<style>.woocommerce-product-gallery{ opacity: 1 !important; }</style>
Entrez votre terme de recherche ci-dessus.

When it comes to navigating winter weather conditions, wheelchair users face a unique set of challenges. Hazards like slippery surfaces, reduced visibility, and mobility barriers can limit access and even lead to life-threatening emergencies.

The good news is that you can protect yourself and your mobility with the right information and preparation. Below are 8 tips to help wheelchair users stay safe and protected in the midst of winter’s worst.

Do you have a winter safety issue that needs help right away? Contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access. We’ll meet with you for a FREE in-home consultation to understand your needs and offer solutions based on 25 years in the business.

1. Prepare your home for both the expected and the unexpected

Preparation is one of the most important actions you can take to stay safe during winter weather, beginning with your home. Home is the place where you’ll warm up from the cold after time spent outside. It might even become your shelter during an emergency.

Home is the place where you’ll warm up from the cold after time spent outside in winter weather. It might even become your shelter during an emergency.

You should make an emergency plan in case you lose access to power and transportation for an extended amount of time. The truth is, there are news reports every year describing power outages that impact millions of people. Winter storms can also disrupt heating, communications services, and transportation access for days or weeks at a time. 

Consider the following questions:

  • In the event of a power outage, is your home insulated enough to retain heat?
  • Do you know how to keep your pipes from freezing?
  • Are your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors installed, tested, and equipped with battery backups?
  • Do you have an emergency plan and kits for your house, vehicle, and wheelchair?

The ADA National Network recommends preparing home emergency kits with enough supplies to last two weeks. This is especially important for wheelchair users who may experience longer delays as a result of disruptions to accessible routes, transportation, and home delivery services.

For more information on home emergency preparedness, check out this article from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Ready campaign.

You can also contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access for a FREE in-home consultation. We’ll help you to identify safety issues in the event of severe winter weather, and provide options that support your safety and wellbeing.

2. Keep your paths, ramps, and lifts free of ice and snow

winter weather snowy ramp

It is very important to maintain a clear route and access point to your home. First, an accessible route allows you to leave your home if necessary. If your home is losing heat or you need medical attention, it will make all the difference to have paths, ramps, and lifts cleared of ice and snow.

Make snow and ice removal part of your winter weather emergency plan.

As part of your winter weather emergency plan, decide how you will manage snow removal on your property. If you handle snow removal yourself, how will you handle a loss of traction on ice or getting stuck in the snow? Will you hire a snow plow driver? Will you ask a relative, neighbor, or attendant to help? 

By planning in advance, you can avoid the frustration of being stuck at home–not to mention the safety risks. Whatever approach you choose, make sure to clear all mobility barriers from your door to your mode of transportation.

Aluminum ramps require little maintenance and offer durable, non-skid surfaces to access your home.

The good news is that our modular ramps require little maintenance–if any. We’re proud to offer ramp systems that comply with ADA guidelines. According to the ADA, ramps should be “designed to prevent the accumulation of water” and “firm, stable, and slip-resistant.”

Our ramps are made of aluminum, which allows the tread to surface to warm at a quicker rate than other materials. This makes aluminum a smart choice in colder climates with snow and ice accumulation. Our ramps feature a unique extruded non-skid surface that helps maintain traction, whether on foot or wheels.

Aluminum is an ultra durable material. Our 100% aluminum ramps will withstand routine shoveling and maintenance without damage.

Our 100% aluminum ramps will withstand routine shoveling and maintenance without damage.

We recommend that you remove any snow and ice that accumulates on your ramp after each snowfall. With light accumulation, you can simply sweep the tread surface clean. During heavier snowfalls, you can shovel the snow before sweeping.

If you still need to remove residual snow or ice, our ramps will tolerate a sparing amount of ice melting products. Depending on your needs, you can find multiple options advertised to be both vegetation and pet-friendly.

Vertical platform lifts (VPL) will work through winter weather with routine maintenance.

Vertical platform lifts (VPL)–also called porch lifts–offer vertical access as an alternative to ramp systems. Our VPLs will work through cold and wet weather conditions and include the following features:

  • All-weather controls
  • Non-slip surfaces
  • Specialized coating
  • Heating kits for improved functioning in extreme cold

In the event of a power outage at home, our VPLs include emergency backup power sources that maintain access to your home. Emergency stop switches can be triggered automatically or manually in case your VPL comes into contact with an unexpected snow drift or other obstruction.

If your ramp is outdoors, we recommend that you remove accumulated snow and ice with a shovel or broom after each snowfall. You should also clear snow and ice on the path and beneath the lift to prevent obstruction sensors from triggering.

You might also consider installing your VPL in a protected space such as your garage or under an overhang to limit snow and ice accumulation.

The safest wheelchair ramp or VPL is installed and serviced by a professional.

Whether you use a ramp or VPL, make sure you choose a professional for installation. Your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access are factory-trained and know exactly how to build your ramp or lift so that it lasts.

If you use a VPL, ask a professional to service your lift at least once per year. We can help you identify potential safety issues and create a maintenance plan that keeps you moving all year round.

For more information on maintaining your wheelchair ramps and lifts (VPLs), contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access.

3. Winterize your car

During a severe winter storm, road conditions can deteriorate rapidly. Every winter motorists are stranded when they become stuck in ice or snow, traffic pileups, or whiteout conditions. In more serious cases, help can take days to arrive.

Assemble a car emergency kit with supplies that last at least 72 hours, and make sure you have at least a half tank of gas at all times.

Assemble a car emergency kit for winter weather with supplies that last at least 72 hours, and make sure you have at least a half tank of gas at all times.

While assembling your car emergency kit, you should also prepare your car for a winter weather emergency. Before the start of the winter season, ask a mechanic to make sure your car is winter ready. Ask mechanics to check out the following:

  • Antifreeze
  • Tires
  • Battery
  • Oil
  • Ignition and exhaust systems
  • Fuel and air filters
  • Heater and defroster
  • Lights, including emergency flashers
  • Thermostat
  • Windshield wipers and fluid
  • Auto lift or ramp

For more information on car emergency preparedness, check out this article from the Ready campaign.

