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:
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.”