How Key is Effective Communication for Disabled People in the Workplace

Some people mistake equality for treating people the same, but actually when it comes to disability it is more about treating the individual differently, in order for them to be supported in the workplace. For example an individual who has a disability may receive extra reviews unlike those without disabilities.

However, when it comes to communication, disabled people rightfully want to be treated the same as everyone else. An example of this might be an employee who has a hearing impairment, why would we raise our voice and sound patronising? In actual fact we need to speak just like we would to everyone else.

When there is fear in a team that they can’t communicate or are struggling to communicate with colleagues who have disabilities, this is when teams can become disjointed and not as productive as they should be.

A key point for effective communication for everyone generally is to be clear, concise, show empathy, listen and have understanding. These key points would benefit teams not just about disability.

What are the benefits of good communication for people with disabilities?

There are many advantages of having key communication skills in the workplace. Employees would feel more understood and listened too, so personality clashes and disagreements would happen less. The team would also be more effective and clear of their goals and deadlines for the work that needs to be achieved.

Employees with disabilities will feel that they can be honest about the way they feel, maybe in regards to whether they feel supported or not. 

Are there services that can help with effective communication?

There are some services that can support with effective communication for example disability at work coaching as well as dedicated disability mediation and all important disability awareness training. These services can provide the necessary tools for communication to be effective. By investing in your teams and employees you are actually giving your business the best chance of succeeding. Employees are more likely to feel an increase in confidence, will take less time off due to stress, are more likely to work at their maximum potential and would be able to strategize. The team would also be more efficient in supporting their colleagues who have disabilities. 

There is an I in team

As much as effective communication is about teamwork it is also about how individuals feel. By having teams working more effectively together will give the employee with a disability a feeling of true independence and a sense of empowerment. Your workforce will ultimately be more diverse and inclusive. 

Funding to assist with support for disabled employees

There is a pot of funding called Access to Work, which is a discretionary grant by the Government that enables disabled people at work. The fund can cover such things as technology, training and on the job coaching.

As much as support for disabled employees is about equipment and effective communication it’s also about making the disabled employee feel comfortable in their environment.

For more information about Centre for Resolution’s disability services please visit their website.

Centre for ResolutionFor more information about Centre for Resolution please click the link. They also have a Facebook Group called Everything Disability that you may wish to join, where best practice and knowledge is shared about disability.

Email: info@centreforresolution.co.uk
Telephone: 01905 21717


Finding a Wheelchair Accessible Property

Being a wheelchair user creates all sorts of accessibility problems in all walks of life from a simple trip to the theatre, restaurant, booking a holiday or just a day out involves a great deal of planning and numerous phone calls to make sure that the place you want to visit is accessible and you won’t be greeted by a flight of stairs, non-accessible WC or corridors or entrance doors that are impossible to get through in your wheelchair.

Thanks to the Disability Discrimination Act (now the Equality Act 2010) many of these places are now accessible but we still need to check and if not make alternative arrangements such as visiting a different theatre, restaurants etc, however, if you are a wheelchair user and you are looking to buy or rent a property you will undoubtedly find yourself facing major barriers due to very few estate agents having any knowledge of what is an accessible property and this includes the major online property experts that have not yet woken up to the requirements of the Equality Act and the needs of the disabled.

Thankfully there is an accessible property specialist out there that has fully taken on board the needs of the disabled when buying or renting a property as well as offering management services to owners looking to find suitable disabled, wheelchair user tenants.


What Is an Accessible Property

This greatly depends on your disability and your exact needs, a wheelchair user for example will require either a level or ramped entrance, doors wide enough for wheelchair access, ground floor facilities such as a WC/wet room large enough to cater for a wheelchair user transferring on and off their chair as well as room for a carer if needed and off course a bedroom that offers enough space to maneuver etc.

People with vision impairments will be greatly assisted by doors, steps, handrails and any obstacles contrasting strongly in colour, such as dark coloured door against light walls; many vision impaired people will not see a white door located against a white wall.


How do you Find an Accessible Property

This can be tricky and a lengthy as well as frustrating search if you use the everyday estate agent, most property sales and letting agent will think about where the nearest school, railway or major road network is if you ask them about “accessibility” so if you take this route be prepared for a lengthy search.

Thankfully there is a property sales and letting agency called Branch Properties that specialise in finding accessible housing to buy or to let as well as helping sell your wheelchair adapted or accessible property by connecting you to disabled people serious about buying or letting.

This unique and personal service has been a long time coming and fills a much needed gap for people with disabilities that need an accessible property. Check them out by clicking any of the highlighted links or call them direct on 020 3475 4022 to cut through the minefield of buying or renting a property that meets your personal needs.

Branch Properties also provide dedicated property management services, so if you are the owner of an accessible property and you want to let it to a disabled person of family with a wheelchair user why not give them a call and get connected to a trustworthy and suitable tenant just waiting to rent your property. 


