Walking Frames – What’s What

Walking Frames

Walking frames are a great way of keeping your independence if you have become a little unsteady on your feet or if you have trouble in walking due to a breathing condition or such like.  There is a wide selection of walking frames on the market, each has its positive and different uses so you could get confused as to what would be best for you, but as always we suggest that you try any product before purchasing it to make sure to suits you needs.

‘Zimmer’ Frames
This is often the first point of call for most people and is idea for use within the home, as it often lightweight so the user can move it forward but can be upgraded by replacing the rubber ferrules at the front with glide wheels. Addition products can be added such as a bucking caddy so the user can then carry items about providing much needed independence within the home.  Not really designed to be used outside on general pavements but there are folding models available which helps with transportation or storage if space is at a premium. These are height adjustable but only in small section so make sure you get the right size before purchasing.

Tri Wheel Walker
The tri Wheel walkers are the perfect indoor / outdoor walker, with the ability to turn within a tight circle makes manoeuvring within the home easy and the larger wheel allows it to take on lumps and bumps of the pavements. Often a littler heavier then ‘Zimmers’ but they are not designed to be picked up all the time when travelling using them. This design allows a little bag to be suspended between the arms to help carry shopping and are often fitted with brakes which can be applied and locked on providing a stable platform to allow the user to lower themselves on a chair. The push handles are often height adjustable to suite the users need to help achieve the correct posture when walking.

4 Wheel Rollator
The 4 Wheel rollator provide great stability due to the large four wheel and is perfect on use on the pavements, this design along with a little storage area come with a seat to help provide somewhere to rest if walking is become a struggle and just like tri wheel models these are often fitted with lockable brakes. The larger frame does not fold up as small as the tri wheel walker but can still be placed on the back seat of a car and comes with a higher weight capacity of about 26 stone. Bariatric rollator are available with a capacity of 35 stone but be prepared to pay a little more.

Deluxe Rollator
If you don’t like the look of the 4 wheel rollators but still need something to help you then have a look at many of the deluxe rollators available, these are often designed to fold down to a very compact size for transportation or storage. The larger wheels are more than happy travelling about on the bumpy pavements and as standard have lockable brake. The seat is often not as comfortable as the standard rollators but the movability is much better due to the free moving castors.

All of 1stStep Mobility shops within Essex, Kent and London stock both rollators and walkers which are available for you to try and take away today, all at great prices. For more information you can contact us via email by info@1ststepmobiliy.comor give us a call on 10708 746644

What to look for when buying a Wheelchairs

What To Look For When Buying A Wheelchairs

At 1stStep Mobility we stock a wide selection of both transit and self-propel wheelchairs which are available to try and take home today. If you are unsure what is the right style of wheelchair is for you the main question to ask is whether or not the person whom is going to use the chair will need / be able to move themselves. If the answer is no then a transit chair is required.  Self-propel chairs have large wheels at the back which are designed to allow the user to move themselves whereas the transit have smaller wheels which provide more stability when being pushed.,

Brakes
One of the most important parts of any wheelchair is the brakes, as when the user needs to dismount the wheelchair you do not want it moving under them. On self-propel you need to ensure that the user can apply the brakes themselves and they are not too hard to put on. With transit wheelchairs the brakes are normal fitted onto the push handles with some models even fitted with a locking system which means the brakes to be locked from the handles allow the pusher / carer to then move around and help the user to get out of the chair without it rolling away.

Crash Tested
If you use dial-a-ride or any similar companies to help with transportation they will often require that the wheelchair is crashed tested. When going shopping for a wheelchair make sure that you ask for a crashed tested chair as not all chairs are as the dial-a-ride companies may refuse to transport you. Keep an eye out for the crash tested symbols which is required to highlight the tie down points.

Adjustability
Because every person is different, when you do have a look make sure that it can be adjusted to your needs, for example the height of the footplates (if you are in a good mobility shop they should be able to adjust it for you) the other important thing to be able to adjust is the brakes – you should be able to apply the brakes and if you can’t then again ask the dealer to adjust them until you can. On some higher specification chairs you can even adjust the depth of the chair and even the height of the push handles.

