Hosting an Inclusive Thanksgiving: Embrace Diversity with Warmth!

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Thanksgiving Blog (Blog Banner)

As we approach Thanksgiving, a time to express gratitude and share moments with loved ones, it's essential to ensure that the celebration is accessible to everyone. Thanksgiving is a cherished holiday, marked by the delightful aroma of a festive feast and the joy of spending quality time with friends and family. Let's delve into the art of hosting an accessible Thanksgiving that warmly welcomes and includes everyone.

1. Invitations with Inclusivity:

Begin by considering the accessibility of your invitations. Provide them in multiple formats, including print, electronic, and verbal options for those who may face reading challenges. Express openness to suggestions and a willingness to accommodate any special requests.

2. Choose an Accessible Venue:

If your home isn't fully accessible, explore hosting Thanksgiving at a venue that is. Seek spaces with ramps, wide doorways, and accessible restrooms. Should you decide to host at home, be prepared to make temporary adjustments to ensure your guests' comfort.

3. Accessible Entryways:

For homes with steps or elevated entryways, consider using portable wheelchair ramps. Ensure these ramps are sturdy and safe for use.

4. Seating Arrangements:

When arranging seating, prioritize the comfort and needs of all guests. Make space for wheelchairs or mobility devices at the dining table. Offer diverse seating options, including chairs with and without armrests, while keeping pathways clear.

5. Communication:

Engage with your guests before the event to discuss their needs and preferences. This proactive approach helps you make necessary accommodations and ensures everyone feels welcome.

6. Dietary Restrictions:

Be mindful of dietary restrictions and allergies. Communicate with guests about their dietary needs and prepare a menu that caters to everyone. Clearly label dishes to help guests identify what they can and cannot eat.

7. Safe and Navigable Space:

Enhance visibility in your home by ensuring it is well-lit. Remove tripping hazards and clutter to create clear pathways for those using mobility devices.

8. Inclusive Activities:

Plan activities that everyone can enjoy, such as board games, storytelling, or watching a movie. Ensure all guests can actively participate in and relish the festivities.

9. Transportation:

Consider providing transportation options for guests who may face difficulty getting to your home. Arrange for accessible transportation or encourage carpooling to ensure everyone can join in the celebration.

10. Communicate Your Commitment:

Clearly express your commitment to accessibility in your Thanksgiving celebration. Inform your guests about the steps you've taken to make the event as inclusive as possible, and welcome feedback for future improvements.

Thanksgiving is a time for togetherness and reflection. By ensuring your celebration is accessible to all, you create an environment of love, warmth, and gratitude. Your efforts in hosting an inclusive Thanksgiving not only make the day special for those with disabilities but also embody the true spirit of the holiday—embracing and celebrating diversity, togetherness, and gratitude.

As you prepare your Thanksgiving feast and festivities, remember that a welcoming and accessible environment is the best way to express gratitude for the presence of all your loved ones.


Maximizing Mobility Device Battery Life: Essential Tips

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If you're a proud owner of a mobility scooter or power wheelchair, ensuring your batteries have a long and healthy lifespan is essential. Whether your device uses sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries or lithium-ion batteries, following these best practices can significantly extend their durability.

For SLA Batteries:

  1. Charge After Each Use: For daily riders, it's crucial to plug in your mobility scooter or electric wheelchair after each use. This not only guarantees a full battery for the next day but also helps extend your battery's life.
  2. Avoid Empty Storage: If you plan to store your scooter or power wheelchair for an extended period, start by charging your SLA battery to full capacity. Every two weeks, plug it in to top it off, preventing the battery from losing charge.
  3. Use the Correct Charger: Ensure the charger voltage matches your battery specifications. Overcharging or using a charger with higher voltage can overheat and damage your battery, while undercharging puts undue strain, leading to faster deterioration.
  4. Disconnect When Fully Charged: Disconnect the charger as soon as your SLA battery is fully charged. At most, leave it connected for 24 hours.
  5. Maintain Ideal Temperatures: Charging your device in a room between 50 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit is crucial. Extreme temperatures can harm the battery, so avoid very cold or warm conditions while storing your SLA battery.