Riser Recliner Chair Review

If you are reading this riser recliner chair review you have probably arrived here because you are confused and wanting to know more about these specially designed chairs, if one would be beneficial to you and the type of design that would best meet your needs. 

This review is written by somebody that uses a riser recliner as opposed to the many reviews that are created using information gathered from other related websites etc. I suggest that you read through the information below and then make contact with a reputable supplier to discuss your exact needs in greater detail. I would not recommend not going to an everyday furniture supplier for this type of chair.

First of all you need to think why you want a riser recliner chair, is it purely for comfort or because you have a medical or mobility problem that results in you being in pain in a traditional design armchair or you have problems getting up to a standing position from your current chair. 

If it is purely for comfort then this article is not for you, you would be better off visiting your local furniture store and taking time to try out the various armchairs and settees to find one that is the most comfortable for you. If however you do suffer pain in your current seating or have problems rising then read on for some basic facts including details of the different designs and the mechanisms used.

Riser recliner chairs basically do two things and are assisted by electric motors to take the effort out of getting the chair into the position that is best for you and your personal needs as well as gently helping you into a standing position.

Single and dual motor riser recliners 

A single motor riser recliner has one motor that operates the backrest and foot rest at the same time and does not offer the option of adjusting the foot rest to meet your individual height needs including having the foot rest in the lower position if required.

A dual motor riser recliner allows the backrest and foot rest to work independently and gives you the option of maximising your seating position. With his option you can recline your chair fully with or without the foot rest or simply raise the foot rest while your chair remains in the right position.
Both the single and dual models will help you into a standing position.

It is a sad fact that many people continue to struggle to get in and out of their old faithful armchair, many people add chair rises to the legs (not recommended) to give the chair extra height. This can cause stability problems both because it forces you to sit at a higher, unnatural height but more importantly can be dangerous to get out of until you become fully aware of the height differences.

My particular preference is the dual motor riser recliner because this offers greater options for your comfort; especially if you occasionally wish to sleep or simply snooze in your chair and want to be as comfortable as possible as well as knowing that it will help you get out of the chair when needed.
Having dealt with several suppliers of these type of chairs I can recommend Willowbrook Mobility Direct, I have found they offer great independent advice as well as a brochure to help you make your own mind up and a free home demo if required. 

View a useful riser recliner video guide by following the highlighted link or call them today on 0800 854 330 for more information and advice.


Campaign For Disabled Nappy Changing Facilities

Parents and carers of severely disabled adults and children that need to wear nappies have virtually no facilities outside of their adapted homes should their nappy need changing. This is a long-standing problem that is yet to be addressed by the Equality Act.

Thankfully the parents and carers have a campaign called Space to Change on their side that is battling on a daily basis to try to get adult changing facilities available in public places such as large restaurant chains, hospitals and clinics and public venues where possible.
Space To Change
Visit Space to Change

It was not that many years ago that disabled WC facilities were virtually unheard of in public places so with your help things can hopefully change for the better and start including standalone changing facilities for adults and children the same way that we now commonly have baby changing facilities for parents of children and toddlers.

The Space to Change campaign is aiming to convince businesses and public venues to replace their current pull down baby changing units so that they can be height adjustable and of a size that caters for children requiring nappy changing facilities as well as looking to convince the Equality Act 2010 to include a requirement of adult nappy changing facilities the same way that we currently have disabled WC facilities for wheelchair users, the blind etc.

So if all you good people out there in cyberspace could take a few minutes out of your time to check out the Space to Change website and click on the Download Campaign Pack where you will find information about how your assistance can seriously help the campaign.

Visit The Clos-o-Mat Website
The UK’s number one supplier of adult changing facilities is a dedicated and long-standing company called Clos-o-Mat that supply adult size adjustable changing tables with accompanying hoists as well as a whole range of personal hygiene products for adults and children with disabilities including wash and dry toilets offering greater independence, those all-important transferred, grab and support rails, shower seats and many more related products to meet the washing and toileting needs of all disabilities.

Check out the Clos-o-Mat website for full product details including how to receive a no obligation survey for your home, restaurant, business or any other public venue or follow the highlighted link to find out more about the campaign and why we need Changing Places Toilets.


Learning to Cope with the New Disability

Anybody that has experienced a sudden life changing situation through accident, injury or illness will no doubt be able to fully empathise with this article and in many cases look back and think “yes I could have done it differently to cope better” so I hope that the views of fellow disabled people will not only enable you to continue coping and building a better life but also act as a valuable resource for anybody finding themselves newly disabled and struggling to cope with the massive changes that disability often brings along with it.

Many disabilities can happen in a split second such as spinal or head injury through a road accident, If you are one of the lucky ones you will recover and gain full mobility and be able to continue with your life as before. Sadly many serious accidents or illness will result in a permanent disability that will undoubtedly change your life forever. However as the old saying goes, “life does go on” and in time you will learn to adapt and enjoy life, albeit from a different direction than you may have originally intended.

