How to Measure For a Walking Stick

Studies have shown that more than 60% of walking stick users haven’t measured their stick or cane correctly. Using a walking stick that’s not the right height can leave you at risk of muscle pain, balance issues and an increased possibility of trips and falls.

Many people think that walking stick heights are determined by the overall height of the user, but that isn’t actually the case. People come in all shapes and sizes, with varying proportions, and what you really need to consider is the distance from your hand to the floor.

If you’ve had a previous walking stick professionally measured, then you know that it’s the right height. If it’s comfortable to use, you can simply measure your existing walking stick and buy a new one that’s exactly the same length.

If you’re new to buying a walking stick, or you’re currently using a cane or stick that hasn’t been correctly measured, then try one of the following methods. Always remember, when measuring for a walking stick, to wear your usual shoes.

If you’re measuring without a walking stick:

  • Stand up straight. Dangle your arm down beside your body, then lift your hand at the wrist so that your palm is parallel to the floor. Measure the distance from the floor to the palm of your hand.

If you’re measuring with a walking stick:

  • Stand up straight. Let your arms hang loosely by your sides. Ask someone else to turn the walking stick upside down. The end of the walking stick should be level with your wrist. Find a walking stick that reaches the correct point (the bump on your wrist) or, if you prefer, have one cut down to size by sawing off the end. Walking sticks typically come with a rubber cap (ferrule), which you should be able to remove and put back on once the stick is at the right height. If you prefer, you can purchase a height adjustable walking stick that can be set to the correct length.

If you’re using the correct walking stick, your shoulders should stay level and shouldn’t be forced into a hunched position. Your arm can bend slightly at the elbow. You shouldn’t have to stoop or lean over.

Buying from somewhere that offers a wide selection of walking sticks and canes will ensure that you don’t need to settle for anything that isn’t quite perfect. There are so many options including folding walking canes, walking sticks with seats and quad canes with a wider base for extra support. Once you’ve measured for a walking stick and you’re feeling sure about the length that you need, take some time to think about the extra features that you want. Browse for a while, find the best walking stick or cane to meet your needs, and buy your new walking stick with confidence.

View our range of walking sticks & canes here

How to use suction grab rails

The number one reason for return of a suction product is the surface customers try to stick to isn’t smooth! Suction products WILL NOT STICK TO ANYTHING OTHER THAN A PERFECTLY SMOOTH SURFACE.

We can’t stress enough the word SMOOTH not nearly or quite smooth we mean perfectly smooth.

If you experience problems with a suction product please try sticking it to glass. (Test on a window, cooker door or even your car windscreen) You will more than likely find that it sticks fine thus eliminating the product.

Suction products returned as faulty which test fine will be subject to restocking fees.

Suction Grab Rail General Instructions

  • Suction grab rails are designed to assist your natural motion, as when getting in and out of a shower. They are not designed to hold or support your full body weight.
  • Suction grab rails can be used where permanent drilling and fixing is not possible.
  • Do not attach to moving surfaces.

Choosing a Location

  • Suction grab rails are designed for use only on smooth non-porous surfaces; tile, glass, porcelain, some plastics. Not for use on painted, papered, wood, embossed surfaces.
  • Check the condition of the support surface before positioning the rail.
  • Support surfaces should be sound and free from defects.
  • Do not mount the rail where it will be in direct sunlight.
  • Check the condition of the suction cups. Do not use if damaged, cracked or split.
  • Do not attempt to mount the Quick Rail on mosaic or embossed tiles.

Fitting

  1. Thoroughly clean the surface with a solvent cleaner or alcohol wipe and allow to dry.
  2. Raise the suction levers; place the rail so that the suction cups lie firmly and completely on a smooth surface.
  3. Do not place over joints or grout lines.
  4. Push the rail towards the wall whist simultaneously pressing on one lever at one end, then the other. You should feel resistance as the suction cup tightens.
  5. Check secure attachment before each use.

Removal

  1. Lift each of the levers.
  2. If suction remains, gently lift one edge with a finger.
  3. Do not use a sharp instrument which may damage the suction cup.
  4. Clean the suction cups from time to time with a non-abrasive cleaner.

You can view our range of Suction Grab Rails by clicking here

How To Apply For A Mobility Scooter Tax Disc

Hopefully the questions & answers below will help you decide if you need to register & TAX your Mobility Scooter with the DVLA

How to register a NEW class 3 Mobility Scooter  – You need to complete a V55/4 form which can be ordered for FREE from the DVLA by clicking here You may also wish to download the DVLA guide INF210 to help with this process.