For Lithium-ion Batteries:

  1. Avoid Complete Depletion: Lithium-ion batteries that are never completely depleted tend to last longer. Using only half of your battery capacity before recharging can double the number of charging cycles you get from a single battery.
  2. Prevent 100% Charge: Keeping your lithium-ion battery at 100% for prolonged periods causes stress. Disconnect the charger at around 80%, and some smart devices automatically slow charging near 100%.
  3. Stick to Original Chargers: Avoid using generic rapid chargers, as fast charging can lead to faster deterioration. Your Pride Mobility lithium-ion device's original charger is designed to preserve battery life, so use it whenever possible.
  4. Store at 40% Charge: If you need to store your lithium-ion battery for an extended period, aim to keep it at 40% charge. Batteries are under the least stress at this charge level.
  5. Avoid Freezing Conditions: Lithium-ion batteries cannot charge below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In the same way, never store lithium-ion batteries below freezing temperatures. In extreme heat, the degradation process also accelerates, so be cautious.

Both SLA and lithium-ion batteries benefit from avoiding full discharges and charging to 100%. While you might not see immediate improvements in battery performance, adhering to these best practices will significantly enhance the lifespan and efficiency of your mobility device's batteries. With a little extra attention to storage and charging, your batteries will last longer and work better, ensuring your mobility device remains reliable over time.

Contact us today at 971-304-7464 for more information. Your mobility matters to us!

Staying Safe and Cool: Heat Wave Preparedness for Seniors and People with Disabilities

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Heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense, posing serious health risks to vulnerable populations such as seniors and people with disabilities. These individuals often face unique challenges when it comes to staying safe during extreme heat events. It is imperative to raise awareness about the importance of heat wave preparedness and provide practical tips to ensure the well-being of these individuals during scorching temperatures.

Understanding the Risks

Seniors and people with disabilities are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses due to various factors. Reduced mobility, chronic health conditions, medication side effects, and age-related changes in the body’s ability to regulate temperature can all increase the risk of heat stress and heat-related complications. It is crucial to recognize these vulnerabilities and take proactive measures to safeguard their health during heat waves.

Heat Wave Preparedness Tips

  1. Stay Hydrated: Adequate hydration is paramount during heat waves. Seniors and people with disabilities should aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if they don’t feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can contribute to dehydration.
  2. Keep Cool: Create a cool environment at home by using air conditioning, fans, or open windows during cooler parts of the day. If air conditioning is not available, consider spending time in air-conditioned public spaces like shopping malls, libraries, or community centers.
  3. Dress Appropriately: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing to help regulate body temperature. Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses provide additional protection from the sun.
  4. Plan Activities Wisely: Avoid outdoor activities during the hottest hours of the day, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If outdoor activities are necessary, take frequent breaks in shaded areas and pace yourself.
  5. Monitor Medications: Some medications can increase sensitivity to heat or affect the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Consult a healthcare professional to discuss any potential heat-related effects of medications and adjust doses if necessary.
  6. Stay Informed: Keep an eye on weather forecasts and heat advisories. Stay connected with local news and community alerts to be aware of any emergency measures being taken.
  7. Support Network: Seniors and people with disabilities should establish a support network of family, friends, neighbors, or caregivers who can check in regularly, especially during heat waves.
  8. Emergency Plan: Develop an emergency plan that outlines steps to take in case of extreme heat, such as identifying nearby cooling centers and emergency contacts.
  9. Assistive Devices: Ensure that mobility aids, medical equipment, and assistive devices are functioning properly and have backup power sources if needed.
  10. Be Cautious with Fans: While fans can help with air circulation, they may not be sufficient during severe heat waves. Make sure that fans are not blowing hot air around and consider using them in combination with other cooling methods.

Heat waves can be life-threatening for seniors and people with disabilities, but with proper planning and awareness, their risks can be significantly mitigated. By following these heat wave preparedness tips, caregivers, family members, and the community can contribute to the safety and well-being of these vulnerable populations during extreme heat events. As climate change continues to impact our world, it is our responsibility to prioritize the health and comfort of all individuals, regardless of their age or abilities.

Home Accessibility Tips

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Creating a home that is accessible and safe for seniors and people with disabilities can significantly improve their quality of life and allow them to live independently. Here are some home accessibility tips to consider:

