We often think that the only people with mobility challenges in their homes are either elderly or chronically infirm. But after an accident, even the young and otherwise healthy can have problems getting around the house. That’s what happened to me recently after I broke my ankle. Even though the doctors re-set my bones with screws and a plate, they couldn’t help me magically regain my ability to bound up and down the stairs in my two story home.
And that’s my problem: my leg is in a cast, and I can’t really put any weight on it, but my bedroom, kitchen and living room are all upstairs. All I have to help me navigate is a pair of crutches I got from the hospital – but with no real knowledge about how to use them. Lucky for me, my wife and son helped me out when I first got home, otherwise I would have really injured myself the first time I tried going upstairs to my bedroom.
The next day was even scarier. I just couldn’t get over the fear of falling down the steps. Once again my wife came to my rescue – but even then I was scared that not was I only going to fall, but I would probably take her down with me if I did. All of a sudden, I realized that something that I did ten times a day without thinking was now going to be a challenge each time I needed to change floors. And the problem with my stairs was just the beginning. What about getting in and out of the shower, or getting on and off the toilet? And how long is this all going to go on?
So, here I am, someone whose job for the last 29 years has been helping people solve their mobility problems, and now I’m facing them all myself. Imagine the irony. But it certainly has also given me a deeper understanding of the struggles that many of my clients have to deal with day in and day out.
Anyway, over the next few weeks, I’ll tell you how I handled some of my own trials and tribulations and report to you the things that I had to learn to help myself get around – from managing my crutches better, to finding alternative means of locomotion. My story may be useful to you, should you ever find yourself in a similar situation (which I hope won’t happen!)
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)