If you’re planning to store your wheelchair for any length of time, put a protective weather-proof cover on it. Leave it in a dry place and avoid direct sunlight. And when you next use your wheelchair, make sure you do a comprehensive maintenance check first.

By following these simple tips, you will be able to increase the lifespan of your wheelchair and improve its overall performance.

Trust the experts at Power Mobility
At Power Mobility, we understand the importance of having someone you can rely on to maintain, service and repair your equipment. So before you buy, ask about after-sales service and repairs. Many retailers simply sell the products – they don’t offer service and repairs. Power Mobility offer a convenient mobile service and repair centre through our sister company, GS Electronics – a trusted and experienced service provider for over 40 years.

An NDIS Registered Provider, Power Mobility provides the perfect combination of quality mobility products, personal service and expert advice. Widely regarded as the power chair specialists, Power Mobility also offers a wide selection of manual wheelchairs, scooters, lift chairs and much more. So give our friendly team a call on 07 3265 4663 or drop into our showroom in Geebung.

What’s New in Technological Advances for Power Chairs

What’s New in Technological Advances for Power Chairs

On 13 May, we hosted a very informative session for therapists at Power Mobility – Technological Advances in Complex Rehab Power Chairs. This course was conducted by Quantum Rehab’s Director of Clinical Education, Jay Doherty, who was visiting Australia from the US to present at ATSA.

At this session, Jay discussed the latest technology and how it helps to provide a higher level of independence to powerchair users – from completely controlling the wheelchair itself, to controlling the environment outside the wheelchair.

Joining Jay at this session was Patrick Dillon, Ambassador for Quantum Rehab, who lives in Brisbane. Patrick sustained a spinal cord injury six years ago while swinging off a rope into a shallow river, which left him a quadriplegic. Determined to live life to the fullest, Patrick constantly pursued technological advances to assist him in every day life. Through a partnership with Quantum Rehab and Power Mobility, Patrick now uses the Edge 3, the latest power drive wheelchair from Quantum. It features Q-Logic 3 technology and all-new suspension and motor package.

Extra modifications to make life easier
We also showcased a number of fantastic customisations and modifications made to Patrick’s chair by Power Mobility’s Technical Director, Darren Schuler, including:

  • a back cane mounted swing away power boom for his chin control
  • a pezo switch to enable Patrick to operate the boom independently
  • a heavy duty proximity switch to help him access different power functions and drive controls on the chair
  • a Bluetooth relay to enable Patrick to open doors throughout his home and any other Bluetooth accessible switch he wants to use
  • programming the EDU (enhanced display unit) so he can operate any device in his home that uses a remote, eg. TV, fans, pool lights, air conditioner, etc.

Watch the video & download the presentation now!
During the session, Patrick explained to therapists how these modifications and the Q-Logic 3 technology on his new Edge 3 chair have boosted his independence. Therapists also had the opportunity to test-drive the chairs for themselves and talk to Patrick and Jay firsthand about the technology and how to use it.

If you weren’t able to attend the session but would like to find out more, you can watch our video showing Patrick at home explaining how to use this new technology. You can also download Jay Doherty’s presentation, Technological Advances in Complex Rehab Power Chairs.

Trust the experts at Power Mobility
An NDIS Registered Provider with over 40 years experience, Power Mobility provides the perfect combination of quality mobility products, personal service and expert advice. Widely regarded as the power chair specialists, Power Mobility also offers a wide selection of scooters, lift chairs, manual wheelchairs and much more. So give our friendly team a call on 07 3265 4663 or drop into our showroom in Geebung.

Top 3 Disability-Friendly Cities in Europe

Top 3 Disability-Friendly Cities in Europe

Travelling overseas and immersing yourself in different cultures is a wonderful experience – especially in Europe. However, it can also present many challenges, from lost luggage and flight delays to inferior hotels. For people with disabilities, it can be even more of a challenge.

The reality is that much of Europe still doesn’t cater for people with limited mobility, which can make it more difficult to travel here. However, there are a number of European cities that are ahead of the pack, offering hospitality, infrastructure and transport to make travelling with limited mobility easier.

Countries including the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal are becoming more and more accessible for people with disabilities. And many tourist attractions in these countries, from museums to galleries, now cater for tourists in wheelchairs.

Here, we look at the most disability-friendly cities in Europe, based on accessible public transport, ease of access to hotels and public attractions. So if you’re planning a trip to Europe, check out our top three picks and the best stopovers on the way!

1. Rome, Italy
As well as being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Rome is also one of the most accessible cities in Italy. All modes of transport in the city are wheelchair-friendly, and you can also hire mobility scooters. The ancient city has wheelchair ramps on the footpaths, and there’s plenty of space for wheelchairs in most restaurants. At the very least, there is a ramp at the entrance to most galleries and museums. Rome also offers accessible bus tours to people with reduced mobility to major attractions such as The Vatican and the Colosseum. As far as accommodation goes, Rome has more than 700 fully accessible hotels, suitable for people with limited mobility.

2. Berlin, Germany
Germany has invested heavily in making many of its cities more accessible for people with reduced mobility. The capital, Berlin, received the 2013 EU City Access Award from the European Commission, for its comprehensive disability policy and investments in accessibility for people with disabilities – and it continues to make constant improvements. Berlin’s public transport system is almost 100% accessible. Many museums, theatres, restaurants and bars in Berlin are wheelchair accessible including attractions such as the Jewish Museum of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall Memorial, to name just a few.

3. London, England
All public transport in London is fully accessible, plus many regular taxis in London offer wheelchair access. This means a person in a wheelchair (depending on the chair) can flag down a taxi and get both themselves and their wheelchair into the taxi. Most streets have wheelchair ramps and almost all hotels in London have at least 5% of their rooms dedicated to guests with a disability. Tourist destinations such as the London Eye and London Aquarium offer fully accessible routes.

 
The best stopover destinations
Like to make a stopover on your way to Europe? Dubai and Singapore are two excellent options for people with mobility issues.

Dubai
As a very modern city, most buildings, restaurants and attractions in Dubai offer excellent wheelchair accessibility. The city has a modern metro system that is barrier-free for people with reduced mobility. The Dubai International Airport is one of the best in the world when it comes to accessibility, offering special services to wheelchair users including expedited screening at security checkpoints and a dedicated line for wheelchair users at passport control. The city also offers a fleet of accessible taxis, and Dubai is home to a large number of international hotel chains with disability-friendly rooms.

Singapore
Singapore is arguably the most disability-friendly city in Asia, if not the world. In terms of transportation, Singapore’s train system, the MRT, is designed to be fully wheelchair accessible. Almost half of public buses and taxis in Singapore are wheelchair-friendly, and the bus stops provide barrier-free access. A large number of buildings and tourist attractions also provide barrier-free access, to make them more accessible, including Singapore Zoo, Sentosa Cove and the Gardens on the Bay.

 
Where do you start?
Our number one tip is to do your homework before you go. Check out other people’s experiences and do some research on hotels, restaurants and transport. The internet is packed with information, advice and blogs by travellers with limited mobility. So start planning your European holiday today!

Trust the experts at Power Mobility
Using the right mobility equipment when you travel can make all the difference. At Power Mobility, we offer a wide range of powerchairs including two models that are particularly good for travelling. The Pride iGo and Jazzy Passport are lightweight and foldable, so they make great travel companions.

An NDIS Registered Provider with over 40 years experience, Power Mobility provides the perfect combination of quality mobility products, personal service and expert advice. Widely regarded as the power chair specialists, Power Mobility also offers a wide selection of scooters, lift chairs, manual wheelchairs and much more. So give our friendly team a call on 07 3265 4663 or drop into our showroom in Geebung.

Townsville Therapists have a Magic Day!

Townsville Therapists have a Magic Day!

Power Mobility is proud to announce that we are now a local dealer for Magic Mobility power chairs in Townsville. Through our partnership with Wheelz Mobility, we will be supplying the superb range of Magic Mobility chairs to customers in the Townsville area and beyond. We will also be offering comprehensive, reliable advice, after-sales service and repairs for Magic Mobility chairs.

To celebrate our arrival, we held a Therapist Demo Day at Robertson Park, Pallarenda on Monday, 25 March. Luckily, the rain held off, and it was a lovely day in balmy Townsville. Power Mobility’s State Sales Manager, Nigel McCord, Garry Campbell from Wheelz Mobility in Townsville and Rowen Smith from Magic Mobility Head Office in Melbourne were all on hand to explain the unique features of these ‘go-anywhere’ power chairs. But most importantly, the 15 therapists and students got to put the Magic Mobility chairs through their paces for themselves – on rough terrain, grass, sand, and even an obstacle course!

“We had three Magic Mobility models available to trial on the day – the Extreme X8, V4 RWD All-Terrain and the V6 All-Terrain,” explained Nigel from Power Mobility. “We set up an obstacle course with pallets and ramps on the grass, which the chairs handled with ease. Then we took the X8 and V6 along the beach access track and down onto the beach, where the therapists tried out the chairs on the sand, with some even venturing up the nature bank on the X8, which handled the rough terrain beautifully.”

“The therapists really appreciated the opportunity to try out the Magic chairs for themselves. We answered lots of questions about their capabilities, and everyone was very impressed with their performance,” Nigel added. “Many of the therapists commented how perfect the Australian-made Magic Mobility chairs are for the Townsville area, due to their rugged, durable construction and powerful motors.”

Tick of approval from our youngest ‘therapist’!

“It was great to have a play with the chairs and learn about some of the extra features available. It was a lovely morning. My little fella is still talking about the chairs and has watched the video of him getting a ride about 100 times!” said Mel from Melissa Barrett Occupational Therapy Services.

“After working up quite an appetite, we ended the morning with a sausage sizzle and light refreshments – a huge thanks to Garry’s family for their hospitality!” Nigel said.

Contact us now for a trial!

If you or your clients are interested in finding out more about this fantastic range of world-class, Australian-made power chairs, please contact Garry Campbell at Wheelz Mobility, or click the link on Wheelz Mobility’s home page to see the full range of Magic Mobility chairs.

If you’re not in Townsville, give Power Mobility’s friendly team a call on 07 3265 4663 or drop into our showroom in Brisbane. In the meantime, you can find out more about Magic Mobility power chairs here.

Trust the experts at Power Mobility

An NDIS Registered Provider with over 40 years experience, Power Mobility is the first choice for many therapists, healthcare professionals and people with mobility issues. Power Mobility provides the perfect combination of quality mobility products, personal service and expert advice. We also have a convenient mobile repair service with highly trained technicians who really know their stuff!

Widely regarded as the power chair specialists, Power Mobility also offers a wide selection of scooterslift chairs, manual wheelchairs and much more. So live life to the fullest and contact us for your free trial or quote today!

Buying Mobility Equipment with your Home Care Package

Buying Mobility Equipment with your Home Care Package

Do you still want to live at home, but need a little help? A government-subsidised home care package offers support ranging from domestic assistance and clinical services to the purchase of mobility equipment, all with the goal of making living at home as easy and comfortable as possible.

Many people aren’t aware that they can use their home care package to buy mobility equipment that helps them stay at home longer and perform daily tasks. But before we look at this in more detail, let’s go through some commonly asked questions about home care packages.

What is a Home Care Package?
A home care package is a coordinated package of care and services, designed to help you live independently in your own home for as long as you can. Your home care provider will work with you to:

  • choose care and services that best meet your needs and goals
  • manage your care and services.

Am I eligible?
You may be eligible for a home care package if you are:

  • an older person (usually 65+ or 50+ for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) who needs coordinated services to help you stay at home
  • a younger person with a disability, dementia or other special care needs that are not met through other specialist services.

You need to have a face-to-face assessment of your care needs to find out if you’re eligible.

How much funding can I get?
The total cost of a home care package is made up of:

  • what you need to pay (your contribution)
  • what the Australian Government pays (the subsidy).

The Australian Government pays a different subsidy amount for each level of home care package. This amount is paid to the home care provider you choose.

There are four levels of home care packages:

  • Level 1: Basic care needs – $8,250 pa
  • Level 2: Low level care needs – $15,000 pa
  • Level 3: Intermediate care needs – $33,000 pa
  • Level 4: High level care needs – $50,250 pa

*Figures current as at February 2019. The maximum government contribution increases each year.

What can I use my home care package for?
Some of the things you can access under a home care package include:

  • Personal care including help dressing, showering or bathing
  • Social support & companionship
  • Nutrition & meal preparation
  • Continence management
  • Mobility & dexterity support to stay mobile
  • Nursing care & other clinical services
  • Allied health support including Podiatry and Physiotherapy
  • Transport & personal assistance to help you attend appointments, buy groceries etc.
  • Assistive technology such as power wheelchairs & mobility scooters.

What mobility equipment can I buy with my home care package?
This really depends on the level of home care package you receive. Power Mobility offers a comprehensive range of quality mobility equipment, from walkers and manual wheelchairs to scooters and power chairs. Many of our customers use their home care packages to buy mobility equipment that makes their lives easier. Our friendly, knowledgeable team can recommend the best equipment for you, within your home care package budget.

Here are some of the mobility aids you may like to consider:

Use it or lose it
Remember, if you don’t use all of your annual home care package subsidy, the remainder does not roll over into the following year. So make sure you plan out how you’re going to spend it with your home care provider.

