For us, we can’t function without the use of mobility aids.
From a health point of view, 2018 has been our worst year ever. What started off as feeling a little unwell, with the odd ache and pain, turned into a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, probably a Heart Attack, definitely Heart Failure and Kidney Cancer.
Then, when you throw in massive flare-ups for Bridget and a return of my kidney stones, is it any wonder we’re calling 2017 our worst ever?
We’ve had to slow down and curb our travels. Spending so much time at home has got me thinking, it’s made me realise how much emphasis I put on accessibility when we travel but not when we’re at home.
We marvel at how accessible the cottages are that we stay in, but we never talk about our home, how accessible it is or could be. Ironic when you consider how much time we spend at home.
In this post, I want to share our favourite aids and adaptations. Most of these we already own, and some are on our wishlist.
Some of these aids are inexpensive, and others are more of an investment but can be the difference between being able to stay in your own home or not.
*Post updated July 2018
Mobility Aids and Adaptations for Your Home
When we first moved into our home, we didn’t own one of these. Bridget was still able to drive and walk, she returned home without me and was unable to unlock the front door. This key turner changed her world. Who’d have thought a simple piece of plastic could make so much difference?
I keep saying we need a portable ramp to take away with us because there are times when even a tiny step can feel like a mountain. But, I have never considered a portable ramp at home, and it would make our garden more accessible. This became apparent recently when an elderly relative who’d had a hip replacement visited.
I’m currently up to 11 pills a day, and this organiser has changed my life.
This large handle ring pull opener makes the task a breeze, and we wouldn’t be without it.
I rely on our grown-up sons for those rigid lids and caps, but this little bottle opener could replace them.
About 5 years ago, Bridgets Occupational Therapist suggested we buy an electric tin opener. At the time, they were expensive. I think the one she was offering was about £40? I put the kibosh on it and persevered with the old butterfly tin opener. Needless to say, now that my hands are weak, we’re proud owners of an electric tin opener.
Not a medical aid but without a doubt, the best purchase we’ve made this year. If you like to cook, you’ll know how difficult it can be standing over a hot stove, sitting in a hot steamy kitchen or carrying hot pans.
A slow cooker does away with all that, you can even buy pre-chopped ingredients and if you need inspiration there are hundreds of tasty recipes online.
When my legs are bad, or I’m feeling unsteady, a walking support with the ability to carry food and drink would be brilliant.
I’m one of those fellas that sit on the couch to eat his years, and I’ve balanced every conceivable year e dish and have the stains to prove it. About a year ago in one of the cottages we were staying in they had a lap tray with a padded bottom, it was a revelation and now we’re proud owners of two.
I remember these grabbers from when I was a kid, although I think they were sold as a robot’s arm. Whatever they were called back then, they are really useful today because bending down to pick stuff up makes me breathless, and it’s a stress I don’t need.
I don’t know whether it’s my Heart Failure, Fibromyalgia or big fat belly, but bending down to put socks on does take my breath away.
Ours are fixed, but you can get temporary grab rails that use a suction pad to stay in place.
Both of us have illnesses that require time for our bodies to wake up. If it didn’t hurt it would be funny watching both of us seeing which joints work and which don’t.
Although we don’t have a permanent one, a bed rail is an excellent addition to help you get out of bed in the morning.
I love these because they are the most flexible pillow you’ll ever own. Whether it’s to support you sitting up in bed or to rest a weary arm or leg on, the V Pillow is an excellent solution to a common sleeping problem.
A rise and recliner chair is our next big purchase. Every time we stay in an accessible cottage, Bridget and I squabble over who gets the chair and having one at home would be a great addition to make your home more accessible.
Also, when you look at some of the modern styles of rising and recliners, they don’t look like a mobility aid.
A simple yet effective solution to sitting comfortably. These u shaped neck cushions are ideal for home, in the car or when you travel.
We moved house to have a stairlift. Our previous property wasn’t suitable, and at one point, Bridget was stuck upstairs for eight weeks. A stairlift takes away the effort of climbing stairs, but it also helps keep you independent.
Age UK has partnered with Handicare Accessibility to bring you a full range of stairlifts, including straight, curved and outdoor lifts. Better still, they offer a no-obligation quote and price match guarantee.
As well as grab rails around the toilet, the most helpful aid is a raised toilet seat because it takes away a lot of the strain on your knees and hips when you’re using the toilet.
That said, when needs must, a sturdy free-standing toilet frame can help you use the toilet independently, which for me is the last piece of dignity I want to hold onto.
Easy Access Shower
Whenever we travel, an accessible bathroom is a deal-breaker. And within the bathroom, an easy access shower is the most critical feature.
Fortunately, we have a wet room at home and whilst it’s usable, it’s dingy and out of date. The Age UK accessible shower range indeed fills me with shower envy. If there is such a thing?
This is wholly a personal thing for me. A walk-in bath beats a shower any day.
A soak in a nice warm bath is not only relaxing but therapeutic. But, the fear of not being able to get in and out of a bath or worse still, slipping puts most people off. When installing walk-in baths, all Age UK mobility baths are tailored to your individual needs, designed to blend with your existing decor, priced to suit and comets and come with comprehensive parts and labour warranty.
If you would like to explore your bathing options, ask for a free no-obligation, no pressure quotation.
As you can see, there are many options to help make your home more accessible. Age UK is the UK’s biggest charity dedicated to assisting people in making the most of later life, all mobility aids and services supplied through Age UK Mobility come with that piece of mind.
Where would you like to go next? Take a look at these popular posts:
*This post was written in collaboration with Age UK. As always, all opinions are my own.
**This post contains affiliate links.