We could all do with a little help around the home sometimes. This is my ULTIMATE guide to spoonie hacks – out & about edition which will give you EVERYTHING you need to make life super easy when you are disabled or have a chronic illness.
Getting about can be hard at the best of times when you have a mobility impairment or disability. I remember the first time I had to use a stick. I worked in a depot and the whole place was totally inaccessible for me with my stick. Things got even worse when I moved onto my rollator.
This post is for anyone struggling with their mobility or maybe with a dynamic disability. Dynamic Disability as coined by Brianne Benness of No End in Sight is a disability that fluctuates in severity from one moment onto the next. IF you have a long term mobility issue please ask your physician (General practitioner) for help and advice.
Sometimes referred to as rolling walkers, they allow you to move forward without the need to lift them up. There are a few different styles of rollator available. Some are simply a frame with a pivoting wheel or set of wheels while others have seats. and all kinds of bells and whistles!
My first rollator was called Susie. I actually got her from a friend who was no longer using her. I loved that she was “broken in” which was a thing when I finally got a new one myself. Mine was a three-wheeled rollator with a removable basket on the front. You could also add a tray and a cup holder on – I loved this as mobility aids can prevent you from having coffee with friends while on the move but something as simple as a cup holder was a game-changer for me.
Gosh, we all want to have a fancy-looking walking stick, don’t we? Especially when you are young and in need of one. I remember ordering a basic folding one from amazon which was so much prettier than the horrible explain brown one I was allocated form occupational therapy.
I moved on then and bought a specially made one from a local artist with a beautiful handle. My hands were bad at the time and I was very clumsy so dropped and broke it. Then I found Neo Walk. They are a local (Welsh) company who make lovely colourful walking sticks which can even light up! I love mine and although it is a little heavier than I like it is beautiful and I feel so pretty when I use it.
Selma Blair has always been open about needing a walking stick to help with her MS. Honestly she makes using a mobility aid look like a fashion accessory! Love her and her energy!
I remember when my son was little (like maybe 4) and he broke his leg in two places. He was too young to use crutches so I had to buy him a wheelchair to use. He used it for around 6-8 weeks to get to school and generally get around. I donated it to a local nursery school when we finished so they could learn about disabilities.
Later in life, I bought a wheelchair to help my mobility-impaired nanny get around. However, she also had other health complaints and she never actually got to use it. I still have it and frankly, I have had to use it on occasion. I cant wheel it myself though so I have to rely on someone to push me which really puts me off using it. Damn my independence!
It’s not self-propelled. I am currently looking for a self-propelled wheelchair to help me get about in my home and outside. My legs have simply gotten worse over the past few years. Rather than fight, I think its time to admit that I need extra help.
This is the chair I am looking at – just a basic self-propelled wheelchair as I need to see if I am strong enough to use it before I invest in something pricier. Again I will be speaking to my occupational health team about this.
I was lucky enough to be passed an electric scooter by my grandfather whos late wife had bought it and couldn’t use it. It simply lay in their garage until she passed when he gave it to me. It had cost around £1200 and was foldable so you could take it in the car. However, I found the battery to be quite poor due to it being a folding scooter and I only used it a few times. It has since been passed onto my uncle.
If you are within walking distance to towns etc then this would be a great purchase. I found the folding scooter to be bulk to lift into the car and the battery life was poor so it wasn’t worth the hassle for me.
I did hire an electric scooter for Glastonbury one year and I loved it. It had great power and battery durability even in muddy conditions. We named her Wendy and she was perfect for carrying not only me but all the kid’s bits and bobs too! Gosh, I miss festivals!
Car door handle support
I drive a Nissan Qashqai. Prior to that, I drove a Renault Scenic. Both these cars are high people carrier type cars. They do not require bending or stooping to get in or out of. They have great lumbar support and the driving position is amazing. I choose this type of car as I simply could not bend and twist my body for lower style cars.
This car door handle attachment is a great way for those with reduced mobility to help them get in and out of vehicles. It attaches to the car door latch. The user can then lean on this while they enter or exit the car. It can also be used to break car glass in an emergency.
Portable urinal or she-pee
LAstly in the ULTIMATE guide to spoonie hacks – out & about. Travel Urinals are ideal for situations where toilets are not immediately available. They require minimal privacy and can be used while standing, sitting or lying down. You can then empty the urinal when you return home.
If you think you need your mobility aids reassessed don’t be afraid to ask for a reassessment by occupational health. The ULTIMATE guide to spoonie hacks – out & about can have all the gizmos and gadgets in the world but It is the job of these guys to help you get the best aids you can for your health conditions. I would have been lost without the help from my team. Yes, I will admit it took a LONG time for them to get to me but it was definitely worth the wait.
I find giving my mobility aids names help so much as it helps me to relate to them. The only problem I have is thinking of names for them all!
Do you name your mobility aids?