Talk to the experts at Power Mobility
With more than 40 years experience, our team can provide the right assistive technology solutions to support your lifestyle. So if you’re looking for quality mobility equipment, Power Mobility has an extensive range of power chairsmanual wheelchairs, lift chairs and mobility scooters, plus much more. Drop into our huge showroom or call our friendly team on (07) 3265 4663 to have a chat about your needs.

Please note: This is general advice only. To find out if you’re eligible for a home care package, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit myagedcare.gov.au.

What can I buy with my NDIS money?

What can I buy with my NDIS money?

Not sure what you can buy with funds provided by the NDIS? You’re not alone. Many of our clients are still not sure either, so we’ve put together this handy guide to help make it easier for you.

How can I use the money in my budget?
Each funded support in your plan has a budget. These budgets are placed in a support category, based on why you need that support. There are 15 support categories. You can’t take money from one budget and spend it on a different support category, but there is a range of supports you can fund in each category. However, if you have a ‘STATED SUPPORT’, you have to use your budget to buy that support.

What will the NDIS NOT pay for?
The NDIS will only pay for supports that are reasonable and necessary – that is, supports that are fair and something you need. The NDIS won’t pay for your groceries, but they will pay for a support person to take you shopping if that’s a support you need.

Think of the things that any non-disabled person pays for themselves. These are the things that the NDIS does not pay. Belonging to a club or sporting team, registration fees, uniforms and basic equipment are all costs a non-disabled person pays for themselves.

Some of the things you can use your NDIS funding for include occupational therapy, assistive technology such as a power wheelchair and continence products.

Can I use NDIS money for a holiday?
The NDIS can’t fund your holiday, but it may fund supports that will help you with your holiday. For example, they may pay for a companion to help you with luggage, talk to airport or hotel staff and support you during your trip.

Will the NDIS pay for domestic help like cleaning and gardening?
The NDIS may fund domestic help such as having someone clean or cook at home, if it’s a reasonable and necessary support for you.

Will the NDIS fund car and/or home modifications?
The NDIS may pay for changes to your car, van or home, but these changes have to be reasonable and necessary.

Will the NDIS fund a service dog?
The NDIS won’t pay for the purchase of a therapy dog, but they may pay for home modifications and the cost of keeping a dog, if it’s reasonable and necessary.

Will the NDIS fund sport and exercise activities?
The NDIS won’t pay your sporting fees, but they may fund supports that help you participate in sport and exercise.

How are prosthetic limbs funded under the NDIS?
The NDIS will fund reasonable and necessary prosthetic limbs that are suited to your disability and your goals.

Does the NDIS fund medical expenses?
The NDIS will pay for medical therapy and early intervention if it’s related to your disability. They will also pay for supports to help you go to appointments, if it’s reasonable and necessary. They won’t pay for medicine, doctor’s visits or surgery, as these are covered by other government branches.

Will the NDIS fund education?
The NDIS will pay for supports that will help you get an education, but other groups are better suited to pay for things like fees, tutors and changes to school buildings.

Does the NDIS fund transport?
The NDIS will pay for your transport if you can’t use public transport or if you’re not part of a taxi scheme, and it’s reasonable and necessary.

Can support coordination be part of my plan?
You may be able to have support coordination as part of your plan. You should think about how you want to manage your supports, before going to your planning meeting.

Not sure where to start? Check out our NDIS page
From checking your eligibility to getting a Service Agreement form to include with your NDIS Plan, you can find it all here.

We’ve had so much enquiry about how to apply for NDIS funding, we’ve created a dedicated page on our website that explains it all, with handy links to help you learn more. We’ve even included a list of Frequently Asked Questions. So whether you’re applying for NDIS funding yourself, or you’re a therapist, check it out now!

Assistive Technology & your NDIS Plan
Make sure you include Assistive Technology in your NDIS Plan, detailing the products you need and/or an allocation for service and repairs. You can request a Service Agreement form here.

 

Proud to be an NDIS Registered Provider
As an NDIS Registered Provider, Power Mobility is dedicated to helping you get mobile, so you can enjoy life to the fullest. With more than 40 years experience, our team can provide the right assistive technology solutions to support your lifestyle.

So if you’re looking for quality mobility equipment, Power Mobility has an extensive range including QuantumPrideMagic Mobility and Ottobock power chairs, manual wheelchairs and scooters, plus much more. Drop into our showroom or call our friendly team on (07) 3265 4663 to find the best solution for you.

Is your wheelchair or scooter suitable for public transport?

Is your wheelchair or scooter suitable for public transport?

Mobility devices such as wheelchairs and mobility scooters are an essential part of daily life for people with a mobility issue. Not only do they improve access to everyday services, but they can also greatly enhance quality of life. In most cases, you can use your mobility device on public transport such as buses, trains, ferries or taxis, but there are some guidelines you need to follow. Here’s some helpful information about which equipment is acceptable in Queensland.

Check the specs
To maximise your safety and make sure that your wheelchair or mobility scooter can be safely carried on accessible public transport, take a look at the specifications outlined below. And remember, transport operators have the right to refuse access if they believe your mobility device doesn’t meet these standards.

Dimensions
Size: Fits in an allocated space of 1300mm by 800mm
Total width: Less than 750mm
Total height: less than 1500mm when you’re seated (or less than 1400mm if the accessible taxi was introduced into service before 1 January 2013). This only applies when travelling in an accessible taxi.

Weight
Boarding devices such as ramps and hoists can support a total weight of 300kg. This includes the wheelchair or scooter, its occupant and any carried goods (such as groceries, oxygen, etc). If someone assists you with boarding by pushing a manual wheelchair up a boarding ramp, their weight is also included.

Manoeuvrability
Your mobility device must be able to:

  • Cross a horizontal gap up to 40mm
  • Mount a vertical rise (bump) up to 12mm high
  • Cross grating gaps up to 13mm wide and 150mm long
  • Climb a 1:14 grade ramp unassisted
  • Climb up a 1:8 grade ramp unassisted where the ramp is less than 1520mm long
  • Climb a 1:4 grade ramp with assistance.

Turning
To make sure you can access public transport, you must be able to navigate your wheelchair or scooter through a 180 degree turn within an area of 2070mm by 1540mm.

Medical Oxygen Cylinder
A medical oxygen cylinder or tank is permitted on public transport if it is medically prescribed for you, weighs no more than 5kg when full, and is restrained to your device or in a travel pack. Cylinders, valves and regulators, where fitted, must be protected from damage that could cause inadvertent release of the contents.

Extra requirements
Your wheelchair or mobility scooter must be checked regularly and must not pose a risk to other passengers. For example, it needs to have effective braking systems to maintain stability on board public transport.

Passengers using mobility scooters who use a wheelchair accessible taxi must dismount from their scooter and transfer into a seat. Be careful when attaching accessories to your mobility scooter, such as canopies or flags, which may increase the overall height and impede the view of the driver or affect other passengers.

Think about your needs before you buy
The friendly, experienced team at Power Mobility can help you choose a mobility device that’s suitable for use on public transport. You can also ask your therapist for suitable options.

To make sure you can use your wheelchair or mobility scooter the way you want, consider the following before you buy:

  • How far do you need to travel?
  • Where will you be travelling?
  • Is the mobility device suitable for public transport?
  • What surfaces will you be travelling on?

 

We know our stuff at Power Mobility
With more than 40 years experience, our team can provide the right assistive technology solutions to support your lifestyle. So if you’re looking for quality mobility equipment, Power Mobility has an extensive range including Quantum, Pride, Magic Mobility and Ottobock power chairs, manual wheelchairs and scooters, plus much more. Drop into our huge showroom or call our friendly team on (07) 3265 4663 to find the best solution for you.

Please note: This is general advice only. You can find out more about travelling on public transport here or by calling 13 23 80.

4 Fantastic Wheelchair-Friendly Holiday Spots

4 Fantastic Wheelchair-Friendly Holiday Spots

The holiday season is fast approaching, but looking for a wheelchair-friendly destination can be a challenge. When you choose a holiday spot, look for somewhere that not only has accessible accommodation, but plenty of activities for people with limited mobility. Here, we look at four popular Australian holiday destinations that are very popular with people who use a wheelchair or another mobility aid.

1. Tropical North Queensland
North Queensland offers a whole world of unspoiled beauty for you to explore. The Wet Tropics are the oldest rainforests in the world, with plant species that existed millions of years ago. Head to the Daintree River Valley, where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. It’s the only place in the world where you can experience two World Heritage sites. A Daintree River Cruise is a wonderful way to explore this amazing destination.

Cairns offers a wide variety of things to do and see for those with limited mobility. Beach-friendly wheelchairs are available at Palm Cove Beach in Cairns and Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas. Many of the tour boats travelling to the Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoons are accessible for guests with mobility issues.

Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail, Cairns Tropical Zoo, Rainforestation, The Rainforest Habitat, Cairns Wildlife Safari, Hartley’s Crocodiles Adventures and Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park are all wheelchair accessible. You can find out more about all of these amazing attractions here.

2. Gold Coast, Queensland
With its sunny, subtropical climate, famous beaches, theme parks and rainforest hinterland, no wonder the Gold Coast is a popular tourist destination. It also has lots of fantastic activities for people with limited mobility.

If you love the sand and surf, you can enjoy access to the beach, using one of the beach wheelchairs and beach mats now available. You can find out more about the locations for beach access equipment here. You can also learn more about beach access points, viewing platforms, mobility maps and ‘Let’s go surfing’ days at Currumbin.

If you’re the adventurous type, why not enjoy a fun-filled day at Movie World, Sea World or one of the many other theme parks on the Gold Coast. Lots of rides and attractions are accessible by wheelchair, and you can find out more by clicking on the links.

There’s also a plethora of wonderful dining options on the Gold Coast to tantalise your taste buds. You can check out some of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast with disabled access here.

3. Coffs Harbour, New South Wales
Coffs Harbour is ideally located on the north coast of New South Wales. With its tropical climate, this popular coastal centre offers pristine beaches, abundant wildlife, coral reefs and seasonal whale watching. It also has a variety of wheelchair accessible activities to keep everyone entertained!

A trip to Coffs isn’t complete without a visit to The Big Banana. There are lots of things to do and see including ice skating, tobogganing, a water park and an educational experience about all things ‘bananas’. Wheelchairs can even go on the ice rink!

For a beautiful view overlooking Coffs Harbour and surrounds, drive up to the Forest Sky Pier at Bruxner Park. The drive winds through many banana plantations, giving you a great insight into how bananas are grown. The 21-metre long suspended walkway is completely accessible. The car park is opposite, with barbecues, picnic shelters and a disabled toilet nearby.

The Butterfly House lets you stroll amongst hundreds of Australian butterflies in an indoor subtropical rainforest setting. There are educational displays, a café and maze to explore. Enjoy spotting the beautiful butterflies, and if you’re lucky, one or two might even land on you!

Stretching from Coffs Harbour to Armidale, Waterfall Way is a spectacular 185km drive winding through five gorgeous national parks, with breathtaking waterfall views and accessible viewing platforms. It’s a fantastic road trip!

4. Sydney, New South Wales
One of the most iconic and vibrant cities in the world, Sydney is best known for its harbour-front Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

A visit to Sydney isn’t complete without a trip on the harbour. A ferry ride to Manly gives you breathtaking views of the city, the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Manly has a fabulous selection of cafes, restaurants and fish and chip shops, and there’s even a beach wheelchair for loan at no cost from the Surf Life Saving Club, if you’d like to head down to the beach.

Take some time to visit the amazing Taronga Zoo, with its unique collection of tortoises, African elephants and Komodo dragons. It’s in a spectacular harbourside location, with gentle ramping and lifts in some areas to make access easier. But please note that some parts of the zoo are still very steep. You can find out more about the zoo’s accessibility here.

Home to an abundance of sea and wildlife including dugongs, koalas, kangaroos and wombats, Wild Life Sydney and Sea Life Sydney are side by side at Cockle Bay. Both have ramps that will require pushing if you’re in a manual chair.

Brunch or sunset dinner at the Opera Bar is a great way to start or end the day, with a view that’s hard to match! Plus it has a generous wheelchair accessible restroom.

Looking for a great travel wheelchair?
If you’re looking for a lightweight power chair that’s perfect for travelling, check out the new Jazzy® Passport from Pride. This compact power chair folds in just a few simple steps for effortless transport. With convenient storage, the Jazzy® Passport makes getting around easier than ever before.

Power Mobility has a comprehensive range of mobility equipment including power chairsmanual chairsscooterslift chairs, plus much more. Drop into our huge showroom at Geebung or call us on 07 3265 4663 to find the best solution for your mobility needs.

How to Prepare for your Power Chair Trial

How to Prepare for your Power Chair Trial

The process of choosing, trialling and deciding on your new power chair is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. And the trial itself is probably the most crucial step in the process of finding a power chair that meets all your needs and wants. Here, we take you through the process, so you can get the most out of your trial.

Understanding the trial process

At Power Mobility, the trial process begins with an initial consultation with an experienced member of our sales team. This is an opportunity for you and your therapist to tell us about your lifestyle, your current chair’s limitations and advantages (assuming this isn’t your first chair), your seating set-up and what you want to achieve with your new chair. It’s a chance for you to find out more about our comprehensive range, and which power chair will be the best match for you.

How to prepare for your trial

We know that power wheelchair users spend most of their waking hours in their chair each day, so it’s important that you tell us exactly what you want from your new power chair, so this can be taken into consideration when setting it up for your trial.

