At Home Everyday Gear Nursing Home Wheelchairs

Levers to Drive a Manual Wheelchair — Update

My dad no longer walks more than a few steps with assistance (and not at all without it). As a result, he no longer gets even the minimal exercise he got when he could walk with assistance from his room to the dining hall in his nursing home. Now that his power wheelchair has been decommissioned, he’s also lost much of the freedom it gave him.


Just In Case Your Injury Isn’t Serious Enough Already

Adaptive MotorcyclesThis one’s a little hard to categorize, but for you daredevil types out there who miss the thrills you used to know, Adaptive Engineering has a motorcycle for you.

Adaptive Engineering can equip your motorcycle with our unique automatic kickstand (AKS) (patent pending) that keeps the bike upright when you come to a stop. And with our hand controlled shifting system you’ll never miss a gear. Our system can be installed on just about any motorcycle.

I don’t know what kind of engineers these guys are, but model Erick is a little confused about equipment — his wheelchair’s wearing a helmet, but he isn’t.

High Tech

“Bionic Eye” Clinical Trials

Bionic EyesAccording to the BBC, Researchers at the University of Southern California have developed a “bionic eye” and will begin doing clinical trials to test the device. A camera is mounted on glasses and sends an image to electrodes implanted in the retina, stimulating the damaged cells in the eye.

What we are trying to do is take real-time images from a camera and convert them into tiny electrical pulses that would jump-start the otherwise blind eye and allow patients to see,” said Professor Mark Humayun, from the University of Southern California.

At the moment, the implants produce only rudimentary vision. According to The Washington Post, six patients have used the implants to “distinguish light, perceive motion, and identify general shapes and objects.”

The trials are expected to take two years, after which the BBC reports that the devices are expected to become available to individuals at a cost of approximately $30,000 USD. The targeted diseases are retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration, which cause the death of retinal cells; according to the Washington Post, the new study will focus on patients over 50 years of age.

High Tech Shows and Expos

Robotic Rehab for a Paralyzed Arm

Power JacketLast September at Tokyo’s Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition in, Matsushita Electrical Industries showed a robotic jacket which lets a partially paralyzed limb move in response to cues from the undamaged arm.

Nursing Home Reflections

Mental Stimulation and Edgy Architecture

Elder CondosAn artist named Shusaku Arakawa and his partner have designed a fantastical condo development in Mitaka, Japan. Called “Reversible Destiny,” it’s meant to challenge the occupants. The exterior is brightly colored, with improbable lines and edges running helter-skelter over the facade, and strangely shaped windows and openings.

Gifts Good Stuff Wheelchairs

Spoke Guards for Wheelchairs

flames spokesguardsyinyang spokesguardsThey’re not cheap, but wah-hoo, are they fun! Is your wheelchair looking ho-hum? Does someone you love need a really original gift? Spokeguard Art may be the answer.

If not, you’ll still have a blast checking out all these wheelchair spoke guards — categories include designs for children’s wheelchairs, animal-lovers, space-fiends, former flower children, sports fanatics and more.

dolphin spokeguardsgarden spokesDon’t let the home page scare you — the rest of the site’s much better designed. It’s also friendly, but a little amateurish — and there’s no indication of shipping costs. You might want to email or call before making a commitment.

At Home Good Stuff Kids

Cowbells in the Sick Room — and the Hospital

After I wrote about cowbells (suggesting using them in sick-rooms) a few days ago, I received an email from Elisabeth at

At Home Games/Recreation Gifts Nursing Home


When medicine and my dad first collided, it was a shock to him. His attitude toward his medical problems was, well, consumerist. He’d buy surgical services, and the surgeons would fix everything. End of story.

At Home Everyday Gear Wheelchairs

Levers to Drive a Manual Wheelchair

Wijit Manual Wheelchair PropellerI haven’t seen this in person yet, so I’m throwing it out for the ‘may be worth investigating’ file. The Wijit is a set of geared handles attached to manual wheelchair wheels. The idea is to allow cleaner (literally) and more ergonomic propulsion of the chair — no more grabbing for wheel rims with the attendant stress on the back and shoulders.

At Home Everyday Gear Games/Recreation Nursing Home

Simple Remote Controls for TV

Six Button Remote ControlSeveral years ago my in-laws needed a simple remote control for my husband’s grandmother. I told them about this one, which has just six buttons — the power button, a mute button, and the four critical ones: channel up, channel down, volume up and volume down. The large buttons, and the simplicity of the thing made it a logical choice. It runs about fifteen dollars. (Dynamic Living does note on their website that this remote won’t work with cable or satellite boxes, and that it may not work with newer TVs — information you may want for any remote you buy. It won’t matter much if you’re using an older, familiar TV, though.)