Shopping for a Home Stair Lift

Do you find yourself needing a little help to get up the stairs in your home?  Whether it be a chronic issue or a temporary one; here are some things to consider when shopping for a home stair lift.

bruno elan, home stair lift

Bruno Elan Straight Stair Lift

1. Assess your physical needs:
Take a real honest assessment of your needs when you are thinking about getting a home stair lift installed.  Are you recovering from a surgery that will be a temporary situation where you will fully recover (knee replacement, broken leg, etc.)?  Do you suffer from an ailment that will require physical assistance for the foreseeable future (arthritis, use a cane, etc.).

There are two options when shopping for a stair lift; rent or buy.  Many dealers can install a temporary stair lift for those short term ailments which is a great option for those who don’t require the use of a home stair lift for more than a year.  One thing to keep in mind is (1) the cost of the annual rental vs. purchasing one outright (2) realistic short term need; you may find the convenience of the lift outweigh the actual need for it.  You might like having the stair lift in your home.

2. Research the different manufacturers of stair lifts
There are many companies that make stair lifts; from small mom and pop manufacturers to international corporations.  Take your time and research each company and find the right stair lift for you and your needs.  The most expensive might not be what you need.  The cheapest might not be the best quality.  What are the costs of each; what is the warranty of each, etc.?  Always remember to read consumer reviews of these lifts on crytico.

Bruno is a major player in the space of home modifications.  Founded in 1984, Bruno has risen as a world leader in vehicle lifts for wheelchairs and scooters. Innovation and consistency have been their motto for success when making lifts, transfer seats, and stair lifts.
Harmar is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative mobility and accessibility solutions designed to help individuals increase their independence and quality. 
Acorn stairlifts benefit from contemporary design and the very latest innovations in manufacturing. Acorn was the first manufacturer of stairlifts that powered their stairlifts with the use of DC batteries.
Stannah is a fifth generation family-owned business, recognized around the world for their ability to return independence. Stannah build stair lifts that are renown for their safety sensibilities and expert craftsmanship. 

Harmar lift

Harmar home stair lift – Helix curved

3. What kind of stair lift?
Do you need a straight or curved stair lift?  Do you need an indoor or outdoor lift?  All of these options bring a variety of manufacturers and prices.

4. Installation Options:
Most manufacturers of home stair lifts use a dealer network who sell, install and service the lifts.  These local dealers are certified my the manufacturer to ensure uniform and safe installation.  Just like with doing your due diligence of the actual lift, ensure you are looking into the installer.  Does the local dealer sell multiple lifts, or just one manufacturer?  Have they installed 5 or 50 lifts?
Some manufacturers sell the stair lift direct and have company installers come to your home.  While this may save a little money; what happens if the lift breaks down?  What is their repair policy, timeframe?
What type of reviews do these mobility dealers have?  Ensure you look on Crytico.com and hear what past customers have to say about their work and customer satisfaction.

Older animals love to catch a ride!

Older animals love to catch a ride!

A home stair lift can bring back independence in your home.  What might start out as a need will soon turn into a huge convenience.  Animals will hitch a ride; getting heavy laundry upstairs, etc.  You will find countless uses for your home stair lift.

 

 

 

Top 5 Rated Power Wheelchairs

Shopping for a powered wheelchair can be challenging for a couple of reasons.   First and foremost there are so many to choose from and coupled with that is the myriad of options of where to purchase them; online or at a local durable medical equipment provider.  Secondly, the emotional aspect for having the need of a power chair can be difficult for some people.  Lastly, they aren’t cheap so do your research and read reviews on Crytico.com.

Permobil C300

Permobil C300

Based on your reviews, here are the top 5 rated powered wheelchairs on Crytico.com

#1 Rated Power Wheelchair– Permobil C300

Permobil is one of the largest wheelchair manufacturers in the world with hundreds of thousands of customers.  The C300 is an engineering marvel along with comfort and simplicity.  Along with its power also comes a compact size to maneuver in tight spaces.  Some specifications include a 300lb weight capacity, 50 degrees of tilt and 175 degrees of recline.  Lastly, you can choose the color to give your wheelchair a little personality.  Click here to read reviews on the Permobil C300

# 2 Rated Power Wheelchair – Invacare Pronto M51

With a tagline of “Yes, you can”, it conveys the promise of the Invacare brand to support consumers. The pronto 51 is an indoor/outdoor wheelchair with a great combination of power and performance. Built with a patented Sure Step technology that allows for smooth driving over thresholds and transitions.  The weight capacity is 300lbs, 6 Wheels on the ground provide great stability and includes the programmable MK5 electronic controller for precise, custom driver control.  Click here to read reviews on the Invacare Pronto M51

