Freedom and Independence: The key is Mobility
Like you and me, Victoria loves to visit her friends or go shopping. She enjoys road trips too. Whether to cross the country or to run errands, she needs to travel with her power scooter.
But her scooter is too heavy for her to load in her van without assistance; even with the help of a portable ramp. Every time she wanted to go somewhere, she needed to seek assistance or wait for someone to come to do the lifting for her.Her mobility was therefore significantly limited. So was her freedom to go places.
The solution was for her in a VSL-6000 by Bruno Independent Living Aids. This is an “auto lift”, a mobility product of Bruno. (“Mobility” products include power scooters, wheelchairs and power chairs, and the equipment that enable their users to travel with them; while stair lifts, platform lifts and ramps are “accessibility” products)
There are several types of auto lifts. Three categories: Inside, Outside and Hybrid lifts.
- Inside Lifts
Like Victoria’s VSL-6000, inside lifts are designed to load the mobility device – whether a power scooter or a power chair – inside the vehicle. Inside lifts usually look like a mini-crane. The user has to dismount from the mobility device – a scooter, for example – behind the car or curbside. He/she then grabs the docking device attached to the strap of the lift, and connect it to the scooter. Next step is to push the button on the handheld control to lift the scooter high enough to get in the car. From that point, and depending on the lift, one just has to gently push the scooter inside the cargo spac., If powered that way,the lift rotates by itself inside the car, by the push of a button. In the latter case, one still has to keep a hand on the scooter to guide it inside the car, or to prevent it to spin. Once inside the cargo space, just push on the down button to lower the scooter on to the floor of the car.
Unloading operation is exactly the reverse. Easy.
Benefits of an inside lift of this nature are: 1) the mobility device travels inside the car which means it does not get wet or dirty and 2) the lift itself takes a minimal space of the cargo area, leaving most of it available when not in use.
- Outside Lifts
Outside lifts are platform lifts that are mounted on the trailer hitch of the vehicle. Yes, the vehicle needs to be equipped with a hitch, but this can be done together with the installation of the lift. The platform automatically folds up in a vertical position when not in use. Loading a scooter (or a power chair) is really easy: Just lower the platform to the ground with the push of a button, drive your scooter on it and get off the platform. Then push the Up button to lift the platform to the travel position and secure the scooter on the platform. Depending on the lift, the securing system may be automatic or manual.
Offloading is as easy, just reverse.
That is the first benefit of these outside lifts: Very easy to use. One other benefit is to save the cargo space entirely. However, one wants to order it with the “swing away” option that provides access to the cargo area.
- Hybrid Lifts
Hybrid lifts are platform lifts that go inside the car. They are as easy to use as an outside lift, with the benefit of keeping the mobility device out of the weather i.e. dry and clean. It is probably the best solution for minivans and large SUV’s: You will loose the use of the third row of seat, but you can still take passengers on the second row.
Victoria decided to go with the “crane” type or inside lift. The VSL-6000 does the lift for her as well as the rotation in and out of the vehicle. All what she needs to do is to keep one hand on the handheld control to push the buttons, and the other hand on her scooter. No effort, no strength needed, only some balance. She just loves it: She now can leave her house whenever she wants without the need for calling someone and waiting for that someone to come and help her.
This is her independence. Her freedom.