Stair Climbing Wheel Chair as an Adaptive Living Aid

By AGIS Staff, AGIS Network

There is probably an adapted living aid available for every type of disability associated with the elderly. The top ten adapted living aids are the most common devices that are purchased for the elderly at some point in their life. Many of the adapted living aids have become extremely innovative as technology becomes more advanced. One such revolutionary device is the stair-climbing wheel chair.

An adapted living Aid is any device that helps elderly do the activities they have always done but must now do differently because of physical limitations.

The adapted living tool may be something as simple as a walker to make moving around easier or an amplification device to make sounds easier to hear. It could be a magnifying glass to help someone with poor vision read or a motorized scooter to aid mobility. Anything that helps someone continue to participate in daily activities is considered adaptive living technology.

The Top Ten Adapted Living Aids

  1. Magnifying glass with a battery powered light.
  2. Raised toilet seat with handles to prevent falls.
  3. Designer canes for the fashionably savvy senior.
  4. Jar bottle openers with a V clamp for twisting.
  5. Long handled reachers to avoid climbing on ladders and stools.
  6. Walkers with a basket for carrying glasses, tissues, books and snacks.
  7. Wheelchair ramp.
  8. Zipper pulls, button aids and elastic shoestrings for stress free clothing.
  9. Amplifier headphones from radio shack for improved hearing.
  10. Wheelchair - specially adapted to the person's needs.

Some of these devices can be obtained at local pharmacies or through health care/medical products catalogs. Most occupational/physical therapy clinics have multiple catalogs that have a complete list of these devices. Many local agencies will build a ramp for free.

The Revolutionary Stair-Climbing Wheel Chair

No other adapted living aid has been as amazing as the stair-climbing wheel chair that the FDA has enthusiastically approved and is now available for wheelchair bound elderly patients. The adaptive living aid, called the iBOT mobility system is now helping disabled users break through physical barriers. This Ferrari of wheel chairs can climb up or down a flight of stairs with ease, bump up on sidewalk curbs and sail through gravel. The wheel chair can even elevate the wheel chair person to reach the top shelf at a grocery store about the same as a six-foot tall person could do. It can also ride through four inches of water, be carried on an airplane or be packed in the back of a mini van using remote control. The user can shift into four wheel drive to go up across grassy hills.

The iBOT technology owned by Johnson and Johnson is complex. Basically, the way this battery operated wheel chair works is through gyros, sensors, a heap of Pentium III processors, and some outstanding programming. Users lean forward or backward, directing the chair to go up or down as the chair senses and adjusts to their center of gravity. Users must hold onto a stair rail while going up and down stairs.

The downside to this souped up wheel chair is that it comes with a hefty $29,000 price tag. Perspective users should check to see if insurance or the VA will pay for part or most of it. At this time, Medicare has not approved reimbursing patients for the iBOT stair-climbing wheelchair, although they are considering doing so in the future. A doctor's prescription and special training are necessary before buying this chair.

For those that can qualify and afford it, this is no ordinary chair. It has all of the WOW factors that can change lives while maintaining dignity. It is also important to note this adaptive living aid wheel chair is not for everyone. It depends on an individual's level of disability and impairment.

©2008 AGIS Network

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