The more prepared you are for your trial, the better. So here are some handy tips to get you started:

  • Make a note of any specific places you need to go, or obstacles you might have to contend with (like doorways or curbs)
  • Consider asking any attendants, carers or family members to be present during the trial to ensure the power chair and set-up will work for them too
  • Make a list of your goals and lifestyle needs, so you can decide whether the chair you’re trialling can help you do what you want, and go where you want.

Where will the trial take place?

The trial usually takes place in your own environment, so you can make sure it meets your needs for daily tasks and any challenges you might have. While the demonstration usually only takes a couple of hours, you can also request an extended trial.* This can be helpful if you feel you need to spend more time trialling the chair or having the set-up changed slightly, before you make your decision.

Accessories and customisation

Our sales consultant will also discuss suitable accessories and customisations that will help you get where you need to go and do what you want to do. Power Mobility has dedicated customisation specialists with more than 30 years experience, so we can tailor your chair to suit your specific needs.

Preparing your quote

Following the trial, we will provide you or your therapist with a quote for your power chair. And if you have any other questions that you didn’t think of during the trial, we’re happy to answer them for you. We’re also available to give you a hand with any funding questions you may have. If you’d like to find out more about NDIS funding, check out our step-by-step guide here.

Book your free trial today!

If you’re interested in a free power chair trial, please contact the friendly team at Power Mobility. We have an extensive range of power chairs including trusted brands such as Magic MobilityQuantumPride, and Ottobock.

We also have a comprehensive range of other mobility equipment including manual chairsscooterslift chairs, plus much more. Drop into our huge showroom at Geebung or call us on 07 3265 4663 to find the best solution for your mobility needs.

*Subject to availability.

Powerchair football elite battle it out in Brisbane

Powerchair football elite battle it out in Brisbane

Did you know that Powerchair Football is one of the fastest growing powerchair sports in the world? And last week, we were lucky enough to have the best of the best battling it out in Brisbane at the IDPwD 2018 APFA National Championships.

Queensland is the first state outside New South Wales to hold this prestigious competition. It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase this great sport to Queensland-based fans, as well as those around the country and the globe, via livestream online and social media channels.

Queensland takes out the National Title!

Seven teams from around Australia competed for this year’s National Title, including two teams from New Zealand. The Queensland Cyclones, Queensland Barbarians, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, NZ Kiwi Green and NZ Kiwi Red gave their all during the week, with the Queensland Cyclones defeating New South Wales, 4-3, in a hotly contested Grand Final, played at Brisbane State High on Saturday, 29 September. Congratulations Queensland on your third title in just three years!

Players set sights on Paralympics

Despite being one of the few sports for athletes in power wheelchairs, Powerchair Football recently missed out on a spot at the 2024 Paralympic Games to be held in Paris. However, the players are confident that as the sport continues to gain popularity, it will eventually get the recognition it deserves.

Keen to play?

As a Gold Sponsor, Power Mobility was thrilled to be able to support such a fabulous event. We can’t recommend this tactical, fast-paced sport enough. The skill of the players is second to none, so if you’re in an electric/power wheelchair or you know someone in a chair who may be interested, we encourage you to contact the Queensland Powerchair Football Association to find out more here.

Fast Facts about Powerchair Football

  • Powerchair Football is one of the fastest growing powerchair sports in the world
  • It’s played on a standard basketball court over two 20 minute halves, using an oversized ball (33cm diameter) which is weighted to limit bounce
  • The sport has had three world cups, most recently in 2017 in Florida USA, where Australia came 4th
  • The Championships have been played since 2011
  • Over 40 competitors participated this year
  • The sport has a classification system to ensure everyone can participate on a level footing, and has players with a wide array of disabilities.

At Power Mobility, we’re kicking goals too!

With more than 40 years experience, our team can provide the right assistive technology solutions to support your lifestyle. So if you’re looking for quality mobility equipment, Power Mobility has an extensive range including Quantum, Pride, Magic Mobility and Ottobock powerchairs, manual wheelchairs, scooters, lift chairs, plus much more. Drop into our huge showroom or call our friendly team on (07) 3265 4663 to find the best solution for you.

Ottobock B400 Power Chair – Features & Benefits

Ottobock B400 Power Chair – Features & Benefits

Power Mobility State Sales Manager, Nigel McCord, takes us through the features of the compact, easy to use Ottobock B400 Power Chair. You can find out more about the B400 here, call us to book a trial now, or come and check it out at our huge showroom in Geebung!

Q-Logic 2 – Screen Display

Q-Logic 2 – Screen Display

Not sure how to change the screen display on your Q Logic 2 control? Power Mobility Territory Manager, Kevin Cosier, takes us through the options.

Flying with Your Power Chair

Flying with Your Power Chair

Not sure what the rules are when you fly with your power chair? Here, Power Mobility Territory Manager, Paul Hadfield, goes through the main points you need to know before you fly.

4 things people who use a wheelchair want you to know

4 things people who use a wheelchair want you to know

When you see someone using a wheelchair, it’s easy to jump to certain conclusions. But like many assumptions and stereotypes in our society, these are often far from correct. So let’s clear up some of the confusion to help create a more inclusive community – whether you’re in a wheelchair or not. Here are some handy facts from wheelchair users that may help you understand a little bit better.

Just because I’m in a chair, doesn’t mean I’m helpless

Often people’s hearts are in the right place when they offer help to someone in a wheelchair – but sometimes people go overboard to help, when it’s not actually needed. The fact is, many people don’t need help and are quite happy going about their day-to-day lives. But if you think you see someone who could use a hand, the best thing to do is just ask them if they need help – easy!

My chair is part of my personal space

For many people, their wheelchair is an extension of their body, so the rules of personal space extend to it as well. So avoid doing things like resting your feet on it, leaning on it or using it as an armchair. This is like a stranger coming up and resting their arm on your shoulder! Also, it’s best not to touch or move someone’s wheelchair without their permission – even if it’s not being used.

Accessible toilets & parking spots are important to me

It’s quite simple – accessible facilities such as toilets and parking spots exist because people need them. It’s actually illegal to use an accessible parking space without a permit, and it’s really not acceptable to use an accessible toilet, if you don’t need to. And remember, there are people with invisible disabilities using accessible parking too – so as long as someone has the right permit, please don’t judge them.

Like many people in a wheelchair, I can drive a car

In many cases, cars can be modified to allow someone who uses a wheelchair to drive – foot pedals can be repositioned, or even replaced with hand-controls. While modifications aren’t possible on all vehicles (and drivers may need to be assessed and trained by a therapist), it does mean that many wheelchair users have the freedom to get behind the wheel!

At Power Mobility, we know our stuff

With more than 40 years experience, our team can provide the right assistive technology solutions to support your lifestyle. So if you’re looking for quality mobility equipment, Power Mobility has an extensive range including Quantum, Pride, Magic Mobility and Ottobock powerchairs, manual wheelchairs, scooters, lift chairs, plus much more. Drop into our huge showroom or call our friendly team on (07) 3265 4663 to find the best solution for you.

Is this Australia’s best curb climbing powerchair?

Is this Australia’s best curb climbing powerchair?

If you find climbing curbs and other obstacles a challenge, you may like to consider the robust, Australian-made Magic Mobility Frontier V6 All Terrain powerchair. Designed to provide stabilisation and increase the chair’s capacity for climbing obstacles, the bogie arm is an important feature of the Frontier V6. The two bogie arms each support the castor wheels at the front of the wheelchair.

Better traction

In addition to making obstacle climbing safer, the bogie arms are designed to provide more traction. This makes them really effective on soft terrain, lifting the front castors out of the sand, mud or snow, and providing more traction by pushing the drive (middle) wheels into the ground.

Easy curb climbing

The bogie arm is particularly useful when climbing up and down curbs. When accelerating, the bogie arm and castors lift, essentially decreasing the size of the curb, making it easier to climb. By lifting the front castors, the drive wheel is able to maintain contact with the ground throughout the curb climb process. Curb climbing becomes much safer, as the central drive wheels gain more traction, allowing you to power easily over obstacles.

Similarly, the bogie arm makes going down curbs safer and easier. The bogie arm allows the drivetrain to articulate, pushing the drive wheels intro the ground, so the wheelchair is kept stable, even while going down the curb.

You can reduce the bogie arm lift to suit you. The most effective way to reduce it is to decrease the rate of acceleration. The bogie arms lift in response to faster acceleration, so if you approach obstacles slowly, the bogie arm won’t lift as much.

Watch the video

Watch Magic Mobility’s design engineer, Lachie Daff, explain how the bogie arm works, and why it’s been designed this way.

Book your free trial today!

If you’re interested in a free trial of the Frontier V6 All Terrain powerchair to test out its added all-terrain capability with bogie arm lift, please contact the friendly team at Power Mobility.

How to make travelling with a wheelchair easier

How to make travelling with a wheelchair easier

Travelling when you have a disability or limited mobility can be a challenge. Unfortunately, not everywhere has easy accessibility for those using a wheelchair or other mobility equipment. However, there is some fantastic new equipment on the market that makes travelling much easier!

Is this the ultimate travel power chair?

The new Pride iGo Folding Power Wheelchair features advanced folding technology, enabling it to be quickly and easily transported. Designed to fit in a small space, the iGo is the perfect choice for the keen traveller! You can find out more, watch a video and download a brochure here. Like to test drive the new Pride iGo? Drop into our showroom or give us a call!

Tips for travelling with a wheelchair

Contact your airline

If you’re travelling overseas, make sure you contact your airline for their specific guidelines for travelling with a disability. Every airline has their own regulations, policy and procedure about this – so it pays to plan ahead! The more your airline knows about your specific needs, the better they will be able to assist you with your journey. They’ll need to know things like the type of chair you use, its dimensions and weight, and what assistance you may require on the flight.

You may have to check your chair as luggage

Most airlines require you to check your chair as luggage – especially power chairs and scooters, in order to prevent any damage occurring during transit. Remove any parts that could come loose from your chair and also disconnect any wiring – although it may be perfectly safe, ground crews have been known to remove essential parts prior to loading, due to their own concerns.

Book an aisle seat near the toilet

This may seem obvious, but many people don’t think to ask! It makes getting to and using the toilet much easier to navigate, especially on long haul flights.

Research your accommodation

Unfortunately, not everywhere in the world is wheelchair accessible. So make sure you do your research before booking your accommodation. Call or email your hotels to find out if they can accommodate your needs. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination, and not being able to access it!

Book a disability-friendly tour

When booking tours, check on their website to see which ones are disability-friendly. Viator is a good website to visit, as they let you know which tours are accessible to you.

But most of all…

Have fun! Travel is an exciting experience, so make sure you enjoy yourself and soak it all up!

Talk to the experts at Power Mobility

Power Mobility has an extensive range of quality mobility equipment including Quantum, Pride, Magic Mobility and Ottobock power chairs, manual wheelchairsscooters, lift chairs, plus much more. Drop into our huge showroom or call our friendly team on 07 3265 4663 to find the best solution for your mobility needs.

Quantum 4Front Power Chair – Features & Benefits

Quantum 4Front Power Chair – Features & Benefits

In our latest video, Power Mobility Territory Manager, Paul Hadfield, takes the new Quantum 4Front for a spin around the showroom, while our State Sales Manager, Nigel McCord, talks about the features and benefits. You can find out more about the new 4Front here, call us to book a trial now, or come and check it out at our huge showroom at Geebung!

New Mobility Handles – easy, intuitive attendant control

New Mobility Handles – easy, intuitive attendant control

We’ve just got our hands on an exciting new product from Magic Mobility, and we can’t wait to show you!

The next level in power chair attendant control, the innovative, new Mobility Handles make navigation and control of the wheelchair easier for those guiding it. They have been designed to give power chair users and attendants the confidence to go further in their chair. Engineered to have an instinctual response to the attendant’s movements, the Mobility Handles effortlessly match the user’s speed and change in direction.

A smoother ride for wheelchair users.

In addition to making the journey more comfortable, the Mobility Handles are also a safer option for users and carers. After extensive research and design, the Mobility Handles were trialled in Australia and New Zealand, with excellent response from attendants, therapists and carers.

“I love how easy it makes driving the power chair, automatically matching your pace,” said Jo, a carer who trialled the new technology. “They make steering more accurate, which was particularly noticeable around the house. “They’re also safer, allowing you to stop quickly if you need to.”

Tight turns and movements are a step up from traditional joystick operation. Carers no longer have to tolerate jerky responses and stop-start operation, which can result in injury to the user or damage to the surrounding environment.

Easy, one hand operation.

The Mobility Handles can also be used with one hand, allowing the attendant or carer to walk alongside the user. As they will intuitively match a carer’s movements, the new controllers conserve energy and enable the attendant and power chair user to go further and do more in their day.

Now available from Power Mobility, Mobility Handles can be retrofitted to all power wheelchairs with R-net electronics. If you’re interested in trialling Magic Mobility’s Mobility Handles, contact the friendly team at Power Mobility today. You can find out more about the Mobility Handles here.

Try them at our stand at the Assistive Technology Expo!

You can also visit us at Spinal Life’s Assistive Solutions Expo 2018, and trial the Mobility Handles in person. The Expo will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in South Brisbane on Saturday, May 12, 9.00am – 4.00pm. Admission is free, so come and say hi! Or, if you can’t wait to see them in action, you can watch the video here.

The Assistive Solutions Expo features the latest in innovative equipment, aids and technology to help people of all different lifestyles, level of ability and stages of life. It’s a great place for people with a physical disability, their families and carers and industry professionals to connect, participate and learn. We hope to see you there!

