Inclusive Activities to Plan This Fall

There are many fun traditions and activities associated with the fall season, from drinking the famous pumpkin spice latte to watching the homecoming game at your local school. Seasonal activities usually begin in September and run throughout October and the beginning of November. Some farms offer accessible options for their fall events. Although these options could be wheelchair accessible, we recommend calling the specific place you would like to visit ahead of time to make sure what you want to do is wheelchair accessible, as well as learn of possible barriers you may encounter while you’re there. We’ve compiled a list of classic activities to do either on your own or with your loved ones this year.

Accessible Apple Picking

One tradition that is enjoyed by people of all ages is apple picking. You can browse the selection of different apple varieties that each orchard offers. There are many fun recipes for apples for you to try throughout the season. If you aren’t one for baking apple pies or making your own warm apple cider, you can just enjoy a cup of apple cider.

Baking in a Wheelchair

Maybe apples aren’t your preferred flavor for dishes, but that’s okay! There are plenty of alternate options for traditional seasonal flavors. Fresh pumpkins, spices and cranberries would make great additions to your pies, cookies and other desserts this fall. With the Jazzy Air® 2’s* power adjustable seat height, you can elevate 12” in just 11 seconds, allowing you to reach your ingredients on shelves and in cabinets in your kitchen.

Go on a Hayride

Many farms offer hayrides throughout the fall season. You can take a ride through the fields to see the beautiful colors, pumpkins and vegetation. For those who love to get into the holiday spirit and be scared around Halloween, farms sometimes offer haunted hayrides when it gets darker out.

Accessible Corn Maze

Each year, farms offer different themes for their corn mazes. Many corn mazes have paths that are wide and flat enough for a wheelchair to safely travel through. However, we still recommend that you call the farm ahead of time to ask if their corn maze is wheelchair accessible.

Another factor to consider when visiting a corn maze is weather. While the ground is normally flat, after a rainstorm, it can get very muddy and bumpy, making it both difficult to navigate with your power chair and easy to get your motorized wheelchair dirty.

Much like hayrides, some farms offer haunted corn maze experiences at night.

Looking down a path of a  corn maze with bright green leaves and yellow stalks.

Decorate a Pumpkin

If you prefer to embrace the autumn season at home, one option you have is decorating pumpkins. You aren’t limited to carving a pumpkin just for Halloween. In addition to carving, you and your loved ones can enjoy painting faces, designs and other patterns onto your pumpkins. You don’t have to take a trip to a farm to buy pumpkins, many local markets sell both big and small-sized pumpkins.

If you do decide to carve a pumpkin, another fun activity that you can do with your family is seasoning the pumpkin seeds with your favorite seasonings and bake them in the oven for a tasty snack.

If you are interested in using power adjustable seat height to make memories with your friends and family, but you don’t know where to buy a Jazzy Air® 2, check out our motorized wheelchair FAQ page to for more information!

*FDA Class II Medical Device designed to aid individuals with mobility impairments.

How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Wheelchair?

Ensuring you are utilizing proper charging habits helps prolong the life of your batteries and your range per charge. Your electric wheelchair is powered by two deep cycle batteries and are replenished by plugging in your manufacturer-supplied charger.

How do I know when to charge my chair?

Your power wheelchair will have a HUD (head’s up display) which includes a meter for your battery life. Typically, it either includes symbols or it’s color-coded to indicate your charge level. While these battery meters are helpful to ensure that you have a visual reminder of when to charge your powerchair you want to practice good charging habits altogether.

How often should I charge my electric wheelchair?

Much like your car needs gas to move, your chair needs a charge to drive and a common question that many power chair owners have is “how often do I charge my electric wheelchair?” There are some simple guidelines to help you maximize your battery life, and ensure you are getting the best range per charge that you can.  Typically, if you use your power wheelchair every day, we recommend charging it every day. The most efficient way to do this is to plug it in when you are finished using it for the day before you go to bed. When you awake, you should have a full charge and are ready to go! If you are an infrequent user, be sure to give your power chair at least a maintenance charge once a week. This will help prevent the cells in your battery from dying prematurely.

