Monthly Archives: July 2010
Are you taking care of your skin? No matter what your skin condition or skin type, there is likely a product that will make it smoother, softer, cleaner or will reduce the pain, itch, bumps, scales, redness, swelling – you name it.
What is causing your skin problems? Things like illness, disease, aging, nutrition, weather, hydration, stress and environment can no doubt reek havoc on even the most pampered skin. The good news is that there is help.
Types of Skin Care and Bath Wash Products
Barrier Products – Barrier ointments are used primarily for incontinence care to prevent or treat diaper dermatitis (diaper rash) or other skin irritations that occur when moisture is trapped next to the skin.
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Body Cleansers – No need for water with these body washes, wipes and foams. You can cleanse your skin and even wash your hair with the no-rinse products made especially for those who are bedridden or otherwise unable to bathe. Great for caregivers! Also ideal for campers, trekkers or people on the go.
Skin Creams – Skin cream is by definition thicker than a skin lotion, made to lubricate and penetrate – essentially “melt” into the skin. Creams are usually used to help heal dry skin, burns, sunburns, fungus. Creams are sometimes thought of as more restorative than preventative.
Diabetic Skin Care – Good skin care for diabetics starts with infection prevention in the form of daily skin care and skin inspection. Skin must be kept moist to prevent cracking and potential infection of desensitized skin. There are a variety of skin products made specifically for diabetic skin therapy.
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Handy Wipes and Moist WashCloths – For a all-over no-rinse bath, a personal hygiene cleanse or a quick way to cool down and freshen up, moist wipes are an easy, convenient way to get clean.
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Skin Lotion – Lotions are generally formulated to moisturize the skin to prevent dryness. You should use a daily moisturizer to keep your skin soft and hydrated. Choose from name brand and medical lotions.
Ointments –Ointments are usually thick petroleum based protective creams, sometimes with zinc oxide or antifungals. They are used for everthing from wound care to make removal to diaper care to hand cream.
See all OTC Ointments, Lotions, Creams & Powders
For skin help with certain skin conditions please read Healing Relief for Common Skin Problems
Choosing the right length access ramp is pretty easy once you have the formulas. All you need is a tape measure, a calculator or the handy Ramp Slope Chart (see below) and a keen understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish and you’ll be able to buy a ramp with the right amount of incline. You don’t want the ramp to be too steep, right? In fact, the length of the ramp is at least as critical as the width when it comes to safety, but takes some thought and a little planning.
Once you have the length calculated, you can choose the proper width and type of ramp – depending on how and where it will be used. What a relief to know you will be able to get your mobility scooter into the van; assist an elderly or disabled person up the porch steps; or roll your wheelchair down a terraced walkway with the greatest of ease and safety.
Our buddies at Prairie View Industries (PVI Ramps) shared their ramp slope formulas, ramp slope chart and measurement instructions so we could help you calculate your optimal ramp length. Thanks PVI!
How Long Should My Ramp Be?
To determine your ramp length you first need to determine the rise. The rise is the vertical measurement between the ground and where the top of the ramp is going to sit.
Note: If your rise is more than 24″ (2 feet) please contact a local dealer about a modular system.
PVI recommends not to exceed a 2:12 slope (9.5° ramp incline) on most applications. The slope relates to how steep the ramp is, in degrees of incline. Some ramps may need to meet the ADA’s 1:12 (4.8°) more gradual slope requirements, as specified by your state.
To find a 2:12 slope, take the total rise in inches (vertical measurement between the ground and the top of the step or landing) and divide it by 2. The result is the number of feet of ramp length you need for that rise.
Example: Say you have a 12″ rise. Divide 12 by 2 and you get 6. So a 12 inch rise requires a 6 foot ramp, using the 2:12 ratio.
A 1:12 slope (used by the ADA) would require 1 foot length of ramp for every inch of vertical rise.
Slope Recommendations based on Use of Ramp:
- 1:12 SLOPE (4.8°) – Gradual, gentle incline, longest ramp. Calculated as 1 foot length of ramp for every 1 inch of total vertical rise (the rise divided by 1). A 5 inch rise requires a 5 foot ramp, a 12 inch rise requires a 12 foot ramp and so on. The ADA recommends this slope for long home ramps as well as commercial ramps. Note: This 1:12 slope works for most strong, unassisted manual wheelchair users, although PVI always recommends assistance.