Give Yourself Time
One of the most important steps that you need to take on your journey to recovery is to allow yourself time to process the situation and although it is very difficult at the time; try not to get too down about worrying about your uncertain future.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Help

There will always be situations in our lives where we will need to get help from others and finding yourself suddenly disabled in any shape or form is certainly one of those situations where excepting the help of others will be a valuable step in rebuilding your life. Whatever your situation there are always professionals, support groups and others that fully understand your situation just waiting to help you on your journey to recovery. Never be afraid to ask for help. You will be amazed at the vast support resources out there, simply Google your condition followed by “support groups” and you will undoubtedly find local and national organisations that will prove to be invaluable to you.

Financial Assistance
Never fret about money concerns at this stage but if your disability was caused by a road traffic accident, medical malpractice or workforce accident or any accident that was not your fault you should consider a claim for compensation from a reputable company such as First4SeriousInjury they will offer you a free case evaluation. Other areas to consider when the time is right includes tapping into the many Disabled Facilities Grant’s available from your local council as well as a whole range of other disability grants that may be made available to you.

Learning to Adapt
Although it may not seem immediately obvious you will in time learn to adapt to whatever restrictions your disability gives you and you will ultimately find yourself going in a new and exciting direction that you would never have previously considered. There are many sports, recreational and social activities out there waiting to be discovered as well as numerous opportunities for employment if you are unable to return to your previous job. 

Try to be positive and although all not always possible do try retain your sense of humour. Sometimes in life we only have two options and that is to cry or laugh and laughter is always the better option and remember that whatever life throws at you and however bad you think your life or future will be, “things can only get better” and they will.


Legal and Practical Help After Spinal Cord Injury

Around 1000 people within the UK and Ireland will receive a substantial spinal cord injury in the next 12 months with the highest rate of injury occurring between the ages of 15 to 38. The most common cause of spinal cord injury are road traffic accidents (36.8%) trips and falls (41.7%) sports injuries with the highest being rugby and horseriding (11.6%) being knocked over or while lifting or colliding with an object such as diving in shallow water (4.2%) and finally trauma causing around 3.3% of injuries.

There is currently no cure for spinal injury or anyway to repair a damaged spinal cord, research continues and although progress is being made, anything resembling a cure or reversal of spinal injury is still very much in the distant future. News and current research programmes can be found on the Spinal Research website at www.spinal-research.org.

A person’s life can change completely after a severe spinal injury, many being confined to a wheelchair and having to rely on carers due to complete or partial paralysis often resulting that after rehabilitation they cannot return to their previous home due to access issues, this obviously means greater emotional upset added to having to learn to live a completely different life with a disability and in many cases with limited funds.

Fieldfisher are experts in all personal injury and medical negligence claims including spinal injury compensation claims, if your injury was caused by negligence or due to the actions of a third party, workplace incompetence or other issues outside of your control you may well be able to make a claim for substantial compensation that could at least help alleviate your financial problems allowing you to adapt and start rebuilding your life.

If compensation is not an option you may be entitled to a Disabled Facilities Grant from your local council, further details can be found on the Gov.UK site or by clicking this Disabled Facilities Grant link.

Thankfully there is a great deal of support provided from the moment that you are admitted to hospital. The Spinal Injury Association (SIA) have a number of dedicated male and female peer support officers that fully understand what you’re going through and will help you rebuild your life through support, outside resources and important information geared toward your exact needs. The SIA offer free advice on 0800 980 0501 or you can chat online or through the website at www.spinal.co.uk.

The important thing to remember is that you are not alone, there is help available and that life does go on and in time you will rebuild your life albeit in a different direction than you originally intended.

As a spinal injury cord person that suffered a C4/5 injury I can tell you that the resources highlighted in this article have been invaluable to me and I hope they are invaluable to you or any of your friends or family members that have recently received a spinal cord injury.

As the now Professor Brian Cox shouted at us when he played keyboards with D:Ream back in 1994 “things can only get better”


Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles from WAV Compare

Oh no I hear you cry, not another price comparison website that’s going to bombard my television with a crazy middle-aged opera singer driving me nuts or some silly robot trying to sell me car insurance or worse still cute little Meerkats that in real life would more than likely rip your arm off (yes sorry to burst your bubble but in reality they are vicious little devils) No, this comparison site is actually very useful and there when you want it rather than screaming at your television screen just as you sit down to watch Heartbeat with a cuppa and a chocolate Hobnob.

WAV Compare is a unique and bespoke website providing the largest online showroom of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV). Here you can leisurely search for all types of WAV vehicles including cars, minibuses and vans that you can drive while seated in your wheelchair or rear or upfront passenger options, all available from leading makes and models including luxurious Mercedes, VW, Peugeot, Ford and Fiat models offering you a large selection and multiple colours to choose from to meet your exact wheelchair travel or driving needs.
As well as offering you the chance to purchase a new wheelchair accessible vehicle or lease one from the popular Motability scheme you can also purchase quality used WAV’s at a fraction of the new cost or even sell your own vehicle. 