What happens if I my power chair is no longer holding a charge?

This usually indicates that it’s time to replace your batteries. Before that, you can do a few things to test the batteries and make sure it is time to purchase new ones. You can call your original provider or locate a service provider here  and request to have your batteries load tested. A load test is used to determine the capacity of your batteries to ensure that they can be recharged.

Where can I purchase new batteries?

Once you have determined that you need a new set of batteries, first check the warranty on the batteries so that you can verify if they are still covered. One of the easiest ways to do this is to check your owner’s manual and contact the original manufacturer of your electric wheelchair.

By following good charging and usage habits, you can maximize the life of your batteries and live your best!*

Two Electric wheelchair batteries with positive and negative terminals on a red base.

*Please note that your range and battery life are impacted by several factors which include but are not limited to: usage, distance, driver weight, charging habits, battery type, etc. Please refer to your owner’s manual for model specific instructions.


*FDA Class II Medical Device
Pride FDA Class II Medical Devices Are designed to aid individuals with mobility
impairments

Grandparenting with Limited Mobility

My grandparents were in their 30s when they had my parents. My parents were also in their 30s when they had me. By the time I was old enough to walk and talk, my grandparents were already older. At the time, all my grandparents were still mobile, but as the years went on, I could see their struggle to walk from the car to the house or around their own home. I’ve seen them transition into using canes and walkers.

It’s interesting, the perspective that each person has of themselves and life as they get older. My dad’s parents still went out for several years to spend time with their friends and even work. They knew that they were getting older, but they hung onto their mobility and independence as much as possible. My mom’s parents preferred to stay at home because of their physical pain, although they made a point to be as independent as possible in the comfort of their own home. One thing that both sets of grandparents had in common as they started to lose their mobility was that they started to feel like they no longer had anything to offer.

They were wrong. There is so much that they have to offer in their later years, as does any grandparent. There are several activities that you can do with your grandchildren whether they are younger or older.

Going Out

Just because you have limited mobility doesn’t mean that you can’t leave the house. Some older folks don’t want to invest in mobility aids, such as mobility scooters or power wheelchairs because of the stereotypes attached to it. They feel as though they’re giving up and accepting their stage of life, as if it’s something negative. What they don’t realize is that mobility aids are tools and resources to regaining independence. Perhaps you can walk short distances, but you struggle when it comes to longer distances. Whether it’s going out to eat or shopping, there are smaller models of power wheelchairs and motorized scooters that are made to be easily transported.

Cooking/Baking

Maybe you prefer being at home but find getting around the house to be more challenging as time goes on. There are benefits to using mobility aids at home. Smaller scooters are built to maneuver tight corners and can quickly get you to where you need to go.

Mobility aids are versatile. Many may think of a specific mobility scooter or power chair when they think of mobility aids. However, there are uniquely built mobility aids that provide additional benefits.

For instance, the Jazzy Air® 2 is an elevating power wheelchair that gives you 12” of added height in just 11 seconds. Not only does it make navigating the home easier, but it allows users to enjoy face-to-face engagement and reach objects on higher surfaces. This can come in handy when reaching for ingredients on higher shelves when cooking or baking with your grandchildren.

Grandfather taking grandson on a stroll through the park while he is riding a Pride Mobility scooter.

Raised Garden

Another activity you can do with your grandchildren is gardening. You can work with a raised garden bed, allowing you to reach and tend to the plants safely and comfortably. Gardening is a great way to bond with your grandchildren while teaching them a useful life skill, and what you grow can be used in your cooking later.

The Most Important Thing You Can Do

As a grandchild, I can tell you that the most important thing you can possibly do for your grandchild is spend time with them. Invest in their lives and interests through conversation if you can’t go anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s at home or at a restaurant. Creating memories doesn’t always have to be done outside of the home. There are more ways to show up for someone’s life than just physically. They will understand if you have a difficult time getting around. Love comes in many forms and limited mobility does not equal limited love.

