DISABILITY CHALLENGE - USE OLD STUFF IN NEW WAYS
(Everyday items around the house help triumph over the disability obstacle course.)
Since becoming disabled, I've discovered new uses for many items just lying around my house with nothing to do.
Fabric grocery bags (especially for folded clean clothes). They are easy to carry over the arm, or they fit perfectly on stairs so that you can transport things up and down leaving hands-free for railings and canes.
A Walker can be face toward the toilet tank in any bathroom and provide you with relatively steady arms to push up from the toilet. This gave me all kinds of new-found freedom when I figured it out!!
Skinny garbage cans are perfect for those who require a hand on the railing and a hand on the cane to climb stairs. The container can be moved up one riser at a time, while a conventional laundry basket or garbage bag would roll right down, plowing you along with it.
Use a wheelchair transfer board as a sturdy over arm desk. Voila! The wheelchair is long gone, but the transfer board lives in a new capacity, keeping the weight of my laptop, books, tablets, and even craft projects and meals (with a little carefulness) off my legs. (I don't recommend using it for hot beverages, unless in a spill-proof travel mug with a huge side of caution.)
Place a nylon stocking (knee or ankle high) over the vacuum cleaner wand to pick up small items off the floor or that get trapped in sides of furniture without actually sucking them up into the vacuum. This is useful when physical limitations prevent you from bending.
A cleaning supply caddy sectioned with plastic cups can hold all your 'at hand' stuff, (glasses, pens, pencils, lotion, water bottle, makeup kit, cell phone, pill organizer, iPod, snack, Kindle or book, tubes, remote, cordless phone, etc.) handy without pawing through totes or backpacks. Completely portable and most are top rack dishwasher safe too.
Foldable stools can be opened right next to any chair and carried room to room or on the road to keep things within reach, and to make a seat in public if you tire easily. I take mine to waiting rooms with me because I have great difficulty standing from seating that doesn't have arms. They are inexpensive, so you can keep one on each level of your house to give you a place to sit cleaning paraphernalia or tools, or you if you need to take weight off your legs every so often without leaving the area you're working in. If you have an office job, and must wait on copy machines, it gives you a temporary seat that can be easily stored in your cubicle.
I'll more than likely get this article submitted and think of three or four more really good items to include on the list, so bear that in mind and keep a lookout for future articles.
LINKS FOR ARTICLE
FABRIC GROCERY BAGS
SKINNY GARBAGE CAN
WHEELCHAIR TRASFER BOARD
CLEANING SUPPLY CADDY