4. Make your wheelchair winter weather-ready

cf932157 wheelchair 0dw08908p08902o000028

Preparing your wheelchair for winter weather goes beyond the threat of severe weather. Even everyday wintertime occurrences like precipitation, cold, and ice can lead to an emergency.

Fortunately, some basic precautions can help you to navigate winter wonderlands, headline-making storms, and anything in between.

Prepare a carry-with-you emergency kit that lasts at least 24 hours. Additionally, make sure your wheelchair is winter ready with a tune up. Check your power connectors, brakes, and hardware to verify everything is working as it should.

Make sure your wheelchair is winter weather-ready with a tune up. Check your power connectors, brakes, and hardware to verify everything is working as it should.

You can also consider the following modifications to improve accessibility and safety in winter weather:

  • Increase visibility on your chair by adding lights or reflective tape
  • Boost traction by installing winter tires or all-terrain tires
  • Improve your grip with snow chains, studs, wheel blades, or removable tire covers
  • Fully charge your battery and take shorter trips–batteries drain faster in cold and slippery conditions
  • Protect your joystick from water damage with a joystick cover or plastic bag
  • Strengthen stability with anti-tip devices

When you go outside in your wheelchair, make sure to avoid standing water that might cause damage to your electronics. If your wheelchair has been exposed to water while outside, make sure to dry off your chair thoroughly once indoors.

For more information on preparing your wheelchair for winter, check out this great article from the ADA National Network. The ADA National Network offers an emergency kit checklist that is specific to people with disabilities.

5. Stay vigilant against hypothermia and frostbite–no matter where you live

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypothermia and frostbite are types of cold-related illnesses and injuries that occur as a result of exposure to cold and/or water.

Winter Weather US Temperature Map
US Temperature Map

Most people associate these conditions with freezing temperatures. The truth is, you can experience cold-related illnesses and injuries in environments as warm as 60°F. Since nearly every part of the country sees these temperatures during the year, it is important to understand cold-related illnesses and injuries.

The truth is, you can experience cold-related illnesses and injuries from winter weather in environments as warm as 60°F.

The risks for cold-related illnesses and injuries will increase when the following conditions apply:

  • Longer exposure times
  • Getting wet from rain, sleet, snow, or sweat
  • Lack of food, clothing, or shelter
  • Limited physical mobility

What should wheelchair users know about hypothermia?

Hypothermia is a potentially life-threatening condition in which your body cannot generate heat faster than the rate of heat loss. Defined as a body temperature lower than 96°F, hypothermia can disrupt the normal functioning of multiple organs and systems.

Symptoms of hypothermia can include:

  • Severe shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Feeling overheated

Wheelchair users face increased risks of hypothermia for several reasons. Due to limited physical mobility, you may generate less heat and subsequently lose heat at a faster rate.

If you have a spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other central nervous system disorder (CNS), your body may struggle to warm up, cool down, or maintain a stable core body temperature. This process is called “thermoregulation.”

Typically, thermoregulation helps the body to maintain a core temperature around 98.6°F. That’s the reason people will sweat when it’s hot, and shiver when it’s cold.

However, this process might be impaired if you have a SCI, TBI, or CNS disorder. Signals between your body and brain may work differently. For example, you might shiver when the room doesn’t feel cold or touch a hot surface without feeling burned. 

The same concept applies to your vascular system. Your brain might not tell your blood vessels to constrict in the cold, especially below the site of an injury. As a result, you may experience a faster rate of body heat loss and lower core body temperatures.

Impaired regulation is a significant reason why many wheelchair users face an increased risk of hypothermia.

Impaired regulation is a significant reason why many wheelchair users face an increased risk of hypothermia.

In suspected cases of hypothermia, seek medical help immediately.

What should wheelchair users know about frostbite?

Frostbite is a condition in which your skin becomes damaged by exposure to freezing air.

The Mayo Clinic lists three stages of frostbite:

  • Frostnip: this is a reversible condition in which the superficial levels of skin experience freezing. Symptoms may include numbness, skin discoloration, and tingling or pain when the skin warms.
  • Superficial frostbite: this is an injury to superficial levels of the skin that may involve symptoms associated with frostnip as well as burning and swelling. Your skin might look discolored and even develop a blister within a day or two of the injury.
  • Severe frostbite: this is an injury to deep levels of the skin and underlying tissues. Your skin might turn white or blue gray and you may lose sensation entirely. You may develop blisters after the injury, as well as tissue death and loss.

Frostbite is connected to the wind chill. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), wind chill is a measurement that factors both temperature and wind speed to describe how a person “feels” in cold weather. Weather experts use wind chills to identify the “rate of heat loss from exposed skin” and make the public aware of potential hazards and threats during cold weather.

winter weather windchill chart
Image from NWS’s windchill and frostbite chart

The NWS has three types of wind chill alerts:

  • Wind chill watches signal “seasonably cold” weather. During a wind chill watch, the NWS recommends people dress warm and cover exposed skin.
  • Wind chill advisories signal the potential for “dangerously cold” weather. During a wind chill advisory, the NWS recommends people avoid the outdoors during the coldest times of day, keep their gas tanks half full at a minimum, and double check their emergency supply kits.
  • Wind chill warnings signal “expected or occurring” life-threatening cold weather. During a wind chill warning, NWS recommends people stay inside and avoid travel altogether. If travel cannot be avoided, the NWS recommends that people dress warm, cover exposed skin, and inform at least one other person of their whereabouts.

Dangerously low wind chills can cause both hypothermia and frostbite. When wind chills are low, stay vigilant against symptoms of frostbite and pay careful attention to your extremities. Fingers, toes, cheeks, and ears are especially susceptible to frostbite.

When wind chills are low, stay vigilant against symptoms of frostbite and pay careful attention to your extremities.

This is especially important if you have sensory loss, as you might not feel tingling or burning in affected areas. Frostbitten skin may also feel cold and hard to the touch.

In the event of frostbite, seek medical attention immediately. Frostbite can result in irreversible damage to nerves and tissues, as well as infection. Frostbite can also be associated with cases of hypothermia.

Check out the CDC’s helpful infographic for more information on spotting, avoiding, and treating both hypothermia and frostbite.

What should wheelchair users know about other cold-related injuries and illnesses?