Compact & Lightweight
All wheelchairs are designed to fold up or even come apart into sections to help make the wheelchair as small as possible for transportation or storage, on self-propel chairs the larger rear wheel are often designed to be removed for this very reason. With so many different make and models available on the market we always suggest to try before you buy to ensure that the chair is comfortable, is perfect for your needs and that the person whom is picking it up can in fact pick it up. Many wheelchairs are normally about 12kg but some can weight only about 8kg but these do cost more.

Accessories
To make using a wheelchair chair more comfortable there is a selection of products available from cushions to help raise the seat and provide a more enjoyable ride to rain covers which cover both you and the wheelchair from the elements. If you are on a self-propel wheelchair then you might want to consider gloves which help you grip but also protect your hands. One of the best items to have on any wheelchair is a bag which normally goes at the back of the chair to help carry shopping or personal items.

1stStep is your local mobility supply within Essex, London and Kent. Suppling a wide range of products from large mobility scooter to lightweight wheelchairs. Visits your local store or give them a call today to see what we have for you today.

 

 

Second Hand Mobility Scooters – Frequently Asked Questions

Second Hand Mobility Scooters – Frequently Asked Questions

The second Hand mobility scooter market is very big and is full of bargains if you know what you are looking for but you also need to be very careful as you don’t want to waste your money on something which will end up costing you more in the long run.  Have a look at the couple of points below to help you in getting the best for your money, but always remember that we supply both new and second hand mobility scooter and powered wheelchairs with a three month warranty.

Age of the Mobility Scooter
The first thing to normally ask is the age of the product generally the older it is the more wear and tear it has had so the more likely the chance of something breaking or even stop working which could end up costing a lot of money to get it back up and running again. But buying an old product might not be a negative because if it has been looked after properly with regularly servicing and a careful owner then there is no reason why a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair can’t last ten years or more!

Batteries
All mobility products work on a form of battery power, so ensure that the product has got a good set fitted is a must because depending on the size of them it could work out more expensive than the cost of the product itself. Ask if the mobility scooter has been standing around for any length of time unused because this will affect the efficiencies of them. (if a battery has not been used or charged within three or four week then they could start losing their power).

Have a test drive
Just like buying a car, make sure that you have a test drive to ensure that it is all working and that all the switches and levers work. When travelling about try and listen out for any knocking or grinding noises which could lead to potential breakdowns. If you turn up to look at a scooter and it is not working please walk away as this could be hiding a multitude a sins.

Condition
At 1stStep Mobility we do part exchange mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs if you are purchasing a new product but we are always told that the old one is in good condition and only been used a couple of time but this is not the case, it is more often than looks as if it has been driven into a wall! Ensure that you have seen some photos of the items before going to see it so not to waste your time. Ensuring that you see the item before handing over any money it is very important when dealing with a seller online, as they could just take your money and not deliver the product itself.

Servicing
You don’t have to have a service on your product but we do recommend it to assure that it is working correctly and smoothly to help prolong its life. 1stStep Mobility offers a servicing and battery test facilities, producing graphs and service sheet letting you your how good the batteries and the product itself is. All our second hand mobility products are given a free service before we hand the product over, given you peace of mind knowing that it is completely working correctly and will do for some time to come

Tyres
Tyres on any product is often the tell-tale sign if the product has had a hard life, if they are worm down with not much grip left then the mobility scooter has been used a lot and this could lead to a lot of punchers unless replaced.

Charger
Whatever the mobility scooter or powerchair chair, ensure that it come with a working charger. Don’t just take the sellers word for it test it yourself, as a mobility scooter is useless without the means of charging it back up again. If the charger is covered in cobwebs and rust then for your own safety please don’t use it.

Warranty
Ask if the seller will provide a warranty, this will protect you if anything does brake or stop working within a certain amount of time (this also means that the seller has got confidence in the product). This might not be the case if the person is selling it privately but this is when you can ask for a better price to help cover any future costs.

