Home Care & Safe Patient Handling

aideThere are risks involved in moving patients in the home when an assistive device is not used.  An overexerted caregiver could accidentally injure themselves or harm the patient.  The patient may be injury by being dropped, jarred or not properly handled during transfers that are unassisted by a device.

Traditional floor-based lifts typically require multiple caregivers for transfers in the home.  They have a higher risk of tipping and can be difficult to move and adjust due to floor coverings or furniture within the room.  Heavier and larger patients can make these types of lift even more difficult for caregivers to move and adjust.

Anyone who lifts and moves patients are at a high risk for back injury and other musculoskeletal disorders.  Injuries are due in a large part to the overexertion associated with lifting, transferring and repositioning patients manually.  Safe Patient Handling has been associated with fewer injuries and decreasing severity of injuries.

patientStudies have shown that patients feel more comfortable and secure when ua mechanical transfer device is used.  It has been found that using mechanical devices to transfer patients takes fewer personnel and less time than manual transfers.

Patients and family caregivers may be unwilling or unable to accept changes in the home.  They may fear that an assistive device will be unsafe or uncomfortable.   In reality, assistive devices actually increase patient safety and comfort while enhancing the patient’s sense of dignity.  Assistive devices also protect caregivers from injury while increasing their efficiency.

The Titan 500 is a freestanding overhead patient lift designed for the home and the family caregiver.  It allows a single caregiver, often a family member, to safely transfer a loved one in the home without injury.


Proudly Made in the USA, the Titan 500 is a complete lift system that includes a free sling and free shipping.  It does not attach to the structure of the home and can follow the patient as they move through the continuum of care.  It is simple and safe to use and features a rechargeable electric lift motor.

For more information, visit our website, find us on Facebook and watch our YouTube channel.




6 Things Can You Do to Protect Disability Rights Today

By Alice Wong

This article originally appeared in Teen Vogue.  (https://www.teenvogue.com/story/disability-rights-how-to-help)


Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

In this op-ed, the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, Alice Wong, explains the danger of H.R. 620 and how you can help protect disability rights.

What does it mean to be an activist? I became an accidental activist because this world was never built for me. For me, as a disabled woman of color with a progressive neuromuscular disability, every breath is an act of resistance and activism.

I graduated from high school two years after the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990. It took me a long time understand the influence of this law on my sense of identity and pride as a disabled person. I no longer had to ask “nicely” for access or put up with discrimination. I had a law that represented my lived experience and my community. I could refer to the ADA and say that disability rights are civil and human rights.

Tomorrow, a bill will go for a vote in the House that will weaken the ADA and make it harder for disabled people to fully enjoy the world with their friends and family. The bill is called H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017.

For more than 27 years, businesses and public entities have been required to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. The ADA changed the opportunities disabled people have in every aspect of life.

Read the rest of the article here:  https://www.teenvogue.com/story/disability-rights-how-to-help

Lifting The Standard of Care: Safe In Home Transfers for Family Caregivers

The Titan 500 is a freestanding overhead patient lift designed for home care. The Titan 500 is a complete lift system and comes with the freestanding frame, 8 foot overhead beam, rechargeable electric lift motor, four-point lift bar, remote control, battery charger and a universal sling, with 4 sizes to choose from.


Titan 500 Freestanding Overhead Electric Patient Lift for Home Care & Family Caregivers



The Titan 500 ships freight and arrives in a large carton. It is partially assembled and two adults can fully assemble the lift in about 30 minutes. The Titan 500 does not attach to the structure of the home and allows a single caregiver to safely transfer a loved one without the stress and strain of a floor-based lift. The only real maintenance required is keeping the batteries charged and maintaining a straight lift belt to avoid twists and folds.

ceiling lift system

Titan 500 Overhead Patient Lift – Shipping Carton

Each piece of the system is designed to lift up to 500 pounds. We have several safety
systems built in to the lift. These include a belt travel limiter to prevent the belt from
completely unspooling, a safety stop switch to keep the belt from winding all the way up
into the motor unit and an electric emergency down system.

Freestanding Overhead Patient Lift

Titan 500 Freestanding Overhead Patient Lift

The Titan 500 is proudly U.S. made and was designed by a service-disabled veteran. We
are located in Michigan and shipping is free within the continental United States. Options for the unit include a 10 or 12 foot overhead beam and a set of locking casters for the frame. Those incur extra charges.  Contact us with questions and price inquiries.

Visit our website, find us on Facebook and watch our YouTube channel for more information.