The CDC also lists immersion foot and chilblains as cold-related injuries that can occur in temperatures up to 60°F.

Immersion foot, formerly called trench foot, occurs when feet are exposed to cold, wet conditions for an extended length of time. According to Cleveland Clinic, immersion foot typically requires 1 to 3 days of exposure but can occur in as little as 10 to 14 hours.

Symptoms of immersion foot include:

  • Reddened or discolored skin
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Swelling
  • Blisters
  • Leg cramps

Chilblains is a condition that occurs when skin is exposed repeatedly to cold, above-freezing temperatures. The result is permanent damage to skin that is prone to redness, itching, and inflammation.

For more information on treating immersion foot and chilblains, check out this article by the CDC.

6. Understand the connection between cold temperatures and autonomic dysreflexia (AD)

What is AD and what are the symptoms?

If you have a spinal cord injury (SCI), you should be aware of the connection between extremely cold weather and autonomic dysreflexia (AD). AD is a potentially life-threatening episode of hypertension that requires immediate medical attention. The condition usually occurs in people with SCIs above level T6, as the result of stimuli below the injury site.

Symptoms of AD may include:

  • Severe headache
  • Spike in blood pressure
  • Change in heart rate
  • Profuse sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting

What should wheelchair users know about AD and winter weather?

While the vast majority of AD episodes occur as a result of “noxious stimulus” like a full bladder, blocked catheter, or UTI, cold temperatures are a known risk factor for AD.

Cold temperatures are a known risk factor for autonomic dysreflexia (AD).

“Nurse Linda” Schulz from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation offers the following insights about how wheelchair users at risk for AD can protect themselves in winter weather:

  • Dress appropriately indoors and outdoors
  • Limit your time in cold weather
  • Stay in temperature-controlled environments as much as possible

What should I do if I think I have AD?

In suspected cases of AD, call 911 or seek medical help immediately. A fast response is very important. You can learn more about the treatment for AD from the Reeve Foundation, including steps to take when medical help is not immediately available.

7. Protect yourself by staying warm, dry, and hydrated

There are many steps you can take to protect yourself during winter weather. While inside, make sure you’re dressed warm, eating well, and staying hydrated. While clothing, food, and water are necessities for everyone, wheelchair users will especially benefit by making heat production and retention easier.

While clothing, food, and water are necessities for everyone, wheelchair users will especially benefit by making heat production and retention easier.

If you spend time outdoors, take care to limit your time outside. Wheelchair batteries drain more quickly in the cold–you don’t want to get stuck! Make sure you’re dressed in appropriate clothes for the cold, and even consider additional layering like blankets.

amin hasani BXykPSgROL8 unsplash

Once you’re back inside, make sure to remove extra layers so your body can adjust to the indoor temperature. If you have any wet clothes, remove them and replace them with dry clothes. If your chair was exposed to water, make sure you give yourself and your chair time to dry out fully–including your cushion, if applicable.

If you get chilled or wet outside, consider the following steps:

  • Get into a warm environment
  • Warm affected areas using boyd heat or warm (not hot!) water
  • Remove wet clothing and dry off
  • Layer up in warm clothes or blankets
  • Drink a warm beverage
  • Exercise, including passive range of motion
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible
  • DO NOT walk, stand, or apply pressure to injured feet or toes
  • DO NOT massage or rub injured areas
  • DO NOT use electric blankets, heaters, or any other heat source that could cause a burn

Please note: these tips are not a substitute for medical advice and are meant for informational purposes only. If you suspect you might have hypothermia, frostbite, or another cold-related condition, seek medical attention immediately.

8. Make a winter weather emergency plan

Your winter weather emergency plan covers your bases for a variety of circumstances. By having a strong plan in place, you can better protect yourself and respond in the event of an emergency.

By having a strong plan in place, you can better protect yourself and respond in the event of an emergency.

An emergency plan should outline responses to the following:

  • Regular snow and ice accumulation
  • Shelter-in-place orders
  • Power outages
  • Evacuation orders
  • Vehicle emergencies
  • Wheelchair emergencies, indoors and outdoors

The Ready campaign recommends you prepare an emergency plan that may include:

  • Emergency supplies
  • Support network of people who will help you
  • Accessible transportation options
  • Identifying yourself on voluntary registries for targeted assistance during disasters and power restoration during outages
  • Alternative medical facilities that can help you if your primary choice is unavailable
  • Storing medical information on your mobile phone or printed out in a waterproof bag
  • Wearing a medical device tag or bracelet
  • Alternative assistive devices if you lose or damage your primary devices
  • Storing copies of important documents in a waterproof bag
  • Plans for household members, including pets or support animals

For more information on emergency preparedness for people with disabilities, check out this article from the Ready campaign.

Want help? Don’t hesitate to ask

We hope this article has provided helpful information about winter safety! Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. We advise you to consult with your healthcare provider about recommended winter safety approaches to your home, vehicle, and wheelchair–as well as yourself.

If you want help deciding how to improve winter safety at your home, we’re here for you. 

Contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access for a free consultation and estimate. We’ll help you to identify safety solutions that offer you peace of mind and protection all winter long.

bathroom injuries - title graphic

Did you know January is National Bath Safety Month? Join us in the effort to raise awareness about bathroom injuries and how to prevent them! While bathroom safety is important for everyone, it is especially important for people who use wheelchairs or have other mobility issues.

13 NDA Info Graphic

The truth is, bathroom injuries are commonplace. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bathroom injuries result in 235,000 emergency room visits every year in the United States for people aged 15 and older.

17 NDA Info Graphic

Falls are the most common type of injury sustained in the bathroom, leading to 4 out of every 5 emergency room visits. While people of every age and ability face risks when using the shower, tub, sink, or toilet, bathroom injuries are most common amongst adults 65 years and older. 

There are many reasons why older adults face higher risks. As people age, it is common to experience changes in balance, strength, mobility, health, and cognition. Each of these factors contributes toward a person’s risk for falls, slips, and other bathroom injuries. Similar to people of all ages, older adults also experience greater risks related to variables like medication use, choice of footwear, and safety of the living environment.