How to register a USED class 3 Mobility Scooter  – You need to complete a V55/5 form which can be ordered for FREE from the DVLA by clicking here You may also wish to download the DVLA guide INF211 to help with this process.

Do I need to Register & TAX my Mobility Scooter? – Yes if you have a class 3 Mobility Scooter.

What is a class 3 scooter? – It is a scooter that is between 113.5 to 150kgs in weight and can travel faster than 4mph BUT no faster than 8mph. It MUST also be fitted with a switch to limit the maximum speed to 4mph so the scooter can be used on footpaths. Generally speaking class 3 scooters are large outdoor machines.

Do I need a number plate? – When you register with DVLA you will be given a registration number in the same way as registering a car. However unlike a car there is currently no legal requirement to display the number plate.

Do I have to display the TAX disc – No, From 1 October 2014, the paper tax disc will no longer need to be displayed on a vehicle.

How much will the TAX cost? – Road TAX for class 3 Mobility Scooters is currently FREE.

Should I have insurance? – Although it is not a legal requirement, it is strongly advised to have insurance. Suitable schemes are not too expensive and are available to cover your personal safety, other people’s safety and the value of the vehicle. Click here for more information on Mobility Insurance

Who should I call for more help – For further information please call the DVLA on 0870 240 0010

How To Fit A Tyre / Tube

PNEUMATIC TYRE FITTING

  • Always work in a clean environment where possible.
  • Before fitting check that the tyre is the correct size for the rim and there are no obvious signs of damage or manufacturing defect.
  • If using a new inner tube (advisable) check that it is the correct size for the tyre you are fitting it to. If you are re using an existing inner tube carefully check that there is no visible damage from foreign bodies or fitting damage from previous use.
  • Check the rim carefully for signs of damage in particular those parts
    that will be in contact with the tube.
  • Carefully check that the tyre and inner tube are free of debris.
    If the wheel has spokes fitted check that the correct rim band is fitted
    and positioned to cover the heads of the spokes.
  • For a one piece rim fit one side of the tyre to the rim first then fit the inner tube into the tyre and partially inflate – this will avoid pinching the tube when fitting the other bead. Position the tyre and tube on the rim so that the bottom bead is located and the top bead sits on the rim. Using the correct fitting levers carefully ease the second bead onto the rim taking care not to pinch the inner tube between the tyre and rim. Extra care should be taken with the last portion of the tyre when prising onto the rim to avoid breaking the bead wire.
  • For a two piece rim place the tube inside the tyre and partially inflate before putting the two rim pieces together. When bolting the two halves together check carefully that the inner tube does not become trapped between the two halves.
  • When the tyre has been successfully fitted carefully check that it is fitted concentrically on the rim (there is generally a ring around the bead area to enable correct positioning).
  • During inflation check that the tyre remains in position and does not hang up on part of the rim. The valve area can sometimes be a problem on narrow tyres as the base of the valve can become trapped between the tyre bead and the rim; if this occurs carefully push the valve partially through the valve hole into the tyre and continue inflating.
  • Always inflate the tyre to the correct pressure (check the wheelchair/scooter handbook for the recommended tyre pressure) do not take the maximum pressure data on the sidewall of the tyre as the correct pressure this is merely a guide as to the maximum pressure it can be inflated to.
  • Check that the valve is not leaking.
  • Fit a proper valve cap that includes an internal seal as this is the primary air seal. Plastic dust caps should be avoided as they have no pressure sealing properties but are better than nothing.
  • Replace the wheel taking care to ensure that the wheels nuts are tight or the quick release axle is properly located.
  • Finally tyre pressures should be checked regularly to ensure correct and trouble free operation of the tyre.

Mobility Scooters, taking the music world by storm!

Mobility Scooters, taking the music world by storm!

It won’t have gone unnoticed to many of our blog readers how much more we are seeing the mobility scooter making appearances on all kinds of popular media, from pop videos, to sitcoms and news items. So are we seeing a change in perceptions towards the mobility scooter? Is it a cool ‘must have’ now for all ages, regardless of whether or not needed for actual mobility reasons?

One of the best videos we have seen recently is from Swedish musician, Avicii, (the stage name for Tim Bergling). this is a fun video with a great sentimental message and a story that spans the duration of the video and, of course, the Mobility Scooter is the star of the show.

You can watch the video here http://bit.ly/1KhAoWE

What we like about this video is that it gives a sense of freedom and how the scooter itself empowers the user to be able to get out and take action. Not all scooter users will go the great lengths depicted in the Avicii video, but if we give our customers just a little sense of the same freedom and inspiration, then that is extremely rewarding for all of our team at Mobility Smart.