Pride Celebrity DX Scooter – Features & Benefits

Pride Celebrity DX Scooter – Features & Benefits

Power Mobility Territory Manager, Kevin Cosier, explains the features of the sleek and sporty Celebrity DX Scooter from Pride – just one of the quality scooters available in our extensive range. Come and check them out for yourself at our huge showroom at Geebung.

The power of great customer service

The power of great customer service

“My wife and I love dealing with Power Mobility,” says Michael Camphin, pictured here in his new Q6 Edge 2.0 power chair.

 

Choosing the right power chair for your needs is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. That’s why you need to choose a company that really knows its stuff!

The founder of Power Mobility, Neil Schuler, has over 40 years experience providing power chair and other mobility solutions, while the rest of our team includes some of the most experienced, knowledgeable and understanding people in the industry.

“When you buy a chair from Power Mobility, we can provide all the after-sales service you need through our dedicated mobile service and repair company, GS Electronics. We have many clients who we’ve been looking after for decades, and we’re the only ones they trust to look after their chair,” explained Neil.

“Lots of our clients consider their chair an extension of themselves, so it’s vital that the people looking after it are compassionate, understanding, and of course, knowledgeable,” Neil added.

What customers are saying

Here’s what one happy customer had to say about the service he received from our State Sales Manager, Nigel McCord – but rest assured you can expect outstanding service from our whole team, whether you’re buying a new power chair or having your chair serviced.

“All our dealings with Nigel from Power Mobility have been excellent – he always goes the extra mile and always with a smile. He really put in a HUGE effort to get my new wheelchair set up for me, and I greatly appreciated what he did. He does so much to help clients. Nigel is very understanding and patient. He is also very thorough, and when he says he will do something, he always does it. I really enjoy his sense of humour, and feel very comfortable to have a bit of banter with him when he’s working on my chair.

My wife and I love dealing with your company, and now that we have the freedom to choose who repairs and services my chair under the NDIS, we will certainly be choosing GS Electronics (Power Mobility’s sister company). 

We prefer to deal with people who have the knowledge and expertise to take proper care of my equipment and to give us wise advice, so you’ll certainly be hearing from us in the future.”

Michael & Diane Camphin
Power Mobility Customers, Bundaberg

Talk to the experts at Power Mobility

Power Mobility has an extensive range of quality mobility equipment including Quantum, Pride, Magic Mobility and Ottobock power chairs, manual chairs, scooters, lift chairs, plus much more. Drop into our huge showroom or call our friendly team today on 07 3265 4663 to find the best solution for your mobility needs.

Pride C6 Lift Chair – Features & Benefits

Pride C6 Lift Chair – Features & Benefits

Power Mobility Territory Manager, Paul Hadfield, shows us the super comfy and practical C6 Lift Chair from Pride – just one of the quality Lift Chairs available in our extensive range.

How to Charge Your Batteries

How to Charge Your Batteries

Power Mobility State Manager, Nigel McCord, explains how to charge your batteries for a power chair or mobility scooter. This is one of the most common queries we receive, so we hope you find this short video helpful!

Happiness is key – just ask Ryan!

Happiness is key – just ask Ryan!

At Power Mobility, we are asking our customers to tell us a little bit about their lives, so we can share it with our wider community. Here, Ryan gives us an insight into his life, the challenges he faces, his aspirations, frustrations (not many!), and how he maintains his super positive attitude. Thanks so much for sharing, Ryan!

 

Hi, my name is Ryan and this is a peek inside my life.

I’m the kind of person who looks out for all my mates, no matter how old or new. I’m not perfect, but I do my best to make someone (anyone!) smile just once a day. I always try to be happy and smiling. I like to think positively and treat everyone with respect. If you judge me straight away, that’s fine. But if you give me a shot, I might just surprise you!

I love going out and making the most of it. Life’s not a dress rehearsal, so ‘Never live in an if’! I’m always up for going out, having a few drinks with mates, making fools of ourselves and creating memories, but a lunch and a chat is always great for the soul.

I love going out to gigs, music concerts, pubs, clubs, festivals – you name it. I’m really into my music scene, but I’ll play Xbox for days (so I do have a gaming/‘nerdy’ side), and I love to perform my beat-boxing.

I’ll never turn down a movie day or binge-watching a good TV series. You can sometimes catch me out smashing down a burger or a tasty curry. I love a good feed, but lasagne is the way to my heart.

Being as active as I am, I find that lots of venues aren’t always wheelchair-friendly or accessible, but I believe that the more active disabled people are, that this will continue to change the world for the better in the future.

Sometimes I find that people are judgmental or condescending, but it’s important to keep your head up, because there are plenty of amazing people in this world – some are just around the corner waiting to meet you!

Be and do the most you can. I live by the words, ‘Never live in an if’, and I don’t say that lightly. It’s time to stand up (figuratively speaking), and take the bull by the horns. Don’t let your chair restrict you – ever! There’s always someone out there that has it worse than us.

The power wheelchair I have is a Quantum R44. I’ll be getting a new one soon, but this beast has seen its fair share of things, and gone to places thought impossible! It has exceeded my expectations, but maybe it’s the driver, not the chair (haha!).

When I want to get around Brisbane, I prefer to use trains if I can, because they’re less rough, and most stations and guards are accommodating. Busses can be a little crazy, depending who’s behind the wheel (some drivers act like they’re auditioning for the old movie, ‘Speed’). Sometimes I use taxis where trains and busses don’t go, but this is rare in Brisbane. The transport here is amazing!

I’ve always had a passion to study a Bachelor of Psychological Science, which I have looked into at the University of Queensland. I’m just waiting for the appropriate time to pursue my career path.

I think it’s important to always do, follow and study what you love. There’s no point doing things that don’t make you happy. Happiness is key to a positive way of thinking, outlook and quality of life.

Ryan Bayley

 

Share your story

If you’d like to share your story with our community, please click here. We’d love to hear from you! You can learn more about Power Mobility’s range of power chairs and other mobility aids designed to make your life easier here.

NDIS – funding your future power chair

NDIS – funding your future power chair

Mark Brown needs a powerchair to have a balanced and successful life. From the time he gets up in the morning until the time he goes to bed, his powerchair is involved in everything he does. He’s been using this incredibly personal piece of equipment for over 8 years, and now it’s time for an upgrade. Mark has been successful in applying through the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) for funding for his next powerchair, and he’s chosen a Magic Mobility powerchair.

“When you get a wheelchair, you’re changing something fundamental about your life,” explained Mark. “If the new wheelchair doesn’t fit your body and doesn’t fit your needs, it can affect your whole life. That’s why I’m confident in selecting a Magic Mobility Frontier V6 All Terrain powerchair.”

Through his NDIS plan, Mark has been able to demonstrate that Magic Mobility’s Frontier V6 All Terrain Assistive Technology (AT) will meet his needs, goals and aspirations. There are many factors you need to consider when putting together your NDIS plan, especially given that a powerchair falls into the Level 4 (complex) category of funding.

“You need to consider so many things with a powerchair,” says Mark. “There’s the functionality. Is it going to go as fast as you want? Is it going to be able to tackle the terrain where you live?”

The NDIS does support complex AT solutions such as Magic Mobility all-terrain powerchairs. These can be purchased with basic specifications or modified to take into account the unique needs of the person. Mark’s own chair has been highly customised to deal with his body’s requirements.

“A powerchair is so personal. There are so many considerations to get the chair right,” Mark said.

“Power leg rest elevation is important to me because my legs get uncomfortable in the same position. I need to get the circulation flowing. My Magic Mobility powerchair is funded to have the power leg elevation option.”

Because of the complexities of Mark’s needs, his plan required an AT assessment. This helped the NDIA work out what forms of AT were critical to Mark, and they determined that the Magic Mobility Frontier V6 All Terrain with suitable modifications gave him the independence he needs.

Power Mobility is proud to distribute Magic Mobility powerchairs in Queensland, plus many more mobility aids. Contact the team at Power Mobility to find out more about how we can support your NDIS plan.

You can watch a video about Mark’s story here.

Pimp my power chair!

Pimp my power chair!

Did you know that there are lots of handy accessories available to make your life easier? Here, we’ve put together a list of the seven most popular accessories you can add to your chair.

1. Trays
These trays are very handy for holding food, craft items, books and magazines. iPads and iPad mounts can also be added.

2. USB Accessory Chargers
Very useful for on-the-go charging of smart phones, tablets, etc. For many of our clients, their phone is their lifeline to the world, either for everyday communication or medical emergencies.

3. Cup Holders
As the name suggests, this accessory is perfect for holding a cup or drink bottle. It’s especially handy if you’re not able to get a drink for yourself.

4. Carry Bags
Make it easy to access all your everyday items by keeping them in a bag attached to your chair. Perfect for your wallet, phone, iPad, medication, plus much more.

5. RAM mounts for phones and cameras
These convenient mounts allow you to have your mobile phone in an accessible position, where you can use, see and touch it. If you’re into photography, but not able to hold the camera, we can mount it on your chair for easy use.

6. Camel Packs
This on-the-go hydration station can be strapped to the back of your chair, so you’ll never be thirsty again!

7. Lights
The benefits of headlights and taillights are numerous. They increase safety by improving visibility, and they also make path finding much easier at night.

The accessories our clients love!

“More and more clients are requesting to add USB ports to their power chairs, as smart phones and tablets become an integral part of everyday life,” explained Power Mobility Territory Manager, Paul Hadfield.

“The USB ports are life changing! I don’t need to carry chargers with me for my communication device and my phone, which is my lifeline!” Power Mobility client, Lisa Lehmann said.

Ask us which accessories are right for you.

Power Mobility offers a huge range of accessories that can be added to your new chair or fitted to your existing chair. To find out what’s available and what’s right for you, just ask us! And remember, if you want something that’s not on the market, our experienced and innovative customisation team may be able to custom make it for you. We love coming up with exciting, new ways to make your life easier!

Talk to the experts at Power Mobility

Power Mobility has an extensive range of mobility devices including QuantumPrideMagic Mobility and Ottobock power chairs, manual chairsscootersbathroom aids, plus much more. Drop into our showroom or call our friendly team today on 07 3265 4663 to find the best solution for your mobility needs.

5 vital facts you need to know about your NDIS funding

5 vital facts you need to know about your NDIS funding

There is so much information being shared about NDIS funding, it’s hard to know what’s right and what’s not. Here, we answer five common questions about NDIS funding.

1. I have heard conflicting reports about who is in charge of my NDIS funding. Someone told me my therapist will have the ultimate say, while another person said that my planner will be the decision maker. Which is right?

If you’re confused about who is in charge of your funding when the NDIS rolls out, you’re not alone! The NDIS model is all about putting you (the person with the disability) in control. After all, who knows better than you, what you need to live your life to the fullest? Your therapist and planner (if you have one) are there to help you make the right decisions, but ultimately the choice is yours.

2. My therapist says I can’t use a particular supplier that I would really like to use. Is this right?

No, you have the right to choose the supplier you want. No one can tell you which supplier to use. Of course, your therapist may have a very good reason for recommending a particular supplier, so discuss this with them. But ultimately, the choice is yours.

The charter of the NDIS is to give you more choice and control over how, when and where your products, services and supports are provided, during your lifetime. It allows you to choose your level of involvement as you plan, make decisions and manage your support.

3. Is Equipment Servicing covered in my NDIS Plan?

To live life to the fullest, many people with a disability utilise mobility equipment that may require ongoing servicing and/or repairs. As this equipment is vital to assist your mobility, it’s important that it remains in optimal working order.

With this in mind, equipment servicing can be included, but you will need to allow for it in your NDIS Plan. For example, if you have a power chair, you may choose to budget a specific amount of money per year to have the chair serviced and repaired (if required). When purchasing a chair, ask your supplier if they have an Equipment Service Plan available. It may save you a lot of angst in the future.

4. How do I know what other kind of supports I can and can’t receive through the NDIS?
The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports that must either:

  • be associated with day to day living
  • be a resource to help you live an ordinary life
  • help you build the skills you need to live the life you want.

A support will not be funded if it:

  • is not related to the participant’s disability
  • duplicates other supports already funded by a different mechanism through the NDIS
  • relates to day-to-day living costs that are not related to a participant’s support needs
  • is likely to cause harm to the participant or pose a risk to others.

5. How will I know when I can start accessing the NDIS?
The NDIS is progressively rolling out in Queensland. Click here to see the planned roll out dates.

Power Mobility is proud to be an NDIS Registered Provider

As a long-time provider of quality mobility equipment for people living with a disability, Power Mobility is now an NDIS Registered Provider. We recognise the vital need for a system that delivers on the promise of real choice and gives you greater power to decide which products and services you need.

Power Mobility has an extensive range of wheelchairs and mobility aids which are eligible for NDIS funding. We also understand the importance of having someone you can rely on to maintain, service and repair your equipment. That’s why we offer a convenient mobile service and repair centre through our sister company, GS Electronics  – a trusted and experienced service provider for over 30 years.

GS Electronics specialise in both workshop and mobile servicing and repairs of all types and brands of rehabilitation and mobility equipment, including power wheelchairs, electric beds, pressure mattresses, bathroom equipment, plus much more. The experienced technicians are fully trained to conduct the most complex electrical and mechanical repairs, alterations and customisations, so you can stay mobile.

To find out more about how you can access our products and services with your NDIS funding, please call 07 3265 4633 to talk to one of our friendly team or drop into our showroom.

Why choose the power chair specialists?

Why choose the power chair specialists?