Facts about falls and bathroom injuries

Particularly for older adults, falls can lead to devastating and even deadly outcomes. Consider the following facts about falls:

bathroom injuries - facts about falls

These statistics might sound alarming, but we also have good news to share: fall prevention is in your hands! There are several ways you can reduce your risk of falling at home as well as other bathroom injuries. By knowing the risks, taking care of your health, and establishing a safe living environment, you’ll improve bath safety and minimize accidents.

Read on and discover how to prevent the 5 most common bathroom injuries. For in-person help, contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access. We offer free consultations to help identify potential safety issues in your bathroom. We’ll also offer recommendations for the best product and design options to meet your needs!

1. Support yourself while bathing or showering.

bathroom injuries - support yourself while bathing/showering

Nearly a third of bathroom injuries occur while bathing or showering. This fact makes sense, doesn’t it? With a combination of slick surfaces, higher temperatures, and elevated tub rims or surrounds, people are more prone to slips, loss of balance, or fainting.

While bathtubs and showers are designed to protect your house from water damage, many lack the necessary safety precautions to prevent slipping. One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve traction is by purchasing anti-slip bath mats or stickers. To choose a bath mat or stickers that reduce risks in tub or shower, look for the following qualities:

  • Non-slip or anti-slip material that support good underfoot traction when wet
  • Strong grip to prevent movement against the tub or shower surface
  • Ease of cleaning to protect against soap residue, mold, and mildew buildup
  • Sufficient coverage to minimize contact with slippery surfaces

While mats and stickers offer some protection against slipping, they do not account for other injuries sustained while bathing including the loss of balance.

bathroom injuries - Vertical Silver Grab Bar in Shower

For greater protection, many individuals opt to bathe while seated or lying down. In addition to a non-slip mat, consider options like the Invisia Bath Bench, Rane Folding Shower Seat, or Rane Shower/Changing Bed. Additionally, grab bars and safety poles can improve stability for bathing while standing, seated, or lying down or transitioning between positions.

It is important to remember that even surfaces advertised as “slip resistant” can be hazardous as a result of soap residue, mildew, and mold buildup. For this reason, regularly clean all surfaces in your shower and tub–including mats–as an essential part of bath safety.

If you are interested in a bench, seat, or bed for your tub or shower, contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access. We offer free consultations to help you choose the best options particular to your needs and the design of your bathroom.

27 NDA Info Graphic

2. Reduce slip risks outside of the tub or shower.

Slipping is the second most common injury in the bathroom. Just like tubs and showers, bathroom floors are slippery when wet! And floors aren’t the only problem. Many bathroom rugs increase injury risks due to improper traction, drying capabilities, or curling. In fact, bathrooms are the most common place for rug- and carpet-related falls to occur in the home.

Fortunately, you can make a big difference with small additions to your bathroom like weighted shower curtains, non-slip rugs, and grab bars. Weighted shower curtains prevent excess water from leaking onto your floor outside of the tub or shower. If water happens to leak onto your floor while bathing, consider drying the floor before stepping out.

When properly designed, bath rugs can reduce instances of falling or slipping. To choose a bath rug that is more helpful than harmful, look for the following qualities:

  • Non-slip, non-skid, or anti-slip backing can provide better traction for your feet
  • Water absorbing can reduce the likelihood of slipping on wet surfaces
  • Quick drying can limit degradation due to mold and mildew
  • Low clearance can reduce the likelihood of tripping

Grab bars are a versatile option to aid in stability both in and out of the tub or shower. As the name suggests, grab bars are designed to be grasped while a person stands still, walks, or transitions between lying down, sitting, bending, or standing up.

32 NDA Info Graphic

Depending on your needs and the design of the bathroom, grab bars can be installed vertically, horizontally, or at an angle. You can choose from a wide range of grab bar styles and materials that fit your idea of home, including options with custom sizes. There are even designs that double as soap holders, shelves, and holders for towels and toilet paper.

Want help deciding where to install grab bars in your bathroom? Contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access for a free consultation and estimate. We’ll visit your home and identify how grab bars can aid your safe movement.

3. Take care while using the toilet.

bathroom injuries - toilet injuries

The risks associated with getting on, off, or using the toilet increase dramatically with age, accounting for as many as 37% of bathroom injuries for adults 65 years and older. For people 85 years and older, this rate rises to 51%. In particular, toilets pose a risk for older adults who use the toilet more frequently due to urinary incontinence or those who experience changes in heart rate or blood pressure due to abdominal strain, dehydration, medication usage, or the transition between sitting and standing.

When it comes to toilet safety, slower is safer. Give yourself plenty of time to make your way to the bathroom, seat yourself on the toilet, and stand up afterward. Moving at a slower rate reduces the risk of slipping or tripping. Slow movements also offer some protection against heart rate and blood pressure changes when sitting or standing up that lead to fainting, light-headedness, or dizziness.

Additionally, there are a variety of products that support safer toilet use. A few of our favorites include the following:

Bidet seats. Bidet seats attach to your existing toilet and utilize a soft stream of water for cleaning as an alternative to toilet paper. They can reduce the risk of balance loss from twisting and bending to wipe with toilet paper. They also provide a slightly elevated seat for safer transition between sitting and standing. You can choose options that include heated seats, remote operation, and water pressure control for maximum comfort and ease of use.

bathroom injuries - a hand holding a rail

Support arms and grab bars. Installing support arms or grab bars near the toilet provides greater stability when transitioning between sitting or standing, as well as while using the toilet. While grab bars can be used anywhere in the bathroom and beyond, support arms are specifically designed for use around toilets. The anti-slip arms provide steady support while using the toilet, as well as transitioning on or off of the seat.

Accessible washbasins. Accessible washbasins include features like support rails, flexible positions, and adjustable heights. With a wide variety of manual and electronic options available, accessible washbasins provide greater ease of use and movement in the bathroom.

Want professional input? Contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access for a free consultation. We can help you design a safer, smarter bathroom.

