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How the Electric Mobility Scooter is Grinding to a Halt During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

While the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to roil the mobility service and assistance sectors of many countries around the globe, it is gradually pushing the use of electric scooters into a standstill.  One of the biggest names in the e-scooter-sharing industry, Lime, made an announcement recently that in light of the coronavirus scare, it will need to put its services in over 2 dozen countries to a stop. 

electronic scooter

Meanwhile, the Bird is another electric scooter rental service that is going the same route as Lime. It also made a public announcement that it will need to put on hold its operation in at least 6 US cities and all of its European markets.  

Ford-owned Spin will also follow their lead and will need to put their services in a few select cities to a standstill. All for the same reason as Lime and Bird have. 

These actions involving the untimely suspension of their mobility scooter rental services are a  reflection of how fast the US environment is changing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. About a couple of weeks ago, Lime service seemed to be the only one suffering from the bouts of this crisis which by that time has affected only its operations in 2 US states and 3 European countries.  

Some months after the implementation of community quarantines in many different parts of the globe began, social distancing became the word-of-mouth of everyone. You will hear it from every major news channel, and staying at home became the new norm for many. All in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus that has already cost the lives of many. 

The scenario described above and the worsening of the situation is portending the inevitable drop in demand for scooter rental services. Due to the gravity and the seriousness of the situation, this side of the business sector is bound to suffer a hard blow from the crisis.  

Lime, with its investment of around 120,000 scooters in 30 different countries, decided to take the most drastic cutting of measures available to them. It has announced to put on a standstill its service in the following countries: Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Chile, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Israel, Norway, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Romania, Sweden, the UK, and parts of the US.

Scooter-sharing is not the only sector in the mobility service that is suffering from the blows of the pandemic. Ridership in many modes of public transport has cratered too, and by the looks of it, we can surmise that the situation will cause the industry’s fare revenue to just dry up.

Another example to cite here is the ride-hailing services, Lyft and Uber. These two leading service providers in this industry are anticipating precipitous drops in their service bookings, particularly in major cities around the globe that are hit hard by the crisis. 

Several weeks of social distancing and calls to remain inside the home have inevitably taken a huge bite off from the usual number of trips normally carried out by these modes of public transportation.  

While most people nowadays tend to veer away from the use of shared modes of travel or going in transit in general, we can see a  silver lining in the rise of personal mobility trips. Like for instance in New York City, did you know that the East River bridges cycling traffic is up now and over 50% the usual volume? 

And in the case of the Citi Bike ridership, they reported a spike of about 70% as opposed to how they fared last year in the same period. 

Sad to see that many city officials we have today are not vigilant enough to implement measures that will give needed amounts of protection for these riders now who are making the switch to use bikes as their preferred mode of transportation.  

While staying at home and social distancing measures remain a top priority for most of us, how a mobility scooter can make a world of difference in terms of giving us an alternative mode of transportation during this crisis, should be taken into account by the authorities. 

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What is the Difference Between Transit and Self Propelled Wheelchairs?

Self propelled wheelchairs are extremely important to a vast number of people, particularly to those who are suffering from one physical infirmity to another. 

Those who are physically challenged, or have ambulatory issues, as well as individuals who have difficulty standing for a long time, will find this type of disability equipment extremely helpful to them. 

Manual wheelchairs can be classified into two categories, both of which can be used for this purpose, the self-propelled and the transit.  

The distinct thing about transit wheelchairs is that they usually have a fairly small set of wheels on their rear side. Another thing is that transit wheelchair users won’t be able to propel themselves whilst seated. On the other hand, self propelled wheelchairs are equipped with larger wheels with push rims or rings. The occupant or wheelchair user himself can reach this ring by hand, allowing them to propel this piece of equipment on their own either short or long distance.

wheelchair

Identify The Main Purpose You’ll Have for the Wheelchair

If you want to identify the right kind of manual wheelchair to use for your kind of situation is to determine first the main function that you will have the wheelchair for. Some users don’t have a serious need for it but would have use for it on some occasions like when visiting their doctor, during outings or out of town trips, or as a convenient means of transportation for them were walking the required distance would be impractical. 

However, for many people out there, particularly to those who happen to have a permanent disability, the use of a self-moving wheelchair is a must for them for their lifetime mobility. People who need such kind of mobility equipment only on occasion may see it not as necessary and invaluable as those who have a constant need for it.  

Overall Weight

It is typical for transit wheelchairs to come in a much lighter weight which can be attributed to the size of their rear wheel. Contrasting to this, a self-propelled wheelchair will be much easier on the part of the carer to handle when he pushes it, say, over grass or certain obstructed surfaces like gravel due to its large-sized wheels. 

Self-propelled wheelchairs are much more preferable when it comes to negotiating difficult or uneven surfaces even when you intend to use it only for short-distance travel. The transit wheelchair will pose a certain level of challenge or would somehow make it almost impossible for the actual user to move around in most circumstances on this kind of mobility equipment. 

Portability

Portability is another key point to remember when it comes to self-propelled wheelchairs. Ideally, they should come in compact sizes, foldable, and lightweight. But they may not be seen as something crucial to wheelchairs that can be carried by or can be transported using a wheelchair accessible vehicle with the user still seated on it. 

Needless to say, in the case of transit wheelchair users, its weight when being propelled by someone else or the carer, can be considered also as a prime consideration since it will also impact how easy or challenging it will be for someone to push or move it around with the user still seated on it.  

Related Benefits and Accessories

Some users would consider adding accessory features to the wheelchair they are using for added functionality and value and this may include a carry bag, a multi-purpose tray or an oxygen bottle holder. Everything will be depending upon their condition.

For those users of self propelled wheelchairs with special needs, a tilt in wheelchair space would be a suitable option for them because it will let them experience maximum comfort and will help address their pressure care needs. This type of wheelchair equipment not only offers positioning and pressure relief, but they also offer substantial respiratory function.  

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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.