*FDA Class II Medical Device
Pride FDA Class II Medical Devices Are designed to aid individuals with mobility
impairments

Can You Rent an Electric Wheelchair?

Sometimes, life can throw you a curveball and you might find yourself needing mobility assistance even if it’s just for a short amount of time. Thankfully, there are some options that you can explore when it comes to renting an electric wheelchair or scooter.

What can I rent?

When it comes to renting mobility equipment, there are many different options for you. You may have seen the option to rent a three or four-wheel scooter like these at your local amusement park or shopping mall. While scooters are an option you can also rent an electric wheelchair, or even a power lift recliner.

What do I need?

There are many selections and options when it comes to a power wheelchair or scooter. Some factors to consider are:

Seat size: when you are looking for a comfortable rental, you can take a few measurements to see what seat best fits you. Your seat width and back-to-back knee measurements are a good starting point to help maximize your comfort.

Weight capacity: knowing the weight range for a scooter or wheelchair is important to ensure that you have the right model for your body.

Footprint: Knowing what type of environment you’ll maneuver through is a huge factor in making your selection. Scooters and electric wheelchairs can range from compact to full sized, much like a vehicle. Some full-sized scooters would not be able to navigate comfortably through narrow spaces like a compact scooter would.

Front-wheel, Mid-wheel, or Rear-Wheel Drive: Electric wheelchairs can have a drive wheel that is positioned near the front, middle or rear of the base. Each offesr a different feel when it comes to maneuverability and steering. Selecting one that is most fluid and natural to you is important.

Where can I rent?

Location is another important factor when it comes to renting an electric wheelchair. There are a few tools online that can help you. Feel free to visit our online dealer locator here to contact an authorized Pride Mobility Products dealer who can assist you with meeting your rental needs.

Resources for Mobility Product Coverage

We understand that while necessary, medical devices aren’t always budget friendly. However, there are ways you can purchase or get a mobility product without having to break the bank.

Buying a Mobility Device Through Insurance

Sometimes private insurance companies cover a mobility product if you qualify. If you are covered under an insurance policy, we recommend reaching out to your insurance provider directly for more information about what is covered. You can check their website or your insurance card, if applicable, for contact information.

Buying a Mobility Device Through Medicare

Medicare may pay for an electric scooter or motorized wheelchair if deemed medically necessary in the home. To qualify, there are several steps that need to be completed. This involves working with your physician and finding a provider that works with Medicare. Click to learn more about Medicare coverage for a power mobility device.

Buying a Mobility Device Through Medicaid

Medicaid is the largest government program designed to provide medical and health-related services to people with low incomes. The patient must meet eligibility and coverage requirements in order to be considered for Medicaid coverage of medical services. To qualify for Medicaid, an individual must meet income and resource limits, and be medically needy or fall into an eligibility category specified by your state. For more information on how to apply, read our article about funding through Medicaid.

Getting a Mobility Device Through the VA

If you are a disabled veteran, there is another option available. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers services leading to more independence in daily living to eligible service-connected disabled veterans. The federal VA website has information on VA programs, veteran’s benefits, VA facilities worldwide and more. We recommend contacting your local VA benefits counselor to determine the veterans benefits you are eligible for. We’ve compiled a list of Veterans Affairs Departments by state that you can reference.

Buying a Mobility Device Through CareCredit

More than hundreds of Pride dealers participate with CareCredit. CareCredit is a payment plan based on your budget, allowing you to pay for medical equipment and services over time. Upon credit approval, there are also special promotional financing options available. Visit carecredit.com for more information or contact your dealer to find out how you can fill out an application.

Getting a Mobility Device Through Non-profits

Not for-profit organizations come in all shapes and sizes. There are organizations for veterans, religious groups and non-profits specific to medical conditions. Many of these organizations happily accept mobility scooter and electric wheelchair donations. In accepting these donations, they can pay it forward and help those in need of a power mobility device. If you need a mobility device but can’t find the finances to fund one, you can reach out to a non-profit organization and see if they can assist.

