Jane Manning was a self-professed “athletic go-getter” who worked in a fast-paced retail management position when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 21 years ago. At the time, her husband supported her with the additional care she needed. The stress of his passing facilitated the progression of her symptoms, and Jane became unable to walk.
“I lost my husband a little over seven years ago,” Jane said. “He was my care giver at that time. I had to pull my boots straps up and go. I’ve never been one to have to rely on someone to do something for me. I’m going to try to do it myself first and then admit to myself if I can’t do it, before I ask for help.”
She moved from Bowling Green, Kentucky to McKendree Village, a continuing care retirement community in Hermitage, Tennessee. In need of a scooter, she met ATP Zach Stewart who became her trusted guide to independence. Over the last four years, with Zach’s experience and Jane’s willingness to plan ahead, they found solutions not only to address her immediate mobility needs, but also the future challenges expected with the progression of her disease.
“I cannot walk or stand up and I live alone,” Jane said. “The scooter and power chair enable me to be self-sufficient, which means a whole lot.”
Not only did Jane’s mobility equipment enable her to regain independence she needs for the tasks required in living alone, such as cooking and doing the laundry, it also opened up a variety of other activities that tap into her social personality and professional skills. She is very active in the McKendree Village Council, an elected body of residents serving as a voice for the community to the executive director and corporate office. Jane served as president of the council in 2017 and is looking forward to running again when the term limit allows in 2019.
“When I was president of the council, it was so gratifying for me because it was something that made me feel beneficial. I enjoy helping people and being the mouthpiece for the residents. As president, I would follow up with the 12 other council members. Everyone had a job and my job was to keep all the work organized and flowing. You can only serve on the council for two consecutive years. I am currently still participating in monthly meetings, now serving in an advisory scope.”
Jane’s mobility equipment enables her to conserve the energy she needs to spend more time in her community. It also allows her to spend time with her family, including her daughter and two granddaughters.
Jane’s power chair features several power seat functions that allow for her to be more independent. These features include tilt, recline, power elevating leg rest and seat elevate. With her Quantum Q6 Edge, she is able to tilt and recline for pressure relief and can utilize these two features for energy conservation by allowing gravity to assist with trunk stability. She is also able to elevate her legs for stretching her hamstrings to prevent worsening contractures in her knees and legs. The seat elevate also allows her to transfer in a more safe and effective manner. By raising and lowering her chair seat height, she ensures that she is always transferring to a surface that is lower than her current height. This is really beneficial at her community pool where she is able to transfer to the lift to get in and out of the saltwater pool two to three times a week. She is also able to use this feature while driving, allowing her to be seen when maneuvering down the halls and is now able to carry on a conversation without having to always look up.
“The elevation mechanism allows me to go up and down so I can reach things I need to in my apartment,” Jane said. “It also allows me to raise up to talk to people eye-to-eye so they aren’t looking down at me all the time. It not only benefits me physically, but mentally as well.”
Jane says she has always been an independent person.
“With Zach’s guidance and my power chair, I can be more independent. I don’t live my life just here in my apartment. I can go out and beyond.”
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