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How Our Perception on Disability Equipment Has Changed Through the Years?

Many people out there consider disability equipment as a representation of their freedom and independence. Whether this has something to do with their ability to get out of a wheelchair independently, without assistance or help from anyone. Or if it is about accomplishing a task within the home, having the right mobility aid at your disposal can be empowering and enabling. 

However, there are instances that the word disability equipment would stir in negative connotations. Like for instance, most of us would have a mental picture of Forrest Gump  and his metal leg braces. 

disability equipments

When we center our attention on the disability, it creates an impression of aging, being too dependent on others, or stigma. It invokes the impression to some that if you are using or in need for this type of equipment, you are not just a person suffering from an infirmity but you are also broken as a person. Or that there is something really wrong with you. 

Now, as for the term equipment. Whenever most of us hear this word out, the first thing that would come to mind  of many of us would be images of mechanical instruments

Manufacturers for this types of instruments saw to it that they continuously develop their product, and have actually done so the past few decades. Hence, their product offering narrowed the possibility of them ending up in  hospitalization. 

These products nowadays are a representation of control, freedom and independence, the very things which these devices actually provide. As a matter of fact, the new spectrum of equipment that are available today in the market are now more centered upon the individual’s “ability”, and the many different ways in which life barriers could be alleviated while at the same time maximizing personal abilities.

Wheelchair Seating: Is This Important? 

So, are we going to encourage the use of a word that focuses on the dis – the negative –  for pieces of equipment that, needless to say, has a positive influence on the user? If we take these devices into account that we classify under mobility aids,  we’d see that their power to enable and empower the user/owner will go against or refute this term. 

The fact that they are fast becoming a more common place may signify that these users may see themselves as not having any infirmity at all. Let us cite the mobility scooters or bathing aids  as examples. The user profile and the image of these products are changing in much the same way their manufacturers would present them. 

Mobility aids

From walking frames to wheelchairs, mobility aids have been of substantial help to people with infirmity, providing them support they require in moving around their surroundings, freely and independently. 

Advancements in designs and technology have also allowed the creation of a comprehensive array of aids, with greater focus on customization or personalization to the user or the individual. 

Therefore, it is safe to say that we actually have an ever increasing options in  as far as customizing your device to your own needs is concerned. You can also make them adaptable to your needs and pick out a design that you deem is more suitable to your current lifestyle. This may include different weights and shapes of wheelchair frames, or varying drive systems for use in powered wheelchairs.

Daily Living Aids

Available for use anywhere inside the home, there is an awful lot of aids that can help improve independence and safety of daily ordinary activities. Even if an individual happens to have a complex array of needs, there is a good availability of mobility beds that come with features that allow maximum comfort and ability. 

We also have an assortment of hoists that can help in providing the most convenient and comfortable way of moving a person. From household aids to bathroom equipment, they help in making way for greater control and access over the surrounding home environment. This provides people a way and freedom to accomplish their tasks on their own, as and when they want to.  

It is important that we have control and independence over our own environment, and this is indeed another way by which these disability equipment for people with infirmity can be empowering and enabling as opposed to just something that we associate with lack of ability.  

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A Primer on Bed Sticks and Rails for the Infirmed Members of the Family

Many of us don’t know exactly what bed sticks & rails are and what they stand for, most especially if there is none in your family needing it or have used it before. We sometimes refer to them as bed assist rails or bed safety rails.

Bed sticks and rails are pieces of equipment designed to help in providing support and promote stability of infirmed individuals. Most of the time, they need a hand in getting in or out of bed. They can also assist the individual change his position even while in bed.

You securely attach them, either to the floor or somewhere along the bedposts. Bed assist rails are ubiquitously seen in nursing homes for the elderly and sick, medical facilities, and even in private homes. Their primary purpose is to be of help to those who are suffering from age-related mobility issues, post-surgical recovery, and also for those afflicted by a physical disability or the invalid. 

Bed sticks and rails are made from lightweight materials, formed and shaped into a pole. This allows for securing it under the mattress. The upright posts provide users with the additional support they need when they move. It gives them something to hold on to or to grasp on when they need to.  

Bed poles are often used in private homes and rehabilitation facilities. The reason behind this is their cost, they are relatively inexpensive. Bed poles can easily provide individuals with the increased independence/ease of movement they are looking for, as opposed to always waiting or holding on to the care and assistance of their nurse or professional care provider. 

However, in recent years, the safety of bed pole use has been hounded by controversy, asserting that it can put a user in harm’s way in certain circumstances.  

What Type of Bed Sticks & Rails is Suitable for You?

Bed sticks & rails are portable and removable pieces of devices. They can be securely attached to a bed or installed in close range to a patient’s bed. These are people who need some for stability and balance. 

As for the bed safety rails, they are designed primarily to minimize a patient’s risk of falling while in bed and to transition himself in and out of it. 

In the case of bed assist rails, they are ideal for people who are in some ways still mobile and can move about or can still stand on their own but may need some assistance to be more stable. 

hospital bed care

To know what type of bed sticks & rail will work best for you and cater to your needs, it is best to orient yourself with the many different options for these types of assistive devices. 

Bed Assist Poles

You securely attach them to the ceiling or floor. Bed assist poles are significantly helpful in giving patients an additional amount of stability when they need to get into bed or out of it. Normally, they come with padding which helps ensure a non-slip and secure grip. You can equip it with accessories like trapeze to give the patient an extra amount of help when he needs to sit up. 

The height of these assistive devices (bed poles) can be tweaked or adjusted as you deem necessary. They are usually made from a high grade coated steel to give it some extra strength and for resistance against rust, too. 

Bed assist poles will take up a very small amount of space and the great thing about them is the amount of flexibility they offer to users via available attachments like trapeze handles and pivot grab bars. 

And lastly, users can have them in bathrooms for support while transferring in and out of a bathtub.  

Bed Assist Rails

Otherwise known as bedside rails, you can securely attach them either to the mattress or bed frame. Once installed, patients have something to hold on to or grab on when they need to pull their bodies out of bed. 

While bed assist rails can’t keep you from falling off your bed while laying on it, they will provide your body with the substantial support it needs so it can reposition itself to a seated position while remaining in bed. The majority of the height for these items are adjustable and comes with non-slip padding for added security.  

Bed Assist Handles

While bed assist handles and bed assist rails to share something in common, they often come in much smaller sizes and are primarily designed for single-handed use. They can be floor-mounted with the help of their non-skid rubber feet. They’re extremely helpful when you need to transfer yourself, either in and out of bed. 

The use of bed assist handles is best recommended to people who can manage to stand on their feet with a minimal amount of assistance.  

Wrapping Up!

Regardless of the choice you have, whether it is handles, poles, or bed assist rails, you must take into account the instructions given in the user’s manual for safe and proper installation. 

You also need to comply with the recommended weight and height allowances which are often indicated in the instructional guidelines your product is provided with. Going against or not complying with those runs the risk of putting the patient or the user in harm’s way. 

Much like any other medical assistive equipment, there is, you can never go wrong with your choice of equipment if you will seek assistance or help from a reputable doctor or therapist regarding the device most appropriate for your individual needs.