- 2:12 SLOPE (9.5°) – Steeper incline, shorter ramp. Calculate length of ramp in feet by dividing total rise by 2 (6″ of ramp length for every 1″ of rise). A 2:12 slope is the maximum acceptable grade (incline) for portable ramps used by occupied chairs and scooters, with a qualified assistant.
- 3:12 SLOPE (14.5°) – Steepest incline. Calculate the length of ramp by dividing the total rise by 3 (4 feet of ramp length for every 12 inches of rise). This 3:12 ratio should be used only for loading and unloading unoccupied chairs and scooters – (in and out of a truck or van, for example).
Ramp Slope Chart
Photo courtesy of PVI, Inc.
Access Ramp Safety Guidelines
- Always have a qualified assistant present when using any portable ramp.
- Never exceed a slope greater than 2″ on 12″ (2:12 ratio) with an occupied chair or scooter. Never exceed a slope greater than 3″ on 12″ (3:12 ratio) with an unoccupied chair or scooter.
- Always make sure that the top of the ramp is secured on a step or landing before using. It may be necessary to anchor the top of the ramp to the landing surface with steel scurity pins provided.
- Make certain there is adequate head clearance prior to loading an occupied chair or scooter into a vehicle.
- Always follow manufacturer recommendations for your chair or scooter.
- Always use your lap belt.
- If your ramp comes with a safety DVD, watch it. All PVI ramps include a DVD.
- If you need help, please call Allegro Medical at 800-861-3211.
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The jury may still be out as to whether stretching actually prevents injuries and/or improves athletic performance but one thing is for sure – it feels good. And for increasing flexibility, there’s nothing like a good stretch.
Want to increase your flexibility? Here are some products designed to help you get your best stretch.
Top 10 Most Popular Stretching and Flexibility Products
ProStretch – Unilateral – The ProStretch PT100 stretches and conditions the lower leg muscles, tendons and ligaments of each leg individually. Used by many professional athletes.
Prostretch Double – This bilateral stretching system stretches both legs simultaneously. Ideal for stretching and rehab of the ankle, Achilles tendon and calf muscles. Includes instructional DVD.
Add resistance while stretching with the ProStretch Complete Motion Enhancement System.
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Fitter Multi-Slant Home Unit – This slant board easily adjusts to 3 different levels. Ensures constant improvement as your lower extremity stretching flexibility increases. Folds flat for easy storage. Non-slip.
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Body Therapy Balls – These compact balls are used to stretch and release tension in muscular tissue in the pelvic, hip, lower back, middle back, neck, chest and shoulder area.
Shop all Exercise Balls and Rolls
CoreStretch – This back and core stretcher is designed to stretch the back, shoulders, hips, hamstrings and shins. Perform more than 10 different stretches with this versatile product! Adjustable and easy to set up.
DEX II Decompression and Extension Machine – The DEX II from Teeter Hang Ups is a forward-rotating, user controlled inversion machine. Ideal for back extension exercises. Traction handles allow for stretching and increased decompression to help relieve back pain.
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Stretch-Rite – Six progressive color-coded handgrips provide controlled stretching for improved flexibility and range of motion. Move to the next handgrip position as stretching improves. Completely portable.
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Lynx Portable Back Stretcher – A compact, portable solution for stretching, relaxing and decompressing your spine and joints. Folds for storage. Includes a nylon travel bag. 5 yr warranty.
Stretch to Win – This stretching manual contains a comprehensive flexibility training system written from a sports medicine point of view. Perfect for the professional athlete, therapist or training. Complete with stretching principles, anatomy and physiology. 250 pages with illustrations.
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Overdoor Exercise Pulley Set – Strengthen, stretch your upper body and increase your range of motion with this portable exercise pulley set. Hangs over most any door.
HAPPY STRETCHING! And thanks for being an Allegro customer. We appreciate your business.
Diminished mobility, temporary or otherwise, can be a real show stopper when it comes to your independence. The reality is, you don’t need to miss another minute of your life because of mobility issues. Just ask any of the millions of wheelchair, mobility scooter, walker and cane users worldwide.
With the large range of mobility products available today, it would be a shame for anyone capable of using them to sit idly by. Let Allegro help you take control of your life, reduce your pain, improve your safety and lessen your dependence on others with a mobility device.
Which Mobility Equipment is Best for You?