  1. Remove Tripping Hazards: Keep floors clear of clutter, loose rugs, and cords to prevent tripping accidents. Secure carpets and rugs with non-slip pads or remove them altogether.
  2. Install Grab Bars and Handrails: Install grab bars and handrails in critical areas like bathrooms, hallways, and stairways to provide stability and support.
  3. Ensure Wide Doorways: Make sure doorways are wide enough to accommodate mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers. Aim for a minimum of 32 inches width for doorways.
  4. Ramps or Chair Lifts: If there are stairs leading to the entrance or between floors, consider installing ramps or stairlifts to facilitate easy movement for individuals with mobility challenges.
  5. Non-Slip Flooring: Use non-slip flooring materials in areas that may become slippery, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and entryways.
  6. Accessible Kitchen: Lower countertops and sinks to accommodate individuals using wheelchairs, and organize kitchen items for easy reach. Consider installing pull-out shelves to access items more comfortably.
  7. Lever-Style Handles: Replace doorknobs and faucets with lever-style handles, as they are easier to operate for individuals with limited hand strength or dexterity.
  8. Bathroom Accessibility: Ensure the bathroom is accessible with features like a walk-in or roll-in shower, raised toilet seat, and a shower bench.
  9. Good Lighting: Make sure the home is well-lit, especially in hallways, staircases, and entryways. Consider motion-sensor lights for added convenience.
  10. Smart Home Technology: Utilize smart home devices, such as voice-activated assistants, to control lights, thermostats, and other appliances, making it easier for individuals with mobility challenges to manage their environment.
  11. Height-Adjustable Beds and Chairs: Use beds and chairs that can be adjusted in height to accommodate different needs and preferences.
  12. Accessible Storage: Organize storage areas to be easily accessible, avoiding the need to bend or reach too high. Use pull-out shelves, rotating trays, and drawer organizers.
  13. Emergency Preparedness: Develop an emergency plan and ensure that necessary items like medical supplies, medications, and emergency contacts are easily accessible.
  14. Comfortable Seating Areas: Create comfortable seating areas with supportive chairs and cushions to reduce the risk of fatigue and discomfort.
  15. Visual and Auditory Aids: Install smoke detectors with visual and auditory alarms for individuals with hearing impairments.
  16. Clear Signage: Use clear and easy-to-read signs throughout the home, particularly for bathrooms, exits, and emergency procedures.

Home accessibility is a continuous process, and individual needs may change over time. Regularly assess and adjust the home environment to meet the specific requirements of seniors and people with disabilities to ensure they can continue to live independently and comfortably. Consulting with occupational therapists or accessibility experts can provide valuable insights tailored to the individual's needs.

Ready to learn more?

Wheelchair Ramp Pricing

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Many people want to know how much a wheelchair ramp costs. The price of installing a ramp for accessibility purposes in a house or commercial space can be dependent on a few factors. Materials and configurations for the ramp are two major factors that can change the overall price. Despite these variances, the primary importance is that the ramp is safe and allows easy and secure entrance and exit.

To accurately estimate the cost of a wheelchair ramp for a home or building, a certified home accessibility specialist should perform a comprehensive evaluation. An experienced eye will examine the area for steps or uneven terrain in order to identify the optimal ramp solution for the user’s needs.

Ramp Requirements

In general, the doorway should have a level platform of 5 feet by 5 feet (except for portable ramps) to ensure a secure entryway. This also allows for easy access and movement between the ramp and home without any risks of slipping or rolling backwards due to the incline of the wheelchair ramp. Additionally, all wheelchair ramps should have a minimum width of 3 feet.

Before installation, you must consider the total rise, or vertical height, of the steps or stairs leading to the entrance. To measure the rise, you can count the steps or use a tape measure from ground level to the highest level step. Usually, one step is approximately 7-8 inches, so three steps would amount to 21-24 inches of rise. Furthermore, for each 1 inch of rise, 12 inches of ramp will be required.

Aluminum Ramp Pricing

When in need of a wheelchair ramp, an aluminum modular ramp may be the ideal solution. Not only can these ramps be moved, modified, or sold off, but due to their aluminum makeup, there is no need for painting, rust prevention, or much maintenance. Although, a sweep here and there may be necessary.

Pricing for aluminum modular wheelchair ramps start at around $1,000 and can exceed $10,000, based on the amount of metal needed and complexity of the installation site. Even without the safety addition of handrails, the price of these ramps may not necessarily decrease. The prices of these ramps are often calculated per linear or square foot.

To get a more accurate quote, contact us today.

COVID-19 Policy

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Safety Is Our Number One Concern

Mobility Access Options NW, Inc. – COVID-19 Policy (updated 5/12/20)

We understand that many of our customers are exactly the population most at risk from COVID-19, and therefore we have an obligation to be extra diligent in being careful to not transmit this virus.

We also understand we provide essential services to support our customers with disabilities that cannot be simply put on hold until this pandemic has subsided. We are open! Our team will follow the procedures listed below.

