Mo­bil­ity im­proves con­fi­dence and in­de­pen­dence

The Tribune (NZ) - - TERRACE END -

Mak­ing life eas­ier and more com­fort­able for peo­ple with mo­bil­ity is­sues is the driv­ing force be­hind Ter­race End’s Mo­bil­ity Manawatu, and own­ers Rob and Leti­tia Stick are al­ways on the look out for new prod­ucts which will im­prove peo­ple’s qual­ity of life and help in­crease both their con­fi­dence and in­de­pen­dence.

Their new­est prod­uct is the in­no­va­tive Ul­traCane. This is an elec­tronic mo­bil­ity aid for use by vis­ually im­paired peo­ple. Sim­i­lar in style to the tra­di­tional white cane, the Ul­traCane emits ultrasonic waves and, us­ing the prin­ci­ple of echolo­ca­tion, is able to de­tect ob­jects as well as de­ter­min­ing their dis­tance and di­rec­tion. When raised up, the Ul­traCane is also ca­pa­ble of de­tect­ing over­hang­ing ob­jects such as low door­ways and tree branches, which en­ables the user to vir­tu­ally feel the com­plete en­vi­ron­ment around them. Rob says: ‘‘Th­ese pro­vide vis­ually-im­paired peo­ple with the con­fi­dence to move around freely. They are es­pe­cially use­ful for peo­ple who can­not use or man­age guide dogs and they give back a great deal of in­de­pen­dence to peo­ple who may have been re­liant on oth­ers to help them get around.’’

Mo­bil­ity Manawatu are the New Zealand agents for the Ul­traCane and, be­fore pur­chase, each cane needs to be specif­i­cally mea­sured to match a per­son’s height from breast­bone to the ground. They can be pur­chased in store or on­line and Rob says that they will pro­vide the pur­chaser with full in­struc­tions on the cor­rect use of the Ul­traCane.

An­other new range of prod­ucts is Mo­bil­ity Manawatu’s se­lec­tion of gar­den­ing tools. Th­ese in­clude er­gonomic han­dles and vary­ing shaft lengths, which makes it eas­ier to get at weeds or loosen soil with­out the need to bend down. They also have many other new and use­ful items in store in­clud­ing the tip ket­tle which re­duces the need to lift a heavy ket­tle of boil­ing wa­ter when pour­ing your cup of tea.

The re­cent cool, wet weather is a good re­minder for peo­ple to get their mo­bil­ity scoot­ers, wheel­chairs and walk­ers ser­viced to make sure they are in tip top con­di­tion over win­ter.

‘‘Wa­ter can cause se­ri­ous dam­age to bat­tery-pow­ered scoot­ers and wheel­chairs. While they are splash proof it cer­tainly doesn’t pay to go out in heavy rain. If they do stop work­ing it could be a mat­ter of al­low­ing the cir­cuitry to dry out, how­ever, if it hap­pens too of­ten you could cause ma­jor dam­age.’’

Mo­bil­ity Manawatu can ser­vice a full range of equip­ment in­clud­ing scoot­ers, wheel­chairs, easy chairs and beds; in fact any­thing with mov­ing parts, and Leti­tia says that if the cus­tomer can’t bring the equip­ment in to the shop then they will go out and ser­vice it in their home.

‘‘It’s not only pow­ered equip­ment that needs ser­vic­ing but, now win­ter is here, this is also a good time to check and re­new the tips on walk­ing sticks and crutches.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Ul­traCane and any other of Mo­bil­ity Manawatu’s prod­ucts and ser­vices; visit their web­site: www.mo­bil­i­ty­manawatu.co.nz. For in­for­ma­tion on up­com­ing events, news and up­dates check them out on Face­book (www.face­book.com/mo­bil­i­ty­manawatu), or sim­ply call in and see Rob and Leti­tia at 222 Ruahine Street in Ter­race End.

Mo­bil­ity Manawatu co-owner Leti­tia Stick demon­strates the in­no­va­tive Ul­traCane, and their new range of gar­den­ing tools.

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