Canes – Canes are most often used to improve your balance as you walk, or to compensate for an injury or disability. No longer whittled out of any old tree branch, walking canes have come a long way in their engineering, usability and comfort.
Your cane should be long enough that you don’t have to bend down to use it (save your back!). You’ll want your elbow to bend at a comfortable angle. Measure from the floor to the crease in your wrist when your arm is hanging straight down from your side. That is the optimal height for the top of the cane.
Stock up on rubber tips so you’ll always have replacements on hand. Check the cane’s weight capacity to ensure it can support your weight. Choose from Standard C Canes (min support, best if used for balance), Specialty Canes, 4-legged Quad Canes (weight bearing) and Hemi Walkers (max support) depending on your stability. Remember when walking with a cane, you hold the cane in the hand opposite of your injured or weak foot. It is used as a counter-balance, not a foot replacement.
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Walkers – If you are ambulatory, but you have poor balance or are at risk for falling you are a good candidate for a walker. If you are extremely wobbly, you will want to consider a Standard Walker (no wheels) because of their stability, but keep in mind that they are not as easy to push forward as a two-wheeled walker or a 4-wheeled rollator.
2-Wheeled Walkers let you put weight on the walker as you move. The two back legs have no wheels so the walker won’t roll away while you’re stepping forward, but the wheeled front legs allow you to easily move the walker forward. Brilliant.
If balance isn’t a concern, you’ll move along more quickly with a 4-wheeled walker also called a Rollator. My 96-year old grandmother loves her rollator because it has hand brakes, a seat and a basket . . . and it looks snazzy. Make a fashion statement, dontate to a great charity and support breast cancer awareness by choosing a pink rollator!
Knee Walkers are for those with foot/ankle injuries or surgeries. A great substitute for crutches, a knee walker lets you get around without putting any weight on your foot. We recommend the ones with turning wheels (steerable).
Check the Specialty Walkers category if you’re looking for a child’s gait trainer, a bariatric walker, hemi walker, transport chair/rollator combos and specialty parts.
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Wheelchairs – Before choosing a wheelchair you must review your goals, lifestyle, current and future needs, living environment, how you will use the wheelchair, whether you will drive a car or transport the chair as a passenger. This evaluation process will help you decide which type(s) of chair will work for you.
For passengers weighing more than 250 lbs, take a look at the manual Heavy Duty Wheelchairs as they are built to hold more weight than a Standard Weight Wheelchair.
Lightweight Wheelchairs are easy to maneuver (reduces upper body stress) and to lift for transport. The frames and components are made of aluminum or titanium so they are very strong, but light. The only drawback may be the passenger weight capacity, so be sure to check. Ultra Lightweight Wheelchairs offer the ultimate freedom and are great for active paraplegic and quadriplegic users.
Many active manual wheelchair users participate in sports using a Sports Chair, designed with cambered wheels and light, tough frames for ultimate contact and maneuverablility on the baskeball or tennis court. If you’re up for the challenge, check out the racing wheelchairs as well.
Transport chairs are a good choice for those who cannot roll themselves in a manual chair. The transport wheelchairs have handles on the back allowing someone to push the passenger. They are a wonderful solution for transporting someone out of the house, to the car, down the hall, around the zoo, through the airport, etc. See all transport chairs, along with pool wheelchairs, transport/rollator combos, beach wheelchairs and travel chairs in Transport/Specialty Chairs.
Power Wheelchairs may be the perfect solution for those who are completely incapable of rolling even a lightweight manual wheelchair. They generally have a tight turning radius so they can get in and out of small spaces. On the flip side, they are generally very heavy and difficult to transport.
Lift and transport your wheelchair (up to 100 lbs) on your trailer hitch with a Wheelchair Carrier.
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Mobility Scooters – For those with limited mobility, poor upper body strength but good manual dexterity, an electric mobility scooter (power scooter) is a fun alternative to a wheelchair. They travel on battery power and have lots of options – which means they demand special consideration when purchasing.
Choose from 3 Wheel Mobility Scooters or 4 Wheel Mobility Scooters, but first please read these helpful buyers guides:
Mobility Scooter Buyers Guides
Whether it is a cane, walker, manual wheelchair, power chair or mobility scooter, we wish you all the best in maintaining your independence and living life to the fullest.
Allegro has mobility experts ready to assist you in choosing your mobility equipment. Please feel free to call our customer service department, toll free at 1-800-861-3211.