Safe Patient Transfers In The Home

The Titan 500 is a freestanding overhead electric patient lift designed for home health care and a single family caregiver.  It protects caregivers and their patients from the injuries associated with the manual lifting and transferring of patients in the home.


The freestanding system does not attach to the structure and can follow the patient throughout their continuum of care.  A rechargeable electric motor gently lifts and lowers the patient while the caregiver glides them across the overhead beam and positions them  for a safe and secure transfer.


Designed by a Service-Disabled Veteran, the Titan 500 is proudly “Made in the USA”.

For more information, visit our website, find us on Facebook and watch our YouTube channel.


The Feminist Case For Single Payer

This article originally appeared on Jacobin.

It’s time to take health care away from the power of bosses and spouses.


A Los Angeles Medicare for All rally in February 2017. Molly Adams / Flickr

In the spring of 1969, a dozen feminists gathered at a women’s conference in Boston and came to a sober conclusion: their encounters with the United States health-care system had been overwhelmingly negative. They felt unsettled by doctors, alienated from their bodies, grifted by fees, and altogether powerless to navigate an industry they believed objectified them just as popular culture did.

The conference launched a years-long project, with each participant delving into some aspect of anatomy, sexuality, or society related to women’s health. The result was a self-published volume of essays called Women and their Bodies, which the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective used to provide women with a resource produced from their own perspectives and experiences.

Within a few years, the landmark feminist booklet was re-dubbed Our Bodies, Ourselves, released by Simon and Schuester, and sold millions of copies. In 2012, the Library of Congress named it one of the most significant works in American history. In recent years, it has inspired Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, which similarly seeks to be a health-care guide “by and for” the transgender community.

While Our Bodies, Ourselves is remembered for its role in the history of women’s health and culture, less attention is paid to its political context. In the 1970s, the small collective became one of the first feminist organizations to demand a single-payer health-care system: “Suffice it to say that capitalism is incapable of providing good health care, both curative and preventive, for all people,” one entry read. “Cost-benefit analysis trades off the benefit to the people of collective public health in favor of the cost to the people of private, patch-up medical care. The capitalist medical care system can be no more dedicated to improving the people’s health than can General Motors become dedicated to improving the people’s public transportation.” In a subsequent edition, they expounded: “We believe that health care is a human right and that a society should provide free health care for itself . . . Health care cannot be adequate as long as it is conceived of as insurance.”

If the book’s then-radical content has so permeated mainstream culture that it would strike readers as obvious today, the same is not the case for its authors’ critique of American health care. In fact, nearly fifty years after the collective articulated its vision for a universal system, “feminist” arguments against single-payer pepper politics and the media.

In June, Planned Parenthood of California refused to endorse a bill for a statewide single-payer system, contending that it was critical to focus on defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against GOP attacks instead. Vice cast it as a job-crusher for the mostly women of color who work in healthcare administration. In 2016, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — whose campaign foregrounded her feminist credentials — famously declared single-payer would “never, ever come to pass.” More recently, Senator Bernie Sanders’s release of an expansive Medicare for All bill has been met with skepticism by media personalities who backed Clinton for her feminist credentials. At the very least, it seems clear that single-payer health care is rarely framed as a feminist issue.

Some mainstream feminists knock single payer as a distraction from the fight to defend the ACA. But while the Affordable Care Act undeniably improved some women’s lives, it could not dismantle gendered barriers to care.

Of all systems, single-payer is capable of going furthest to eliminate them. That’s the vision that Our Bodies, Ourselves adopted nearly half a century ago, and it must be taken up again today.




How Older Patients Can Dodge Pitfalls Entrenched In The Health Care System

By Judith Graham
This article originally appeared on Kaiser Health News
It can be found here: https://khn.org/news/how-older-patients-can-dodge-pitfalls-entrenched-in-health-care-system/

Doctor talking to elderly couple in doctors surgery

(Sally Elford/Ikon Images via Getty Images)

Being old and sick in America frequently means a doctor won’t ask you about troublesome concerns you deal with day to day — difficulty walking, dizziness, a leaky bladder, sleep disturbances memory lapses, and more.

It means that if you’re hospitalized, you have a good chance of being treated by a physician you’ve never met and undergoing questionable tests and treatments that might end up compromising your health.

It means that if you subsequently seek rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility, you’ll encounter another medical team that doesn’t know you or understand your at-home circumstances. Typically, a doctor won’t see you very often. In her new book, “Old & Sick in America: The Journey Through the Health Care System,” Dr. Muriel Gillick, a professor of population medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Program in Aging at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, delves deeply into these concerns and why they’re widespread.