Power Mobility has a dedicated service company with experienced technicians on the road to service and repair your power chair.

Choosing the right power chair for your needs is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. That’s why you need to choose a company that really knows its stuff!

The founder of Power Mobility, Neil Schuler, has over 40 years experience providing power chair and other mobility solutions, while the rest of our team includes some of the most experienced, knowledgeable and understanding people in the industry.

What’s the biggest mistake people make when buying a power chair?

“From my 40 plus years of experience, I think the biggest mistake people make is buying a chair from a company that doesn’t offer quality, reliable after-sales service and repairs. I can’t stress enough how important after-sales service is when you buy a power chair. It’s crucial that you know you can get fast, efficient service if something goes wrong,” explained Neil.

“Lots of people have told me about the awful experiences they’ve had with some companies simply ‘dropping their chair and running’. That’s not the way we work at Power Mobility. When you buy a chair from us, we can provide all the after-sales service you need through our dedicated mobile service and repair company, GS Electronics. We have many clients who we’ve been looking after for decades, and we’re the only ones they trust to look after their chair,” he added.

Bill Peacock from Bellara in Queensland has been a Power Mobility customer for over ten years now. “The experience with Power Mobility is sensational, from ordering right through to delivery. Every step of the process is carried out with care and empathy,” said Bill. “Power Mobility serve the disabled community with excellence and a duty of care other providers could take a lesson from.”

The power of great service

At Power Mobility, we understand the importance of having someone you can rely on to maintain, service and repair your equipment. So before you buy, ask about after-sales service and repairs. Many retailers simply sell the products – they don’t offer service and repairs. As mentioned earlier, Power Mobility offer a convenient mobile service and repair centre through our sister company, GS Electronics – a trusted and experienced service provider for over 30 years.

GS Electronics specialise in both workshop and mobile servicing and repairs of all types and brands of rehabilitation and mobility equipment, including power wheelchairs, electric beds, pressure mattresses, bathroom equipment, plus much more. The experienced technicians are fully trained to conduct the most complex electrical and mechanical repairs, alterations and customisations, so you can stay mobile. That’s the power of great service!

Exciting news!

Power Mobility and GS Electronics are now under one roof! That’s right, GS Electronics has moved from Tingalpa into Power Mobility’s premises at Geebung. This is a very exciting move for both businesses, and we look forward to our sales and service teams working even more closely to create great outcomes for our clients.

“We believe that the sharing of information between our sales and service teams will be a huge advantage, and although we worked together before, being under the same roof now makes it so much easier,” explained Neil Schuler. “Please drop in and say hi. We’d love to see you!”

Talk to the experts at Power Mobility

Power Mobility has an extensive range of mobility devices including Quantum, Pride, Magic Mobility and Ottobock power chairs, manual chairs, scooters, bathroom aids, plus much more. Drop into our showroom or call our friendly team today on 07 3265 4663 to find the best solution for your mobility needs.

Top 4 tips to help prevent falls

Top 4 tips to help prevent falls

As we get older and mobility becomes increasingly difficult, falls often become more frequent. Unfortunately for seniors, even a minor fall can result in broken bones, or even worse. This can bring your independence to a premature end – if not permanently, at least until you fully recover. However, there are some simple things you can do to help minimise falls as much as possible.

Top tip 1 – Regular exercise

One of the best ways to prevent falls is to exercise everyday to strengthen your core. Your core muscles — the ones surrounding your pelvis, abdomen, lower back and hips —help you maintain your balance and stability. By strengthening these muscles daily, you’re letting your body practice how to automatically right itself, so you don’t fall.

Pilates is an excellent form of exercise to improve your core strength. Even if you’re in a wheelchair (depending on your level of mobility), there are exercises you can do to improve your fitness. Please ask your therapist for advice and check with your doctor first.

Top tip 2 – Use mobility devices

Using a mobility device, such as a power wheelchair can be a liberating experience. Think of it as a very useful tool to help you keep doing the things you want to do! For example, having a power chair may actually help prevent falls that could cause you to end up in the hospital, or even a nursing home.

Initially, you may only need your power chair for trips to the shops and walking the dog, etc. But if using a power chair still allows you to get out and about, isn’t it worth it? Independence is so important as we get older, and a power chair is a wonderful tool designed to help you keep doing the things you love, with as little assistance as possible.

Power Mobility has an extensive range of mobility devices specifically designed to help you continue to do what you’ve always done – making mobility easier while at the same time, reducing the chance of falls.

Top tip 3 – Make simple home modifications

One of the most important things you can do to prevent falls is make modifications to your home, so it’s as safe as possible. Most people who move to assisted living communities do so after a fall, so by making slight changes to your home now, you can help prevent those falls and remain at home for longer!

Finding ways to make it easier to get out of bed, use the bathroom, take a shower, cook meals and go up and down stairs, means there will be fewer opportunities for falls, which may result in serious injury. Ask your therapist about modifications you can make to your bathroom, living room, bedroom, kitchen and more.

Top tip 4 – Simple home fixes

There are lots of simple things you can do around your home to help prevent falls. Look around your home with fresh eyes. What problems areas can you see? Trip hazards are a common one. Rugs are a major culprit here. While they may look stylish, they may pose a potential risk.

Make sure all the things that may cause unnecessary falls are fixed, such as:

  • broken light bulbs – you need to clearly see where you’re going
  • loose floorboards – common trip hazard
  • missing handrails – particularly dangerous on stairs.

Ask your family or friends to help you rearrange your furniture to make moving around easier, and consider reorganising your kitchen cupboards to avoid having to reach too high or stand on a chair to get what you want. These simple modifications are relatively easy to achieve and should have a significant impact on fall prevention.

Talk to the experts at Power Mobility

When it comes to fall prevention, the experts at Power Mobility can help in many different ways. We have an extensive range of mobility devices including Pride, Magic Mobility and Ottobock power chairs, manual chairs, scooters, bathroom aids, plus much more. Call our friendly team today on 07 3265 4663 to find the best solution for your mobility needs!

Your guide to choosing the right power chair

Your guide to choosing the right power chair

Buying a power chair can be a significant investment, so it’s important that you make the right choice for your individual needs.

Electric wheelchairs, commonly referred to as ‘power chairs’, are mobile chairs powered by electric motors. They are much shorter in length than a scooter and are more manoeuvrable, making them much better for indoor use.

The seating on a power chair can be anything from a basic scooter seat, right through to a seating system that has been specifically customised for you. Some power chairs can be fitted with power options to suit your personal requirements, which will aid your comfort, support and positioning. These features mean that power chairs are usually better suited to more immobilised users with greater needs.

Who uses a power chair?

Power chairs are mostly used by people who:

  • have long-term conditions and can no longer walk short distances without risk of falling
  • have medical conditions which previously restricted them to a manual wheelchair, but they can no longer achieve independence in a manual chair
  • would be able to achieve a more independent lifestyle in a power chair with the assistance of a carer
  • have been affected by spinal injuries.

Types of power chairs

Power Mobility offers a great range of quality power chairs from trusted brands including Pride Mobility, Magic Mobility and Ottobock.

Pride offers a light rehab range of power chairs starting with the effortless, transportable GoChair, which is ideal for those who need a little extra help getting around indoors, right through to Pride’s Quantum Rehab range, which can be custom-built around your needs, offering state-of-the-art features.

Power chairs fall into three main categories: Rear wheel drive, mid wheel drive and front wheel drive. But what is the difference and which one best suits your needs?

Rear wheel drive chairs

Rear wheel drive power chairs are what most people would recognise as a power chair. The frame of the wheelchair can range in style, and this type of wheelchair comes with a choice of folding frame or fixed frame, depending on the model. Rear wheel drive power chairs are very simple to drive with the aid of a joystick control, which can be mounted on either the left or right of the wheelchair. The seating and comfort can be adjusted to suit your needs, and most models can be re-charged through a simple connection on the joystick. Because the drive wheels are at the back of the wheelchair, rear wheel drive wheelchairs may need a larger space to turn around in.

Power Mobility has a comprehensive range of rear wheel drive power chairs including Pride’s Quantum R44, Magic Mobility’s Frontier V4 Off-Road RWD, the Ottobock B400 and the Ottobock Juvo B6R.

Mid wheel drive chairs

Mid wheel drive power chairs look very different to rear wheel drive power chairs, as the main drive wheels have been moved from the rear of the wheelchair to the middle part of the wheelchair.

Moving the drive wheels to the middle of the chair makes a very big difference to how it drives, and the space the wheelchair needs for turning. Mid wheel drive power chairs also have a very low centre of gravity, which can make them feel more stable.

Like rear wheel drive power chairs, mid wheel drive chairs are controlled with a joystick control. Because mid wheel drive wheelchairs need less space to turn in, you can very often get a larger chair into a smaller space.

Power Mobility offers a selection of mid wheel drive power chairs including the Quantum J623 and J623 Plus, Quantum Edge 2.0 and Edge 2.0 with iLevel, the Quantum Edge HD, Magic Mobility’s Frontier V6 Compact 40, Frontier V6 Compact 73, Frontier V6 All Terrain and Frontier V6 Hybrid.

Front wheel drive chairs

Front wheel drive power chairs have the drive wheels mounted at the front of the wheelchair. This means that they are very manoeuvrable, have excellent climbing capability and are great for outdoor use, while still being really compact. Power Mobility offers a range of quality mid wheel drive power chairs including the Magic Mobility Frontier V4 Hybrid FWD, the Frontier V4 Off-Road FWD and the Ottobock Juvo B6F.

How to choose the right power chair for you

Buying a power chair can be a significant investment, so it’s important that you make the right choice for your individual needs. Power Mobility offers an extensive range of quality power chairs on display in our showroom at Geebung, or available to trial by calling our friendly team on 07 3265 4663. We also work extensively with therapists to prescribe custom power chairs for clients who have very specific needs.

The great outdoors is therapeutic.

The great outdoors is therapeutic.

Evidence is mounting that time spent outdoors, getting into nature, can have the same therapeutic benefits as expensive drugs or counselling.

Many people with a disability believe that their ability to enjoy nature in an indoor/outdoor wheelchair is important to their health and wellbeing. But wheelchair funders often dismiss outdoor recreation as an unnecessary luxury. Now science is proving that getting into nature can be vital for good health.

The evidence is clear.

Kaiser Permanente is an integrated managed care consortium in the US, always looking for more cost-effective alternatives that deliver better outcomes. After reviewing the latest evidence about outdoor therapies, Vice President of Total Health Partnerships, Tyler Norris, summed it up as follows:

“If we could package the outdoors and call it a pharmaceutical, it would be sold widely.”

For people with full mobility, the implication is to offer discounts or give subsidies for getting out into nature. For people who rely on powered wheelchairs to get around, the implication is that higher costs of quality indoor/outdoor power chairs may well be justified by a long-term therapeutic value as a means to get outdoors and get into life.

Experience a world that’s not flat!

Power Mobility is proud to distribute the amazing range of Magic Mobility power chairs, proudly Australian owned and operated. Magic Mobility has been helping people experience the freedom and adventure that comes with a go-anywhere wheelchair since 1994.

Magic has made a name for itself developing customised wheelchairs that empower end-users, by enabling them to go places that ‘standard’ wheelchairs can’t go.

This world-class range of wheelchair solutions is designed to provide the highest level of independence for customers – from driving in the tightest of spaces and collapsing to fit in the back of a station wagon, to giving users with highly limited movement the ability to achieve a level of independence previously not possible.

Like to test-drive a Magic chair?

Take a closer look at our extensive range of Magic Mobility power chairs here, or call us to arrange a trial. If you have any questions, please call the friendly Power Mobility team on 07 3265 4663.

The Power of Social Media in the Disabled Community

The Power of Social Media in the Disabled Community

Social media is often criticised as a poor substitute for face to face relationships and this is a valid point. But when it comes to sharing information, social media is one of the most groundbreaking advances in the modern world, due to its ability to provide access to a global network.

For individuals who are restricted from directly participating in their world, social media allows for connections to form across physical barriers. This has been massively empowering and exciting for individuals of the disabled community.

The voice we express through a social media platform is not defined by our physicality, but rather thoughts and ideas. This is not to say that barriers don’t exist for social media users with a disability. With programs and software constantly being upgraded and changing, there are access issues which need to evolve just as quickly.

Is Social Media Right for You?

Many people are unsure about using technology as a means of connecting, and this is only natural. Investigating social media platforms can help you to decide if they can work for you.

Knowledge is Power

Even if you only make use of social media to access information, you have broadened your world. With daily advances in technology, improved medications, stem cell procedures and innovative devices, being connected online can open our eyes to the world of possibilities which may not be too far off.

We always have the option to treat the information we find on the internet discerningly and disregard it where it isn’t useful. But being connected online can keep you up to date with what is currently occurring around the globe. It invites you to join the conversation around the topics that are most relevant to you.

Connect and Share

It can be difficult to find the motivation or even the courage to join a support group and this goes for all of us. Joining a support group online is less daunting as it allows you as much privacy as you wish, while still keeping the window open for involvement.

If you are new to social media, here are some ways you might like to use it:

  • Blog: Writing your own blog can be enormously empowering. You can design your publication to function just as you like, from personal sharing to objective observation. Writing a blog can keep you in touch with how you are feeling as well as starting conversations with other blog writers and readers.
  • Facebook: This is a well known and easy to use platform for sharing personal news, memories, topical conversation, photos and more. You can tailor your Facebook usage to your needs and keep it as private as you wish.
  • Twitter: Twitter is great for keeping up to date with world news, politics, and for joining conversations with like-minded people. You do not need to have a previously existing relationship and can connect quickly and easily across many fields of interest.
  • Instagram: If you are a visual person Instagram is a platform that uses images with less of a need for words. You can express your world vision, feelings and experiences using photographs you have taken of the world around you. Easily installed on a Smartphone, Instagram is a rewarding and introspective way of connecting.