4. Prepare to exit the tub or shower safely.

bathroom injuries - exiting shower/bath

The fourth most common cause of bathroom accidents involves exiting the tub or shower. These accidents often involve tripping over the surround, rim, or lip, or the loss of balance while stepping over them. With approval from a healthcare provider, older adults can exercise to improve function and balance that reduces the risk of falls by as much as 24%

Because injuries while exiting the tub happen to people of all ages, the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention suggests that “adding grab bars both inside and outside the tub or shower might help prevent bathroom injuries to all household residents.” In fact, a recent study showed a recovery of balance 75.8% more often for participants who used a grab bar than those without. In addition to grab bars, other supportive products like safety poles and support arms can further reduce the risk of accidents while exiting the tub or shower.

Curious to know what a safe exit system looks like? Elder Care Consultant Cynthia Wilson offers a brief demonstration of the grab bars installed in her mother’s bathroom. Notice how each grab bar is strategically placed. Cynthia’s mother can use the grab bars to support herself while standing up from the shower bench and taking her first and last steps out of the tub.

bathroom injuries - Walk in Tub

Walk-in tubs are another great option for safe entrance and exit from the tub or shower. Walk-in tubs utilize a door that swings open and shut for easy access, and seals watertight for bathing or showering. We offer a wide range of conversion kits, freestanding, and built-in models that fit bathrooms of nearly any size.

You can schedule a free consultation by contacting your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access. We can help you design a safe exit system in your bathroom and install it within hours!

5. Protect yourself from fainting bathroom injuries.

The fifth most common injury sustained in bathrooms relates to fainting. Many fainting injuries relate to a sudden change in heart rate or blood pressure that is referred to in medical terms as “syncope.” Syncope is a common type of fainting that happens suddenly, lasts for a very short time, and ends with spontaneous recovery. While syncope does not always indicate an emergency on its own, the sudden loss of consciousness in small spaces like bathrooms can lead to serious injuries that require medical attention.

The origins of syncope vary greatly including cardiac, neurological, endocrinological, and psychiatric causes. The most common form of syncope is reflex or “vasovagal,” representing a third of cases. Vasovagal syncope involves a nervous system malfunction that can occur in response to the following:

  • Sitting or standing position
  • Severe emotional distress
  • Sudden pain or injury
  • Overheating
  • Dehydration
  • Diuretic or vasodilator use

For individuals with higher risk factors for syncope or other forms of fainting, consider the installation of grab bars and safety poles. These supportive products can increase your peace of mind and help during the early onset of a fainting spell while you still have consciousness.

You can further protect yourself from fainting injuries by recognizing the warning signs. Some, though not all, episodes are preceded by symptoms including:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • Sweating
  • Palpitations

If you experience these symptoms in the bathroom, you can reduce the risk of injury by getting flat on the floor. Lie down as safely and quickly as you can, with legs elevated if it is possible. If you cannot flat, consider sitting with your head between your knees. Once your symptoms pass or you regain consciousness, be sure to check in with your medical provider. Sometimes, fainting spells can indicate more serious issues that require immediate attention.

Don’t delay, reach out today.

21 NDA Info Graphic

We hope this article has provided helpful information about bath safety! Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. We advise you to consult with your healthcare provider about recommended fall prevention strategies related to medication, exercise, or other lifestyle changes.

If you want help deciding on the best bathroom products for your home, we’re here to help. Contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access for a free consultation and estimate. We’ll listen to your thoughts, identify risks, and provide recommendations that increase your peace of mind and support your safety in the bathroom.

Title Graphic - 5 good reasons to install a commercial wheelchair ramp

There are many reasons to install a commercial wheelchair ramp at your business’ entrance. Here we will list 5 reasons that we think are important to consider.

There is a good chance you know at least one of the more than 35 million adults or 53,000 children living with mobility disabilities or limitations in the United States. People in this population experience moderate to significant difficulties when walking or climbing the stairs. They may or may not use assistive devices like walkers, wheelchairs, or scooters. 

People with mobility disabilities graphic

If you operate a business that is open to the public, you might wonder whether or not your building is physically accessible. Physical accessibility involves removing any barriers that would limit or eliminate access to your goods or services. The truth is, your business is only as accessible as your entrance. A single step can stop people from entering your business!

If there are barriers to your external environment–including access routes and entry points–your business cannot be a welcoming place for all. To assess the physical accessibility of your external environment, consider the following questions:

  1. Between your entrance and the parking lot or street, will visitors avoid slopes, unevenness, or other topographical limitations?
  2. Is your access route a safe and convenient distance for people with ambulatory disabilities or mobility limitations?
  3. Will wheelchair users find your access route and entry points wide enough?
  4. Does your entrance have an accessible alternative to stairs?

If you answered “no” to any of the above, you can benefit from installing a commercial wheelchair ramp. Wheelchair ramps provide people of diverse ages, abilities, and sizes with safe building access. Ramps can be rented for temporary purposes, or purchased for permanent or semi-permanent use.

To schedule a free onsite consultation, contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access. We’ll help you to identify potential safety issues or installation challenges. You’ll also receive recommendations for the best product and design options to meet your needs.

Still undecided? Read on and discover 5 reasons to install a commercial wheelchair ramp. 

1. Comply with the law

1. Comply with the law

For businesses open to the public, accessibility is a must. It’s the law, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990–commonly referred to as the ADA. The law provides requirements for businesses to offer people with disabilities the same access as everyone else.

In particular, the ADA requires businesses to “​​remove architectural barriers in buildings when it is readily achievable to do so.” This requirement applies to existing buildings, as well as alterations and new construction.

Installing a commercial wheelchair ramp fulfills the ADA’s top priority recommendation for business to remove barriers. The Comprehensive Resource for the Americans with Disability Act (CORADA) lists these priorities in order:

  1. Building access from the exterior
  2. Interior access to goods and services
  3. Toilet access
  4. Remaining barriers like water bottle filling stations or drinking fountains

Installing a commercial wheelchair ramp fulfills the ADA’s top priority recommendation for businesses to remove barriers.

Take care to select a commercial wheelchair ramp that meets ADA guidelines, including:

Next Day Access ADA Compliant Wheelchair ramps

All commercial wheelchair ramps from Next Day Access are ADA-compliant. In fact, our commercial ramp systems also meet compliance standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), International Building Code® (IBC®), and local building codes from coast to coast.

Your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access will help ensure that your commercial wheelchair ramp meets legal standards on every level. Contact us today for a free onsite consultation.