Her answer: a complex set of forces is responsible.  Some examples:

  • Medical training doesn’t make geriatric expertise a priority.
  • Care at bottom-line-oriented hospitals is driven by the availability of sophisticated technology.
  • Drug companies and medical device manufacturers want to see their products adopted widely and offer incentives to ensure this happens.
  • Medicare, the government’s influential health program for seniors, pays more for procedures than for the intensive counseling that older adults and caregivers need.

In an interview, Gillick offered thoughts about how older adults and their caregivers can navigate this treacherous terrain. Her remarks have been edited for clarity and length:

Q: What perils do older adults encounter as they travel through the health care system?

The journey usually begins in the doctor’s office, so let’s start there. In general, physicians tend to focus on different organ systems. The heart. The lungs. The kidneys. They don’t focus so much on conditions that cross various organ systems, so-called geriatric syndromes. Things like falling, becoming confused or dealing with incontinence.

Q: What can people do about that?

Older people are often unwilling to bring these issues to the attention of their doctors. But if a family member is accompanying the patient, they should speak up.

In some practices, a nurse practitioner may be more attuned to these issues than the physician. So, it’s a good idea to learn who in the medical office you go to is good at what.

Another approach is to request a geriatric assessment or consultation that will bring these issues to the forefront.

Q: How do geriatric assessments work?

A geriatric assessment does two major things. It looks at the whole person. And it focuses on that person’s functioning — on what they can do. Can they dress themselves, walk, get to the bathroom? Can they cook meals? Take a bus downtown? Balance their checkbook?

An outpatient geriatric assessment is typically 1½ to two hours and conducted by an interdisciplinary team. A social worker or a mental health professional will ask about the person’s family situation. Are they living alone? Do they have support? A nurse practitioner will look at physical function. And a physician will go over medical concerns and examine the cognitive performance of the individual. Then, the team pulls all these pieces together to look at what’s going on with that person.

When someone starts being frail — having consistent difficulty doing things — an assessment of this kind is often a good idea.

Q: The next step you talk about in your book is the hospital.

One of the big perils in the hospital is technology, which is also its great virtue.  Technology can improve quality of life and be life-extending. But, sometimes, it creates endless complications.

An example are imaging tests such as CT scans. Physicians hardly think of this as an invasive test. But often one has to administer a dye to see what’s going on.  That dye can cause kidney failure in someone with impaired kidney function — something that’s common in older adults.

Sometimes there’s no real need for scans. An example would be an older person who becomes acutely confused in the hospital, which happens a lot. The appropriate response is to look at what’s causing the confusion and take away the offending agent. Often, that’s a medication that was started in the hospital. Or, it’s an infection. But the routine knee-jerk reaction is to do a CT scan to rule out the possibility of a stroke or bleeding in the brain.

For the most part, doctors want to do whatever it takes to diagnose a problem.  For younger patients, this may make sense. But for frail older patients with multiple medical conditions, a cascade of complications can result.

Q: What do you advise older patients and their families do?

When a test is proposed, ask the doctor “how important is it to pursue this diagnosis” and “how will the results change what you do?”

It’s also reasonable to say something along the lines of “every time I’ve had a test, it seems like I get into some kind of trouble. So, I really want to know, with this test or this treatment, what kind of trouble could I get into?”

Q: In your book, you talk about how a doctor-patient relationship can be sidelined when someone goes to the hospital. Instead, hospitalists provide care. How should people respond?

It’s really important to give that doctor a sense of the patient and who they are.  Say, your 88-year-old mother is in the hospital, and she’s become profoundly confused. The doctor doesn’t know what she was like a week or a month ago. He may assume she has dementia unless he hears otherwise. He won’t understand it might be delirium.

You or a caregiver want to come across as someone who can make it easier for the doctor to do his or her job — versus someone who’s a nuisance. You want to build trust, not annoyance.

Q: What about skilled nursing facilities?

These are settings that people go to after the hospital, to get rehabilitation.  Typically, the contact with doctors is minimal after an initial evaluation, though there’s a spectrum as to how much medical care there is.

A subset of older adults go to rehab just to get physical therapy after they’ve had a joint replacement or a hip fracture. They are really pretty stable, medically. If they get good physical therapy and nursing care, it’s probably OK that the doctor isn’t around much.

