CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A mobility quiz

  1. Handicapped_Accessible_sign.svg.medHow far can you comfortably walk?

    You answered: Less than a street away

    If you have trouble walking, see your GP to look for causes and possible remedies. For example, is the root problem knee pain or lack of stamina? You may get around better with a walking stick or walking frame.

    Walking frames let you steady yourself more if you're in danger of losing your balance and falling. Some models come with a seat that allows you to sit and rest, or consider an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter.

  2. Can you climb stairs?

    You answered: With difficulty, perhaps one flight

    To prevent falls, make sure all stairs have secure handrails and good lighting. If you have trouble climbing stairs, think about whether you can modify your home, for example, if you have steps in front of your house, install a ramp. If climbing stairs inside your home becomes too hard, you may want to consider installing a stairlift or moving to a ground floor flat or one-storey house.

  3. Do you have trouble with cooking or doing housework?

    You answered: Yes, often

    People with limited mobility can sometimes manage daily tasks better with the help of special devices. There are kitchen aids to help you cook more easily. Carpet sweepers can help people who can't push heavy vacuums, plus there are many more devices to help you clean your home. Altenatively, consider taking on a cleaner to help you.

    Talk to your local council’s social services department about any assistance you may be entitled to, or ask a charity like Help the Aged for advice.

  4. Do you have trouble with bathing or dressing?

    You answered: Yes, often

    You may be able to bathe or dress yourself with helpful devices, such as bath and shower seats, grab bars or Velcro garment fasteners. If you have trouble with bathing, washing your hair and dressing on your own, see if a relative or friend can help you. If you can, hire a helper who is trained to assist you for a short time each day. Talk to your local council’s social services department about any assistance you may be entitled to, or ask a charity like Help the Aged for advice.

  5. Are you able to drive?

    You answered: Not at all

    Limited mobility, as well as poor vision or memory problems, can put an end to driving, but the right tools can help some people continue to drive safely. You can also ask if a relative, neighbour or friend can take you along when they go to the shops or perhaps run errands for you. Many local authorities offer free or reduced fares for elderly or disabled passengers on public transport, such as the bus or train, making it easier for you to keep doctor's appointments and social engagements.

  6. Do you do all your own shopping?

    You answered: Rarely, I need help to shop

    Fit your walking frame, electric wheelchair or mobility scooter with a bag or basket to help you to get some shopping done. If shopping is a big struggle, you may need assistance. There may be volunteers in your area who will help with trips to the shops. Many supermarkets allow you to order online and will bring the bags of shopping to your home.

  7. Do you turn down family or social events because of limited mobility?

    You answered: Yes, often

    It can be easy to become socially isolated. Contact your local council to see what services are available for social activities, such as day centres or support groups, where you may make new friends and discover many enjoyable activities. If it's hard for you to leave your home, speak to a charity such as Help the Aged or your local council to see if there are volunteers who can pop in once a week to provide company or talk with you about any problems you're having.

  8. How often do you feel sad about your limited mobility?

    You answered: Most of the time

    Health and mobility problems, along with loss of independence and social isolation, can affect your quality of life. If you feel sad, irritable or tired much of the time, or if you have trouble with sleeping or eating, talk to your GP about whether you're depressed. There are treatments that can help. Also, reach out to your friends and family. Think about volunteering or join a group of people who share your interests. Keeping strong social contacts helps to counter isolation.

Are health problems limiting your mobility?

Pamela is a former accountant, recovering journalist and international cat herder, disabled and chronically sick with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Cervical spondylosis, fluent in three languages; English, Spanish and Rubbish. Mostly writes in the latter. She likes Genealogy, Model Railways and Cats.

1 comment:

ronsrants said...

Just a thought, but answers 1, 2 and 3 are not suitable for disability benefit claims. Yep, I know it should be obvious but . . .

There are, on the market, devices which allow you to attach stuff to crutches - water bottles, mobile phones, even bags of shopping - avoid them all like the plague. Mobile phones in such a position are too easily stolen, and anything will dangerously unbalance you.

If you have a mobility scooter, fitting cycle panniers to the armrests is the best way to carry shopping, distributing the weight better than putting it in a seat-back bag or in the front basket. See http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/fitting-panniers-to-mobility-scooters/ It also puts the weight on the strongest part of the scooter.

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