All of this can be done at your leisure through the WAV Compare website where you can also select a range of features including chair lift options, manual or powered ramps, winches, rear or side wheelchair access and many more features to make your wheelchair travel easier and in many cases independent. Driving option and adaptations are also catered for in your online search should you require hand controls or adapted accelerator pedals etc.

Why go to one dealership and be offered one or two makes and models when you can find the U.K.’s largest selection at the click of a mouse. 

Search by your postcode to select WAV vehicles near to you by going to the WAV Compare website and start saving as well as having a greater choice to meet your individual needs.

One thing you won’t get is painfully repetitive, annoying blah blah blah compare songs that will get into your head and drive you mad. Just loads of choice, real bargains, and dedicated wheelchair accessible vehicle sales. 


Using a walking Stick - Safety Measures for Using a Walking Stick

Once you have measured yourself correctly for the correct height walking stick and you are holding it in the hand opposite to the affected leg or side of you, there are some hazards inside and outside to be mindful of before you begin walking with a stick.

Starting inside the home, beware of carpets, rugs and door thresholds that have loose corners or raised edges, always make sure matting is firmly fixed. Wet floors should be avoided completely as even rubber ferrules can loose their grip on wet floors. Recently mopped floors, kitchens, bathrooms and entrance hallways should be dried and checked before walking on them using a stick or crutches.

Going back to ferrules, it is best to check the state of the ferrule on your walking stick every few weeks to make sure it has not worn down and if it has, replace it as soon as you can.

Many main indoor hazards can be avoided by having good lighting in your home. Energy saving light bulbs are great, but you need to wait for them to fully light before you can walk up stairs and actually see where you are going! Good lighting in your hallway, on the landing and up the stairs are very important to help prevent tripping up or over something in the dark.

The NHS advice for going up and down the stairs with a walking stick is to use the handrail and ensure the stick goes on the same step as the affected leg. The unaffected leg should lead going upstairs, and the affected leg when coming down.

For outside use, there are some straight forward and some unusual things to look out for when walking with a stick. Wet, icy, muddy and uneven surfaces and pavements need to be walked on with care and areas with wet leaves and snow are best avoided. Tiled areas and ground covered in slippery algae are also hazards.

Drain covers with the rows of stick sized gaps are quite a trap for the unassuming pedestrian. It is very easy to get your walking stick stuck in one of those gaps or even worse fall and injure yourself!

To sum up, being safe indoors and outdoors means being beware of wet surfaces, replacing the rubber ferrule on your stick regularly and keeping your indoor environment well lit.


VAT Exemption for the Disabled and Wheelchair Users

Most disabled people know that you do not need to pay VAT on things like manual or powered wheelchairs and other disability or mobility aids purchased specifically to meet your disabled needs. However, VAT exemption for disabled people is far more widespread than that and can at times be a bit confusing.

Apart from disability and mobility aids that you purchase most people don’t realise that if you have building work, alterations or even additions to your house that all of the services could well be VAT exempt providing that they are designed for your specific use as a disabled person, typical examples are the installation of a wet room, exterior ramp into your property and any adaptations that are needed for you to live a normal day-to-day life. I have created an area of Ableize to offer details and links to HM Revenue and Customers see VAT Exemption for the Disabled.

Take a wet room for example, if you employ a VAT registered company to do the work you would not be required to pay the VAT on their labour nor would you pay VAT on any fixtures and fittings but that said it most probably will be unlikely that the person undertaking the work will be aware of this and it might well be something that you need to point out and explain that they need to provide you with a VAT exempt form to fill in and sign, and bill you without the VAT. Remember that VAT is a whopping 20% on every thousand pounds the job costs so you could potentially be saving £200.00.

Image of range Rover sportOne very misunderstood area of VAT exemption for disabled people, especially for wheelchair users is the purchase of a new car or vehicle.  A few months ago I was speaking to a young chap that sadly lost both his legs fighting in Afghanistan. He must of received a large cash sum for his injuries because he treated himself to a brand spanking new Range Rover Sport for around 60 grand. After a while we got talking about rights as a disabled person in general and I found out that he had purchased the car outright and was never told about the VAT exemption for wheelchair users. He could have saved himself a whopping £12,000! Now that really is a serious saving.

If anybody is looking at buying a new car I have done some homework and found a company called Orange Wheels that specialise in supplying VAT exempt cars for wheelchair users check out their site or give them a call on 0800 612 7844 and don’t forget to tell them Ableize sent you.


Active Minds for Alzheimers

Recent research undertaken by the Department of Health and Alzheimer’s UK has shown that there is an argument for encouraging activity based approaches with dementia patients, which help them keep their mind active and reconnect with their surroundings. So, in 2009, when Ben Atkinson-Willes’ grandfather was sadly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he was encouraged to play games, his favourite quickly becoming jigsaw puzzles. However, Ben began to notice that as his grandfather began to deteriorate his ability to play games became harder and the variety of games that he could use became limited, with the carers having to resort to giving him children’s toys.

