26/01/2015

Choosing the Right Hearing Aid

There are more than 10 million people in the UK that have one form or other of hearing loss, that’s a staggering one in six people and 45,000 of them are deaf children and 800,000 of UK people are severely deaf.  Apologies for boring you with statistics, that part is now covered I promise you.

We have been looking at hearing aids from an outsiders point of view along with what’s on the market and I must say I was very surprised at the technology and advances made over the years. Okay, I’m not so old that I remember those great big ear trumpets of bygone days but I do remember the behind the ear hearing aids that almost look like the wearer had grown as second ear and I can fully understand why people like my old grandma refused to wear one.

As with all things electronic they have seriously shrunk in size over the last five years or so and the quality, especially of the digital models has been greatly enhanced to make them more adjustable and clearer all round and more importantly able to be tuned to meet the users exact needs. 

Analogue or Digital

Both the analogue and digital models can look very similar but work in very different ways. Analogue hearing aids amplify an electronic signal and the user can change the setting to match their surroundings such as a restaurant, quiet room or if they are inside in their own home or outside in a public place. Digital hearing aids on the other hand are more or less mini computers with many detecting the surroundings and making the best adjustments. Digital models are also less likely to produce annoying feedback or whistling that most of us have witnessed.

Behind the Ear

With this type the aid is worn behind the ear with a tube running down into the ear mould that contains the amplifying section. These are now much smaller than the older models and have clear tubing designed to hardly be noticed but are the most obvious of hearing aids to detect. 

In the Ear Hearing Aids

These are much smaller and fit directly into the ear, they tend to be used by people with a greater degree of hearing loss.

Invisible Hearing Aids

These are the most recent and in many ways most advances hearing aids, they fit deep into the ear and are suitable for people with slight to moderate hearing impairments. Because of this and the fact that they are virtually invisible these tiny digital wonders are often the preferred option but are only fitted with the advice of a qualified audiologist.

Having a hearing impairment is a funny sort of disability, not funny ha-ha, no disability is ever that. I am saying funny because it is an invisible disability and if the user does not wear a usable aid to compensate for their hearing lose the person having difficulties communicating with them will often have no idea why they are not getting a reply or at worse not getting the reply they are expecting, because of this hidden disabilities are often the most difficult to live with.

On that note it very important to get the right hearing aid for you. Reading more about choosing digital hearing aids would be strongly advised to find the right device that works for you and your personal needs, we can’t tell you what that is, we can only give you the informed information and suggest you always use a professional and qualified audiologist that undertakes a full assessment and these will always be available at all well know hearing aid suppliers.

So if you are thinking of buying a cheap hearing aid online without an assessment our simple and firm advice is don’t!

21/01/2015

Being Safe in Your Shower or Bathroom

Getting in or out of a bath or raised plinth shower is undoubtedly one of the most difficult as well as dangerous household activities to undertake for the disabled and elderly or anybody with permanent or temporary mobility problems.

Getting up to the standing position from a bath even with the best non-slip mat installed can often result in a serious slipping accident, the combination of water, soap and modern day bath oils will make any surface slippery and ultimately dangerous when trying to get up from a very low level. A recent study found that people over the age of 65 accounted for 79% of bathroom injuries, the study also found that the bathroom is the second most dangerous room in the house (after the kitchen).

Recently we have been looking at the viable solutions to what is a serious problem and checking out a range of safe bath and shower solutions including easy to install support rails and shower seats to assist the elderly and those with minor mobility problems and a more economical solution of installing a bath lift in your existing bath. 

The safest solution would be to have a wetroom created so you can enter the shower area from the safety of a wheelchair or shower chair, however this is the most expensive solution and sadly one that is not available to everybody due to the larger room size needed to manoeuvre.

Easy Access Showers:

These type of showers differ from the standard shower cubicles and often provide complete level access or a very minor single step to negotiate along with carefully positioned grab and support rails that are installed to meet your exact needs and help you safely get in and out of the shower as well as providing support while showering.

You can have the option of a fold up shower seat so that you can sit and shower using the height adjustable shower with controls that are designed to be accessible from both a standing and sitting position. This helps reduce the time needed to stand and offers a greater amount of safety.

Bath Lifts: 

There are a number of bath lifts on the market, some good, some bad and some downright dangerous. It is therefore important that you make sure that you get the best bath lift to meet your mobility needs, one of the better ones is highlighted below.


