Disability Challenge: Finding equipment you can’t do without, and the creativity to just wing it when necessary.
Medical, Motorized Recliner/Lift Chair
I essentially live in mine. It slowly and smoothly raises the stool, lets me recline to the most comfortable sleep position, including completely flat, or lifts me up and forward to easily stand. Supports every part of my body at angles that don’t cause me pain.
Knitted/Crocheted Baby Blankets (Discount department stores)
Lap blankets as well as soft, extra cushioning when folded and tons cheaper than specialty pillows that are less versatile. Towels are also an option, but not as squishy-soft as knit items.
It’s just easier. They are independent of toilets, many fold flat for travel, double as a shower seat, and are easy to clean and move. (Elevated, clamp-on toilet seats are not stable, less versatile, and much less sanitary.)
4 Prong Cane
You never have to find a place to hang, prop, or lay it. Much more stable, especially for stair climbing.
Saves stooping on laundry day! Plus a myriad of uses all over house and vehicles. Inexpensive enough to have several.
Non-skid foam mats
Essential if you have foot pain. Place them in front of your sink, stove, microwave, toilet, favorite chair, etc. They machine wash/dry well.
Back scrubber strap for bottoms of feet
Scrubs bottom of feet without bending ankles.
Long handled cotton swabs
Easier reach to clean between toes or apply lotion/ointment to feet.
Basic Swiffer Mop
Attach paper towels to it and clean everything from windows to floors, to shower stalls; even smoosh spiders on the ceiling.
Long handled scrubbers and dusters.
You can reach dust without bending or even without getting out of a wheelchair.
Fabric grocery bags (with firm plastic bottom insert)
Dirt cheap and indispensable for getting a handle on all kinds of stuff. If your bags don’t have a sturdy bottom insert, try a flattened cereal box or a piece of cardboard cut to fit. Bonus hint: Each person in our household gets one (labeled) for their clean clothes on laundry day.
Read stories to your grandchildren, join in holiday celebrations, talk to business associates. As close as you can get to talking face to face. My grands used to hug the computer monitor (“Nana’s in there.”)
Phone texts, pics and videos (Hit up your family and friends!)
You’d be surprised how uplifting it is to receive texts and videos of grandchildren when you’re in a rehab center 400 miles away from them for four months.
Online banking and shopping (Search your favorite local grocery stores and banks.)
For grocery stores, I got contact info and called about individual services just to make sure about fees, scheduling deliveries, etc. Once that’s done, no more bugging your loved ones to do your errands. Most grocery stores have a delivery service (shop around, some are surprisingly inexpensive). Cheaper than giving gas money to friends to haul you around. Added bonus: no holiday crowds, store to store searching, checkout lines, hauling items from shelves to cart, to checkout to car to home.
Diabetic or surgical footwear for painful or sensitive feet.
My chronically ingrown and painful toenails love shoes with the extra large toe box and non-constrictive socks geared to diabetics.
Massage therapists use them to keep lotion bottles handy. They work hooked to a walker, wheelchair, or your waist to cart around pens, glasses, cell phones, etc.
Let me know what your can’t-do-without-it list contains! Comments and suggestions are more than welcome!