It was during this difficult time that Ben, a design student at Kingston University, realised that there was a need for age-appropriate, suitable games for dementia patients and Active Minds was born. Using his skills as a product designer and inspired by his grandfather’s love of jigsaw puzzles, Ben started creating his first range of award winning jigsaw puzzles. He needed to take into account a number of important factors when designing the game; the pieces had to be large enough and tactile enough to be used by elderly hands unaided, and to include images that would resonate with the patient. Initial tests yielded great results, with one elderly dementia patient starting to reminisce about his time in the war as he completed a puzzle with a picture of a Spitfire.

Today Active Minds is a thriving company, with a variety of specially designed games for dementia patients, including picture books and exercise DVDs. For more information visit their website www.Active-Minds.co.uk

Disabled Entrepreneurs Award

The Stelios Awards 2015 for Disabled Entrepreneurs 

Now in its ninth successful year, The Stelios Award 2015 is open for applications.
The award, jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability acknowledges entrepreneurs who have overcome disability or long-term health conditions to create and run an established business.

The successful winner will receive £50,000, the largest award of its kind. Previous winners have hailed from a variety of diverse sectors, including travel agent, home build and IT industries, as well as companies which specialise in disability/mobility aids.

The benefits of receiving this award is marked. Last year’s winner, Ben Wolfenden, founder and director of digital marketing company Visibilis (www.visibilis.co.uk) said of receiving the award, “Winning the 2014 award has meant so much to me both financially and personally. I've been able to solidify the team and our offering, grow some fantastic new clients and build a better working environment for my health.” He adds “I would urge anyone with a disability, whether you see yourself as an entrepreneur or not, to apply and let Stelios and his team decide!”

The deadline for all applications is Friday 18 September 2015.


Stair lifts for Tricky Staircases

Stair lifts are a real blessing for those who own homes with more than one floor. Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception that stair lifts can only be used on standard stair cases. This is not the case. In fact, you can install one in practically any home to help retain your independence and prevent you having to move into specialised accommodation.

Why choose a stair lift?
Stair lifts are motorised devices to help you get up and down staircases. Many models can be configured to work with a wheelchair, so they’re suitable for many different illnesses and disabilities. However, due to the size of most lifts, they can struggle with narrow stairways.

Although they are designed to work under loads, you’ll need to check any potential lift to make sure it can carry your weight. They have a lifespan of ten years at the least, but longevity depends on how frequently you use them. 

Stair lift are a sometimes costly investment, retailing for £1800 and up when purchased new. However, refurbished options are available which will significantly reduce costs. For most suffering disabilities, you can apply for a home improvement grant to spend on fitting a lift. 

Different styles of stair lift
There are a number of styles of lift that may suit your needs. The following are all tailored to a specific requirement and which one you choose should be assessed by a qualified advisor, like an occupational therapist. The options available are:

Straight Stair lift: Straight stair lifts are the type most commonly seen in homes. These are straightforward affairs with a chair and footplate alongside the necessary safety features. You can also find outdoor versions of these lifts that are weatherproofed.

Curved Stair Lift: Curved stair lifts are designed to cope with a curve or turn in your staircase, making them ideal for tricky stairs. They can be designed with space saving in mind as fold-away models and are suitable for lots of different styles of staircase. There’s more information on curved stair lifts available at Ideal Stair lifts. 

Perch Stair Lift: There are some disabilities that restrict the ease of sitting down. A perch stairlift can help you in this case. These units allow you to use a lift without having to sit, instead leaning back on a supportive panel and slight seat so that you ‘perch’ on the lift. 

Spiral and Tight Stair Lift: Designed for the hardest to outfit homes, these stair lifts can be fitted in narrow staircases and spiral stairs, meaning even if you live in an older-style period home you can find a stair lift to help give you access to your upper floors. 

A note on purchasing
Buying a stairlift can be expensive if you don’t get help towards the final price. However, you can always buy a reconditioned lift which significantly reduces the cost. These lifts are still tested and maintained to the highest standard and can be purchased from trusted providers like Ideal Stairlifts. Ultimately, it’s a question of whether a slight investment in a stair lift outweighs the impact of having to move homes. 


Renovating a Home to Create a Disabled Friendly Living Space

Whether you experience it yourself or you care for someone who is disabled, building a home that is disability friendly can be a huge undertaking, especially if you’re not sure what to focus on. Thankfully we’ve compiled a list of the main areas you’ll need to change to make your home accessible for yourself and guests.

Entering your home can be a chore if it is not disability-friendly, so this is the first and most vital part of making a home disability-friendly. A garden and driveway that uses loose or unsteady material can be hard to cross in a wheelchair. Instead, use smooth paving or concrete to create a steady, even surface, avoid deep gravel. 