*FDA Class II Medical Device
Pride FDA Class II Medical Devices Are designed to aid individuals with mobility
impairments

Back to School in COVID-19

It’s that time of year when books stores, clothing stores and shoe stores are buzzing with parents and children preparing for school. Whether returning to traditional school or a sprawling college campus, the COVID-19 culture has forever changed how we look at and shop for school. As we await inoculation, wearing masks, social distancing and sheltering in place is our only protection – overall. For families and students in high-risk categories, there is added fear surrounding not knowing what we don’t know about this disease and how it spreads that impacts our already complicated health-life circumstances.

While I thoroughly agree with the need for classes to be held online, it is necessary that professors are aware of the added hardship this style of information presentation impacts many students with disabilities. In my case, I am a full-time Jazzy Air® 2 power wheelchair user suffering with chronic pain interference and neurobiological symptomology. If you don’t live with someone who has these struggles, it makes it impossible for teachers or professors to understand the impact this new learning style has on individuals who thrive and prefer face-to-face interaction. My academic coach and cognitive therapist worked with our disability support services, advisory and professors to adapt accommodations. I would highly recommend the same for students with IEP and 501 documentations on file at their learning institutions.

Ideas for Accommodations

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children. It’s important to encourage parents, educators, and administrators to collaborate creatively to continue to meet the needs of students with disabilities at every level of learning.

Consider practices such as distance instruction, teletherapy and tele-intervention, meetings held on digital platforms, online options for data tracking, and documentation. Technology is more than having a computer, it’s also about the capacity for it to load and run new applications and software to participate in distance learning in a timely and productive manner. There is a learning curve in using these tools that also must be considered. There are low- tech strategies that can provide for an exchange of curriculum-based resources, instructional packets, projects, and written assignments.

School accommodations are as unique as a fingerprint. Learners with a mobility challenge may actually welcome removal of the physical barriers of attending school on campus. Likewise, if a learner has a cognitive challenge, interacting without the academic community may impacts social motivation, create communication barriers that did not exist before and impact social development/education that in-person learning provided. Remote learning requires an environment as parallel to the classroom experience as possible, not just in the areas of technology but also a conducive place to process one dimensional information over long periods of time.

While I miss rolling through the library, zipping in and around campus in my Jazzy Air 2 power wheelchair, I’m confident that I’ll be back in the library again soon. In the meantime, as teachers, students, faculty and families adapt to the new ways of learning, know that the best tools to have this school year are empathy, safety, patience, and aptitude to adapt and assimilate into the new normal.

*FDA Class II Medical Device
Pride FDA Class II Medical Devices Are designed to aid individuals with mobility
impairments

How to Clean Your Power Lift Recliner

Power lift recliners are sophisticated pieces of equipment. In order to ensure that your power lift recliner gives you trouble-free performance, it requires routine maintenance checks. While you can perform some of these checks yourself, you may need to schedule some maintenance checks with your provider.

Cleaning Fabric on Lift Chairs

Whether you are the proud owner of a VivaLift® Power Lift Recliner or a Pride® Power Lift Recliner, the fabric covering your lift chair is very durable for everyday living. It is easier to maintain the condition of the fabric on your lift chair by performing routine inspections on your lift recliner. We recommend that you inspect the fabric on a regular basis for any pulls, tears or gaps. We also understand that accidents happen and that they can result in the fabric being stained. Before cleaning your lift chair, consult your provider for cleaning codes. It is important to know which methods to use to clean the fabric on your chair, as there are different types of fabric that come with each model.

There are a couple of ways that you can clean your lift chair. One of them is cleaning with only water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. Be mindful not to over wet/saturate the fabric. It is important to always check a small spot of fabric in an area that is unseen to be sure the cleaning agent being used will not discolor or fade the fabric’s finishing before you start to clean the fabric.