Check out a mobility bath lift video by following the highlighted link or make contact with a professional bath lift supplier such as AquaLift Bathlifts on 0800 256 3735 for advice, competitive price guides and details of a free home demo.





19/01/2015

Advice on Buying a Disabled Vehicle

Today, the UK Motability Scheme has made it so much easier for a family with a disabled family member to travel around more comfortably – and conveniently. The scheme provides a chance for disabled individuals to have some independence back in their lives through the opportunities of disabled cars and wheelchair access vehicles designed for everyday travel in and around the UK.

More About the Motability Scheme

There are many ways that the UK government can help financially those living with a disability; vehicles and transport is one of the key areas of help available. The UK Motability Scheme can help with anyone in need of a wheelchair, scooter, a car or a van for getting around. Those who are eligible in this scheme will be able to exchange their mobility allowance for a vehicle from a registered supplier. If you are looking for a new vehicle, always be sure to choose a recommended supplier with all the right credentials. Allied Mobility is the UK’s leading supplier of disabled vehicles and can offer a whole range of vehicles including cars which can be driven from the wheelchair or cars with wheelchair access at the back.

Other benefits you will receive include the Blue Badge Parking Scheme and vehicle tax exemption. To claim for tax reduction, find out more information and learn how to apply on the Gov.uk information website.

Choosing the Right Vehicle for Your Needs

The advancements in the technology now provide a full range of options for people living with disabilities. To find the right vehicle, always speak to a leading supplier to discuss the options available.

Wheelchair accessible cars, like many modern day vehicles, are now available either new or used. So if you are funding the costs of the car on your own, you will have a number of options across all price ranges. Financing is often available with disabled vehicles should you not qualify for the Motability Scheme discounts.

Another option is the self-drive disabled vehicle which allows a wheelchair user to drive the car from their wheelchair. This amazing advancement promotes an independent life and makes travel much easier. The Peugeot Impulse is one of these incredible modern motors; with a ramp installed at the back and a spacious rear area, it offers the flexibility of being driven up front or for wheelchair users to travel as a passenger.

The Peugeot Impulse offers families an all-round vehicle that can be used in any situation. To find out more about this car and how it drives, take a look at this YouTube video.

Disabled Travel for Over 65s

Travelling with a disability can be a challenge all on its own. But when you’re over 65, wheelchair travel can sometimes pose even more difficulties. So if you’re planning your next holiday abroad, be sure to take the necessary precautions. Here are some tips on planning the ultimate holiday for wheelchair users.

Choose a Wheelchair Friendly Destination

Being in a wheelchair should never restrict you from doing the things you want to do or seeing the places you want to see. But if you’ve reached the golden age and you’re looking for somewhere with minimum fuss and inconvenience, why not do a little research on the world’s best wheelchair friendly destinations?

The best wheelchair friendly destinations are often modern cities and The Access City Awards give us a great insight into what some of these cities are doing to improve accessibility on their streets. These annual awards look at the accessibility of pathways, roads and crossings – and it also looks at the accessibility of transport links including buses, trains and taxi hire.

Currenntly, some of the best cities in Europe include Berlin (Germany), Grenoble (France), Goteborg (Sweden), Dresden (Germany), Malaga (Spain), Burgos (Spain) and Poznan (Poland). But this is by no means the limited list and it’s well worth researching cities which have won awards in the past few years.

Get the Right Insurance Cover

Insurance cover is often overlooked or left until the last minute. But it’s essential – no matter what age you are – to get it sorted in plenty of time before flying. For the over 65 wheelchair traveller, it’s even more critical and no-one should ever leave home with sufficient cover in place.

When searching for the right insurance cover, be sure to find specialist travel insurance to suit your needs and your age. Being completely upfront with pre-existing medical conditions is important if you want to make sure you have the best access to medical help when you are travelling outside of your home country. Although many insurance shoppers are worried about paying higher rates, there really is a huge benefit to getting your cover right; the best insurance cover will mean that you don’t suffer any expensive medical surprises.

For instance, without insurance abroad, you could be paying up to £45,000 for an air ambulance in the USA (or £16,000 in the Canary Islands). A broken arm abroad could cost you up to £11,000 for treatment or for the simple care of a burn blister, it could be around £100.
So whether you are planning a leisurely beach holiday or something which includes a bit more physical activity, it’s important to get the best insurance policy – not just the cheapest.

For more advice on foreign travel insurance, be sure to visit the Gov.uk website.