All of 1stStep Mobility shops provide a wide range of second hand mobility scooters within Essex, London and Kent. So give us a call on 01708 746654 and we can help pick the right second hand mobility scooter for your too test drive today. But most important is that we provide three months warranty ensuring that you have peace of mind knowing that you are covered for any breakdown.

Home Care Main eBay

 

Lightweight Mobility Scooters

Lightweight Mobility Scooters

The term ‘lightweight’ in often used as a name for portable mobility scooters, due to the lower weight compared to a pavement or larger 8mph mobility scooters. Some lightweight mobility scooter can come apart into section or even fold in half manually or automatically by a press of a button.

One think to keep in kind when looking at lightweight Mobility scooters is they may not be light for you to lift by yourself, the average person can lift 61kg (about 9 stone) so if the Mobility scooter is under this weight then it is often considered as lightweight.

One thing to consider is that you do not want the mobility scooter to be too light as it then may not be strong enough to carry the weight of a person over the required distance and terrain, and to be able to take a little bit of a knock (as we all know accidents happen). The frame need to be strong so more often than not this mean a bit of weight.

If you are looking to put the mobility scooter in the boot of a car you may still need to consider getting a hoist fitted especially if you are looking at a folding designed. The other alternative is a scooter which disassembles into lighter sections which you may find easier to lift up then a complete unit.

The main part of any mobility scooters is the batteries and lithion batteries are very lightweight and will provide the same distance as standard heavier mobility scooter batteries but required more charging to ensure the long life of them. So when looking at mobility scooters double check what form of batteries are fitted to see which best suit you.

When looking at any mobility scooter we always recommend seeing the product for yourself and having a test drive to ensure that it covers most of the points you need, 1stStep Mobility stock a wide range of mobility scooters within all our Essex, London and Kents shops and our highly trained staff will help guild you in the right direction.

Have a look at the selection below or visit your local 1st Step Mobility Shop!

            

Three Ways to Manage Pulmonary Fibrosis

Girl listening to music, which is a relaxation technique used by people looking to buy mobility equipment online, with pulmonary fibrosis

With health concerns on the rise, many find it more convenient than ever to simply buy mobility equipment online, and we’re glad to be able to offer accessible service to those who need it most, such as those suffering with Pulmonary Fibrosis. In case you missed it, September was officially Pulmonary Fibrosis month, which aims to raise awareness for the condition, and we thought we’d chip in with some tips to help manage it. Of course, first things first: what is Pulmonary Fibrosis? Simply put, it’s the build-up of scar tissue in the lungs, which interferes with oxygen passing between the lungs and bloodstream, which can lead to breathlessness. So, just how can this be managed?

Manage Stress

 

Anxiety, stress, and even brief periods of nerves can aggravate breathlessness, sometimes to a distressing degree (which then, of course, makes things even worse!). Learning relaxation techniques (such as meditation, colouring, listening to music etc) and finding ways to remove stress from your life will make your life a lot easier, not least from being able to breathe more easily!

Look After Your Health

 

Even if you’re looking to buy mobility equipment online, one of the best ways to help deal with the symptoms of Pulmonary Fibrosis is to take steps that will help to increase your lung capacity and keep your body in good shape. Generally speaking, you’ll want to exercise when you can, and to an appropriate level as to not exert yourself – even just walking is better than nothing! Improving your diet and quitting smoking can also help improve your quality of life.

Don’t Push Too Hard

 

Of course, nothing is ever easy, and whilst physical activity may help you manage your condition in the long run, it can also make you breathless in the short term. It’s important not to overexert yourself whilst exercising, and also carry this attitude over towards other element in you life. Learn to delegate difficult chores and tasks to those willing to help. Paying attention to what messages your body is sending to you is also vital – remember that there’s no shame in needing to take a short break and start something again, even if things ends up taking longer than you’d like.

Overall, the best course of action is to find out what works best for you! Ask your doctor for advice on managing your symptoms, and always consult them before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle. You may also want to consider different ways of adapting your lifestyle to fit your new needs, including researching mobility equipment.

