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Professional health care professionals with more than 30 years experience!

SPECTRA MED, INC.   3160 Haggerty, Ste H
West Bloomfield, MI 48323

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Our Newsletter

New portable wheelchair ramp quick and easy to use

When a permanent wheelchair ramp in not practical or available, a portable wheelchair ramp might be the answer.

EZ-ACCESS, a leading manufacturer of portable wheelchair ramps, has come out with a new product called the TRIFOLD® Advantage Series® wheelchair ramp that is quick and easy to use with all wheelchairs and scooters.

The TRIFOLD® Advantage Series® portable wheelchair ramp, with its unique 3-fold design, offers the length required for wheelchairs and scooters to easily access steps, vehicles, and raised landings. The ramp is designed to be used and carried as one unit, or if desired, can be separated into two individual sections.

Innovative hinge design features interlocking brackets to provide smoother operation and reduced pinch points. Ramp features an applied skid-resistant surface with reflective safety stripes, as well as self-adjusting bottom transition plates for easy conversion from ramp to ground. The ramps are manufactured of welded aircraft-grade aluminum. 

The TRIFOLD® Advantage Series® portable wheelchair ramp, with its unique 3-fold design, offers the length required for wheelchairs and scooters to easily access steps, vehicles, and raised landings. The ramp is designed to be used and carried as one unit, or if desired, can be separated into two individual sections.

Innovative hinge design features interlocking brackets to provide smoother operation and reduced pinch points. Ramp features an applied skid-resistant surface with reflective safety stripes, as well as self-adjusting bottom transition plates for easy conversion from ramp to ground. The ramps are manufactured of welded aircraft-grade aluminum.



Extend the usefulness of your TRIFOLD® Advantage Series® portable wheelchair ramp with the Top Lip Extension (TLE). This optional plate increases the standard 3" lip to become 9", allowing the ramp to clear the rear bumper of SUVs and vans by simply attaching to the top lip.

Special product features:

  • Saves the vehicle`s interior for cargo and passenger space
  • Bottom transition plates adjust to uneven terrain
  • Ergonomically designed handles offer convenient carrying and a comfortable grip
  • Separates for transport and Storage
  • Folds into a compact unit
  • Available in 6 sizes
  • No vehicle modifications required
  • Built in carrying case on most models
  • Weight capacity up to 800 pounds
  • Applied non-skid driving surface is ideal for all weather conditions
  • Compatible with lift gate and most side-hinged panel door equipped vehicles
  • Self-adjus

Mobility scooters provide new lease on life

Who could benefit from a mobility scooter? Anyone who struggles to walk or gets tired after walking a short distance.

Using an electric scooter is not an admission of defeat and can greatly enhance your quality of life. It can provide a new lease on life and a newfound independence. If you are thinking about getting a mobility scooter, it is probably time.

Using a mobility scooter can actually give you more energy because you don't have to use all of your energy up trying to walk. Using an electric scooter will help to relieve the strain on shoulder muscles and wrist and elbow joints that are used when pushing yourself in a self-propelled wheelchair. An electric scooter can help to provide you with the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. Some models are capable of traveling up to 35 miles between charges, so the distance you can cover is much greater than in a traditional wheelchair.

A large number of stores (including supermarkets and discount stores) offer customers the use of a mobility scooter while shopping. If you are not sure if you would benefit from one, try it and see if it does indeed make your shopping easier.

Some shopping malls offer 'Shop mobility', which lends or hires mobility equipment based on the user's requirements, and then provides training on equipment use.

Using an electric scooter just might open many doors for you that have been previously closed, perhaps caused by a disability or illness. A whole new world is waiting to open up for you, such as going shopping, going out for the day, or just going for a "walk" with your children or grandchildren. You could go up and down steep hills in comfort and without fear of rolling down the hill, and without being worn out for days afterwards. You can visit friends and relatives at your convenience, without needing to rely on public transport. The possibilities are endless.

Visit with someone who has a scooter and find out what improvements it has brought into his or her life. Mobility scooters can mean the difference between managing to live at home independently, and having to rely on others.


Guide to selecting a wheelchair

Selecting a wheelchair can be a confusing process due to the wide range of prices and the many types of chairs on the market today.

You may have been prescribed a specific type of wheelchair by an Occupational Therapist or you may find yourself shopping for a chair to accommodate an elderly relative, but whatever the reason, the task may become daunting.

Here are some tips to help make shopping for a wheelchair a little less frustrating for the first time buyer.