  1. All team members must follow all CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 such as social distancing (remaining 6 ft apart from others) and washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Any team member who may have any of the symptoms associated with this virus (such as: fever, cough, shortness of breath) will not be working nor will they be in contact with any other member of our team.
  3. Any team member who, to their knowledge, has come in contact with someone who has, or they believe may have COVID -19, will similarly not be working nor will they be in contact with any other member of our team.
  4. At this time, we will avoid all nonessential visits (such as annual maintenance) and to the extent possible will try to walk through and resolve service issues on the phone (at no charge).
  5. If we must visit your home, our team members will use a hand sanitizer or other disinfectant on their hands prior to entering and again on leaving the home.
  6. Additionally, our team members will use a disinfectant on any demo products and/or tools they typically bring into a customer home.
  7. Our team members will avoid shaking a customer’s hand and will try to maintain social distancing to the highest degree possible.
  8. Our staff will avoid contact with items in the home as much as possible and will ask the customer to avoid contact with any tools or equipment we bring into the home.
  9. We will use disinfectant on the surfaces of the mobility equipment we have installed or serviced.
  10. We also request that any customer tell us if any member of their household have COVID-19 symptoms or has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. This information we are requesting is considered to be personal health information and therefore is protected. The customer need not provide such information; however, should the customer not provide such information our team members will not enter the home for any service or installation.
  11. We suggest any family with a particularly vulnerable member of their household keep that member away from any visitor to their home (including us) and the other household members wash their hands after any visitor (including us) have left.

Our first objective is the safety of our customers and our own staff but despite the above, it is impossible for anyone to guarantee not transmitting this virus.

We may update this at any time as the circumstances change.

Feel free to call and ask to speak to us directly regarding any of the above at 971-304-7464

Jody Schwalk-Burke – Office Manager – Mobility Access Options NW, Inc.

Tips and Tricks for Caregivers

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Female nurse helding elderly woman in wheelchair at home

Caregiving is a selfless job that usually doesn’t receive all of the accolades it deserves. If you are a caregiver, it can be hard to find the proper balance between work and managing your own life. We know how hard it can be to juggle everything life throws at you. Here are a few tips and tricks that may help you find your happy medium.

Tools for Success

Caregivers can find the right tools to help perform the job safely and easier. Utilizing certain tools will help you work smarter, not harder. Threshold ramps are one way to ease your patient into and out of the house or over difficult thresholds.

Another useful tool is a patient transfer lift. This tool allows you to safely transfer your patient with ease without taking up too much room in the home. Whether you need it in the bedroom or the living room, it allows you to lift without straining yourself.

portable ramp also might be helpful. Whether you are using it for the front porch steps or doctor visits, it’s a valuable asset to have.


More than just making sure you can comfortably help your patient, it is important to take care of yourself as well. While you are with your patient it is important to give them your undivided attention to ensure their happiness and safety. In your alone time however, make plans to do something you enjoy. Whether it’s reading a good book or going for a long walk, these simple activities can go a long way.

It is also important that while you are caring of someone that you take frequent breaks. Exhaustion can cause you to make careless mistakes. For all parties involved, it’s smart and safe to take short breaks to rejuvenate. You can also use this time to plan fun activities for yourself outside of caregiving.

Taking care of someone else, whether it is a relative, friend, or your career, can be a tiring and often times isolating. Don’t forget to give yourself some credit and make sure you follow these tips and tricks to make each day a little better.

How Much Does a Bruno Stairlift Cost?

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older couple enjoying breakfast in their homeDetermining the price of a stairlift depends primarily on the stairway configuration and length. The lift capacity, styling preferences, power options or other upgrades are also factored into the cost.

Factors that determine the price of a stair lift:

  • Is a straight or curved stairlift needed?
  • What is the length of the staircase?
  • Is a heavy-duty lifting capacity needed?
  • Do you have a stair lift styling preference?
  • Are there landings at the top or bottom of the staircase?
  • Would you want power options or other upgrades?
  • Does the state require a stair lift permit?
    • (Yes! Oregon requires all stair lifts to have a permit.)

Price of Straight Stair Lifts

Straight staircases are the most common, and least expensive, stair lift. Prices for Bruno straight stair lifts vary, and a basic installation can start at approximately $4000 for the Elan model. This includes installation and Bruno’s industry-leading limited Lifetime Warranty on major components, the rail, motor, and the gearbox. Bruno’s premium-quality straight chairlift, the Elite model, is a step-up in pricing and features a 400-lb lift capacity and luxury comfort seat.

Personalized customization of a stair lift such as adding a manual or power folding rail, larger seat or footrest, power swivel seat, power folding footrest, or different fabrics and colors will also increase cost.

Price of Curved Stair Lifts

Staircases with curves or landings require a curved stair lift. To ensure a perfect fit for an exceptionally smooth ride, Bruno custom designs and fabricates its curved stairlift rails to precisely fit each unique home.  Because Bruno curved stair lift rails are hand-crafted, prices typically start at approximately $9000 plus installation and increase depending on the length and complexity of the staircase.