Have you seen any other examples of videos, adverts or news items that have the mobility scooter playing a leading and positive role? We’d love to hear from you if you have!

Well done! Your reviews raise money for Comic Relief

For Red Nose Day in 2015, we decided to ask our customers to review our company and for each review, left on either Facebook or Google, we would make a donation for Comic Relief and the Red Nose charities.

Well it’s a big thank you to all those who left reviews and donated to Red Nose Charities,  due to your efforts we raised £200 which will greatly benefit many people in need over the coming months.

Red Nose Day, which was on the 13th of March 2015, raised over 78 million pounds this year, which is a staggering figure. The whole Red Nose day phenomenon started in July 1985 and since then donations have passed the 1 billion pounds mark, so it’s almost a certainty that many lives have been positively affected, and possibly even saved because of Comic Relief.

We have been delighted with the reviews we received, which will help us greatly in spreading the word about Mobility Smart, and it’s great to be able to support so many worthy causes.

So next year, we will plan to raise even more for Red Nose Day and Comic Relief, so look out for our messages when the time comes.

Of course, if you have any ideas about other ways we can help good causes, please let us know and we will be sure to consider other ideas.

As Andrew Atkinson, Mobility Smart’s founder comments, “we are so proud to have customers that care enough to support our charitable activities and to know in some small way, we are helping in joining with so many other businesses and individuals to make donations to charitable causes such as Comic Relief.”

So thanks again for all your help in helping us to support Red Nose Day and watch this space for more ideas for ways you can help again in the future.

‘Tonight’ Dementia Documentary

If you managed to watch this last night, it gives a lot of food for thought, as it is predicted that by 2021, over a million people will be living with Dementia, so it’s likely in the future, if not already, that many people will be directly affected.

What are your views on the current provision for help with managing Dementia, is enough being done? Also what do you think about the public’s perception of Dementia? Does more work need to be done to remove the taboo and mystery surrounding the condition.

If you didn’t see the Tonight programme, here is a link to the programme online:

http://www.itv.com/news/2014-05-08/tonight-living-with-dementia

 

Getting them to agree to what can help!

It’s a problem that many people will face, observing their parents, or grandparents inevitably growing older and struggling with their mobility or in just trying to carry out their ordinary day to day tasks.

So the normal response to this is to obviously want to help and suggest products or services that could assist them, only to be met with a sometimes fierce resistance that immediately freezes out your well meaning ideas!

It could be that you have simply suggested a walking stick, or a can opener, or a kneeler for the gardening, it could be anything, and the response from your loved one is the same; a resounding NO THANKS, I CAN MANAGE!

The truth about this stubborn ‘planting of the feet’ is that few of us really want to admit we are struggling as we get older. Your relative is no different; in their mind they don’t see themselves as needing extra help! They associate your suggestions as unwanted interference as you bring them to confront their loss of some of their former independence.

The good news is that these struggles are often short in duration and common sense usually does prevail as your relative gets it that they needn’t struggle and you are not trying to consign them to the scrapheap!

So if you find yourself trying to suggest a mobility product to a relative and you know they are probably not going to like it, what can you do? How can you broach the subject in the first place and have a better chance of them accepting your offer of help?

The first step is to discuss with them the problem they are facing, for example; this could be that they are ‘not able to complete the housework how they would like to’. Make sure you fully understand the parts of a task that are creating the problem so you can make a good assessment of what could help as a minimum.

Next, try to discuss this with other family members, or a friend if that is a better option for you. Try to get a picture of what could help and then search for the best products that could really assist your relative.

Breaking the news!

In breaking the news, you will often find you get a much better response if you can approach it from a point of view of ‘benefits’ to them, rather than just dumping the next mobility aid on them!

So back to the housework example, you find there are some long handled brushes and dusters, so benefits could be:

– You can do ALL the housework yourself, you won’t need help

– Now you can reach without needing to strain

– You will complete your jobs much quicker

– It’s safer, no need to worry about accidents

Telling a relative you think they need help can be difficult and even armed with benefits they will understand you can still meet the same old resistance.

The referral method

A little psychology here, but it can have great results. This assumes you have found a great solution to your relative’s problem. The idea here is to actually buy and start using the product yourself (assuming it’s nothing major) then tell your relative how it has really helped you and tell them you will show them as you are so excited about how it has helped you. If easier, you can use another friend or family member, then refer the idea to your relative telling the story of how this product has really helped them

Your endorsement, or that of a relative of friend your loved one, can identify with can help get over that initial stubbornness and get your idea approved and accepted.

