All Posts By

Courtney Skean

January 18, 2017

Relieve Pressure Using these Effective Wheelchair Stretches

pressure relief

Stretching and exercise are great ways to relieve pressure issues that come with prolonged sitting. Here are a couple of easy stretches that can be done, every day and without drawing undue attention to the exercise. Each technique can be done independently or with assistance; depending on your strength and balance. Be sure you are in a wheelchair of adequate weight when doing these stretches- for safety’s sake. Continue Reading

August 2, 2016

Product Spotlight: The All New Go-Chair

Choosing between a scooter and a power wheelchair can be a difficult decision for some people that are in need of power mobility.

In my years as a product specialist I’ve heard so many people say that they don’t want a power wheelchair because they don’t want to look sick!  If you think scooters look sporty, but powerchairs look medical, just have a look at the all new Go-Chair by Pride Mobility. A member of the Go-Go series of power mobility products, the new Go-Chair is sporty as can be!

Life brings changes and challenges.  Don’t let “what someone else thinks” dictate what will work for you and make your quality of life better. I say you should get what will be comfortable, convenient and meets your needs.

A power wheelchair will pull right up to a desk or table. There is no need to transfer to another chair for dinner or surfing the web.  Do you live in a small place where it would be difficult to maneuver a scooter?  Power wheelchairs, especially the portable ones, turn in a very small space and go get through most doors without difficulty. Do you have trouble with balance? It is easier to sit down on a power wheelchair seat than to get on and off of a scooter platform.

New Go Chair by Pride

Are you convinced yet? Take a look at the ALL NEW GO CHAIR from Pride Mobility.   This portable chair is easy to take with you to the mall, the park or the zoo!  It disassembles into 6 pieces.  The heaviest piece is only 36 lbs!  That rivals most travel scooters on the market.

 

Continue Reading

July 20, 2016

Bringing the patient home: 5 things you should know following a hospital stay

dementia repetitive behavior

Bringing home the patient – 5 simple steps to take following a hospital stay.

I recently helped my mother bring my father home from the hospital after quintuple bypass surgery. This transition was an eye-opening experience. I realized how emotionally draining and stressful it can be for everyone involved. When it is time for the patient to come home, everyone is relieved. At the same time, though, they may be wondering…what happens next?

Whether the hospital stay is a long or short one, there are some basic steps I’ve learned that you and your family can take to make sure the transition is as stress-free as possible.

Continue Reading

July 5, 2016

Changing seasons: When You Become the “Parent”

It’s an interesting, and sometimes wrenching, transition.

When you become the “parent” to your parents…

Anyone with an interest in reading this blog is old enough to know that one of the surest things in life is change. When I was 16 years old I was quite sure high school would never end.  It did.  In my early 20s I started to wonder if I would ever find the husband I was looking for and have the family I desperately wanted.  Found him. Married him 32 years ago. We have two daughters and six grandchildren.

I grew up with great parents in a secure and loving home. We were not “well off” but we had what we needed.  My parents worked hard to provide for us.  When I was a little girl riding my bike and playing in the dirt, I never considered that life would ever be any different.become the "Parent"

I could always count on my Mom and Dad to be there for me. They were there to be strong and nurturing, loving and supportive.  My rocks….always.

In 1995 my father passed away from kidney cancer. He was only 66 years old.  This was the beginning of change in our lives.

Mom did quite well for several years. Some of the grandchildren lived with her off and on so she wasn’t alone a lot. Eventually though, the kids moved on and she began getting depressed. She wouldn’t get out and about much and I was worried about her being alone.  My husband and I convinced her to move in with us.

She lived with us for ten years. During that time we saw her go through many changes. The first few years she did a lot of cooking, her own laundry, and pretty much whatever she wanted to do.  She drove her own car to town when she wanted to go. It was an enjoyable time that I miss very much.

A few years later she started forgetting to turn the heat down when she was cooking. Or would walk away and forget she had something on the stove. We were afraid of her catching the kitchen on fire.  So she had to be restricted to using the microwave only.  Imagine restricting your own mother from anything!  Not fun at all.become the "Parent"

As time went on she became less stable on her feet.  She progressed from a cane to a walker to a power chair.  She could no longer get up by herself to go to the restroom.  She would call me from her cell phone and wake me at all hours to help her up. Sometimes she didn’t remember why she called.  Many times she fell when she did try to get up by herself.become the parent

 

 

 

The tide was turning quickly. I was now the caregiver, the safety police and become the parent to my parent!  It seems this is the natural cycle of life. But when you are in the middle of these changes it feels anything but natural.

Almost daily as I speak with customers here at SpinLife I hear the same kind of stories. There are many daughters and sons finding themselves in a new and scary place.  What is best for Mom or Dad?  Is she going to be mad at me if I get her this walker?  What will he think if I tell him he shouldn’t do that?  Can we take care of them at home?  Do we need help? And who can I go to for advice?

becoming th e parent to you parent

 

When I was a child, there was more than one time that my Mom or Dad grabbed me by the shoulder to stop me from walking out into the road without looking. They gave me cool baths when I ran a high fever. They made me study and learn how to take care of myself.  Not fun at the time but necessary and valuable lessons.  They did what they had to do to keep me safe, healthy and feeling loved.

 

That is what we all have to do as the cycle of life continues, and we become the “parent.” Do what you must even when it is difficult.  Only you can decide what that “must” is and it won’t be easy.  You may cry some tears when she doesn’t know your name.  Leaving her in a facility because you can no longer keep her safe yourself rips your heart out.  Sometimes love is hard.

My husband and I live two houses away from our oldest daughter and her family. We walked down there for dinner last week.  When it was time for us to go home, she and her husband walked us home!  Like we couldn’t find our way home two doors down! We aren’t even 60 yet!  They walked up our sloped driveway with us to make sure we were on flat ground in the garage.  My CHILD was making sure we were safe.  It has begun.  And I feel loved.

May 2, 2016

Giving Mother the Gift of Go

Give mom the gift of Go

Make memories with your Mom

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I would like to encourage you all to make memories with your Mom. Keep her as healthy and happy as possible.  If her mobility is not what it used to be, don’t let that stop you.  Consider giving your Mother the GIFT OF GO this Mother’s Day.

I have wonderful memories of my mother. Having only lost her a year ago, many of those remembrances are glazed over with a bit of sadness. But there are many, many happy thoughts as well.

When she was young and strong her life was a gift to those around her. She was a nurse with a special gift to love and care for the elderly.  She was a mother that was involved in the lives of her children. She hosted youth events for our school clubs in our modest home. Barely fitting everyone in but making all feel welcome.  She and my Dad were youth leaders in our church and I believe they made eternal differences in many of those kids. She was a faithful wife. Always supportive of my Father and close to his side always.

A few years after my father passed she came to live with my family and me. We had almost ten enjoyable years together before her health began to fail.  As odd as it seems I can remember certain stages by what medical equipment we had for her.

Continue Reading