Me and My disability: 25 Common Sense Things People Should Know

  1. If your hoist is in the charging dock, it won’t work. Pull it away a little to use it. To charge it, push it back in the dock and wait until the light turns green, then it is charging.
  2. If you use a catheter, change it every 3 to five days so you don’t smell of urine. On the days I don’t have a bath, I use a body lotion and body spray.
  3. Again another catheter tip, if you suffer from bypassing quite often you should change your catheter every 5 weeks as aposed to the recommended 12 weeks. This ultimately stops the build up of sediment which ultimately blocks your catheter tube causing you to bypass.
  4. Puppy toileting pads are more absorbent than regular human incontence pads and whilst I went through a phase of bypassing I put two under my mattress sheet and one on top for easy clean up. They are often cheaper too if you don’t get them with your catheter prescription.
  5. Not every disability is visible.
  6. If you have a step in your building to get to a restaurant/shop floor then you shouldn’t say that your building is accessible. To help improve your facilities invite a group of people with various disabilities and put their suggestions into practice. Eg. Basic sign language skills, Braille, low lighting, plenty of space to move around, lower tables, rails etc.
  7. Some people struggle with chronic fatigue/pain and struggle to get out and about, ask if it’s easier to go to them, pick up some shopping etc.
  8. Never assume that a person with a disability needs help, no matter how well intentioned your offer of help may be if, you automatically do something for them without asking if they need help some people may find that you are encroaching on their independence.
  9. If you suffer from brain fog, set timers on your phone to remind you to take your meds.
  10. When the tread starts to fade on your wheels it’s time to change your tyres.
  11. Suffer from arthritis? Use dictation on your phone/IPad to type.
  12. Sore joints? Hot water bottles help.
  13. Taking a probiotic can help with your IBS.
  14. Cinnamon can help reduce pain flare ups.
  15. A massage with warm lavender oil can help ease tired muscles.
  16. Cut back on alcohol, which can worsen sleep problems.
  17. To effectively treat your pain, your doctor needs to know how you’ve been feeling between visits. Keeping a log or journal of your daily “pain score” will help you track your pain. At the end of each day, note your pain level on the 1 to 10 pain scale.
  18. Eat at regular times. Don’t skip meals, and try to eat at about the same time each day to help regulate bowel function.
  19. Stretchy waistbands are your friends
  20. Purchase mobility aids to help with daily tasks – see what your OT can provide or look at online retailers.
  21. Write yourself a basic care plan so that if you have a high turnover of Carers they know exactly what to do, where everything is and your basic routines, minimising any stress added with meeting new people who will do your personal care.
  22. Service your equipment regularly to minimise breakdowns
  23. Take adapted cutlery when going out for food – chances are they probably won’t provide anything.
  24. For easy transportation, book accessible travel in advance with a reputable company. Your local council should have listings online.
  25. Always have meds packed when off out on adventures so that pain doesn’t stop you. Always keep an updated meds list,

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