But there are also older patients who come to skilled nursing facilities, or SNFs, after having had one complication after another in the hospital. These patients can be very fragile, with many medical problems. They’re at risk of getting some new problem in the SNF — perhaps an infection — or an exacerbation of one of the problems they already have that hasn’t resolved.

Q: What do you recommend?

When you arrive at an SNF, it’s a new cast of characters. A physician whom you’ll see fleetingly. Nurses. Physical therapists. Aides. If you’re a caregiver, make sure you have face-to-face time with these staffers.

SNFs are required within the first week or so to have a care planning meeting with the team. They’re supposed to invite patients and their representatives to the meeting. This is a good place to say something along the lines of “My mother has been through a lot, and now that we’ve met you and seen what you can do, we’d like you to do your best to treat her here and not send her back to the hospital.”

You have to have trust to make that happen. The family has to trust the medical team. And the team has to trust that the family isn’t going to get upset and sue them. A meeting of this kind has the potential to allow everyone to figure out what’s important and what the plan will be going forward.

We’re eager to hear from readers about questions you’d like answered, problems you’ve been having with your care and advice you need in dealing with the health care system. Visit khn.org/columnists to submit your requests or tips.

KHN’s coverage related to aging and improving care of older adults is supported in part by The John A. Hartford Foundation.

6 Surprising Signs Of Dementia


This article originally appeared on prevention.com

Lovely grandmother

Not feeling like your usual, upbeat self? Your cloudy mood may be a sign a bigger storm is brewing. Depression appears to be one of the earliest symptoms of dementia—a symptom that settles in well ahead of any memory problems, shows a new Neurology study.

The study team asked about 2,400 healthy adults (all over age 50) to answer questions about their mental and physical health. After 7 years, the researchers followed up to find out how many people had developed signs of dementia.

The people who’d started showing signs of dementia during those 7 years were twice as likely to have reported feeling depressed at the start of the study. It’s possible the underlying causes of depression may be wrapped up with the underlying causes of dementia and Alzheimer’s, the study authors say—though they’re quick to point out that hasn’t yet been proved. In fact, many of the non-dementia sufferers—nearly 15%—also showed signs of depression at the start of the experiment. So while feeling down in the dumps is worth keeping an eye on if you’re concerned about dementia (and your overall quality of life), it’s far from a sure sign the disease will settle in.

Here are five more surprising early signs of dementia—be sure to tell your doctor if any of these sound familiar.

Your taste buds change.
Big shifts in the kinds of foods you crave—especially a newfound preference for sweets—is another early warning sign, finds a Japanese study. The researchers say disease-related changes to the parts of your brain that control your taste buds and appetite may explain their findings. Some of the dementia sufferers in their study were even known to eat expired or rotten food.

You’ve started claiming “five-finger discounts.”
New criminal behaviors—stealing, trespassing, driving violations—may be an early sign of dementia, especially a front-brain variation of the disease called frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Research published in JAMA Neurologyfound breaking bad was the first sign of dementia in 14% of those suffering from FTD. The disease attacks the part of your brain that helps you recognize and respect social rules and conventions, which may explain the criminal behaviors, the authors say.

Sarcasm is lost on you.
Can’t tell when someone’s pulling your leg? An inability to detect lies, sarcasm, and other forms of “insincere speech” is another early symptom, suggests research from the University of California, San Francisco. The study authors say the disease messes with parts of your brain that spot and interpret “higher-order” verbal information.

You’re slowing down—physically.
A decrease in walking speed can precede any cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s. New research suggests beta-amyloid buildup in the brain may be to blame. Those pieces of protein form the hallmark plaques thought to spur Alzheimer’s-related damage in the brain. In the latest study, published in Neurology, researchers tested the walking speed and scanned the brains of 128 people with an average age of 76 and found a link between beta-amyloid buildup and a slower gait. In fact, they estimate that beta-amyloid accounts for as much as 9% of the difference in people’s walking speed.

You’ve become a pack rat.
Hoarding and other compulsive, “ritualistic” behaviors have been linked to dementia, shows research from the University of California, Los Angeles. For example, buying a newspaper every day and saving it but never reading it is one example of the sort of new, compulsive behavior that may signal the onset of dementia.



Traxx Mobility Systems manufactures the Titan 500, a freestanding overhead patient lift designed for home care and family caregivers.  It allows a single caregiver to safely transfer a patient in the home without injury.  The Titan 500 can provide a secure transfer experience for dementia patients and their caregivers.  Proudly Made in the USA.