2. Keep people safe

2. Commercial wheelchair ramps keep people safe

By choosing the right commercial wheelchair ramp, you can offer a safe and accessible method of entering and exiting your business. Commercial wheelchair ramps can support people of all physical abilities by protecting people from skids, slips, trips, and falls.

Safety is the smart choice for your customers and business alike. As a business owner you are legally obligated to provide a safe environment for employees, visitors, and customers. Your responsibilities extend to those with mobility disabilities or other physical limitations.

If you fail to fulfill these responsibilities, you may face costly legal consequences. Forbes Advisor Jeffrey Johnson, J.D. reports that “the median award in premises liability cases…was $90,000” in 2021. By investing in a commercial wheelchair ramp, you can improve safety and reduce the likelihood of an injury on your property.

It is very important to choose a professional installer for your commercial wheelchair ramp. Failure to choose trusted products or professionals can create safety hazards rather than reduce them. For over 25 years, Next Day Access has provided expert installation services and quality-made products to thousands of customers. We offer the most complete line of commercial wheelchair ramps available, all of which comply with safety requirements at federal, state, and local levels.

Our commercial-grade ramp systems are made in America and constructed using 100% high-grade aluminum and recycled rubber. Each product is designed for everyday, year-round use that is virtually maintenance-free.

We offer the following types of commercial wheelchair ramps for rent or purchase:

  • Threshold ramps provide a safe incline and surface for building entrances, curbs, or other inclines with up to six inches of clearance height.
  • Solid-surface modular ramps can hold up to 1,000 pounds of weight with a slip resistant surface design.
  • Custom ramps can combine surface textures or add powder coating to make a ramp just for you!
Modular Wheelchair Ramps

In addition to quality products, your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access are factory-trained. Every technician learns the correct installation process directly from ramp manufacturers, so you can trust our team to do it right! 

To get started, contact us today and schedule a free onsite consultation. We’ll learn more about your needs and help to identify safety risks, installation challenges, and other accessibility considerations.

3. Help people feel welcome

3. Commercial wheelchair ramps help visitors feel welcome

Installing a commercial wheelchair ramp conveys a good first impression to passersby. It shows that you are informed about accessibility and can welcome people with diverse physical abilities. A survey by Morspace Omnibus found that 95% of consumers say they are significantly influenced by the appearance of a business from the street. You can imagine why the accessibility of your entrance sends a clear message about who is welcome inside.

Social design expert Elise Roy shares why design for disability is beneficial to people with and without disabilities. Roy explains, “When we design for disability first, we often stumble upon solutions that are not only inclusive, but also are often better than when we design for the norm.”

Using text messaging as a relatable example, Roy points to technology originally designed for people with disabilities that has become widely used and beneficial to people without disabilities.

While commercial wheelchair ramps serve an important function for wheelchair users, the benefits also extend to people who:

  • Use walkers, canes, or other assistive devices
  • Push strollers or visit with small children
  • Have mobility limitations due to age, injury, health, or other conditions
  • May experience difficulty when navigating icy or snowy conditions
  • Are able-bodied but could slip, trip, or fall on stairs or uneven ground

By showing people that you care about accessibility, you can create a welcoming design visible from the street, parking lot, or sidewalk.

Contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access for a free onsite consultation. We can help you choose a product and design that works best for you.

4. Expand your market

4. Expand your market

Most people know that commercial wheelchair ramps are good for consumers. Did you know that commercial wheelchair ramps can be good for business, too? 

By creating a physically accessible business, you have the power to reach a more diverse customer base. Consider this: people with disabilities are the third largest market segment in the United States and have a market value worth nearly half a trillion dollars.

People with disabilities are the third largest market segment in the United States and have a market value worth nearly half a trillion dollars.

Like most people, people with disabilities want to spend their money where they are recognized and respected. According to research from Nielsen, people with disabilities “make more shopping trips, spend more per trip than the average consumer,” and practice stronger brand loyalty.

Ready to expand your market with a commercial wheelchair ramp? Contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access for a free consultation.

5. Enhance your reputation

5. Enhance your reputation

As a business owner, you likely know the importance of a good reputation. The reputation of a business depends on perceptions from consumers, and leads to tangible impacts including profitability.

Consider that people with disabilities in the U.S. live in 20 million households. The American Institutes for Research estimates that the actual market demographic for people with disabilities is double the reported size due to the purchasing influence on caregivers, family members, and neighbors who care about inclusion.

Increasingly, consumers value businesses that make an effort toward inclusion of people with disabilities. AIR reports that 78% of customers will choose to “purchase goods and services from a business that takes steps to ensure easy access for individuals with disabilities at their physical locations.” 

78% of consumers will choose to “purchase goods and services from a business that takes steps to ensure easy access for individuals with disabilities at their physical location.” – American Institutes for Research

As U.S. age demographics shift toward an older population, businesses should be prepared. The Population Reference Bureau reports that 95 million people will be 65 years or older in 2060–double the population of today. This demographic is likeliest of any age group to have a mobility disability or limitation, with 2 out of every 3 people reporting difficulty walking or climbing the stairs.

Percentage of population with various disability types
Statistics from the CDC website

By installing a commercial wheelchair ramp, your business will reflect well in the eyes of consumers today and in the near future.

With so many good reasons, there’s no reason to wait! Contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access for a free onsite consultation.

Next Day Access offers custom curved and straight stairlifts to meet the needs of our customers. Our stairlifts help you comfortably and confidently move safely from ground level to the next level, all while aging in place.

How do stairlifts work?

A stairlift helps people with limited mobility get safely from the ground floor to the second floor. It is basically a chair that travels along a track or rail that has been mounted to a staircase. The stairlift requires connection to a 13-amp socket.

If there is not one in the vicinity of the staircase you can hire an electrician to install one. Since they are mounted to the rail or track, they are compatible with most staircases. It does not matter if the staircase has walls or banisters on either side.Stair Lifts In

What if I lose power?

Since our stairlifts are also battery-powered, there is a battery at either the top or bottom of the stairs. The stairlift will be charging anytime it is not in use. When you experience a power outage, your fully charged stairlift will continue to run several trips before needing to be charged again.

What is the weight capacity of a stairlift?

