mobility scooters

How Paw-fect Pets Improve Life With Chronic Illness

Having grown up in the countryside, I’ve been around animals my entire life. We always had dogs and cats, and I learned how to ride horses. It was tranquil and storybook. When I left home to take a trip or attend university, I experienced a void only the animals in…

A Big Step Forward: Using Public Transportation With MS

As anyone with chronic illness knows, leaving the house requires planning. There’s much more to think about than what’s visible, especially if you’re relying on public transport. In the days preceding last week’s appointment with my multiple sclerosis (MS) nurse, I was contemplating just how long it’d been since…

Learning to Embrace My ‘Hot Wheels’

As I glance over at the lonesome wheelchair skulking in the shadows of my living room, I recall its arrival like it was yesterday, though it’s been more than four years. My husband, and then carer, had paraded it through the house as if it were a savior, there to…

3 Things I Discovered at My 50th College Reunion

My wife and I recently returned from a long weekend in upstate New York, where we attended my college reunion. It was a biggie — my 50th — and had been delayed a year due to COVID-19. The sun was shining, and it felt like spring for the three days…

Getting Something Off My Chest

May I vent, please? In the five years that I’ve been writing this column, I don’t think I’ve ever used it to get something off my chest. But I need to today. It’s about an experience I had at a restaurant the other night. My wife and I went…

It’s Not a Crime to Ask for Help When You Need It

“Do you need help?” The question came from a 30-something woman after I’d finished loading some cartons into the back of my SUV. I automatically replied, “No thanks, all done.” But lifting and loading isn’t an easy job for me. My upper body strength is good, but my legs are…

When an Unexpected Driving Test Causes a Pseudo-flare

My tough day started when Brenda asked, “Why do you use that scooter?” Brenda was sitting behind a desk at the Charlotte County Tax Collector’s Office in Florida, where my wife, Laura, and I hoped that transferring our driver’s licenses from Maryland to Florida would be an easy chore.

It’s Freezing and I’m Stuck on My Scooter

It happened on the coldest day of the season. It was 16 degrees F with wind chill. I was outside, using my electric scooter to take Joey, our cocker spaniel, for his early morning walk. Joey had just finished his business. I was tying the poopie bag when I heard…

Help Design a Mobility Scooter

I’ve been using a mobility scooter for about 10 years. I use it anytime I need to walk more than about half a city block. I throw it in the back of my SUV, I’ve taken it on planes and cruise ships (I’ve ridden it in 15 or 16…

Taking My MS for a Sea Ride

I’ve been away for about a week, the first break of that length that I’ve had from writing about MS in about two years. Much of that time was spent on a trip from Long Island, New York, to Newport, Rhode Island, aboard the Mariner. Marine chart…

Falls Common Among Wheelchair, Scooter Users in People with MS, Study Reports

The majority of people living with multiple sclerosis who use wheelchairs or scooters for mobility reported falling at least once over a six-month period, according to a new study. While most studies have focused on ambulatory MS patients, this may be the first study to assess the prevalence and circumstances of falls among those who already experience significant mobility issues and require the use of wheelchairs or scooters to get around. In ambulatory MS patients who are able to move around on their own, about 50 percent reported falling during a six-month period. The current study recruited 44 MS patients from May 2014 to July 2015 who required wheelchairs or scooters to move about. These patients were from medical centers across the United States and Asia. They were asked to complete a survey focusing on the prevalence of falls, the frequency of injuries, the circumstances surrounding the falls, and quality-of-life indicators. Thirty-three of the 44 participants (75 percent) reported falling at least once in the previous six months. This number is higher than any of the other studies that assessed the prevalence of falls in MS patients. Many of these people experienced more than one fall within those six months. Of these falls, 87.5 percent occurred inside the home. The top four activities reported by participants that led to these falls included using the toilet, transferring, walking short distances, and reaching for an object. Some of the people said the falls were serious, and 8 percent of participants reported an injury because of their fall. Perhaps for this reason, many reported concerns about falling (76.7 percent). And, more telling, 65.9 percent of these MS patients reported altering their activities because they feared falling. The use of mobility devices may affect the prevalence of falls. Participants were asked if they had fallen using a specific mobility device. Here is how they responded: 66.7% reported falling while using power wheelchairs; 37.5% fell while using manual wheelchairs; 66.7% fell when using scooters; 71.4% reported falling while using a walker; 100% fell while using a cane. Because of the high prevalence of falls while using a mobility device, researchers said, clinicians should provide better education regarding the use and function of these mobility devices. There were no significant correlations between people who experienced falls and quality-of-life indicators in this study. Results from the study highlight the need for interventions specifically targeted for MS patients who use mobility devices such as wheelchairs and scooters. The body of research regarding predictors of falls suggest that some of the risk factors can be modified; therefore, more effort should be made to prevent falls using targeted rehabilitation interventions.

Walking Aids for Multiple Sclerosis Patients

This video from Dulci Hill addresses the topic of walking aids. Many multiple sclerosis patients may feel unstable or fatigued when walking and using a cane, wheeled walker or mobility scooter may help to provide stability, aid balance and help you to get around and keep your independence.

Have Scooter, Will Travel (Part 2)

My column, earlier this week, about traveling with a scooter, generated a couple of questions. What do you ride? Where did you get it? How much did it cost? Here are a few answers for the group. Less than a week ago I finally trashed my Pride Sconic, which…