While a custom-crafted stair lift rail can be more expensive than a “modular” design used by many manufacturers, it delivers a consistently smooth, quiet, stable ride that is second to none.  This renowned quality has resulted in Bruno being the top-selling curved stair lift in North America for over 20 years.

Alternatives to Stair Lifts

Stair lifts are a simple, cost-effective solution to solve the challenge of climbing stairs compared to moving or remodeling. Moving to a different home results in thousands of dollars in realtor fees, closing and general moving expenses. In addition, remodeling to accommodate a bedroom and shower on the first floor is often impractical and cost-prohibitive.

The cost of a stair lift is even more economical in contrast to an assisted living or nursing facility. In addition to the monetary cost of moving, stairlifts reduce the financial and emotional costs of having to move from the family home.

The Cost of a Stair Lift is Worth the Peace of Mind

Another benefit that comes with the price of a Bruno stair lift, is the confidence you and your family gain knowing you can effortlessly and safely go up and down your home’s steps as long as you choose to live in the home.  Read online reviews about Bruno stair lifts, and you will discover for yourself the life-changing ease and peace of mind a chairlift can bring to your life.

Get a Free, No Obligation Price Quote

At Mobility Access Options we offer a free, no pressure price quote.  Most of the time we can collect the information over the phone and via email and give you a proper estimate. However, sometimes we will need come to your home to learn about your needs, measure your steps and recommend the best stair lift for your needs.

Call us today at 971-304-7464

Accessibility in Schools

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Many students have special needs, some of those are mobility related. It is easy to make a school more accessible. You know you need to meet codes, but what can you do to really go above and beyond to optimize mobility for students?

Even if a school is on a budget, there are many simple upgrades that can be done over the course of time to create a good space for students.

Any school needs to have ramps for wheelchairs and scooters. When choosing a ramp, keep in mind ADA specifications and the amount of area you are working with. Building a ramp into the building is one way to go about it and will give you a more permanent structure. If you are on a budget, an aluminum ramp is just as effective. If there is limited space or you are working with a tall ledge like a stage, your school may consider a vertical lift. When choosing a vertical lift, be aware of the noise it causes. You don’t want to be disruptive to other students or bring unnecessary and potentially embarrassing attention to the student using the lift.

Desks that can be adjusted for height are also necessary. If a student is uncomfortable in their space, they will have trouble learning at the level they should be. To create a more conducive environment for learning make sure classrooms are easy to navigate, and learning spaces such as desks, group tables, and computers are easily accessible to everyone.

Bathrooms are an area that is easily overlooked. Go beyond just making a bigger stall for handicapped students by adding assistive rails to help with transferring from wheelchairs to toilets. Adding automated features will also help students who have trouble with knobs. Add automated flushing, sinks, soap dispenser, and paper towels or hand driers to make the bathroom a more comfortable place for students with these troubles.

Everyone deserves to have a fun and comfortable learning environment. Here at Mobility Access Options NW, we install mobility solutions in residential and commercial settings. If you are looking to make your space more accessible, call us at 971-304-7464!

Managing Your Arthritis

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While there are many different types, arthritis can be generalized as the inflammation of joints (sometimes other parts of the body too!) that can cause pain and stiffness for those affected. Are you a person who suffers from arthritis? We know pain relief is important. If you are looking for a way to manage the pain from arthritis, here are some helpful tips from Mobility Access Options NW.

Helpful Tools

Many daily tasks that we take for granted can irritate arthritis. Cooking, gardening, doing your hair, even holding a phone can cause flare ups in pain. These pains can be avoided by changing the way you approach these tasks. You don’t have to change much, there are many tools specifically designed to work with your arthritis and avoid pain throughout the day.

Alternative Medicines

If you want to avoid relying on prescribed pain medications because of troubling side effects, you may want to talk to your doctor about different ways to combat pain. Many patients have seen success in acupuncture. If you want to go down this path, it is very important that you talk with your doctor first.

Herbs & Supplements

There are many anti-inflammatory supplements you can add to your diet to help naturally bring down the inflammation that causes arthritis pain. You can find these in herbal teas, add them to meals, or take them as pills.

Some well known anti-inflammatory herbs are:








You can also easily find supplements available with mixtures specifically designed for reducing arthritis pain. These are available where supplements are or online.

If your pain and stiffness is causing you problems with mobility and getting through your life the way you want it, call Mobility Access Options NW at 971-304-7464. We specialize in all types of mobility products. We make sure you get the freedom you deserve.