Coping with a New Disability

Some people are born with a disability or disabling condition, others acquire them later in life. A recent disability could be the result of an accident or injury, an illness, a long-term condition or something temporary or short-term. Whatever the reason, coming to terms with your new disability will require a number of lifestyle changes. Here are five tips to help you to get started: 

Ask for Help and Support

It can be tempting, particularly with a new disability, to try to ‘do it all’. You might wish to prove to someone else, or to yourself, that you’re still as able and capable as you’ve always been. The ‘disabled’ label is often one that people struggle with – see yourself instead as ‘differently abled’ or perhaps ‘in need of a little extra support’. Your disability does not make you vulnerable or weak, and there is no shame in admitting when certain things aren’t quite as easy as they used to be.

Your support might come from friends or family, or it could come from professionals or from online forums and groups. Most likely, it will come from a combination of them all.

Get the Right Equipment

The right equipment can go a long way to making your transition easier. Many people with new or acquired disabilities do not immediately realise that there are hundreds of tools and daily living aids that are designed to improve things. From mobility scooters to grab rails and from a tap-turning aid to a long-handled dustpan and brush, there are many products on the market that will keep you doing what you’ve always done – including the household chores!

Mobility Smart is a UK retailer of products that help those with mobility difficulties. Items can be purchased by individuals, organisations and companies or providers of care. Click here to find out more.

Make Contact in Advance

One of the hardest things to learn as a newly-disabled person is that the world is harder to navigate. It’s no longer as easy to be spontaneous, when you have to consider accessibility. If you have concerns about the availability of ramps, lifts, disabled toilet facilities or accessible hotel rooms, phone in advance rather than worrying on the way. A quick call won’t just set your mind at rest, it’ll also help people to prepare in advance for your arrival. Places often use folding ramps or temporary aids for people with disabilities, and so they might not always have everything to hand if you show up without any warning.

Get Out and About

If your disability is newly diagnosed, you may want to respond by locking yourself away whilst you get to grips with your new situation. The problem is that whilst your home is a comfort, you may become dependent on your protective bubble. The quicker you get out and back into your life, the more likely you are to come to terms with how things are. Plan a holiday, go back to work, simply run a few errands around your neighbourhood. Visit the park or go and see your family rather than inviting them to visit you. Whatever you do, make a point of pushing yourself to get beyond your front door.

Other resources include adjusting to disability with information supplied by NHS choices and  Huffington Post article Walking a Mile in 'Special' Shoes: Dealing With Sudden Disability can be found here


Understanding Diabetic Footwear

Most of us know about diabetes and probably even know somebody that is diabetic so may well understand the risks and the complications that this common, yet dangerous condition can cause.

Because many diabetics have varying levels of sensitivity in their feet they are often at risk of ulcers, calluses and other conditions that most people would naturally and normally be aware of by their footwear causing them discomfort, rubbing or chafing especially with incorrectly fitted footwear. 

Most diabetics will not be aware of these problems due to a lack of sensitivity so extra precaution has to be taken to ensure that the footwear that they are wearing poses a lesser risk of causing complications to their feet.

Diabetic footwear is especially designed for sensitive and vulnerable feet and generally have no protruding seems that could cause abrasions, they also tend to be made of softer material such as leather or suede that greatly reduce sweating of the feet that can in turn result in blisters on the toes or around the heel area.

Diabetic trainersWide Fit Shoes specialise in diabetic shoes and offer a large range of styles for men, women and children including smart, everyday shoes, fashionable trainers, walking shoes and also everyday indoor footwear such as slippers.

As well as diabetics the same problem and potential risks are involved for anybody with poor circulation, lack of sensitivity in the feet and this includes many people with paralysis such as those with spinal injury or excessive nerve damage. The same rules apply and you should always ensure that your footwear is correctly fitting and you check your feet for damage on a regular basis. Diabetic footwear can and should also be worn by sufferers of these conditions.

While it is important that you choose the correct footwear it is just as important to make sure that you regularly check your feet for any sign of damage and that can be as simple as redness or mild swelling but most importantly you should not ignore these conditions and reduce the time that you wear any footwear as well as seeking medical advice if you find that the conditions worsen or does not get better over time. A very informative video along with leaflet downloads and information is offered on the Diabetes UK website.

Wide Fit Shoes have been established since 1965 and specialise in shoes and footwear for all problem feet and have dedicated stock to cater for diabetic feet. They are London based and offer all of their services online and provide downloadable brochures, measuring and fitting guides as well as dedicated, professional advice and assistance provided by calling 020 8907 1742.