Breaking down Stigma

Exposure to the global world through social media has meant that we are no longer living exclusively in our small ponds. With greater exposure comes a break down in prejudice and stigma as we come to realise how varied the human experience really is. Social media groups, conversations, and movements have increased visibility and created an independent voice for many previously marginalised communities.

So, if you feel like joining the conversation, why not find out more about social media platforms.

For more information about ways to improve mobility in your life, contact Power Mobility. We can talk you through our product range and help you to identify any unmet needs, repairs or upgrades you may wish to consider.

The Benefits of Getting a Bone Density Scan

The Benefits of Getting a Bone Density Scan

Independence is vital to our quality of life and this is especially true as we get older. While developments in mobility aid technology can increase our self-sufficiency, we should also take other steps to promote movement and reduce the risk of injury.

About Osteoporosis

One of the most common issues we face in the later stages of life is osteoporosis and the preceding condition of osteopenia. This is particularly the case for women.

Osteoporosis is the loss of bone mass, which can occur after menopause. The change in hormones at this stage of life can lead to a deficiency in calcium and vitamin D, leaving bones more susceptible to fractures. In fact, serious injury can even occur from minor accidents when bone density is compromised.

However, there are ways of preventing the deterioration of bone mass, especially if it is identified in its early stages. A bone density scan can be undertaken to identify the presence and degree of bone mass loss. With this information, a treatment plan can be devised and undertaken immediately.

When to Have a Bone Density Scan

When it comes to degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis, prevention is the best cure. We know far more about this condition these days and much can be done to improve our quality of life.

Bone density issues may not present themselves until after an accident has occurred. If you have risk factors such as a family history of osteoporosis, having a bone density scan is recommended for both men and women after the age of 50.

What is a Bone Density Scan?

If you have lost bone mass, your bones are more porous and vulnerable. Bone density is tested in the following ways:

  • Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA): This is the most efficient and commonly used procedure. The use of dual rays means both tissue and bone density can be measured, making the reading more accurate. This method is used to test the hip, forearm, spine, and overall body.
  • Single-energy x-ray absorptiometry – In some cases, such as in the measurement of peripheral bones in the forearm or heel, a single ray scan is used.
  • Ultrasound: This method is used to test the bone mass quickly, for more localised or minor conditions, with the results being available almost immediately.

Each of these procedures is safe, quick, and painless. Once a problem has been identified your medical practitioner can assist you with advice and dietary and lifestyle changes to support to retention of bone mass in the years ahead. In this way, you can be sure to remain protected against unnecessary injury and impositions on your mobility.

If you have been affected by osteoporosis and would like information on mobility aids that can make life easier, contact Power Mobility today.

A Quick Guide to the Most Popular Mobility Aids

A Quick Guide to the Most Popular Mobility Aids

Mobility aids are designed specifically to support independence, comfort and accessibility. Innovative steps in design and function mean products are always getting better.

Here are some of the most popular living mobility aids available today and how you can incorporate them into your life.

Mobility Aids in the Home

 

Walkers

Indoor products such as the Let’s Go Indoor Walker are designed for ease of use when you need some extra stability indoors. This walker is lightweight and highly manoeuvrable. With an attractive modern design, it provides support around the home without being intrusive.

Bathroom Aids

Power Mobility offers a wide range of bathroom aids including shower seats, benches, commodes and stools. These products are designed to ensure you feel confident, stable and independent while in your bathroom.

Having the correct equipment installed in this area can greatly improve your daily comfort levels.

Bathroom Mats

This simple addition to your bathroom is highly effective. Bathroom mats prevent you from slipping in wet areas and can be placed wherever you need them, including in the shower cubicle or bath. They are affordable and easily cleaned.

Lift Chair

The Lift Chair is a stylish lounge room chair fitted with an electronic device to adjust the height and angle, making it easy to get in and out of. This way, you can recline into your comfortable seating knowing that it’s manageable and accessible.

Ramps

Ramps can be installed at entrance points to ensure you can safely and easily gain access.

Manual Wheelchair

Manual wheelchairs are a popular choice inside and outside the home. They are manageable, adaptable, and available in a range of styles.

Outdoor Mobility Aids

The range of outdoor mobility aids now available is inspiring, reflecting the innovative world of design and advances in technology. These aids exist to empower individuals at all stages of life, providing unprecedented access to the world around them.

The Magic Mobility Chair

Magic Mobility is an Australian owned and operated company offering a world class product that allows individuals to traverse areas not possible in the standard wheelchair. This chair comes in a fascinating range of designs for different terrains and will bring out the spirit of adventure

Scooters

Motorised Scooters are perfect outdoor mobility vehicles, especially when travelling at a distance not suitable for a walker. Scooters are convenient, manageable and easily recognised and accommodated in public spaces.

Electric and Manual Wheelchair

This range is ever increasing and effective. Power Mobility offers a range of Pride Power Chairs which can be customised to suit your needs.

Talk to the Experts

If you are thinking of purchasing or upgrading your mobility device, visit our showroom and talk to our experts about your options. Power Mobility provides a unique after purchase care service, with repairs available either on site or through our mobile service. For more information, contact us today.

How long since you’ve been to the beach?

How long since you’ve been to the beach?

What a truly amazing moment it was, when the Power Mobility team organised a trial of the Magic Mobility Extreme X8 power chair for Perry Cross, President & Founder of the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, at Northcliffe Beach on the sunny Gold Coast!

“For the first time in over 20 years, I’m able to visit my local beach, thanks to the new Magic Mobility X8 and the team at Power Mobility. This all terrain wheelchair handles the soft sand of Surfers Paradise with ease. Right down to the shore line and back, the X8 has plenty of power, plus speed. The ideal addition for the long, hot Gold Coast summer… and the best bit is the X8 fits straight in my car,” Perry Cross explained.

This chair can take you to just about any destination; through sand or snow and up or down kerbs. If the great outdoors is where you want to be, the Extreme X8 is waiting to take you there.

“Northcliffe Surf Club is a great spot to trial these chairs, as it has easy access to a number of different surfaces including grass, concrete, hard sand and soft sand. We custom fitted the chair with a chin control for Perry, so he was able to easily manouevre right down to the water’s edge,” explained Paul Hadfield, Power Mobility Territory Manager.

A big thank you to Perry for sharing this day with us and also to Northcliffe Surf Club for all their support and assistance.

“Thanks to the team at Power Mobility for your awesome work!” Perry added.

Power Mobility has an extensive range of Magic Mobility power chairs, including the Extreme X8. To find out more about this amazing chair, click here.

If you’d like to organise a beach trial for yourself or one of your clients, please contact the friendly team at Power Mobility on 07 3265 4663 or drop into our showroom.

How to access funding for your mobility equipment

How to access funding for your mobility equipment

Are you eligible for funding for your mobility equipment? The best way to find out is to ask your therapist, and they’ll guide you through the process. In the meantime, here’s a general overview of how the funding process works in Queensland.

Queensland is transitioning to the NDIS

At present in Queensland, we have the Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme (MASS), a government funding body designed to help eligible Queenslanders with medical conditions and/or physical disabilities gain access to the right equipment to improve their quality of life.

As the name suggests, this is a subsidy scheme (not fully funded), but it may be able to help you get that custom wheelchair you need, or that shower chair to help you bathe comfortably and safely.

From 1 July 2016, the Government is progressively rolling out the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) across Queensland over three years. It will be operating across the state by July 2019 (replacing MASS). The NDIS already has early transition sites in Townsville and Charters Towers for children and young people (0-17 years) and eligible people from Palm Island.

When you move across to the NDIS will depend on where you live. Here’s the proposed timeline:

1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017

  • Townville
  • Mackay
  • Toowoomba

1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018

  • Ipswich
  • Bundaberg
  • Rockhampton

1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019

  • Logan
  • Cairns
  • Brisbane (North & South)
  • Fraser Coast
  • Caboolture/Strathpine
  • Maroochydore
  • Gold Coast
  • Robina

What is the NDIS?

The NDIS is a new way of providing individual support for people with a disability, their families and carers. It provides eligible people with a flexible, whole-of-life approach to the support needed to pursue their goals and aspirations and participate in daily life.

What can you do to prepare?

If you currently receive disability services, you will be contacted before your area transitions. If you’re not currently receiving services, you’ll be able to apply for the Scheme when the NDIS is available in your area.

We have the power to move you

An accredited MASS supplier, Power Mobility has an extensive range of wheelchairs and mobility aids designed to make your life easier. To find out more, please call 07 3265 4633 to talk to one of our friendly team or drop into our showroom.

If you’d like to know more about the NDIS, go to https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/our-sites/QLD or call 1800 800 110.

Family Life after Paralysis

Family Life after Paralysis

If you have limited mobility, the prospect of parenting may seem impossible, or at the very least, challenging.

In fact, women with spinal cord injuries are capable of having babies and more than capable of raising children. Provided there is no medical barrier to conception and pregnancy, there’s no reason why the challenges of motherhood can’t be faced with the same skills you already apply in overcoming the obstacles of everyday life: planning, organisation, a positive attitude and sheer determination!

Pregnancy with Paralysis

There’s no getting around it, pregnancy with paralysis is likely to be regarded by medical professionals as high-risk and will probably require careful monitoring.

In addition to monitoring the development and health of your baby, your treating physicians will be paying special attention to your health throughout the term of your pregnancy.

Everyone’s case is different, so it’s best not to speculate whether you will have a natural birth or one requiring medical intervention – that’s a discussion for you to have with your doctor. But that doesn’t mean everything is out of your control.

Most hospitals encourage you to have a birth plan, which prompts you to think about who you would like to be present at the birth of your baby, any special arrangements you would like in place following the birth, and whether you intend to breastfeed.

Preparing for Your New Baby

Nesting is fun, which is just as well, because it’s a natural instinct that kicks in around five months into your pregnancy, which is almost impossible to resist!

Things you might like to consider in preparing your home are:

  • will your baby sleep in a cot, a basinet next to your bed or in an in-bed baby sleeper next to you?
  • will you be feeding your baby lying down in bed or sitting up? Are the armrests of your wheelchair comfortable for feeding, or will you use a different chair?
  • where will you bathe and dress your baby? Some mothers with paralysis find it’s easier to sponge bath and dress their baby on a waterproof pad on the bed.

At Home with Your Baby

While you’re probably used to being as independent as possible, now is not the time to refuse help. All new mothers find the combination of sleep deprivation, being on-call to a little person 24/7, and the hormonal and physical changes following birth challenging.

Accept all and any offers of help and take any opportunity you can to attend to your own needs, get some rest and take the occasional moment to yourself.

As Your Child Grows

One thing parents with paralysis say is that their children are much more accepting of their disability than most adults. However, at some stage, your child will probably want to understand more about your condition. It’s important to be open and to try to explain your paralysis in an age appropriate way. One mother explained her spinal cord injury to her two-year-old using an analogy between her injury and a television cord being disconnected.

While there are sure to be challenges, the majority of parents with paralysis, or any parent for that matter, will tell you that the rewards outweigh the challenges. Having kids is a great reason to take good care of yourself too!

If you’d like to find out if you’re doing all you can to improve your quality of life and make living with a disability easier, contact Power Mobility, and talk to one of our friendly, experienced team members today on 07 3073 4806.

Coping with a New Disability

Coping with a New Disability

Whether it’s due to an accident, medical condition or illness, losing your mobility is likely to bring up many strong feelings. You might be shocked, frightened, angry or in a state of disbelief and denial.

Coping with a new disability can be difficult, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Whatever you may be feeling, it’s important that you give yourself time to adjust to your new situation. It’s also just as important to remember that support is available to help you face the challenges you’re experiencing.

Acceptance

Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up or giving in, it’s about accepting that your life has changed, and that you may not be able to move or walk as you once did. This is a big step and it’s likely to take some time. Don’t rush it.

Accepting this change will help you to choose how to move forward and invite new possibilities into your life.

Seek Support

Over 19% of men and 18% of women have a disability in Australia and there’s a whole industry of experts and health professionals out there whose job it is to support you through this.

Professional support is available through your hospital, GP and other health professionals. It’s likely you won’t take in all the information you’re given at first, so if you’re not sure where to get support, just ask. Counsellors and therapists have the professional skills to help you find solutions to the challenges you may be facing.

Friends and family are another source of support and for most people will be the first port of call for practical help. Remember, they’re likely to be going through a period of adjustment too and may take some time to get up to speed.

Connect with Others with a Disability

You may feel very alone right now, but many people have gone through what you’re going through now. They will have a better idea than most of the grief you’re experiencing and the social challenges you’re facing.

Support groups and online forums can provide you with support from other people facing similar situations. It’s best not to rely entirely on online support however, as there are real benefits associated with getting out and meeting people face-to-face.

Make Use of Aids & Assistance

Making use of whatever mobility aids and strategies are available is important to regaining your independence and quality of life. While you’re likely to feel self-conscious at first, take the time to try out different kinds of mobility aids to determine what suits you best. It makes life so much easier!

