Saturday, February 23, 2008

Accessibility items---GREAT website

I figure our time is precious enough and if we can help one another avoid the lousy places and go for the good ones, that's a good enough reason for me to share.

Active Forever

By far the most thorough site I have ever seen, either online or in person (they have
a storefront as well and I’m fortunate enough to live in-state). I've bought a nosey cup and my blue cane from them. From adapted gardening supplies to assistive devices, they've got some really good stuff. Here's a preview:

Forearm crutches are also known in the medical community as Loftstrand crutches. Just a little FYI if you're shopping or researching. I had to keep getting away from that during my search (I worked in Physical Therapy before teaching). Forearm is much more common in the general public.

This newer style, the Eurostyle, I believe is becoming more and more popular all the time. While I have not had personal experience with them, my studies of them show great improvement over other versions. Here's info taken from

Lightweight, Stylish, and a high weight capacity! Each crutch only weighs 1.5 lbs and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs. Will work for people from 5 foot to 6' 2". The one piece molded plastic cuff and hand grip assembly provide safety and comfort.

These decorative Euro Style crutches are a perfect solution to the pain inflicted by traditional crutches. No chafing under the arms. These innovative and cost effective crutches have been referred to as comfortable crutches, easy to use crutches, fashionable crutches and offers great pain relief from crutches.

They're sold in pairs, comes in color choices of silver, red, blue, green, and pink for $30.

You know those foamy things you put underneath rugs to keep them from moving (which by the way if you have rugs you need to do that, it's a safety hazard, sorry, former PT habit)? I bought a four-pack of those at a regular national chain retail store but they are very small, 4 square inches. I use them to open jars, small bottles, keep bowls in place while stirring. They can be found at most retail stores and often pharmacies. These are not them but give you an idea of what I am talking about.

I needed to update my medical alert tag but wanted to keep my pretty TigerEye and purple beaded bracelet. No way was I giving that up. I searched and searched to no avail for someone who could make me ONLY a replacement tag and NOT a new bracelet!

They make beautiful bracelets like the one I have, AND can also take orders just for replacement tags if your situation has changed. Easy enough.

They have children's styles, men's, women's, different materials in case of allergies to metals etc. I ordered from them and got it in only a week in a nice organza bag and a cardstock-type medical info wallet card with a good amount of room to write.

Creative Medical ID's

This is a wide-angled mirror so you don't have to turn your neck--I only drive in an emergency but I have

The LaneChanger
. It is a must-have, especially having had Cranial-Cervial Fusion.

It adheres to the top of your rearview mirror with included adhesive tape.

I highly suggest getting one a month BEFORE surgery so you have time to adjust driving with it. For a week or two it made me sick to my stomach. That way, by the time I was cleared to drive, I was already used to the mirror.

Say you're driving on the interstate. Instead of simply seeing the lane directly behind you and a touch of the other one as well, you see both of them, no blind spots at all, you don't have to turn around (though you can try, but not enough to cause harm to your new surgery site that is trying to fuse), PLUS you can see the ENTIRE OTHER DIRECTION of the interstate!!! It's handy too if you have children because can see EXACTLY what the little monkeys are up to back there. Heck this would be a good product to get for healthy parents-to-be, just for that reason!

I wear Easy Laces shoelaces on my sneakers. I get them from a specialty running store. My husband does as well as he is a triathlete so his transition time between swim/bike/run is very critical in his race score. I do it because of my bending issue.

The lock part goes higher up on a non-athlete. (These are common laces among triathletes.) They usually cost about $6.00. You set them up once and don't have to touch them ever again.

Stores that sell only shoes typically have them. I couldn't get by without these anymore. I'd as soon walk barefoot on glass, nails, lava, whatever, then try to deal with what bending over to tie shoelaces. They are discreet and sturdy (you will need to get a new pair of them if you replace your shoes).

My reacher aka grabber is called a Golden Retriever. It helps me keep from bending. I've gotten so good with it I can pick kid toys up off the floor with it and fling them into their rooms. I didn't order mine here but you can see a pic of it.. I got it at Walgreens. This has a fantastic grip that can even pick up flat papers off the floor (great for dropped mail, etc).

These walker glides are new at Active Forever. Much better than the ol' tennis ball standby! They fit on with the help of a screwdriver.


  1. I bought the Lanechanger mirror thanks to seeing it on your site! It's been a huge help driving. (Although you're right, it did take a little getting used to.) One tip, though for others considering buying one...I was able to find a new one on ebay for 1/2 price (a consideration for people with tight funds--I think most of us who've gone through surgery belong in this group!)

  2. Hey there. Actually I got mine on ebay too, for $8.00. All the friends I've recommended it too, I suggested they go to ebay and they got it for half-price the retail as well. Excellent!

    Ebay searching is good for any product! It's well worth it to check ebay before buying anything.

  3. Hey ZH, this is a great post!! It took a lot of work to put together and I so appreciate that! I can use most of those tips.

    I also got the Lane Changer per your recommendation and tho I can't drive, I like it b/c I can see in back from the passenger side of the pickup!

    Love the new look to your blog, too. Very soothing colors.

    love and hugs