Trial it a week

Assuming the answer was NO, then another idea is to buy the product and simply leave it with them a week or so on the basis of casually saying, ‘well, it’s there if you need it.’

Often, after your loved one has struggled on for a while, they will eventually give your product a try out, even just out of curiosity, you simply leave it. Don’t ask, in fact if they don’t mention it again, neither do you. You can soon see if they have taken to it or not, often when people are left to it on their own, they come round to it when they are ready.

Be gentle but persistent

People are often unsure just how to manage the process of getting a loved one to accept a necessary change that needs to happen, and it can be distressing for family members to observe an unnecessary struggle.

At its smallest, this could be getting them to adjust to a new kitchen gadget, at its largest, getting them to admit their home is no longer manageable.

Sometimes things can go wrong as the new idea is introduced too quickly, and a ‘big event’ happens where in anticipation of resistance, family members gather and try to push the new initiative through to the person.

A much better approach here can be the gentle ‘bringing round to the idea’ approach where the subject is introduced gently over a longer period of time (assuming there is no acute need for immediate action).

The key here is persistence, but giving the relative time to adjust, think on the benefits and accept the situation for themselves, and effectively make their own decision.

To summarise

Sometimes, even armed with the best strategies and intentions, you have that relative who just will not budge! (As the owner of the company, I had this very situation with my own family member!!) So we are not saying we do have all the answers and indeed would welcome any ideas readers have found to work for them, send them in to support@mobilitysmart.cc  We hope you will find the suggestions we have made useful and good luck! Remember, if you want advice or help in choosing mobility products based on your own specific needs we can help, call our knowledgeable team on 0800 567 7222. We look forward to hearing from you.

Caring for Mobility Scooter Batteries – a simple guide

As the power unit for your mobility scooter, it makes very good sense to take proper care of your battery and to ensure its correct use to ensure you are getting the best possible, power, duration and time between recharging.

If cared for properly from the beginning, your mobility scooter battery can be a trouble-free component of your scooter, allowing you to simply enjoy using, however, that said there are a number of useful guidance points to get you on the right track.

Charge time – Getting a FULL charge!

Firstly, when it comes to charging your battery, it is very important to charge for the right amount of time, so that the battery can maximise its power. This applies for EVERY time the scooter has been used, even if just for a short journey.

12 hours is the necessary minimum charge time for a scooter battery, any less than this and the battery performance over time will reduce and eventually diminish to become unusable.

In some cases, users are simply unaware that the battery needs this full charge and remove it early, (especially as sometimes the green light can display before 12 hours is fully up!)

The golden rule is that the battery should always be stored full and no less than 12 hours, no matter what the temptation to remove it early!

Charging when your device is in storage

When the device is in storage, then the minimum charge time is different! That being a minimum charge of 24 hours, every 14 days. Again it is vital here that the charger is not removed before the 24 hours is up as the battery will not have received its full charge (even if the green light pops on before the 24 hours has elapsed).

How it could affect your warranty!

Our advanced battery diagnostics can detect when the charging schedules have been compromised and the readings are very accurate! This can then lead to warranties becoming void if it is clear that manufacturer’s instructions have not been carefully followed.

Of course, we don’t want customers to have to come back with problems so it is very important at the outset that instructions are understood and followed. We are always on-hand to help and advise on our telephone and email address you will find on our website.

As mentioned at the start of this article, if looked after properly your battery should really not be a problem and give you many miles of trouble free performance. We hope the few pointers above will help towards you getting the very best from yours!

Select and buy Mobility Scooter batteries from our website

Short Article Competition – Winning entry by Joy Roach

Congratulations to Joy Roach who won £50 M&S Vouchers in our short article competition, her entry is below:

I recently brought the adjustable single cup drinks holder for my mum who has Multiple System Atrophy.  She has difficulty picking up bottles and cups and as a result tends not to drink enough fluid each day as she is scared of always knocking them off the table. Looking for a solution to try and prevent this vicious circle I came across Mobility Smart and this cup holder. I attached it to her wheelchair so that when we are out and about and when she is moving around the house in her wheelchair she always has access to a drink. I was so impressed with the product that I ordered another one to attach to her bathroom chair so that she can have a drink whilst waiting for the district nurses and carers to arrive each morning. The cup holder is very easy to use, folders away nicely and seems to be fairly stable. I am very pleased with it as it means no more having to reach too far for a drink and no excuses not to be well hydrated!