Retirement Roommates: Were ‘The Golden Girls’ Right?

older women roommates

Learning boundaries — and understanding what a roommate is and isn’t — is important

By Lori Martinek

(This essay was originally published in SixtyandMe.)

Many of us share common fears as we enter retirement. We fear financial challenges, failing health and feelings of disconnectedness as we grow older. The good news is that there is one strategy which can help us effectively face all three — living with roommates.

Shared housing is an age-old concept that is becoming the latest housing trend. More than a third of boomers are single and most of those flying solo are female. Living alone is expensive and simply beyond the reach of many single retirees.

Living alone can also prove to be isolating and lonely. Neighbors don’t necessarily become support systems. Housemates often do. We all have fond memories of watching Blanche, Dorothy, Rose and Sophia bond (for better or worse) on The Golden Girls TV series in the late 1980s.

Embracing the idea of retirement with roommates opens the door to affordable shared housing options. You’ve done it before (which is why you may be cringing as you think about being in a roommate situation again). Likely, you gained something from that experience. Retiring with roommates makes sense on many levels.

The Benefits of Living with Roommates in Retirement

First and foremost, it is cheaper to live with other people. You share housing costs, utilities and often food. If you own a large home, you can offset the cost of maintaining it by taking on roommates. You get to age in place and your roommates gain a more affordable way to live.

There’s something to be said for having friendly faces around instead of empty rooms.

There will be other people to share chores and responsibilities and to provide a helping hand when needed.

It is more likely that someone will be around to help if you take a fall, to notice if you don’t come home or to call 911 when necessary. This can provide real peace of mind.

There is a sense of security that comes with having roommates — and not just when you hear a noise in the middle of the night. You gain companionship and people to potentially share holidays and special occasions with. Your circle will grow, as you meet the friends and family that roommates bring to the equation. Only you can decide if that is desirable or not.

A sense of community is good for your mind, body and spirit. We need people around us to offer advice or support, provide social interaction, get us out of the house and push us to try new things. Living with other people is one way to create such a valuable support circle.

The Challenges of Living with Others

There are, of course, challenges to living with other people. Collaboration and cooperation are key to a successful house sharing arrangement. People who live together need to maintain healthy boundaries and respect privacy.

Roommates are not surrogate spouses or friends. They are not caregivers, chauffeurs or home health providers. They are your partners in a living arrangement. Perspective is key.

An ability to respect other opinions, religions, world views and lifestyles is essential. Most of us have lived with a roommate at some point in our lives (at camp, college or in the military) and we know how challenging it can be. We’ve also learned from those experiences, and potentially have more to offer (and gain) in a shared housing arrangement as adults.

Making Shared Housing Work

A written (and signed) rental agreement is essential to outline house rules, shared responsibilities for rent, related bills and household chores and to help maintain harmony between housemates. Private and shared spaces in the home should be clearly outlined. Policies regarding visitors, overnight guests and quiet time are important.

Potential roommates should provide references and undergo a background check at minimum, and be introduced to their potential housemates if possible. People who interact well with each other in a social setting are more likely to get along as house partners.

As with many things in life, it’s the ingredients which lead to a successful outcome. The ideal roommates should share some similarities and interests, but also bring unique strengths to the table. Maintaining a home requires many different talents, including cooking, gardening, handyman skills, painting, pet sitting, bookkeeping or working with contractors.

Being able to make a unique contribution to the household will help each housemate feel needed and appreciated, and learning from each other can be a great bonding experience.


Traxx Mobility Systems Titan 500 is a freestanding overhead patient lift for home care.  It allows a single caregiver to safely transfer a patient without injury.  Visit our website, find us on Facebook and watch our YouTube channel.



By David Nickle
This article originally appeared on Inside Toronto.
Sandra and Dan Sexton are doing the kind of work on their North York home that usually comes much later in life.
Although they are only in their 40s, an ALS diagnosis for Dan means the home will have to become entirely accessible, as he transitions from using a walker to eventually an electric wheelchair. The Sextons are planning to offer housing to Dan’s 82-year-old father as well, which will feature a new lower-floor bath with wide doors, a roll-in shower and a widened side entrance to accommodate the wheelchair.
“You have to plan longer term,” Sandra said.
The couple are working with Ronny Wiskin, a specialist in home renovation for accessibility, through the Toronto-based Med+ Home Health Care Company.
The company assists homeowners to modify their environment using what are known as universal design principles — a seven-point checklist that balances esthetics and comfort with accessibility for people who might be confined to a wheelchair, or have other mobility issues.