You can purchase heavy-duty lifts with a weight capacity of up to 600 pounds. These lifts will also have a comfortable chair to suit the user. The standard stairlift weight capacity is generally 300 to 350 pounds. The seats on the standard lift are also designed to be comfortable.

My staircase is curved, and complicated-will a stairlift still fit?

For a large majority of homes, yes, the stairlift will fit. Now, if you have narrow or rounded stairs, they may not fit a stairlift, but we can try to find a solution that works for your home. If you have stairs with curved on the end, we can provide you with a curved stairlift.

We determine how to design your stairlift by coming to your home and taking a photo survey with a 3-D camera. The images are then sent to the manufacturer to construct your custom railing.

If I only need a stairlift for a short time, can I rent one from Next Day Access?

We understand that there are many reasons you could need a stairlift for a short time. Maybe you have a temporary injury, or a relative or friend visiting that will need to use a stairlift. Unfortunately, curved stairlifts are unavailable since they are custom-made, but you can rent a straight stairlift.

Stairlifts from Next Day Access are available in various models and styles, so you can easily find one that matches your style and budget. Our stairlifts are elegantly crafted and can meet the needs of all sizes. Contact your nearest Next Day Access if you have more questions about stairlifts or if you would like to schedule an in-home consultation

Much to the delight of people with limited mobility, accessibility devices are becoming more advanced. The new bars are easier to handle and take up less space. It is exciting to see the changes to such helpful mobility equipment.

Our Safety Poles

Next Day Access now offers a new mobility device, Healthcraft Superbar. The Superbar is a security pole with a curved grab bar mounted from the ceiling to the floor. You can have these installed wherever you like in the home, but many find them particularly useful in the bathroom.

Healthcraft Superbars and SuperPole safety poles have many added benefits to help with fall prevention, bedside or bathtub support, and they’re all very easy to put together.

Superbar Benefits

  • The pole prevents falls. The security pole offers stability and safety when standing or sitting. You can lean on it as you climb over bathtubs or when you are getting in and out of bed. The curved bar can turn and lock into position every 45 degrees and can handle up to 300 pounds.  
  • The height and tension rods are adjustable. However, it must be used with a flat ceiling, and from floor to ceiling must be 7 to 10 feet tall. It includes rubber pads to protect your floors and ceilings from damage. 
  • The pole is versatile and can be used as a bedside support handle, chair standing rail, wheelchair transfer pole, and a bathroom grab bar. The unique grab looks like an inverted “S”. This gives it a ladder-like design with four different places to grip. The user can conveniently get to a standing position using a hand-over-hand motion. 
  • The pole provides more space. It has a modern design, so you will likely not feel the need to have bulky grab bars or railings protruding from the walls. 
  • It’s easy to assemble. You can contact Next Day Access, and our installation team will happily install it for you within minutes. 
safety poles Healthcraft SuperPoles
Healthcraft SuperPoles

Not every Next Day Access location in the country has a Healthcare Superbar in stock; if they do not, we can help you find something similar that fits your needs. However, if you prefer to maintain the grab bars, handles, and railings you have become accustomed to, Next Day Access still has many to choose from and will happily help you determine where they fit best.

We also offer modern, contemporary, and aesthetically pleasing choices on these devices. Contact your nearest Next Day Access if you are in the market for new grab bars or handles. We can show you The Healthcare Superbar and the many other products we offer to make your home accessible. 

For aging adults, the stairs in their homes can become too dangerous to navigate. They may have limited mobility, accessibility concerns, lack of stability, or weakened muscles. When the stairs seem too challenging, many aging adults may think it is time for an assisted living community or a home with no stairs. At Next Day Access, our goal is to find solutions so aging adults can age safely and comfortably at home. We offer various stairlifts, some even suit curved stairs. Many individuals do not realize how cost-effective it is to put in a stairlift rather than move. We can even have your stairlift installed in no time with as little intrusion on your day-to-day as possible. Other than stairlifts being cost-effective, here are a few other benefits you will find when choosing to install a stairlift: 

Stairlifts prevent injuries

Injury prevention is the most obvious benefit of installing a stairlift. You are less likely to slip and fall downstairs, which is the most common area that presents a high-risk fall. Just missing one step can result in a broken leg, hip, or other injuries. 

Stairlifts are easy to use

Stairlifts are extremely easy to operate. When using the stairlift, you sit on the seat, put on the seatbelt, and press the switch on the armrest. Once you are at the top of the stairs, release the switch, and the lift will come to a rest.  

If you find yourself at the top of the stairs but the stairlift is at the bottom, there are remotes you can leave upstairs and downstairs to send the stairlift to where it needs to be. 

Stairlifts are comfortable

You can purchase a lift with extra cushion, but most people feel the standard lift is already very comfortable. There is a stairlift called the Bruno Elite, which is considered the highest quality because the seat, back, and armrest all have padded cushions. 

Stairlifts restore independence

We once had an installer tearfully tell us about a sweet interaction with a customer. The customer was so thrilled with her stairlift because she was always stuck on the top floor, too afraid to go down the stairs for fear of falling. She was delighted she could now order a pizza since she had a stairlift! It’s such a simple thing, but having independence in your home is vital for your physical and mental health.

These are just a few of the benefits of installing a stairlift in your home. Our goal at Next Day Access is to help aging adults and individuals with mobility difficulties feel safe and comfortable at home. We are able to do this because we offer several solutions for accessibility concerns, including stairlifts, wheelchair ramps, porch lifts, and much more. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for all your mobility and accessibility needs. 

As you get older, your bones become more brittle. A fall can be detrimental. Let us at Next Day Access help prevent your falls with a useful and user-friendly list of ways to preemptively avoid falling both inside and outside of your home.

Stylistic Changes

Use a walker, rollator, or cane to steady yourself. These items are beneficial for preventing falls when standing up or sitting down. We also recommend standing up slowly. When you get up too fast, your blood pressure can drop unexpectantly, causing you to feel faint. 

Wear low-heeled and rubber-soled shoes that completely support your feet. If you wear only slippers or socks, it can be unsafe on stairs or freshly waxed wood floors. 

Investment Changes

Invest in handrails and guard rails. Handrails are not just for stairs. You can put them along the hallway, in various places in the bathroom, anywhere in the house you think would be helpful. 