It’s so easy to buy mobility equipment online from 1st Step Mobility, as we have a full online catalogue for you to browse from before you choose, and can even arrange at home demonstrations so that you’re absolutely sure things are a good fit before you commit to buying. Call us on 01708 746654 to arrange a home visit, or for more information about any of our products and service. You can also email us at info@1ststepmobility.com or pay us a visit at our Essex, Kent, and London showrooms.

Mobility Accessories

Mobility Scooter Accessories

At 1stStep Mobility we stock a wide range of mobility scooters accessories for all different make and models of mobility scooters and powerchairs, ranging from new batteries to covers and bags to help to provide for storage when traveling out and about.

Mobility Scooter Covers
1stStep Mobility have a wide range of covers for both you and your mobility scooter including the very important tiller cover which only costs £12.00 and help to cover the very important electronic controls within the head which could stops the product from working if it gets wet.  Scooters shelters are also available to help provide shelter when you need a secure place to store the mobility scooter outside.

Bags
Available within all our shops within Essex, London and Kent are a range of bags which provide extra storage for when you are out and about. Normally the bags fits onto the back of seat via a couple of straps. If safety is a big concern then a high visibility bag is recommend to help you stand out to both pavement and road users. If you need a oxygen bottle then a bag can be fitted to help carry this.

Wear and tear parts
We stock a wide selection of parts to help keep your mobility product up and running like new batteries which we provide with a year warranty when we install them Inner tubes and tyres for pneumatic wheels and we can also provide solid tyres for stress free motoring. We also stock a range of chargers and batteries.

Baskets
Many scooter do come with baskets fitted as standard, but on some of them you can get a bigger basket or even get a rear basket or lockable storage box to help you to carry more. Also available is a basket liner with a cover to help keep your items dry.

Rear Holders
At the base on many mobility scooter you can add additional brackets or holders to help you carry certain items such as crutch walking sticks or even a rollators

Ramps
From rubber threshold ramps to 6ft foldable suitcase ramps we can supply them all. If you are unsure of what ramp will be best for you then please give us a call and one of our advisers will help you pick the correct one.

USB Charging Sockets
Usb Charging sockets are a very modern feature which has only appeared on a selection of new mobility scooters are, but a few of the companies which make the mobility products are producing a simple device with goes into the charging socket and allows you to charge your mobile devices on the move.

For more information download our catalogue or visit your local 1stStep mobility shop within Essex, London and Kent today!

 

 

Pumpkin Coloured Kymco Midi

Pumkin Coloured Kymco Midi

Why not add that extra little touch to your halloween costume this year with a pumpkin coloured mobility scooter.

The Midi XLS from Kymco is the new and improved version of the popular Midi XL and is a slimmed down version of the ever popular Kymco Maxi XLS. It is designed for a scooter user who doesn’t need the heavy duty aspects of the bigger “Maxi”, but a user who still wants to enjoy the power and luxury features of its bigger brother.

The Kymco Midi XLS now has the fully adjustable, all round suspension system featured on the Maxi model, along with a comfortable and adjustable Captains seat, all wrapped up in a more compact chassis which means that you will find it is easier to handle on paths and pavements or more restricted spaces. 

Behind the two-tone front modesty panel is a conveniently placed basket to keep your personal effects close by. 

The Midi XLS however is still a very robust scooter having a maximum user weight of 25 stone and, will carry you for up to 25 miles on a single battery charge.

Contact you local 1st Step mobility shop or give us a call on 01708 746654 to arrange a free home demonstration today!

What Are Medium Range Mobility Scooters?

What Are Medium Range Mobility Scooters?

Scooters available at 1st Step Mobility

Medium range mobility scooters covers the biggest range of mobility scooter on the market and is ideal for people who don’t need a portable scooter but don’t what a large 8mph mobility scooter ether but do what the bigger range of miles and comfort to be able to leave the house and visit local shops.

Many medium range scooters will provide around 20 miles per charger (but this does depend on many factors) but are often fitted with pneumatic tyres (air filled) and a large padded seat providing more comfort then their portable little brothers. Some even have suspension fitted to ensure a smoother ride when travelling along the pavements and even though they are not allowed on the road they still have lights fitted to ensure that the user is seen by both pavement and road users when travelling to increasing safety.