#3 Rated Power Wheelchair – Quantum Rehab 6 Edge

Quantum is a division of Pride Mobility and it designs and manufactures complex rehabilitation solutions for individuals with comprehensive mobility needs. The 6 Edge carries a complete range of seating and electronics options to give you the best fit and feel. Complete with 10 colors to choose from, like orion yellow or pearl pink. Have a need for speed, this chair can go 6mph with the high speed motor option. Click here to read reviews on the Quantum Rehab 6 Edge.

Quantum 6 Edge Pink Pearl Base

Quantum 6 Edge Pink Pearl Base

#4 Rated Power Wheelchair – Pride Jazzy 600 ES

Pride Mobility has been making quality scooters and wheelchairs for almost 30 years with an excellent reputation.  The Jazzy 600 ES is provides excellent performance and exceptional stability. Its compact design and standard Active-Trac® ATX Suspension allows it to maneuver easily indoors and out, making it a superb, all-around power chair. This wheelchair also has a 600lb weight capacity. Click here to read reviews on the Pride Jazzy 600 ES.

#5 Rated Power Wheelchair – Pride Jazzy Select Elite

Rounding out the top 5 power wheelchairs, as rated by you on Crytico.com, is the Jazzy Select Elite.  This powerchair is front wheel drive and boasts in-line technology to provide stability and a tight turning radius. It also has wheelchair has dual-layer powder coated frame for increased durability and a black high-back seat with removable, replaceable foam and vinyl.  Click here to read reviews on the Pride Jazzy Select Elite.

Pride Jazzy Select Elite

Pride Jazzy Select Elite

 

What do you like, dislike, love, etc. about your wheelchair?  Leave a review today on Crytico.com for a chance to win an iPad.  Email info@crytico.com with any questions.

Top Five Mobility Scooters

Crytico.com, the first review website 100% dedicated to mobility products and services, has compiled this list of the top five mobility scooters rated by you.  The power scooter market has exploded in the past decade which can sometimes cause confusion with so many options.  The reason for the growth of power scooters is two fold.  (1) The aging population has a greater need for mobility related products; The American Community Survey (2008) reports that 38 percent of adults 65 and older have disabilities. (2) The escalating issue with obesity has increased the demand for mobility equipment. 

Aging Population

The following mobility scooters were ranked highest by consumers as reviewed on Crytico:
#1 Rated Mobility Scooter:
Go-Go by Pride Mobility – The Elite Traveler is a 3-wheel travel scooter and boasts exceptional maneuverability with lightweight design.  The unit can be personalized with color options to make it as unique as you.  To read the reviews of the Go-Go Elite Traveler, click here.  This reviewer loves the power of her Go-Go.

Go-Go Elite Traveler

Go-Go Elite Traveler

#2 Rated Mobility Scooter:
Victory 9 by Pride Mobility – This scooter is considered “full-size” due to its increased weight capacity; 300lbs.  This power scooter comes equipped with  light-weight, low profile, non-scuffing wheels and pinchless hinges & eight-position seat rotation.  To read the consumer reviews on the Victory 9, click here.

#3 Rated Mobility Scooter:
EW-37 by Electric Wheels – Do you have a need for speed?  This mobility scooter has a sporty look and robust features.  With a 500 lb. weight capacity, 15mph maximum speed and a battery range of 45 miles on a single charge, it’s a nice edition to the scooter line-up.  Read reviews of the EW-37 by clicking here.

EW-37 power scooter

EW-37

#4 Rated Mobility Scooter:
Companion 4-Wheel by Golden Technologies -This is our first 4-wheel scooter and is built for comfort.  It has a LiquiCell comfort seat, seat slide adjuster to adjust your seat that feels best for you, adjustable steering and a 350lb weight capacity.  Click here to read the reviews on the Companion 4 Scooter.   

#5 Rated Mobility Scooter:
Patriot by Golden Technologies – Another 4-wheel power scooter to round out our top five.  The Patriot scooter was introduced in 2014 and has a 400lb weight capacity.  This scooter isn’t cheap, but if you are looking for an amazing outdoor experience, this is the power scooter for you; it features an off road package!  Read reviews of the Patriot scooter by clicking here.