If the approach or entrance is stepped, consider installing a ramp into your home if you haven’t already. This may be a smaller ramp or a longer, winding one depending on the steepness needed to breach. 

Hallways should be free from clutter and spaced to allow wheelchair access. You should keep shoes and other items that typically line hallways in dedicated storage. Ensure lighting is of a reasonable brightness and easy to operate so you aren’t left struggling in the dark. 

Installing a ground-level bathroom in a house with more than one floor can be a real blessing for disabled or elderly home-owners. While you can install devices to help tackle stairs, sometimes the speed and convenience that a downstairs bathroom provides is essential.

A bathroom should be designed with a similar ethos to hallways – with clutter minimised and space maximised. Toilets should be fitted with safety rails and possibly a hoist. If you use a bath it should be fitted with the relevant safety features. A shower too, should be designed around accessibility. Walk in wet-rooms are accessible and far safer than other forms of bathing, so consider installing one if its within your means.

Your kitchen is the hub of activity in your home and also a source of fierce independence. To ensure you can use it independently, it may be worth lowering all of the worktops. You can also install a lowered sink. Ensure all appliances can be reached easily and that any difficult to turn handles are replaced with levers and simple controls. 

While it may be advisable to move to a bungalow, there are many of us who won’t give up our homes. The main problem faced at home for most disabled and elderly users comes from the stairs. Thankfully, a good stair lift goes a long way to remedying the problem. Even in a home that has a complicated, multi-level staircase, you can use a platform stairlift to help you access the second floor.

Improving your home and incorporating these elements is an essential step for those experiencing disability or caring for a disabled person. These additions and adjustments will secure a home for future use, meaning you may not have to leave your pride and joy to move into more accessible accommodations. 

Obviously every home and every disabled persons needs vary, these are just ideas and we hope you found them informative.

Like this article and want to claim it? Contact us.


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!

Alpine HC is the leading trusted UK supplier of products that help those with mobility difficulties. Items such as riser recliner chairs are perfect for anybody that has difficult rising or struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position. Electric adjustable beds offer greater comfort to all people along with pressure care mattresses to protect you from bed sores if bed bound for anytime.

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.


The Benefits of Adjustable Beds

Most people think of adjustable beds as something only the disabled, elderly or infirm require this is probably because many people have only ever witnessed or slept in an adjustable bed while in hospital so tend to think of them as big bulky lumps of iron that raise you up and down or sit you up to enjoy your mouth watering hospital dinner (sorry, sarcasm creeping in their)

The actual benefits of an adjustable bed can of course be for health reasons, one great health benefits of having an adjustable bed is having the ability to raise the bottom of the bed so that your feet are higher, excellent for anybody suffering from swollen feet through a result of injury, disability or even recovering from something as simple as a broken leg where you need to reduce swelling or water retention by having a leg(s) raised. Riser recliner chairs are also very good at helping to reduce swelling in the lower leg and come in many stunning designs and colours to match your existing furniture.

Apart from the health reasons having an adjustable bed is one step further than enjoying the luxury of a memory foam mattress. Yes it will raise you up and down or sit you up if you need extra support but it will also allow you to create the most comfortable position for that great night’s sleep or whatever else you get up to in bed!

Adjustable beds come in all shapes and sizes including luxury double beds that individually tilt and rise to meet the individual person’s needs as well as single beds that fit into the smallest of rooms. All modern adjustable beds are electronically operated with one or two controllers allowing you to lie back and move your bed into the ideal position with the touch of a button.

Apart from this, the most surprising fact about electric adjustable beds is the price. Having recently purchased a luxury double adjustable bed I was surprised to find that it wasn’t a great deal more expensive than my old bed and after enjoying the luxury of my new all singing and dancing bed nobody would ever tempt me to go back to a standard bed.


Riser Recliner Chair Benefits to Wheelchair Users

I can almost guarantee that if you ask anybody the question “who would benefit from having a riser/recliner chair?” 99.9% of people would say the elderly and of course they would be right. Many elderly people do struggle to get out of a standard chair and having a chair that rises slightly so there is less effort involved in getting into the standing position is of course a great help.

However not many people consider that there are also great benefit to be had by wheelchair users. Many of you might be thinking, why would a wheelchair user want to get out of one seat purely to sit in another?

So how can a riser/recliner chair benefit wheelchair users? Below are a few benefits that could help most if not all permanent wheelchair users:

• A change in posture preventing your body from getting used to one position only.
• Being able to recline offers pressure relief and allows the internal organs to work more efficiently.
• Being able to rest your head and shoulders can alleviate neck pain
• The reclining motion of a riser recliner chair can help stretch the back and leg muscles to help prevent stiffness.