For tough spots, do not use solvents unless specified by your provider. Instead, lightly scrub with a left to right motion, rather than in a circular motion, as scrubbing in a circular motion can leave a circular ring when dry. When finished, let the fabric on your power lift recliner air dry and vacuum for best results.

Another way you can clean your lift chair is by purchasing the Power Lift Recliner Cleaning Kit from Crypton Aria® Super Fabrics. This kit includes three different solutions to remove stains and a disinfectant/deodorizer to prevent mold and mildew. This kit does not use bleach. Contact your local provider to purchase this cleaning kit.

*FDA Class II Medical Device

*Pride FDA Class II Medical Devices Are designed to aid individuals with mobility impairments

Keep your lift chair out of direct sunlight and away from any type of heat source such as space heaters or lit tobacco products. Although the chair has passed the necessary testing requirements for smoking lit tobacco products, fabrics that come into direct contact with heat sources may result in fire damage or personal injury.

Cleaning Lift Chair Electronics

In caring for your power lift recliner’s electronics, keep all electronics free from moisture and temperature extremes. Lift chairs are intended for indoor use only. Although the lift chair has passed the necessary testing requirements for ingress of liquids, you should keep electrical connections and the external transformer away from sources of dampness, including direct exposure to water or bodily fluids and incontinence.

If the external transformer box or hand control requires cleaning, unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet and use a clean, dry cloth or lightly dampened cloth. Allow ample drying time before plugging the power cord back into the electrical outlet.

Regular maintenance checks for the electronics of your lift chair include:

  • Inspecting all wiring harnesses to make sure they are not damaged or frayed. If there is damage present, unplug the chair and contact your provider for service
  • Checking electrical components frequently for signs of corrosion and replace as necessary. The external transformer should always be positioned so that the product specification information/name plate faces down. Improper placement may result in product or property damage

For more information on care and maintenance for your power lift recliner, you can refer to the “Care and Maintenance” section in your lift chair’s owner’s manual, or you can visit our Resources and Support page to find an electronic copy of the owner’s manual online, available for download.

Stealthy Daydreamer

Behind every nosy neighbor is one amazing daydreamer. Well…, that may not be exactly how the saying goes but, bear with me while I fill you in on our daydreamer, Howard. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you just might know the type I am talking about. Howard is the type of daydreamer that is always thinking of crafty ways of how to get away with something, but only in his mind.

Without further adieu, meet Howard, our stealthy daydreamer. Newspaper reading, sports watching, man of very few words – husband of our nosy neighbor Doris. Howard spends countless hours each day drumming up reasons he could just waltz over to Gary and Claire’s house to sneak a peek of that amazing new VivaLift!® power recliner.

One day while out on a stroll, Howard decided to walk across the street and sneak-a-peek into Gary and Claire’s living room window to get a little glimpse of that VivaLift! power recliner. As Howard stood there outside the large window, his mind started to wander, and he began to daydream. He quickly became the “stealthy daydreamer,” scheming a way to “get into” Gary and Claire’s house to finally sit in that VivaLift!. All he could dream about was sinking into the luxurious fabric, grabbing the USB controller and easing back in the recline position, with the extended footrest all the way out!

*FDA Class II Medical Device

*Pride FDA Class II Medical Devices Are designed to aid individuals with mobility impairments

Howard’s daydream didn’t end there – he continued dreaming about how comfortable he would feel with the power lumbar and power headrest. “Wait a minute”, he thought. “If the power were to go out, would I be able to get up from my reclining position?” Whew… he remembered the VivaLift! power recliner came with lithium battery backup, ensuring the recliner could operate even if the power went out.

How does this “stealthy daydreamer’s” daydream end?

Watch in the video above! Then, check out where to buy one. Go beyond being just a “stealthy daydreamer” and become a proud owner of The Most Comfortable Recliner in the World. What are you waiting for? GET YOUR OWN.

Can Electric Wheelchairs Get Wet?

