[AD. Thank you to Complete Care Shop for sponsoring this blog post. As always, all opinions are my own!]
It’s no secret that learning to embrace mobility aids has made a huge positive difference to my life. It’s also difficult to choose just five everyday living aids that I couldn’t live without, especially given the fact that the term ‘mobility aids’ can encompass so many different things. However, if you’re new to life with disability or chronic illness, here are the ones I’d urge you to investigate first…
1. Shower Stool
When you’re dealing with relentless fatigue, standing up while showering can quickly sap your daily energy supplies. Standalone shower stools allow you to sit down and get washed and ready without using anywhere near as much exertion, making them a great choice for people who are mobile but carefully managing a chronic illness. Even if you’re sharing a bathroom with others, they’re light and mobile enough to easily move around, depending on people’s differing needs. I first discovered the benefits of using shower stools while living independently at university with friends, and I wish I’d discovered them much sooner.
2. Pill Organisers
If you’re taking lots of different medications at once, it’s vital that you find a way of managing this and ensuring you’re adhering to the right medical guidance. Having a pill organiser means you can put time aside to prep your medication for the upcoming week – and even better, it means it’s all done and sorted in advance on those dreaded brainfoggy days. I personally prefer the pill organisers that have boxes you can detach individually when needed – it means that even if I’m not at home during my usual time to take medication, I can just pop a box or two in my bag and ensure I’ll have whatever I need with me.
3. Profiling Bed
Electric profiling beds allow users to elevate their upper or lower body via a remote control, meaning it’s easier to adjust your position and get comfortable – even when you’re having to spend more time in bed than you’d like to. They’re a great choice for people who have to elevate their heads to manage symptoms of chronic migraine, or elevate their feet to manage symptoms of POTS or hypotension… as well as people who simply wish to have more autonomy over their time spent horizontally. I personally find that elevating my legs can sometimes help reduce pain and post-exertional malaise, and sometimes incrementally elevating my head position can help reduce dizziness and orthostatic intolerance when I’m performing the risky manouvre of going from laying down to standing up. Wild times, I know.
4. Beanbag Lap Tray
Similarly to above, if you’re spending lots of time in bed, it’s important to make that time feel like your own. Lap Trays give you a surface to work on, without you having to move or relocate elsewhere, and those with beanbags on the underside are much more comfortable when resting on your legs. Whether you’re working on a laptop or using the surface for hobbies and interests (such as crafting or doing jigsaws), lap trays are one of the key living aids that can be a handy addition to your everyday life.
5. Transit Wheelchair
If you’ve ever spent any time at all on this blog or on my social media platforms, you’ll know that becoming a wheelchair user has changed my life for the better – and contrary to a lot of stigmatised assumptions about deconditioning, it’s even helped to improve my mobility. I know that looking into wheelchairs can feel very daunting at first, and many people with chronic illnesses and less-visible conditions question whether they’re even ‘allowed’ to use mobility aids. Looking into transit wheelchairs can be a good first step – they’re often one of the more affordable options and can help you to assess whether a wheelchair would make a positive difference to your own way of life. If you’ve ever considered using mobility aids, consider this your blessing to research the options that are out there. They could well change your life too.
If you’ve found yourself reading this post and wondering whether there are mobility aids out there that could benefit you, I urge you to give them a try. In my opinion, anything that can help you to better manage your condition and make everyday life more comfortable is 100% worth pursuing. Go forth with confidence, and I really hope you find the everyday living aids that become an ‘I wish I’d found this sooner’ moment for you too!