A permanent wheelchair user will often sit in the same position, in the same chair most of their waking hours, this causes many problems over the years, firstly by your body getting used to mainly one position only.  Permanent wheelchair users will also often get a curvature of the spine as the back is moulded to the shape of their wheelchair and of course there is also the important issue of pressure relief to prevent sores etc.

One of the greatest benefits to a wheelchair user is sitting for one or two hours a day in a riser recliner chair that has the added bonus of the foot rest being able to rise. This greatly helps with poor circulation especially in the feet and ankles allowing the blood to flow more freely helping to prevent swelling or oedema of the feet that is caused by sitting too long in a wheelchair.

Even if you sit in a riser recliner chair as an alternative chair watching TV for an hour each evening you will feel the benefits; unless of course you’re watching Big Brother! Try QI, it’s far more educational and really Quite Interesting! 

Buying Tips

• Especially for wheelchair users it is most important to go for electric rather than manual recliners.
• Test a few models to find out if you need single or dual motors.
• Consider the size of the chair and if it not only fits you comfortably but also fits in your environment.

So there you have it, if you are a wheelchair user and spend a great deal of time in your wheelchair seriously give consideration to a riser recliner chair, you will properly find it more comfortable, easier to get out of and certainly better for your posture as well as helping to improve your circulation.


Understanding The Motability Scheme

The Motability scheme was set up in 1978 and has to date helped a staggering 3 million people to get a brand new car or wheelchair accessible vehicle. So what do you need to do get a shiny new car and what will it cost you? ABLEize has been digging deeper to get you the facts, makes and models available, cost involved and much more.

Firstly you or a disabled person in your family need to be getting the higher or enhanced rate of the mobility allowance or Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP). If you do then you are well on the way to having your new car delivered.

Motability has changed greatly over the years and i’m pleased to say the changes have been for the better, On a personal note, I have been using Ford Motabiliy cars for many years, I had a short break when my annual millage was greater than the allowance back then of 12000 per annum but now it 20000 per annum i’m back and happy as a sandboy.

Here are a few of the Motability basics, what you get, allowances and any extra you may qualify for:

• A brand new car every 3 years or wheelchair accessible vehicle every 5 years
• Fully comprehensive insurance
• All servicing and standard maintenance
• Full breakdown cover both on the go or at home
• Road tax
• Replacement tyres
• Windscreen repair or replacement
• 60,000 mileage allowance over three years and a whopping 100,000 for WAV’s
• Several adaptations are free including fitting a wheelchair hoist
• Two named drivers so you can get family and friends to drive if needed

About Advanced Payments:

Most cars on the scheme are available without having to pay extra on top of your Mobility allowance, however if you want a better model, more expensive car or additional extras not already included you may have to pay an advanced payment. Use this link to find pricing options or contact your local dealer who will happily go through all your options with you.

The good news however is that most makes and models these days come packed with many extras as standard to help push sales and the Motability scheme is no different so look around to get freebies like satnav, aircon etc as standard. More than 150 cars actually cost less than your current weekly allowance of £56-75 as of Feb 2015, so look out for those too. 

Because Motability is a national charity you may also get financial help including grants where you require a more expensive model or need a fully adapted vehicle to accommodate you in your wheelchair, need a hoist to get a wheelchair or mobility scooter in and out your car to help with your independance or essentials like hand controls, left foot throttle etc.

For more details about Motability and to find out if it's for you follow the highlighted link.


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!


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.


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.


Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is one of those conditions that all of us are aware of but very few of us give consideration to or appreciate just how it can affect the day-to-day tasks of those affected by it. It is reported that nearly 9,000,000 people in the UK alone suffer from one form or other of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Both cause varying degrees of problems from minor hand dexterity in problems such as opening bottles and jars or operating items such as twist taps through to more disabling conditions that can affect mobility.

Difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis 


This is a disease that affects the joints mostly affecting cartridge and mainly affecting older people but can also affect the younger generation and even children with the condition offten bought on by simply getting older, being excessively overweight, stresses and damage caused by accidents or playing some more vigourous sports.

Osteoarthritis and its painful conditions can be treated to help reduce its conditions by pain control, exercise to help improve joint function as well as weight control and in some severe cases surgery.



Arthritis is a more common condition that causes pain and inflammation of the joints and mainly develops in people over the age of 50 but as with osteoarthritis it can also affect the younger generation. The symptoms of arthritis tend to much more gradually than those of rheumatoid arthritis.

These are the basic differences between osteoarthritis and arthritis, for greater information we suggest you click on the information image (infographic) shown right to disacover more as well as to discover treatment details for both conditions.


What is the Running Cost of a Stairlift

http://www.stannahstairlifts.co.uk/stairlift-pricesIn these times of high electricity prices many of us, especially those on a low income are very concerned about running up high bills, we have kettles that boil just one cup, energy saving light bulbs, solar panel options and much more to save money by reducing the electricity where we can.

It is not surprising then that many disabled or elderly people think twice before having a stairlift installed even if that means they are unsafe on the stairs.

