I have been talking about my Stretto Power Chair with iLevel® technology a lot, and there is a super good reason for that. CMS is having an open comment period about whether they should cover iLevel. While I tend to talk about and show off the iLevel feature on my Stretto Power Wheelchair a lot, I think that now more than ever, its importance and role in my life (and many others) needs to be stressed. In this blog, I will focus on how iLevel helps me in my home.
Before using iLevel, I was very restricted within my home environment in terms of what I could do unassisted. There are many places in my house that I could not access: many shelves, cabinets, and even our microwave. Heck, our TV is mounted to our living room wall and I couldn’t even reach the power button. It’s not even placed that high on the wall! While the TV thing is a bit more of a recreational activity, the other inaccessible places are more vital to my overall wellbeing.
Accessing Items in My Kitchen
Everyone’s kitchen is important. It’s where food is stored and cooked, where dishes are cleaned and stored. You can usually find a microwave if you wanted to heat something up quickly. Before iLevel, utilizing these amenities and doing basic cleaning was rough. I have chronic Orthostatic Hypotension, which basically means my blood pressure tends to run low when I am in a straight upright position. Trying to reach even just the bottom of one of our wall cabinets, with my arm reaching over my head while my body stretches to reach, often resulted in me dismounting my wheelchair to lie on the floor. iLevel allows me to reach what I need with minimal effort.
Cooking on the Stove
iLevel power adjustable seat height has been especially useful when cooking on my stove. Trying to cook something on the stove top that needs constant attention, while remaining in a regular height seated position, was awkward and uncomfortable. My arms pretty much jut out to the sides, while my elbows have to point slightly up over whatever I am doing. It’s painful, to say the least. Thanks to iLevel, I don’t have to strain to see what I’m doing when cooking, making the activity much more enjoyable.
Reaching My Medicine Cabinet
Within my kitchen also lies our medicine cabinet. Well, more like a shelf in one of our wall cabinets. While it’s still on a bottom shelf, reaching it from a seated position is hard. I constantly utilize the tilt function on my power wheelchair to help regulate my body. Sometimes, I just can’t go from being tilted to an immediate sharp/stretched upright position. Plus, my partner works an 8-5 job and isn’t home during the day. I need to take my meds at three intervals during the day, two times when they are not home. Before iLevel, I would have to skip doses of my medicine because I was unable to independently access the medicine cabinet. Now, I can access my medicine independently and can take every dose.
While I do love showing off my Stretto with iLevel and making funny jokes about how I drive a lifted pink truck everywhere, iLevel power adjustable seat height is a very important and vital tool to help power wheelchair users like me live a more independent and comfortable life, especially within one’s own home.
Please go to rise4access.org to leave a comment for CMS about how iLevel technology makes a difference in your life.
About Chrysanthemum: Chrysanthemum is an award-winning cosplayer and Quantum brand ambassador. She enjoys fashion, cosplay and music and has a TikTok channel with over 380,000 followers. Click here to learn more about Chrysanthemum.
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