I Can't Reach it From My Wheel Chair!
Now that I'm in my Jazzy...
I didn't realize how difficult simple tasks can be for the wheelchair bound until I started using my Jazzy around the house. While many problems can only be solved by renovating your house or buying a new one, some small things can be done. I'm not talking about the grand ideas of making wider doorways and having long reaching faucets. If you can do that, more power to you, but I want to deal with the nitty -gritty small stuff.
Tell Us About You
Do you have a motorized scooter?
Closets that have High rods
I asked my handy man to lower the clothes rods. This was a simple task that made it easier to reach. If, for some reason, you can't do that, you can use a broom stick. Cut the broomstick to the length you want, and take some cord and tie it to the top one. Let the broomstick suspend from the upper rod and hang your clothes on that.You can also get closet inserts that have shelves.
I have trouble reaching the cords on my window blinds. One day, while using my back scratcher, I had an idea. The back scratcher had rather large grooves on the end. I caught one of the cords with it, and secured it in the end of the back scratcher .When I pulled the blinds quickly shut. You can put the back scratcher on the other string to open the blinds.Just be sure your back scratcher has wide grooves on the end. If it doesn't, use it for a backscratcher.
Over the door racks in the bathroom
I soon found that I couldn't reach high enough to put clothed on my bathroom over- the- door -rack. So, I took it down and hung it on the towel bar. This worked, but when I added clothes to it I couldn't see the read -out on my bathroom scale, which was right underneath. I then tried putting it on the shower rod. That worked great! Either way is useful.
The Kitchen Sink
I have a really tough time reaching the faucet in my kitchen. It takes a lot of stretching and straining. I decided I needed to extend the faucet handle. I used a wooden spoon and duct taped it to the handle. Use decorative duct tape so it doesn't look so utilitarian.
What room gives you the greatest challenge?
Which room do you have the most problems in?
Water andThe Refrigerator
Of course, the ideal solution to getting cold water is to buy a refrigerator with water and ice on the door. If that is not an option, you can buy a water dispenser with a spigot. They come long and slim and fit well in the refrigerator. Put it on a middle rack where you can reach it.
More About Water
The doctor says to drink plenty of water. I often forget where I left my last glass of water or I can't carry it around with me. This is a problem most people have, but with a scooter you often end up with no available hands to carry it. If it is a regular glass you may end up spilling it. Scooters sometimes come with a cup colder, but I have been told that they stick out and get caught in door ways. Of course, one alternative is to buy bottles of water that will not spill if you leave the cap on while riding around.
Another alternative would be to have water jars or pitchers at various places in your house. You could place one at your work station and by your TV chair.
The Sensitive Subject-Toileting
While there are many logistical problems of getting your vehicle into the bathroom, I would like to tackle the smaller problems .
First of all, you need a good wall handle to help yourself down and up from the seat. Be sure you have a good handicap bar, and have it installed by someone who knows what he is doing.
Keep the T.P. nearby where you can reach it when you run out.
If you have trouble standing at the sink to wash your hands try using a hand sanitizer while you are still sitting. No need to dry your hands. It quickly evaporates.
Brushing your teeth can be a problem if you can't reach the sink. I put a hand towel down at the edge of the sink and then aim and spit.
Showering, of course is a big challenge. If you have a walk in shower it is a lot easier. I cannot stand so use a shower seat. If you don't have a walk in shower you can buy a seat that extends out over the tub. You sit on it outside the shower and scoot until you are inside the shower.
Get a Grabber
You can find a grabber at a medical supply store. They are very handy for grabbing stuff off the floor or out of the cupboard. Be careful, though, that you do not pull anything out on top of yourself.
Organizing your Cords
I have a lot of cords by my bed. It can be tricky getting around them. I have often caught them in my jazzy or tripped over them. This is a hazard that I had to correct.. I have a C-pap machine with cords, an oxygen tank with cords, a cord to my automatic bed and a cord for charging up my jazzy.
I happened one day to find a small hat rack in a thrift store. It looked like it was for a child, but the height was perfect for me. I brought it home and hung all of the cords that were by my bed on it. They were off the floor and easily accessible.
Other spots that can be hazardous for cords is around you computer. Try to thread them back behind the computer.
The whole point of this article is to free us up so we so we can have more time to do what we really want to do. To quote a 90 year old friend of mine, "When you know who you really are you will be sorry you didn't make better use of your time." -Kay Ballard
I hope some of my ideas have helped you.