One of the biggest benefits of a medium size scooter is of course its size, big enough to provide the distance and smooth ride but still small enough to allow you to drive and negotiate within small local shops.

Many 8mph scooters could be classed as medium range scooters due to the size of both the batteries and the scooter itself and are fitted with a switch which reduces the speed to 4mph but it is still advisable to drive even slower in built up area.

Below is a small selection of scooters within the Medium range market.

         

 

Road Legal Mobility Scooters

Road Legal Mobility Scooters

Man on a mobility scooter | Mobility shop in Romford

Did you know that you can use a selection of mobility scooters on the road. These scooters which are classified as a ‘class 3 invalid carriage’ can be used on the road if the scooter has got the following features.

  • a maximum unladen weight of 150kg
  • a maximum width of 0.85 metres
  • a device to limit its speed to 4mph
  • a maximum speed of 8mph
  • an efficient braking system
  • front and rear lights and reflectors
  • direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal
  • an audible horn
  • a rear view mirror

Road legal mobility scooters need to be registered with the DVLA,  as it may be used on the road but this does not cost your anything.  If you are registering a new vehicle mobility scooter you will require a V55/4 but if you are registering a used model then you will need to fill in a V55/5 form.

Many of the road legal mobility scooters are the larger vehicles fitted with the larger batteries providing the higher range of distance, and a bigger weight capacity and most important is all the additional safety features to make sure that you are seen and safe when you are travelling around on both the road and the pavement. Because these mobility scooters are often larger, storage is an important thing to consider so that you make sure that the scooter is locked away safely and can easily be charged.

The most important thing to remember is that when you are travelling along the pavements and in built up areas that you do switch the product to 4mph and you may even need to travel slower to ensure that you don’t knock anything or anyone over.

Vinyl canopies can be fitted onto to many different mobility scooters including class 3 road legal models, but we also stock a range of all weather mobility scooters which has got a fibreglass hard top attached or even a complete body providing complete protect from the elements when travelling about and even on the road.

      

Why not visit your local 1st Step mobility shop within Essex, London and kent  and see our  wide range of mobility equipment. We offer free tests drives and home visits on many of our products, and can help you choose what mobility aids are right for you, your home, and your lifestyle. Download a catalogue online today, or call your  Showroom on 01708 746654. You can also email us at info@1ststepmobility.com or visit us directly by dropping into your nearest store.

Portable Mobility Scooters

Portable mobility scooter are a great way to keep your independence if you’re having mobility issues, they are often small and lightweight so are often idea for transportation within a car boot or if your tight for space as they will fold away and not take as much space and a pavement or large 8pmh scooter.

Portable mobility scooters often come in two styles, folding or disassemble into section.

Folding Mobility scooters

Many portable mobility scooters now fold up to make them more compact, and fitted with lightweight Lithium batteries which produce the same amount of distance as the standard batteries. Some of these folding scooters can even fold up by themselves eliminating the need to bend down and take the scooter apart.

We do stock a range of folding scooter so have a look at the range below or visit your nearest 1stStep Mobility Shop and test drive one today.

      

 

Disassemble Mobility scooters

Disassembled mobility scooters often come apart and can be reassembled very easily, and one of the biggest benefits is that you can charge the batteries off board, meaning that you can charge the battery pack separately away from the rest of the scooter. This style of scooters are often designed to carry more weight and can be fitted with larger batteries providing a larger distance and some are even fitted with larger seats and suspensions.  We do stock a wide range of dissembled mobility scooters from different supplies ensuring that you get the best products at fantastic prices so visit your local 1stStep Mobility shop today and drive away on a mobility scooter today!

         

Why not visit your local 1st Step mobility shop within Essex, London and kent  and see our  wide range of mobility equipment. We offer free tests drives and home visits on many of our products, and can help you choose what mobility aids are right for you, your home, and your lifestyle. Download a catalogue online today, or call your  Showroom on 01708 746654. You can also email us at info@1ststepmobility.com or visit us directly by dropping into your nearest store.