You will often read about the amazing features of a stairlift, how easy and fast they are installed, the many seating options including left or right hand controls, their adaptability to be fitted to straight or curved stairs etc etc but very few suppliers think to tell you about the running costs.

Suppliers are not trying to hide anything, they simply have not considered that you may be concerned about how much it costs to run a stairlift.  ABLEize teamed up with the UK's largest supplier to ask this question and throw some light on a subject rarely covered. 

So how much would you think it costs to run a stairlift say twice a day for a month? £20.00, £10.00 or even just £5.00 for a whole month? Surprisingly it cost approximately £7.26 for the entire 365 days of the year!  That breaks down to just over 60p per month according to figures supplied by Stannah.

To make more sense of the yearly running cost of a stairlift see the info banner on the right.

A stairlift can offer you many benefits such as being able to remain in the home you love, offer greater safety going up and down stairs and peace of mind for your loved ones.  Find more details by clicking the banner on the right or by following this Stairlift prices link.


Disability does not mean losing your independence

There are 9.4 million disabled people throughout the UK, accounting for 18% of the population. Independent living, where possible, is a key factor that can allow the person to lead a more fulfilled life.

There is help available

Due to the downturn in the UK economy, there has been a big reduction in the availability of independent housing provided by local authorities but the Orwell Housing Association UK has bucked this trend and grown substantially during this period. The association offers a wide range of facilities, including assisted housing and outreach services for those who live in their own homes.

Care services in the home

There are many ways in which you can get the help you’ll need if you decide to live independently. You can access specialist outreach services that will come to your home and assess your needs or you could track down the nearest day centre for social events.

A visiting carer can help if you need someone to advise you on medication and personal needs. It may be that your property might need ramps and special aids to help with your mobility but there are also alarm systems that can be fitted in case of a fall or an emergency.

Local councils and specialist agencies can offer information about all these products and services and can help you lead an independent life.

Meeting new friends and taking up a hobby

Living independently can give you the opportunity to meet new people and have a normal and happy social life. If you take up a new hobby or want to go out with a group of like-minded people, this will help raise your confidence and you’ll also strike up new relationships.

If you are moving into supported housing, you’ll have the peace of mind that someone is at the end of a phone or on the premises to assist you when needed.

Sharing the cost

Most people in today’s society would like to get onto the housing ladder, but for some it seems impossible. One easy way of achieving this is to apply to a housing association for shared ownership of a property.

Once you have been accepted you will pay part rent and part mortgage, this means you will own part of the property and the other portion you’ll pay rent on. If at some point you decide you would like to buy the remainder you can agree with the housing association to do so.


Secret to Staying Fit and Healthy - Whatever Your Age or Ability

In today’s world, staying healthy is a priority for everybody and that includes all ages and disabilities. People in their retirement stay as active as possible in order to maintain their wellbeing using a combination of good nutrition and physical exercise and the same can apply to all disabilities, it is not always easy to get or keep motivated but is essential to maintain your current or desired level of mobility.

Energy and Endorphins

Of course, there’s a scientific reason for everything. It’s generally known that exercise releases chemicals called endorphins that react with the brain to give us an elated and pain-free sensation. It’s therefore an obvious incentive for us all to take up exercise but it’s important you select a low-impact activity that will work with your body, not against it.

Some Ideas You Can Try Include:

• Cycling: for those able to is a great for muscular strength and bone density
• Jogging: good low-impact exercise where you can set your own pace
• Yoga/Pilates: great for building strength and balance for many abilities
• Tai Chi: another favourite for building core strength and balance
• Swimming/Water aerobics: a great way to exercise whilst keeping the body well-supported and again accessible to all abilities.
• Sports: Sport are undertaken by all abilities including wheelchair users with sports such as wheelchair tennis, rugby and many others.

It’s important to check with your GP about your exercise regime before trying any new activities. You can also find information about exercising in your old age or with a disability on the NHS website.

Beyond the Body

As well as taking care of your physical health, you should also consider how you can boost your mental wellbeing as you age. There are many activities you can undertake to stay mentally active and these include:

• Crosswords: great for testing your general knowledge, spelling and mental aptitude
• Soduku: great for logic and problem solving skills
• Anagrams: great for problem solving, spelling and word play
• Quizzes: great for testing your knowledge and keeping your brain working fast
• Puzzles: great for logic and spatial awareness

The Next Step

The secret to staying healthy as you age isn’t just about physical and mental training – it’s about knowing how to get the most out of your life. There are numerous websites and resources which can offer further advice and you’ll even find a number of charities and companies on social media networks ready to offer you help and advice when you need it most.

Connect with these sites to ensure you get the retirement you deserve. Visiting retirement specialists McCarthy & Stone on YouTube, for example, is a great way to connect with other retirees and find a wealth of information on how to stay fit, healthy and happy as you age and Ableize offers details of everything to do with disability from sports, the arts and employment to local clubs and groups throughout the UK.