3 articles Tag disability

Making Life Easier with Mobility Issues

According to figures from disability charity Scope, there are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK who are living with some form of disability. This obviously covers a range of people, from those with mobility issues, right the way up to those who are profoundly disabled; the most commonly reported impairments by disabled people are:

  • Mobility (52%)
  • Stamina, breathing, fatigue (38%)
  • Dexterity (27%).

I have several friends who suffer with a range of mobility-effecting illnesses, so I thought I’d turn to them to give you some tips on how to make your day-to-day life easier if you struggle with mobility issues. My friend Jeni, who suffers with hypermobility and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, offered a HUGE amount of tips:

Pace Yourself

Break tasks into smaller chunks, small enough that you stop before you get tired.

Perching stool in the kitchen

Essential for cooking meals and washing up.

Tassimo/hot water machine

Standing waiting for a kettle to boil is sooooo tiring by when you’re suffering with fatigued muscles from overdoing it. This makes life easier!

Cooking potatoes/pasta in a chip basket inside a saucepan

saves you lifting and moving with a hot pan of water as it drains as you lift the basket and you can leave the water to cool.

Having “green” activities spread through the day

Red activities are heavy duty, amber is tolerable, and green are restful-ish. e.g. Red would be hoovering, Amber would be cooking and green would be watching a film with the kids or knitting. By having green activities every so often in the day, you give yourself a break!

Also, take your time when deciding on a car; consider height, weight of steering, accessibility, as well as fuel consumption. Can you get a wheelchair in the boot?

Borrow a wheelchair

You can hire them from the red cross so you can get out and about if you need to. Mary from Keynko had one for 10 weeks for a donation of £30.

Listen to your body

It’s about learning what you can do accepting that. Rachel from Rachel in Real Life said “So it was my sister’s wedding day on Sunday. I usually work Mondays but obviously it was a bank holiday and I also suspected I wouldn’t be able to work today so I’m making up the hours on Thursday. I slept most of yesterday and today. I’m still in pain and tired now. Remember to take pain relief at the right times, don’t wait to feel the pain. I’d recommend pain management program. It was really quite helpful and enabled me to meet others who struggle with chronic pain and mobility issues.”

My friend Kerry says: “I have a walking stick for general daily use (I try not to use it sometimes so I don’t become completely dependant), I have a four wheeled walker for bad days so I can sit in-between walking to the school, and for very bad days I now have a mobility scooter that I bought myself as there are days my legs are agony and I cannot get round to the school. Hot baths with epsom salts for muscle relaxation. Magnesium spray for muscle cramps. I also take a multivitamin and several additional vitamins on top to try ensure I stay as healthy as possible.”

BabyMel Changing Bag Giveaway (in association with Sudocrem and the Baby Changing Room Awards )

It’s crazy to think that in 2017, there are still public places with totally substandard changing facilities, but it’s a fact. Although both of my girls are well beyond the nappy phase, I still notice these things when we’re out and about and I’ve given more than one sympathetic eyeroll to a struggling Dad who doesn’t know whether to balance his kid on his lap to attempt a bum-change, or brave the ladies toilet where the ONLY changing facilities have been inconveniently placed. One place I never fail to be impressed by is our local IKEA. Not only to many of them have HUGE family toilets which have ample space for buggies and wheelchairs, their family loos also have an adult size toilet and a kid sized on in the same room so that everyone is catered for in one special space.

Sudocrem Baby Changing Room AwardsFive years ago, Sudocrem launched the Baby Changing Room Awards to celebrate exactly that – spaces which have been designed with ease and inclusiveness in mind, and this year’s nominations are now open. The awards aim to recognise the fact that “changing” is about SO much more than babies, and that there are children with complex needs who’s parents need adequate facilities to make their lives easier.

Parents like Laura Rutherford, whose son Brody, 5, suffers from GDD, epilepsy, hypermobility and hypotonia, is forced to change her son on a toilet floor. “Life beyond a baby changing table when your child is doubly incontinent means constant exclusions when you go out as a family. It’s heart breaking for us as parents and this is an issue that will sadly become harder and harder as he grows up. He is different not less. Time for change.”

Jenny Miller CEO of PAMIS explains, “We are thrilled that Sudocrem have recognized the needs of children with complex needs as they grow too large for baby changing facilities. Children and young people who require these facilities are often prevented from taking part in their communities by the simple things that we take for granted. In 2007 we cofounded the  Changing Places Consortium and campaign to develop accessible facilities for the most disabled people in the UK. The Sudocrem award scheme is a great idea and we’re confident it’s going to make a big difference!

If you would like to nominate a changing room for the award, then let us know which changing room, why you want to nominate it and preferably include a photo on Facebook via the Sudocrem website www.sudocrem.co.uk/social-hub or by emailing   competitions@satellitepr.com.

To promote the awards, Sudocrem is giving one lucky Mum’s the Word reader the chance to win a beautiful Babymel Frankie Tweed Nappy Change Bag worth £58.00.

Win a BabyMel changing bag with Mum's the Word and SudocremTo be in with a chance of winning, just complete the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and don’t forget to nominate your favourtie changing space in the Baby Changing Room Awards!

Making Sports More Inclusive

Inclusive SportsWhen you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, chances are you’re going to get the reply footballer, dancer, race car driver – basically a lot of sport.

Sports personalities are seen as role models in society, you’d be shocked if someone claimed not to have heard of David Beckham or Serena Williams.

Getting the kids involved in sport is an important part of having a healthy lifestyle, and it should be encouraged wherever you are! Not only can taking part in sport boost physical health, but it can help develop useful skills for other areas of life, like teamwork and communication.

But, what happens when you or your children can’t take part in traditional sports? According to The World Bank, 10% of the world’s population has a disability. That’s more than 600 million people. If you take into account the families of people with disabilities, then at least 25% of the population are affected by disability. So how do we make sure the fun we’re having playing sport is inclusive?

Inclusive sport can cover a lot of ground and a lot of different courts. In a nutshell, it’s all about getting everyone feeling involved and included in sports, this could mean supplying equipment like Quest 88’s Inclusive sports equipment for a child with orthopedic issues in a dance class, to designing an exercise class that are safe for those with certain medical conditions.

Parasports, sport for those with disabilities, is on the rise. Over the past few years, a number of sporting organisations and some very popular competition circuits for individuals with specific disabilities have been cropping up across the country. It’s not just the Paralympics that are showcasing athletes with disabilities these days.

So, how can you get your family involved in inclusive sport? First roll out the welcome mat, friends, family, strangers who’ve seen you playing sitting volleyball down the local park, let anyone join in with your fun. After all, it is inclusive!

You’re not going to know what sports are out there if you don’t ask. The same goes with asking what sports everyone’s interested in! If you can’t pull your child away from the box when the football’s on, then maybe an adaptive form of football is the road to go down. Also, testing different sports could be beneficial, find a few that best suit you and your family.

Having the right equipment is beneficial whatever you’re doing. However, this isn’t just the usual balls, rackets, nets etc. whilst having those things will come in handy when setting up to play, the equipment you’ll need is more along the lines of specialist equipment or technology that is designed to help people with physical limitations to take part and enjoy sport.

The variety of adaptive equipment out there is very wide, so doing some research before diving straight in and buying the first brake levers you find could be a smart idea! Many clubs in sports that have more expensive equipment requirements, such as some wheelchair sports, will actually have chairs and other equipment which belong to the club which members can use rather than shelling out yourself.

Just make inclusive sports the new norm! Don’t name it alternative or different sports, just get stuck in and enjoy yourself with some wheelchair basketball or power football.