By Guest Blogger Diana Lindley
My name is Diana Lindley and I’m a proud Easterseals Northeast Central Florida team member.
One of my responsibilities at Easterseals is assisting with the Community Equipment Loan Closet. The Community Equipment Loan Closet is a community resource intended to support anyone with physical challenges or disabilities. All equipment is loaned at no charge; Easterseals asks individuals to make a small donation to support the program. The Community Equipment Loan Closet provides canes, crutches, shower chairs and benches, folding walkers, four-wheel walkers with seats and wheelchairs.
Recently, I received a note from a client named Sandy describing how much our Loan Closet program has meant to her. She wrote, “Thank you so much for the use of the shower bench! After nearly three weeks (of doing without), being able to take a shower felt like paradise! It was the best shower of my life.
“It’s the little things we so often take for granted,” continued Sandy. “Thank you for the service you provide our community. It is truly needed and very much appreciated!"
It’s such a good feeling to know that those living in our community have the opportunity to live a full life and have not been forgotten. It always puts a smile on my face knowing that a piece of equipment that was needed was received and knowing how happy it makes the recipient feel.
I’m proud to be an Easterseals advocate. We at Easterseals help others by showing love and support to families so they do not feel alone and by providing the services and programs that meet the needs of the families. It is a team endeavor, not a one-man show. When you put the needs of others before your own needs, your life is better for it and you are truly blessed.
Are you interested in supporting Easterseals’ Community Equipment Loan Closet? Loan Closet accepts donations and always needs donations of durable medical equipment. Simply drop off the equipment weekdays between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Easterseals, 1219 Dunn Ave., Daytona Beach, or call to arrange a pickup of large items or large quantities of items. For more information, call 386-944-7821 or toll-free 877-255- 4568, ext. 321.
The next time you’re with a group of adults – in line at the grocery story, waiting in the dentist’s office or perusing the shelves in the library – look around. Twenty-five percent of those you see likely has a disability. And, there’s a high chance you do, too.
A recent story by CBS News states that one in four adults in the United States has a disability. The story cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently reported that the most common form of disability in adults is mobility, and it significantly increases with age, too. Hearing impairment is nearly as common.
Many believe that Easterseals of Northeast Florida only helps children with disabilities, but in fact, Easterseals serves children and adults.
Easterseals serves adults and seniors through several programs it offers throughout Northeast Central Florida, to include Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services and sign-language classes, as well as partnering with the Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. program to provide specialized communications equipment (telephones and more) to qualified Florida residents who have hearing impairment.
Further, Easterseals’ Community Equipment Loan Closet is a community resource of equipment intended to support adults, children and caregivers living with physical challenges or disabilities. All equipment is loaned at no charge; Easterseals asks individuals to make a small donation to support the program. The Community Equipment Loan Closet provides canes, crutches, shower chairs and benches, folding walkers, four-wheel walkers with seats and wheelchairs. It also accepts donations.
Easterseals serves the whole family and is proud to do so. With so many of us, our neighbors, family and friends living with disabilities, Easterseals aims to be a partner in supporting the independence of every person.
To learn more about Easterseals services for adults and seniors, call 386-255-4568, toll-free at 877-255-4568 or via video phone at 386-310-1157.
It can be discouraging to no longer be able to enjoy activities we once did as the result of disabilities. And, anyone is prone to losing self-confidence when excluded from physical experiences others are having. Why should anyone be left out of the fun?
Thankfully, for thousands of individuals, the Alinker walking bike has changed this narrative and has created opportunities for physical activity, social inclusion and emotional well-being for those with disabilities.
The Alinker was designed by Barbara Alink, a Dutch designer, architect and humanitarian. She aimed to design something for her aging mother who was resistant to walkers and scooters. Through two incredibly successful crowdfunding efforts, The Alinker is now available around the world, including right here in central Florida!
The Alinker is a non-motorized walking bike – without pedals – that allows for low-impact and strength-building physical exercise. When a person’s riding the bike, they are eye-level with companions riding traditional bikes, allowing users to feel included in the experience. The Alinker is designed to allow for independent operation without assistance, too, and is lightweight and foldable for easy transport.
Dorothy Lefford, VP of Clinical Services for Easterseals of Northeast Central Florida, recently acquired a sure-to-be-famous Alinker bike. She’s excited about seeing her clients’ reactions to the freedom and mobility offered by the walking bike.
“It’s totally great! It allows people who might need a walker with a seat to continue walking WITH a seat in a more socially acceptable manner," said Lefford. "You sit upright and at you’re at eye-level – and the greatest thing – it’s COOL! You can go to Disney World, you can sit and move along with your friends and family on this all day long. And, it’s great for endurance, too.”
Together with Alinker and inventors like Barbara Alink, we can challenge assumptions about people with disabilities, be more inclusive and help everyone reach their fullest potential.