Avoid ladders or standing on a chair to reach items. You can buy a reaching stick to help you get hard-to-reach items. If you must have a step stool, invest in one with a handle. 

The bathroom is one of the most dangerous places for falls. Floors get wet and slippery, and stepping over a tub can cause severe injuries. Look into a raised toilet seat, shower chairs, bath benches, grab bars, and walk-in tubs. 

We highly recommend looking into home modifications for accessible living as these changes could help keep you safe and more independent for a longer time.

Consider buying a medical alarm necklace. Even though phones are handy these days, having a medical alarm conveniently around your neck will give you and your loved one’s peace of mind if there is an emergency. 

Health Changes

Take care of your health.  This may seem like common sense, but it is worth the reminder. You can also speak to your doctor about a bone density test. This test will tell you how strong your bones are. Your doctor can then prescribe medications to make your bones stronger. 

Have your hearing and vision tested regularly. Hearing or sight issues can cause you to be less stable on your feet. 

Speak to your doctor about each of your medications. Certain medications can cause balance and coordination to be negatively affected. Being aware of the issues can help you take better precautions. 

At Next Day Access, our priority is to help our customers feel safe, comfortable, and independent at home. We offer many of the devices mentioned above. We also provide a free in-home consultation to help you determine if areas in your home are not safe. Contact us today!

At Next Day Access, we are proud to offer a vast assortment of products that help people with disabilities and seniors aging in place live comfortably, safely, and independently. Here are a few products we urge you to consider to help prevent you from falling in your home. 

Barres d'appui

We have an assortment of grab bars and handles here at Next Day Access. Grab bars do not strictly need to be installed in the bathroom. They can be installed throughout the house. Many are choosing to install them down hallways and at a front door enclave. In fact, one of our curved security bars can be placed anywhere in the house. It stands from ceiling to floor and has a curved bar attached that enables users to pull on it when getting into a standing position. You also can lean on it when sitting back down.  

Wheelchairs and Scooters

Getting around the house once you feel you have difficulty with mobility is no trouble with a scooter or wheelchair. At Next Day Access, you will find the perfect scooter or wheelchair for you. During our free at-home consultation, we can help you decide which would work best based on your daily activities and your home configuration.

Produits de salle de bain

In addition to grab bars, we also offer several solutions to keep you safe in the bathroom. We have portable showers, walk-in bathtubs, and an array of shower chairs and benches. We understand most falls occur in the bathroom, so we want to ensure your bathroom is safe with our product selections.

If you are concerned that your home is not fall-proof and you want to see what products are available to keep you safe. We urge you to visit us at Next Day Access today or contact us to schedule a free in-home consultation. We will do all we can to ensure your home is safe and secure. 

At Next Day Access, we provide many solutions to help people with disabilities and aging loved ones remain safe and independent in all areas of the home. Falling from the bed is one occurrence that could result in severe injury. Some of the causes occur when they’re asleep, usually from rolling around or while trying to get out of bed. But with bed rails, you can reduce falling.

What are bed rails?

Bed rails provide balance and stability in the comfort of your bedroom. They are used to assist while getting in and out of bed, help the user reposition themself while in bed, and prevent loved ones from rolling out of bed during the night. There are many different types of bed rails that can support you in the comfort of your bedroom.

EZ Adjust Bed Rail

The EZ Adjust Bed Rail is intended to reduce the risk of falling out of bed during the night. But its versatile and functional design, functions as a bed rail and handle. The rail extends p to 42 inches and can easily fold down to be out of the way, to prevent inaccessibility. This solution is typically made for long term use and ideal for those with limited mobility or a loss of balance. The rail includes an organizer pouch that’s perfect for keeping personal items close by.

PT BedCane

Unlike the length of the bed rail, the PT BedCane is smaller in design. It is an ergonomic handle that is used to assist from a bed to a walker, scooter, wheelchair, etc. The handle adjusts up to 25 inches to fit the height of your mattress. And similar to the bed rail, the handle comes with an organizer pouch, allowing to store small items like your phone.

Bed Rail Advantage Traveler

Living independently also means being able to travel freely. Even when you’re away from home, you can sleep safely and comfortably with the Bed Rail Advantage Traveler. Its foldable design and weight make it portable and compatible with most bed types.

Deciding between a bed rail or handle can be difficult. That’s why our accessibility experts can help you choose which solution will best accommodate your lifestyle. With our free in-home safety consultations, let us evaluate different solutions that will keep you in your home safely. Contact us to learn more about our free in-home consultations.


One in four seniors fall each year, and out of every five falls, one results in serious injuries, such as broken bones or brain injuries. The statistics are scary, but falls can be prevented with the right equipment installed throughout the home.  

The CDC recommends installing grab bars in every bathroom of a home with loved ones choosing to age in place. They are often placed next to the toilet, sink, and inside and outside the tub or shower. Because bathroom floors can become slippery, by holding on to the bar, it can create a safer space. However, grab bars are not only installed in bathrooms but other places throughout the home. 

What is a Grab Bar? 

It’s graspable bar installed on the wall that helps maintain balance and lessen fatigue while standing. They help prevent injury for aging loved ones, people with a temporary or permanent injury, and others.  

Where to Install Grab Bars? 

As we mentioned, grab bars are essential for bathrooms, but it is also helpful to have them installed throughout your home. These days you do not have to worry about giving up style. You can find sleek, stylish designs that blend in with your home. Wherever you are wanting a grab bar, contact an accessibility expert to safely do the job.

How to Choose the Right Grab Bars? 

When you are choosing grab bars for your loved one’s home, there are various design options, including: 

  • Straight are usually installed horizontally but can also be vertically or diagonally. 
  • Folding can be folded away to provide extra space when not in use. 
  • Ceiling to floor is tension mounted and makes it easier to stand from your toilet, bed, or couch. 

It is not always easy deciding which grab bars will best accommodate you or your loved one. That’s why at Next Day Access, we offer free in-home consultations for our customers. With our evaluations, we can help you understand which solution will benefit you the most. We also offer installations from our accessibility technicians. Contact us to learn more about our free in-home safety consultations.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

Avis des clients