  • Who will push? Who will be pushing the wheelchair is an important factor to take into consideration. Somebody who will be using a wheelchair independently will require a self-propelling model they push themselves with larger wheels. A self propelled, or transit wheelchair with smaller wheels would be appropriate if the wheelchair is to be pushed by an attendant.
  • Portability: For the occasional user, a folding wheelchair is a good idea, as they can easily be dismantled, folded and transported by car. The rear wheels can be taken off and the back might be able to fold down. These wheelchairs are ideal for those going out for the day in the car, or perhaps for someone who can`t walk as far as they once could, but maybe don`t need to be in a wheelchair all the time.
  • Weight: Also, for occasional use, the lighter the wheelchair, the easier it will be to transport. Folding wheelchairs usually weigh around 33-44lbs. Folding wheelchairs are available in variety of sizes, but may not offer the specialized features that a prescribed wheelchair does.
  • Comfort: If the wheelchair is to be used more often, all day, at work, or indoors for example, the comfort and maneuverability may be more important than the costs. These wheelchairs are less likely to be folding models. These rigid, selfpropelled wheelchairs combine a lighter frame and wheels. They might have more specialized features, such as a seat cushion, foot rests and arm rests. Whatever style of wheelchair you choose, a wheelchair cushion is highly recommended. This will help improve posture, comfort and can help to prevent pressure sores.
  • Use: Wheelchair users who lead an active lifestyle, which might include playing sports and driving, will require a different type of wheelchair. These users are more likely to want one that is very lightweight, smaller and stronger than a traditional wheelchair. A sport wheelchair may be constructed from titanium, which is lighter and stronger than aluminum. It probably won`t have traditional style foot rests, arm rests or handles, as it won`t need to be pushed. It is likely to have custom features. These lightweight chairs are easy to put in a car, and the user can put the chair in the car from the driver`s seat. This means that they don`t have to rely on others, and more independence.
  • Efficiency: Another important aspect to consider when choosing a wheelchair is to measure the efficiency of the chair. This can be done by seeing how far it will move on a given surface in just one push.

The process of choosing a wheelchair may seem complex but wheelchair manufacturers make this easier by providing a prescription form for some models. This provides a stepby-step method of choosing a wheelchair based on a person`s condition, activities and any other special needs. Depending on the complexity of the requirements, the wheelchair manufacturer may offer the service of a trained expert to help with this decision.

Overall, it is a good idea to let an experienced mobility dealer guide you into making the right choice.

How to use crutches

If you have recently had a surgical procedure or have broken your foot or leg, you may find yourself now having to use crutches to get around.

When you first begin use crutches, everything will seem difficult. But after a while, with a little practice, you will gain confidence and learn to use this walking aid safely and effectively during your recovery period. Here are a few tips to get you on your way.

  • The correct fit: Selecting the proper size is very important. The top of your crutches should reach to 1-1 1/2 inches below your armpits while you stand up straight. The handgrips of the crutches should be even with the top of your hip line. Your elbows should bend a bit when you use the handgrips. Hold the top of the crutches tightly to your sides, and use your hands to absorb the weight. Don`t let the tops of the crutches press into your armpits.
  • Walking tips: When walking, lean forward slightly and put your crutches about one foot ahead of you. Begin your step as if you were going to use the injured foot or leg, but shift your weight to the crutches instead of the injured foot. Your body swings forward between the crutches. Finish the step normally with your noninjured leg. When the non-injured leg is on the ground, move your crutches ahead in preparation for the next step. Keep focused on where you are walking, not on your feet.
  • Sitting down: When attempting to sit down, back up to a sturdy chair. Put your injured foot in front of you and both crutches in one hand. Use the other hand to feel for the seat of your chair. Slowly lower yourself into the chair. Lean your crutches upside down in a handy location.
  • Standing up: To stand back up again, inch yourself to the front of the chair. Hold both crutches in the hand on your good leg side. Push yourself up and stand onto the good leg.
  • Stairs: When attempting stairs you need to be both strong and flexible. Facing the stairway, hold the handrail with one hand and tuck both crutches under your armpit on the other side. When you`re going up, lead with your good foot, keeping the injured foot raised behind you. When you`re going down, hold your injured foot up in front, and hop down each stair on your good foot. Take it one step at a time. You may want help at first. If you`re facing a stairway with no handrails, use the crutches under both arms and hop up or down each step on your good leg, using more strength. An easier way might be to sit on the stairs and inch yourself up and down each step. Start by sitting on the lowest stair with your injured leg out in front. Hold both crutches flat against the stairs in your opposite hand. Scoot your bottom up to the next step, using your free hand and good leg for support. Face the same direction when you go down the stairs this way.


Which type of cane is right for you?

Canes are just one of several ambulatory devices available on the market today. The use of a cane improves balance by increasing a person’s support base.

There are four categories of canes on the market. Each provides a slightly different type of assistance.

  • C cane: This type of cane is the most simple of all canes. It is a single straight cane with a curve forming a handle on top, which is designed to improve balance. The C cane should only be used by those needing slight assistance with balance or minimal unweighting of the opposite leg.
  • Functional grip cane: This type of cane is similar to the C cane except for the handle. This cane has a straight grip handle rather than a smooth curve, which allows for better grip. The improved grip provides better cane control and thus provides better support than the C cane. Functional grip canes are appropriate for the patient who needs slightly more assistance with balance than what the C cane provides.
  • Quad cane: This is another type of cane designed with a rectangle base and four small supports that contact the floor. This type of base provides more support than the above two canes. Quad canes are available in two varieties depending on the size of the base. They are categorized as small base and large base quad canes. The quad cane is designed to help those who need even more assistance with balance than what is provided by the C cane and the functional grip cane.
  • Hemiwalker cane: This cane provides the most support by combining the features of a quad cane and a walker. This type of cane provides a much larger base than any of the canes described above. Hemiwalkers also provide an additional amount of lateral support. Those transitioning from using a walker to a cane will benefit from the use of this type of cane.

For whichever cane you decide best fits your needs, is important to appropriately size your cane. When standing, the arm that is grasping the cane should have a twenty-degree bend in the elbow. If there is any confusion, ask your local physical therapist or medical supply store for assistance.