If you’d like to find out more about strategies to cope with a new disability, or you want to try out our extensive range of wheelchairs and mobility aids, drop into our showroom or contact Power Mobility on 07 3265 4663.

Tips to a Good Night’s Sleep with a Disability

Tips to a Good Night’s Sleep with a Disability

Many people with physical disabilities can suffer from sleepless nights. Unfortunately as we age, getting a good nights sleep can become a real issue. 40% of people with disabilities report issues with sleep long-term, and it’s more likely to occur in people who suffer a traumatic brain injury.

There are many factors which can lead to poor sleep, including:

  • pain, discomfort and difficulty repositioning
  • worry and anxiety
  • inactivity during the day

Poor sleep or not getting enough sleep can affect your overall sense of well-being and worsen other conditions, including pain and mood disorders like depression and anxiety.

Why do people with a disability incur sleep problems?

Disabilities come in all forms and sleep disturbances are unique to each individual, however there are common traits that are universal:

  • chemical changes in the brain – this occurs in people that suffer brain injuries
  • chronic pain – almost all injuries inflict prolonged pain in people with disabilities, which is a major cause of sleep deprivation
  • too much caffeine during the day negatively affects sleeping habits
  • depression and anxiety can affect a person’s ability to fall asleep effectively and can cause issues with early morning waking.

Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep

There are plenty of simple ways to improve your sleep, from making changes to your sleeping environment and getting more sunlight and activity through the day, to asking your doctor or pharmacist to review your medication.

Creating the Right Environment for Sleep

Creating the right environment for sleep is a good place to start if you’re having trouble either getting to or staying asleep at night. Ideally, your bedroom is used for sleeping, so remove unnecessary light, noise and distractions:

  • our bodies respond to light, so dark or blackout curtains or blinds are preferable
  • if possible, don’t leave electronic devices like your mobile phone, computer or tablet plugged in, and at the very least, set them to silent so you’re not disturbed
  • make sure your bedroom is a comfortable temperature and your pyjamas and bedding are not too light or too heavy. Keep a throw handy, in case you need additional warmth during the night
  • keep anything you may need during the night within easy reach – a glass of water, medication, tissues – for minimal disturbance
  • if you have difficulty changing position in bed, you may benefit from bed rails, a self-help bed pole or an adjustable bed.

Good Sleep Habits

Train yourself for a successful night’s sleep with good sleep habits, both during the day and night, such as:

  • exercise regularly throughout the day. For people with disabilities, it has been reported that exercise can help reduce depression and anxiety, thus improving sleep
  • spend some time outside each day. Natural sunlight affects our melatonin levels, which play an important role in regulating sleep patterns
  • avoid caffeine (coffee and tea), nicotine and alcohol in the afternoon and evening, and limit the number of cups you have during the day
  • limit napping during the day to no more than 20 minutes
  • have a sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day
  • maintain good eating habits. Avoid going to bed on a full or empty stomach
  • meditation or relaxation exercises before bed are excellent ways to unwind a busy mind and can have a long-term positive effect on your general well-being
  • don’t watch television, play computer games or surf the internet in your bedroom before bed. The idea is to let your mind and body unwind and prepare for rest in a peaceful, non-stimulating environment
  • don’t just lie there, wide awake. If you can’t fall asleep, or you wake during the night and cannot go back to sleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.
When to Talk to Your Health Care Provider

If you’ve tried making changes to your sleep habits, but you’re still having difficulty getting good quality sleep, consider speaking to your doctor or health professional. Your doctor may need to review your existing medication and treatments, as well as offering further insight into the cause of your sleep problems.

At Power Mobility, we have an extensive range of adjustable beds, recliners and healthcare aids to assist your comfort and sleeping success at home. Please call us on 07 3265 4663 to speak with one of our experienced staff members, or get in touch with us online.

Self-Driving Cars Offer Independence to People with Disabilities

Self-Driving Cars Offer Independence to People with Disabilities

Imagine a car that could take you wherever you wanted to go, without the need to be at the wheel. That’s what Google have in mind with their self-driving car project.

It’s an exciting prospect for all of us, but if you have a disability, and driving isn’t an option, this innovation could revolutionise your life, by giving you increased mobility and independence, previously not possible.

Self-driving cars will open up the following benefits for the disabled community:

  • Increase employment opportunities by enabling easy commuting.
  • Integrate and contribute to the community more actively.
  • Have easier access to healthcare.
  • Decrease isolation and promote social interaction and freedom.

What is a Self-Driving Car?

Some cars are already equipped with driver assistance technology, for example adaptive cruise control and more recently, automated parking. In these situations, the driver is still required to operate the car.

With a self-driving car, however, the vehicle is designed to do all the driving without the need for human intervention. Google has been working on this technology since 2009. Google started the process by adding components to existing cars, then began designing a new prototype from scratch – without a steering wheel or pedals.

How Does a Self-Driving Car Work?

Google’s car works by using sensors, GPS and computer systems. The car processes both detailed map and sensor information to determine its location.

A laser mounted on the roof of the car generates a detailed 3D map of the surrounding environment, while the system in the car combines laser measurements with pre-installed, high-resolution maps.

Sensors help detect objects around the vehicle. Software classifies objects as pedestrians, cyclists, other vehicles or other objects according to their size, shape and movement pattern. The software predicts what all the objects might do next, and selects a safe speed and trajectory for the car.

Radars, mounted on the front and rear bumpers, enable the car to “see” the traffic conditions around it, and a camera positioned near the rear-view mirror, detects traffic light signals.

When Will Self-Driving Cars Be Available?

Google is currently testing and refining their self-driving technology in California, Texas and Washington. Safety drivers are still on board all vehicles at this stage. The cars are expected to become available to the general public between 2017 and 2020. One United States consulting group believes self-driving cars will be widespread by 2022 – only eight years from now!

While the technology is well advanced, further investigation needs to be undertaken regarding public acceptance and the legal issues surrounding self-driving cars, before they can be released on to the market.

Here in Australia, South Australia took the first step towards making self-driving cars legal in February 2015. The country’s first on-road trial of autonomous vehicles took place in Adelaide in November the same year.

As advocates of empowerment through mobility, the team at Power Mobility are keeping a close eye on this project and other advances in mobility. For more information about improving your mobility, including a wide range of mobility equipment such as mobility scooters, powered wheelchairs and much more, please call 07 3265 4663 or speak to one of our friendly team today.

Sports & Activities for People with Limited Mobility

Wheelchair basketball player

Sports & Activities for People with Limited Mobility

While most of us know that basketball and tennis can be played in a wheelchair, did you know that fencing, table tennis, softball and skiing are also Paralympic wheelchair sports?

While the closest most of us will get to this year’s Paralympic Games in Rio will be watching it on TV, the games are a great reminder of the many opportunities for getting out and keeping active when you have limited mobility.

The Benefits of Keeping Active

Along with a healthy diet, keeping active is integral to everyone’s physical health, but for people with limited mobility, the benefits are even more far-reaching.

Keeping physically active or playing sport can:

 

  • provide a social opportunity to discuss common experiences and ways of overcoming challenges
  • enhance your mood and prevent or alleviate stress and depression
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance, and give you more energy for daily living
  • assist with weight control
  • reduce the risk of diabetes, some cancers, osteoporosis and arthritis
  • develop and maintain joint flexibility, muscular strength and balance.

Importantly, sport helps develop independence and confidence, and it’s a great way to just have fun!

Choosing Your Sport or Activity

The choice of sporting activities for people with disabilities and limited mobility is almost endless. You may like to consider:

 

  • AFL
  • archery
  • canoeing and kayaking
  • equestrian
  • soccer
  • golf
  • lawn bowls
  • martial arts
  • tenpin bowling
  • triathlons
  • volleyball
  • plus many more.

The opportunities for people with disabilities or limited mobility have greatly expanded, as the barriers to participation continue to come down. There’s no reason you can’t choose an activity that works best for you.

If competitive sport isn’t for you, you might enjoy taking a yoga, tai chi or aquasize class. Swimming pools are a great place to be active at your own pace.

 

Working out at the gym is not just about rehabilitation, it’s about maintaining your optimal fitness and reaching personal goals. A growing number of gyms offer accessible and inclusive equipment and exercise programs designed to suit your abilities and goals.

Calling All Surfers!

People living with a disability often miss out on the simple things in life, like a day at the beach and a swim in the surf. But new developments in technology and equipment are now making the surf more accessible.

 

Ask our team about the Wavejet, a motorised, wirelessly-controlled surfboard that allows people with a disability to enjoy surfing, without needing to use their arms and legs to paddle.

 

Recently, the Power Mobility team took the Wavejet to Noosa and invited a group of occupational therapists along to try it out. If you’d like to find out more about the Wavejet, drop into our showroom to see it for yourself or download the brochure here!

Getting involved is easy!

We also have a close relationship with the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association. This fantastic organisation helps people of all abilities to get involved in sport at the level of their choice – whether it’s just for fun or to compete and represent. You can find out more at sportingwheelies.org.au.

 

Physical activity is vital to quality of life and offers both short and long-term health benefits. At Power Mobility, we believe in empowering you to get more out of life through increased mobility. If you’d like more information about getting mobile and getting active, contact one of our friendly team members today.

Customising Your Powerchair

Power Mobility’s Senior Technician

Customising Your Powerchair

When it comes to choosing a motorised wheelchair or powerchair, one size doesn’t fit all. Powerchairs are available in a range of options, from lightweight, portable chairs, mid-range models with standard convenience features to high-end, customisable models, altered to suit your individual needs. For all-day use, indoors and outdoors, a customed powerchair is ideal.

Powerchairs are essentially made up of two major components: The power base, which includes the motors, wheels, controller and batteries, and the seating system.

Selecting the Right Base

Powerchairs can have up to six wheels and come in rear wheel, mid wheel, front wheel drive configurations. Understanding the pros and cons of the different drive configurations is key to ensuring you get the chair that will work best for you.

Rear Wheel Drive Bases

Pros:

  • powerful and stable for varied outdoor terrains
  • suits active users

Cons:

  • requires a larger turning circle, making it harder to access tight areas, especially indoors

Mid Wheel Drive Bases

The terms “Mid” and “Centre-wheel drive” are often used interchangeably.

Pros:

  • exceptionally tight turning circle and very manoeuvrable, making them ideal for indoor use
  • those with front and rear castors offer a very stable outdoor drive
  • the wheel position mirrors where a person’s legs would usually be, making them more intuitive to drive

Cons:

  • can be harder to master the joystick controls
  • a degree of instability, especially on uneven terrains

Front Wheel Drive Bases

With its drive wheels at the front, a front-wheel drive chair, in effect, pulls itself over terrain and obstacles.

Pros:

  • powerful and very stable, especially over uneven, outdoor terrains
  • performs well on softer ground

Cons:

  • can be more difficult to drive, as most of the chair is behind you and it can be harder to see and judge your clearance when turning
  • can “fishtail” at higher speeds

Now that you know more about the different bases, you can ask yourself:

What size powerchair will suit my home?

For outdoor use, what is the condition of the footpaths around my home and work? Are there any hills?

For indoor use, what kind of manoeuvrability and turning circle do I need?

Selecting the Right Seat

Powerchairs come with adjustable seats to suit a variety of different postures and sitting and reclining positions.

Seats are highly customisable and may be fitted with:

  • tilt and recline functions to reduce pressure
  • elevating leg rests
  • custom headrests, back rests and pressure care seat cushioning

When choosing options and accessories for you seating, you will need to take into consideration your height and weight, and any existing medical conditions, such as pressure areas, etc.

Selecting the Right Controls & Accessories

Powerchairs are most commonly operated by a programmable joystick, however, different control options are available, should you find a joystick difficult or not possible to use. There are many other accessories that can be customised and added to your powerchair to help make your life easier. Ask one of our team members about all the options available.

Get the Right Advice from Trusted Professionals

Assessment and advice are vital to making the right choice when it comes to customising your powerchair. At Power Mobility, we can help you choose the right model at the right price, to suit your specific needs. We also have a team of highly trained and experienced technicians on hand to customise your powerchair in our well-equipped workshop. Your occupational therapist and highly trained Power Mobility technician will work together to create the best possible outcome for you.

Contact us today on 07 3073 4803 and chat to one of our friendly consultants to discuss your circumstances and needs.

Your Guide to Mobility Scooter Safety on the Road

Your Guide to Power Scooter Safety

Your Guide to Mobility Scooter Safety on the Road

A power scooter is a moving vehicle, and should be treated as such. As most road users know, not everyone driving a car, walking or riding a bike is paying full attention. Everyone can get distracted, and a combination of other factors can lead to accidents.
Power scooters can be involved in accidents too. Over the last decade in Australia, there were 442 hospitalisations related to mobility scooter accidents (click here for more information).

The following guide is intended to help you use your mobility scooter safely, and also provide some helpful tips.

1: Stick to the Road Rules 

Under current Australian law, those using mobility equipment are considered pedestrians, and therefore must abide by the same road rules as pedestrians.

The only time you may travel on a road is if there is no suitable footpath available for you.

This means that you are not allowed to jaywalk, and must cross any roads in the straightest and most direct way, and at the pedestrian lights wherever possible. 

2: Take it Easy 

Although your scooter may be capable of higher speeds, the maximum permissible speed is 10 kilometres per hour. You need to be careful and mindful when near other pedestrians, especially children who may not be as aware of their surroundings as adults.