There you have it, the top five power scooters on Crytico.com.  Remember when shopping for scooters, do your due diligence.  There are hundreds of options and what appeals to one person might not be the most important thing for you.  Research the weight capacity, turning radius, ground clearance, warranty, battery life, speed, etc. And of course, read reviews from your peers…the ones who use the products every day.

 

Rent a Wheelchair Accessible Van?

Whether you can’t afford a wheelchair accessible van, or don’t have the need to have one full time; a great option is to rent a wheelchair van.  Do you own a wheelchair van and plan on flying to another state?  There are many companies and dealers around the U.S. that allow you to rent a van for a day, weekend, week, etc. just like renting a regular vehicle.

VMI Wheelchair Van

Renting a van equipped for wheelchair accessibility is a great option for many people;  however it’s an option that is not well known.  With the holidays approaching, it reminded us that seeing loved ones or getting to gatherings might be a challenge for some people.  Maybe it’s just an easy option to get to a doctor’s appointment or to take a ride in our beautiful country.

Here are some national companies that can help you out:

Wheelchair Getaways: Wheelchair Getaways was founded over 25 years ago with a goal to have van rental services available to as many people as possible.

Accessible Vans of America: Accessible Vans of America (AVA) is dedicated to providing quality rental vans with handicap accessible features. Their organization is a group of independent wheelchair van dealers who are all committed to improving the accessible transportation options for people requiring adaptive equipment for mobility.

Wheelers Van Rentals: Wheelers has been breaking travel barriers through innovative service and products for over 25 years. Their mission is to have Wheelers rental affiliates available in every city in the United States. Wheelers’ objective is to connect you to the best possible solution for your transportation challenges and continue to find new and innovative ways in making the world a more accessible place.

VMI Northstar E Wheelchair Van

VMI Northstar E Wheelchair Van

Another good place to start is your local mobility equipment dealer, many of whom rent vans from their facilities close to you.  As always, contact Crytico with any questions, info@crytico.com.

Tips for Buying Used Adaptive Equipment

If you are in the market to purchase adaptive equipment, like wheelchairs, stair lifts, scooter lifts, wheelchair vans, etc. you may be overwhelmed by the cost of some of these items.   There is a robust market for used mobility products and wanted to share some tips when shopping for used adaptive equipment

1. Research the right product for you and your needs.  Not all stair lifts, wheelchairs or handicap vans are the same.  The allure of a great deal should not deter you from getting the best product for you.  We’ve seen it happen over and over where consumers are in the market for one item, but purchase a less expensive similar item and are never satisfied because it doesn’t completely fit them or their needs.

2Use helpful internet tools by checking prices and reviews.  Check out websites like Crytico.com and the manufacturer’s website.  The manufacturer’s website should have all the specifications, dimensions and features listed to ensure the mobility product will fit in your home, garage, car, etc.  They should also be able to give you a quote on what that used product you are researching is new.  After you’ve done some research on the product, then see what your peers have to say about the product by researching it on Crytico.com.  Crytico is a website of unbiased reviews made by your peers; people that actually use the products, not just someone trying to sell you something.  Remember that all reviews on Crytico are authenticated by a call center so you can feel confident of their authenticity.

Crytico

3. What is the warranty left on the used product for sale?  Some new mobility products have lengthy warranties and some have a warranty less than a year, so it is in your best interest to find this out before making any purchase.  After you find out what the original warranty is, then find out if there is any warranty left on the used product you wish to buy.  #1, It’s useful for you to determine if the price of that used product without a warranty makes up for buying the same item new with a full manufacturer’s warranty.   #2, It can help with price negotiations;  If the warranty is expired, use that to your advantage when talking price with the seller.   Some warranties are not transferable, so if there is a warranty left on the used item, do your due diligence here.  Lastly, some products, like wheelchair vans have two warranties associated; one for the original van (like Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna) and then the warranty for the wheelchair conversion (like VMI, BraunAbility or Amerivan).   If you are in the market for an accessible van, ensure you research both warranties.

VMI Wheelchair Van

4. What is the condition of the used product?  This is important especially if you are looking to purchase the used mobility product over the Internet (sight unseen).  Ask the seller questions like (1) How often was the product used?  Remember the days of buying Grandma’s old Buick?  Despite the car being 15 years old, she only used it to go to the store and back so it had minimal usage despite it’s years.  On the flip side, we have seen products that get heavily used so don’t let the “newness” of the product (i.e. less than a year old) mask how often it may have been used.  (2) Is the seller the original owner?  Many mobility products have been sold over and over, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but something you should be aware of.  (3) Is there a maintenance history on the product?  If you are in the market for a used wheelchair, remember they are like little cars with lots of moving parts.  Maintenance on any adaptive equipment will extend its life.  (4) Has it been inspected by a certified mobility technician?  You maybe be able to convince the seller to have it inspected for minimal expense for added piece of mind.

