As the end of May approaches and the weather continues to warm, people are gearing up for summer. This season is a time for frequent travel to and from vacations, ball games, and many other activities. Traveling in cars may seem like a normal event for many, but for those recovering from a surgery or injury, vehicles may be a big hurdle to overcome. In an effort to bring awareness to this issue and the fact that one in every five elderly individuals have mobility issues, the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association has designated May as National Mobility Awareness Month. Although this effort is focused mainly on the mobility solution of wheelchair accessible vehicles, there are other solutions for those experiencing minor mobility issues. One of those solutions is parked right outside of Friendship Haven’s therapy gym.
Shimkat Motors in Fort Dodge graciously provides Friendship Haven with a “training car” each year from spring to fall. This vehicle provides a unique opportunity to readily work with patients on getting in and out of vehicles, also known as car transfers. With availability and access at any time, the staff at Friendship Haven are able to help with rehabilitation efforts to improve patients’ functioning and independence, as well as promote return to their prior daily activities. Participating in therapy provided by Friendship Haven and taking part in the car transfers are just a few ways to help individuals gain confidence when experiencing mobility issues.
A well-known dealership throughout North Central Iowa, Shimkat Motor Company is celebrating their 70thanniversary this year and is operated by multiple generations of the Shimkat family. Bruce Shimkat, one of the owners, has other ties to Friendship Haven as well. He has served as a past chairman the Friendship Haven Board for several years. Bruce has devoted many years of his life to assist the Fort Dodge community and is a great representation for the town. Friendship Haven greatly appreciates the generosity and support that Bruce and the Shimkat team have provided towards the rehabilitation efforts of the therapy program.