3: Be Visible 

Like cyclists, having a high amount of visibility will reduce the chance of being involved in an accident. At night especially, consider some LED devices (flashing ones catch the eye more), wear light clothing and a reflective, high visibility vest or jacket over the top, and keep in mind that the sun sets very early in winter!

4: Stay in Control

If you are new to using a power scooter, make sure you choose one you can operate safely and efficiently. Try out different models before deciding on the one you want, and remember that an occupational therapist or your carer can help you learn how to use your scooter. The more effectively you can control it while you’re out and about, the better.

5: As a Pedestrian or Cyclist 

If you’re sharing a walkway or footpath with someone using a mobility scooter, keep their safety in mind. If they are moving faster than you, move to the left to let them past. If you are on a bike and intend to overtake someone on a mobility scooter, use your bell and voice to let them know that you intend to pass them. Keep in mind that they may be slower to navigate and turn than someone on foot.

We trust this guide will help prevent accidents and injuries while using your mobility scooter. You may also be interested in how to properly maintain your scooter, to increase its lifespan.

Moving Towards a Cure for Paralysis

Moving Towards a Cure for Paralysis

No one wants to experience life with paralysis. Perry Cross is one such person whose life was unforeseeably and profoundly changed in an instant. In 1994, a devastating rugby union accident rendered Perry Cross a C2 quadriplegic, unable to move from the neck down and unable to breathe without a mechanical ventilator attached to his electric wheelchair.

Perry’s decision to set up the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation (PCSRF) came not long after the passing of his friend and well-known actor, Christopher Reeve, a leading advocate for those living with paralysis. Reeve became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse, and required a wheelchair and ventilator for the rest of his life. “Losing an advocate like him [Reeve] left a massive hole in the international paralysis advocacy effort,” explained Perry, “which I wanted to try and fill, in order to continue Christopher’s legacy and work.” He also credits his close friends and family and their encouragement as a massive support in starting the foundation.

everything is possible slogan - perry cross

PCSRF has the motto “Everything is Possible” – a statement that serves as a reminder for those with limited mobility to stay focused, determined and to “never give up”.  The PCSRF vision and mission statement is to “unravel the mystery of paralysis” and one day, discover a cure. The foundation is firm in its belief that a cure for paralysis is possible – and that it is simply a matter of time before one is discovered.

Spinal Injury Research Brings Positive Results.

The Perry Cross Spinal Research foundation is a leading advocate for the use of stem cell research in finding a cure of paralysis. “I’ve investigated many research projects and have personally taken part in a trial in India,” explained Perry. While he admits that stem cells are “not the Holy Grail” in terms of a cure, he still firmly believes that stem cell therapy can and has helped, those living with spinal injuries to “improve their situation”.

There have also been incremental advances in spinal injury treatment, research and therapy methods, the combination of which Perry believes will work together to bring about a cure for spinal paralysis.

“The last few years have seen an increase in clinical trials, including human trials, which are showing results like nothing we’ve ever seen,” said Perry. PCSRF is actively funding stem cell research – in particular a Polish trial utilizing olfactory (sense of smell) cells to cure paralysis. Perry urges people with paralysis to “not be disheartened”, but to have faith in the scientific research that they fund to someday deliver a cure.

The foundation also firmly recognises the collaborative effort required by a multitude of studies in different countries, and as such, is an internationally active foundation complete with its own scientific advisory board. The foundation believes that a multi-disciplinary approach to spinal injury health is the right way to go about things; in order for them to be as informed as possible and to take on board as much advice as they can. Keeping in line with this collaborative vision, the PCSRF is also happy to share its research findings with other similar organisations throughout the world.

Community Participation Goes a Long Way.

Perry himself participated in the ‘Wings for Life World Run’ to raise funds for spinal cord injury research, which he found to be a great, enjoyable and “inclusive” experience. He recognises the wider community’s support – both emotional and financial – of the foundation. While he appreciates that not everyone understands the ins and outs of the science behind spinal injuries and the research for a cure, they can still “jump on board” and help out in anyway they can.

The PCSRF has a strong online presence, with a published blog, video content and a regular newsletter. This presence helps keep people informed of the progress made by the foundation. Perry is also a very active spokesperson for the foundation, and he regularly appears in the media to share his lived experience of spinal injury. He recognises the importance of his injury in making him “the best person to relay what it’s like” to the wider community. He is dedicated to being a voice for those living with paralysis.

Power Mobility Supports Perry and the Foundation.

power mobility supports perry cross

Here at Power Mobility, we are passionate about providing mobility solutions for those with limited movement capacity. We are proud supporters of both the PCSRF and Perry Cross himself. In fact, we supplied and customised his current power mobility chair. This, and the other devices and products we provide for people with various levels of mobility, are vital in getting people moving and helping them make the most of life. Perry relies “very heavily” on our products due to his frequent travels, and he also depends on our sister company, GS Electronics for maintenance and service. He frequently drops into GS Electronics’ workshop at Tingalpa to make sure his equipment is functioning correctly, as he often returns from overseas with bits “broken, bent or missing” from his equipment.

The latest chair we provided for Perry proved to be a “very involved process”, mostly due to the fact that it required several custom-made components, such as a chin control and loader mounts, to best suit Perry’s condition and needs. We were more than happy to take this time for Perry. Even after this, it took a month of him using it to work out precisely how to best customise the chair for him.

Perry needs a service he can rely on, as his chair is his legs. For example, the first time he travelled internationally, his chair malfunctioned! Once Perry arrived at his New York destination, Neil Schuler, founder and owner of both Power Mobility and GS Electronics, organised a phone call to a local engineer in order to talk him through the repairs that were required.

Any time Perry needs service, repairs or just a helping hand, we’re there for him.

An Exciting Future Ahead.

So what lies ahead for the PCSRF and Perry himself? The foundation will continue its advocacy for those with spinal injuries, as well as funding scientific research, with the aim of eventually curing paralysis. Perry recognises that not everyone can easily understand the science and technology involved in finding a cure – so the foundation wants to continue to educate and inform the public about paralysis, and let people know that “everyone can make a difference”.

Perry wants to maintain the foundation’s focus, and for everyone with a spinal injury to be able to access treatment – not just in Australia, but globally as well. He has made this goal his life’s passion. He welcomes anyone to come to a PCSRF event, to see for themselves exactly what the foundation is all about.

For more information about the foundation, please visit their website.

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How To Keep Your Mobility Scooter Going for Years

Man fixing scooter

How To Keep Your Mobility Scooter Going for Years

Mobility equipment is a great investment. It can help you move around, stay independent and go places on your own. It can make a trip to the shops or running errands simpler, easier tasks.

However just like a car, your mobility scooter needs regular maintenance and occasional servicing, to make sure it’s always safe and ready to go. Doing this will make sure your scooter goes for years. So let’s see how to best maintain your scooter.

Look After your Battery

Your battery is one of the most important parts of your mobility scooter, as it contains the power to help you get from A to B.

Charge your battery for 12 hours when you first get your scooter. Make sure you remember to charge your battery after any major use of your scooter. Your model should come with a guideline to battery use and range – but this only applies if you charge them properly! You should also charge your battery every day, even if you haven’t used your scooter.

Also, like a car battery they will eventually fade and even run out, so get them checked by a professional once in a while, to make sure they’re functioning correctly and don’t need to be replaced.

Test Your Brakes

Make sure your scooter’s brakes are working properly, before every trip. You should also get them checked and serviced once a year to make sure your scooter is safe and to ensure it lasts a long time.

Service Your Tyres

Your mobility scooter’s tyres, like any vehicle that is used regularly, are prone to wear and tear, and some can even puncture (depending on the tyre type).

Regardless of the type of tyres your scooter comes with, they should also be checked and serviced regularly, to ensure your ride is safe and to keep it going for years.

Keep It out of the Elements

Although your scooter is durable and able to handle both hot and cold weather, when you’re not using it, try to store it in a cool, dry place. This is to protect both its exterior, as well as the battery. If you’re not going to use it for a few months – perhaps in winter or if you go on a trip, disconnect the battery and store it separately from your scooter.

Be Mindful of Your Key

Not everyone in the world is scrupulous and honourable. Mobility scooters are valuable items. When popping into the shops or leaving your scooter unattended, remove the key and keep it with you to deter potential thieves.

Make sure you follow these simple points to take care of your scooter and keep it going for years on end!

Top 7 Tips for Travelling With A Wheelchair

Top 7 Tips for Travelling With A Wheelchair

Travelling, either for business or pleasure when you have a disability or limited mobility can be a daunting experience. Unfortunately, not everywhere is properly equipped with accessibility for those in a wheelchair.

Continue reading

A Helpful Guide to Wheelchair Etiquette

A Helpful Guide to Wheelchair Etiquette

There are many reasons people may use a wheelchair, power scooter or other mobility aids. These devices enable people who have limited mobility to get around.

But what’s the best way to interact with and relate to people using mobility equipment? Here are some helpful suggestions to consider when talking to and spending time with someone using a wheelchair or scooter.

1: Do Shake Hands

When meeting someone who uses mobility equipment for the first time, do offer to shake their hand, even if it seems they may have reduced limb movement. This is to keep social norms and also serves to acknowledge them as a person, not as their disability.

2: Don’t Stare

If the person you are interacting with has physical differences due to their condition, don’t draw extra attention to them. However, if you have children and they are part of the conversation or they see a person using a wheelchair, don’t discourage them from staring or asking questions – they are curious and your positive encouragement can help to reduce the stigma for future generations.

3: Do Get Down on Their Level

When having a conversation for longer than a few minutes with someone in a wheelchair or mobility device, attempt to get down to their level, so you’re not standing over them. This means you will be talking as equals. However, it is preferable to find a seat instead of leaning down, as leaning over them may be interpreted as being patronising, even if this isn’t your intention.

This will also reduce the amount of strain the person’s neck is exposed to, as looking up for extended periods of time can get very uncomfortable.

4: Don’t Lean or Hang

A person’s wheelchair or scooter is part of their personal space. So it may be considered rude to support your weight by using a part of their equipment, or lean on a part of it while you talk. This would be like resting your arm on someone’s shoulder, as you had a friendly chat with them – a type of contact usually reserved for those very close, with a strong bond of trust already.

5: Don’t Talk To and Through Their Carer

If the person you are talking to is in the company of a carer, talk with them, rather than the carer. It can be quite alienating to be talked about rather than to, especially if they are the focal point of the interaction.

6: Do Ask

If you’re unsure of something, just ask the person. This includes offers of assistance with any task, from moving to eating or drinking. It will save both you and them an awkward moment, if you clarify any help they may need, before rushing in guns blazing to assist them. Give them the option to refuse your assistance and don’t take offence. People in wheelchairs have every right to feel as empowered as the rest of us, to do as much as they can for themselves.

We hope this guide helps ease any awkward moments you may have when interacting with people in wheelchairs.

High praise for new showroom launch!

High praise for new showroom launch!

Power Mobility proudly relaunched the business at their brand new premises, including a spacious showroom in Bilsen Road at Geebung. Approximately 60 people including clients, suppliers, occupational therapists and key stakeholders celebrated the milestone at the official launch on June 3.

A family business, founded by Neil Schuler more than 12 years ago, Power Mobility is dedicated to providing customers with superior products and excellent after-sales service.

“We’ve given Power Mobility a fresh, new look and we’ve got an excellent team on board. We’re thrilled with our new showroom. It’s a great place to showcase our expanded product range, which now includes homecare and rehab solutions, as well as our core range of power chairs, scooters and other mobility aids,” explained General Manager, Steve McLeod.

Renowned Disability Advocate and Qld State Finalist for Australian of the Year 2013, David Riley, officially opened the new Power Mobility showroom. In 1995, David sustained a C2 level fracture, which left him with complete tetraplegia, so it’s vital that he has reliable equipment. A valued client for many years, David spoke very highly of the excellent service he receives from the Power Mobility team.

Come and see the new showroom for yourself. The team would love to have a chat with you!

Power Mobility supports education of future therapists.

Power Mobility supports education of future therapists.

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to prescribing mobility devices. That’s why Power Mobility is dedicated to helping future therapists learn more about the latest mobility equipment available and how to prescribe it.

Power Mobility was pleased to exhibit at the Inaugural Interactive Equipment Expo at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) Brisbane on Friday, March 27, 2015.

Approximately 130 Occupational Therapy first and second year students attended the day, in addition to second year Physiotherapy students.

“We understand the importance of educating future Occupational Therapists who will soon become the prescribers of assistive devices in Queensland and across our nation,” explained Steve McLeod, General Manager of Power Mobility.

“We were able to interact with the students one-on-one, showing them a range of mobility products, including Quantum power chairs, seating modifications, hand, chin and head controls for power chairs, plus much more.”

Teenage hit & run victim benefits from community generosity

Teenage hit & run victim benefits from community generosity

The Logan business community has rallied to make life easier for a teenage boy struck by a motorbike.

Andrew Hall was riding his push bike when he was the victim of a hit and run on Moffatt Rd, Marsden, on March 13.

A promising player at the Waterford Demons rugby league club, the 15-year-old has had a series of operations after suffering serious leg injuries.

Touched by his plight, sponsors at the Waterford club mustered support to donate a mobility scooter, wheelchair, bath transfer board, push bike and other items to make mobility more comfortable for Andrew

Power Mobility was pleased to be able to help out by donating the wheelchair to help Andrew during his rehabilitation.

His mother, Roz, was lost for words about the community’s generosity.
“Words cannot expressed how overwhelmed I feel,’’ she said. “You see the heart of people when tragedy happens. It is overwhelming.’’