5. How long do you intend to use the product?  Many disabilities and disorders cause people’s mobility to get worse as time goes on, like Multiple Sclerosis or ALS.  On the flip side, with advancements in technology, many spinal cord patients are seeing vast improvements with their mobility.  What product fits you today may not fit your needs in a year or two years.  Or, the product you are seeking may be a solution for years to come.  This time frame should be weighed in your buying decision when looking at new vs. used.

spinal cord, mobility review

6Try it out!   If the product you are shopping for is local to you and available to try before you buy, do it.  Some products, like stair lifts and home elevators can’t be demonstrated because of the nature of the product (must be installed in your home).  However, there are many products that you can try out; like wheelchair vans, scooters, wheelchairs, etc.  Make sure the product fits you and is in good condition.

7. Do a gut check.  What’s that old adage, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”?  If after you go through our six tips for purchasing a used piece of adaptive equipment and it does not “feel” right, your best bet might be to walk away.  The market for used equipment grows everyday as people trade in old equipment for new products, or they simply don’t need the mobility device any longer.  In addition to that, the new equipment that is coming on the market may have more and better features that better suit your needs.

crytico

Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Crytico team if you have any questions.  Our job is to help out in any way we can.  844-CRYTICO / info@crytico.com.

Cool Adaptive Products for 2014

Besides being a great resource for reading and writing reviews, Crytico is also a unique website where thousands of mobility products and dealers/providers are in one place; like these cool adaptive products.  No longer do you need to go to 10-15 different websites to find products and services for your specific mobility challenges; Now you can hang out on Crytico.com.  Another benefit is that Crytico may introduce you to products you didn’t know existed; you can’t google what you don’t know to google:-)

Here are some fun and interesting products that you can find on Crytico that help people with different levels of mobility challenges.

1. Wijit
Do you own a manual wheelchair and sometimes get tired after hours of pushing your wheels?  Then Wijit is a product for you!  It is a lever system that can be adapted to your current wheelchair and gives you all the features of a powered wheelchair but at a fraction of the cost.

Wijit Wheelchair

2. Automatic Door Opener
The Otodor is an automatic swing door operator.  This is a great product for all levels of mobility issues; from an elderly person to someone who uses a wheelchair.  This device can be installed on interior doors and with a push of a button, open sesame!  It’s a perfect use for use of the door from your garage entering into your home.

3. Jaco
A robotic arm?  Yes!  For those of you who may have significant physical limitations, this robotic arm can assist in daily tasks that may be difficult for you to perform.  With help eating to picking up objects; if you can control a wheelchair, you can control the Jaco!

Jaco, Robotic Arm

4. Standing and Lifting Aid
Are you a caregiver or know someone who is?  The Sara 3000 is a lifting device that aids caregivers lift family members or patients out of bed, out of their wheelchair, etc.  The health and safety of caregivers is so important and this product helps with ensuring they don’t injure themselves or the person they are helping. Click here to read reviews on the Sara 3000.

Patient Lift Sara 3000

5. Driving Aids
Want to get behind the wheel and experience driving again?  With limited modifications to your vehicle’s dash, this is a great option for people who are in the market for hand controls.  The Autolock features allows you to lock the device so people who need to use your vehicle (mechanics, valets, etc.) can’t misuse the driving device.  As with any driving device or hand controls, always get a  professional driver evaluation to ensure safety and recommended products for your capabilities. Read reviews on this SureGrip driving device.

6. Monoski
Winter is around the corner, ever thought about using a monoski and hitting the slopes?  This Torino model has bells and whistles that’ll help you make the most of your skiing experience.  Here is a great article on ski resorts that specialize in adaptive skiing. http://www.disabled-world.com/sports/snow/resorts.php

7. Mobility Ventures
For those of you who are looking for a wheelchair van, the MV-1 may just be your ticket.  Many times, the transition from a full-size accessible van to a wheelchair accessible minivan isn’t very exciting.  You may want to take a look at the MV-1 as it’s sort of a mix between a minivan and full-size van with lots of interior headroom and the option to position the wheelchair in the front passenger position.