In the real world, water is a fact of life. Weather is unpredictable and cannot be controlled. You can be out with your power chair and suddenly, a rain or snow shower hits! Plus, even after a storm is over, there may be large puddles or piles of snow in the roads or on the sidewalks. It’s important to understand how water affects electric wheelchairs. By taking action following contact with water, you can preserve the life and performance of your power wheelchair. When faced with sudden inclement weather, there are a few things you can do. Depending on the severity and heaviness of the rain or snow, we recommend finding shelter until the storm passes. Try to avoid large puddles. Your power chair is equipped with electronics, and direct or prolonged exposure to water or dampness may cause a motorized wheelchair to malfunction electronically and mechanically. Water can cause the electrical components to corrode and the frame of your electric wheelchair to rust.

 If your power wheelchair encounters water:

  1. Thoroughly dry your power chair with a towel as soon as possible; Wipe down all surfaces of the chair
  2. Allow your power chair to sit in a warm, dry place for 12 hours to allow unseen water to evaporate
  3. Check the operation of the joystick and the brakes before using your electric wheelchair again
  4. If you find any inconsistencies, take your power wheelchair to your provider

*FDA Class II Medical Device

*Pride FDA Class II Medical Devices Are designed to aid individuals with mobility impairments

You should periodically examine your motorized wheelchair for signs of corrosion caused by water exposure, bodily fluid exposure, or incontinence. Any damaged components should be replaced or treated immediately, so contact your authorized provider for service. There are some other things you can do to further protect your electric wheelchair. Some consumers carry plastic bags with them. When a sudden shower hits, they cover their controller or joystick with the plastic bag to protect it from the rain or snow. Also, it’s a good idea to check the weather before you leave the house. If the forecast is calling for wet weather, consider changing your plans or staying home. By understanding the effects of moisture and taking steps to reduce exposure, you ensure that your power chair remains in peak condition for optimal performance.

Flossy F. – Traveling the World by Go-Go

Flossy F. was exploring the sights in Williamsburg, Va., when she had an idea.

Although Flossy loved her Go-Go® Travel Mobility Scooter, she realized the cobblestone streets in the colonial town made things a bit bumpy. Flossy approached Pride® Mobility Products and challenged the company to create a Go-Go with a smoother ride.

Thanks to Flossy, the Go-Go LX with CTS Suspension was born. Flossy now uses this Go-Go model to help her explore the globe.

“My passion is traveling,” Flossy said. “There is no way I can travel and enjoy it without my Go-Go because I can’t stand to be a burden on anyone. My Go-Go allows me freedom and independence.”

Flossy, now retired, was formerly a teacher and a guidance counselor in the Lake-Lehman School District. She founded the girls’ softball program in the district and coached the team for 25 years. Flossy also coached a girls’ softball travel team in the 1980s, which won a national championship.

Flossy travels often and has been to many places including France, Ireland, Germany, England, Italy, Greece, Spain, Canada and much of the United States including Alaska and Hawaii.

“I also have fun with my Go-Go,” Flossy said. “My friends sometimes joke that I am going to get caught by the police for speeding, which I think is funny. I also act as the scout to see if a restaurant up the road is a good one. I see my Go-Go as a way for me to continue to enjoy traveling.”

When Flossy is not coaching softball or traveling, she likes to volunteer for Community Cares for Kids, a non-profit group she helped to initiate that performs corrective plastic surgery and surface tumor removal on underprivileged residents in Ecuador.

“Although I have never gone on the trips to Ecuador, I assist the organization behind-the-scenes from transporting patients to fundraising,” Flossy said. “It makes me feel good knowing that my efforts are aiding other people. I especially like hearing stories of all the children who benefit from surgery.”

Flossy knows that wherever she decides to travel in the future, her Go-Go LX with CTS Suspension will allow her to enjoy her vacations to the fullest.

“From the Grand Canyon to Hong Kong, my Go-Go lets me see the world,” Flossy said. “I’m going to keep traveling for as long as I can, and I hope my Go-Go and I have many miles ahead of us.”

*FDA Class II Medical Device
Pride FDA Class II Medical Devices Are designed to aid individuals with mobility
impairments