8. Veloped
This walker was designed with the active person in mind.  Have you been wanting to get in shape, but fear  stability with cracks, gravel, snow and grass?  This particular assistive device is an outdoor walker built for support and comfort.  Get in shape and be safe when hitting the trails and gear up with the Veloped!

Veloped - Walker

9. Rodeo
For parents with children who have a disability, this is a great option if you need a pediatric wheelchair.  Made by Convaid, this wheelchair is customizable and with different reclining positions to grow with your child.  Along with tons of functionality comes a little fun with color options like “sassy purple” and “apple green”. 

10. Stair Lift
Are the stairs in your home getting tougher and tougher to manage?  The Elan stair lift by Bruno may be a great solution for you.  With its continuous charge and 300lb lifting capacity, introduce this to the seniors in your life who need a little help with getting to different levels of their home.  When the stair lift is not in use, it can be folded so it only protrudes 12” from the wall.

Crytico does not endorse one product over another, our goal is to educate and introduce you to some products you may not know are out there.  Email us with any suggestions or comments – info@crytico.com.

Top Ten Wheelchair Vans

As the reviews start coming into Crytico, we thought it would be fun to start posting Top Ten Blogs based on your ratings and reviews of products.  Today, we’ll focus on wheelchair vans.

Companies have been converting minivans for wheelchair access for decades.  Each year, the conversions get better and better with more features you want and need.  One thing that you have to keep in mind when shopping for wheelchair vans is that no two vans are alike.  We can’t stress this enough as it’s so important that you find the right van for you and your needs.  We recently came across on Crytico where a customer was thanking her local mobility equipment dealer for helping her and her husband find a van for her and her husband.  Click here to read her review of Ability Center in San Diego.  As it came out, only one van fit them; remember that wheelchair vans are not a “one size fits all”.

VMI Wheelchair Van

Top Ten Wheelchair Vans – as reviews by you on Crytico.com.

1. VMI Honda Odyssey Northstar – VMI has been converting the Honda Odyssey for wheelchair access since 2006.  Their patented Northstar in-floor ramp is highly desired by consumers.

2. VMI Toyota Access360 Northstar – The latest wheelchair van VMI has converted is the Toyota Sienna.  The unique feature of the VMI Access360 conversion is the spaciousness of the wheelchair maneuverability room inside the van.  People have described this van as “cavernous”.

3. BraunAbility Dodge Grand Caravan Entervan - Where VMI is the leader in in-floor ramp technology, BraunAbility has been building their fold-out ramp, called the Entervan, for decades.  Their attention to detail is always top notch.

4. VMI Dodge Grand Caravan Northstar – You may ask, “What is the difference between the BraunAbility (#3) and VMI Dodge Grand Caravan wheelchair accessible vans?”.  Many differences may not be visible to the naked eye, but when rolling your wheelchair up the ramp, and maneuvering inside, you will feel the differences.

5. VMI Chrysler Town & Country Northstar – Chrysler Town & Country is a popular minivan and one of the original minivans on the road.  This wheelchair conversion by VMI combines style with functionality.

BraunAbility Wheelchair Van

6. BraunAbility Toyota XT – BraunAbility says this conversion has “More Space, Superior Design”.  This van comes with a fold-up ramp, hidden spare tire and lots of other great features for wheelchair and scooter users.

7. VMI Chrysler Town & Country Summit – While VMI is known for their in-floor technology, they also make an outstanding fold-out ramp.  This conversion on the Chrysler minivan gives consumers the option to add steps to the ground effects, for easier entry and exit into the vehicle for able bodies passengers/drivers.

8. VMI Honda Odyssey Summit – The Honda Odyssey is a highly sought out van and the wheelchair accessibility designed by VMI on the van is outstanding.  Hundreds of hours were not only spent on the wheelchair functionality of the van, but also with the styling.

9. VMI Dodge Grand Caravan Summit - Options are plenty with this wheelchair van.  From power transfer seats to Durafloor, it’s a popular option of consumers.  Durafloor is an alternative flooring material that keeps your van looking better than carpet; we all know how wheelchairs wheels can tear up carpet.

10. BraunAbility Chrysler Town & Country Entervan – This powered conversion by Braun is a best seller.  From the quiet ride to the sleek lines of the minivan, it’s a great option in the wheelchair van sector.

Remember to tell us how you feel about your wheelchair van, or any mobility product you may have by writing a review on Crytico.com.  Help your peers who are in the market for shopping hear your experience with these unique products.