A guest contribution from ‘A PFFD Journey’

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In this blog post, we’re talking to Amy from A PFFD Journey who blogs about her life as an amputee living with PFFD. Amy’s fantastic blog aims to share her experiences to raise awareness of the condition and help others going through similar.

You can check out Amy’s thoughts through her blogFacebookTwitter and Instagram.


For our readers who don’t know, could you give a brief overview of what PFFD is and your history with the condition?

Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), also known as Congenital Femoral Deficiency (CFD), is a rare, non-hereditary birth defect that affects the pelvis, particularly the hip bone, and the proximal femur. The disorder may affect one side or both, with the hip being deformed and the leg shortened.

Because of this condition, I have had to wear a prosthetic leg from birth, and undergone operations to fix the deformed leg including having the foot amputated.

Do you face any daily problems that could be overcome by better accessibility? If so, what are they?

I have to wear a prosthesis, sometimes use crutches and other times use a wheelchair. I have the toughest time with accessibility when using the wheelchair – it seems that lots of places still aren’t fully accessible and I have struggled opening doors for myself when in my chair.

I think it should be mandatory for all places to have a button easy for disabled people to press that makes the door open for them.

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In your experience, what do you think about the general public’s view of disability?

I think the general public are very understanding towards disabled people and I feel very lucky to be able to say that I have had only a small number of bad experiences.

I do however feel as though sometimes the media seem to portray disabled people as not wanting to work and just wanting to live off their benefits, which of course is a ridiculous statement as myself and many other disabled people out there are desperate to work, lots just have a really hard time finding a workplace that accommodates them and their disability.

Have you used any mobility aids that you would recommend to other people with disabilities?

I find my wheelchair to be extremely helpful when I really need a break from wearing my prosthesis. I’d recommend that anyone with a disability that affects their mobility to make sure they do have a wheelchair at home – you never know when you may need to use it as I know from experience it’s very easy to tire yourself out and cause lots of pain accidentally.

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What advice would you give to other people living with PFFD?

Meet as many other people online or face to face with PFFD as possible! I feel like I had such an isolated childhood because I never knew anyone else with PFFD. I felt like the only disabled child around.

We didn’t really have social media but now that it’s so easy, please use google and contact as many others with the condition as possible so that you can share experiences. I’m always happy when someone with PFFD contacts me! :)

Finally, on your blog you mention how much your optimism about living with a disability has improved. What encouraged you to build your self-esteem and what do you think could be done to help other people living with disabilities boost their self-confidence?

I think sharing my story and starting my blog was the thing that really helped me build my self-esteem. It felt so rewarding and therapeutic to chat to others that were in a similar position as me!

I also started to realise that disabled children may look up to me as someone they can relate to and I wanted to show them that being who you are is 100% perfectly fine. I wanted to show them that they should be proud and never ashamed!

I’d advise anyone struggling with self-confidence to confide in someone that you trust, even maybe someone that has a similar disability to you. Sharing experiences and being there for each other so much. In fact, I think creating my blog was the best decision I ever made because I get to chat to fellow disabled people and offer them a friend to talk to in me every day!

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If you want to share an opinion or have any similar advice to offer, get in touch via our Twitter or our Facebook! Thanks again to Amy for the great contribution.

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Eggcellent Easter Ideas

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If you celebrate Easter it’s perfect for spending time with the family and getting out and about. We’ve come up with a list of egg-citing Easter ideas that are perfect for everyone!


Egg hunting is the most popular game to play this time of the year but it can be hard for everyone to join in, particularly if you’re a wheelchair user. Try placing the eggs at a strategic height that’s perfect for wheelchair users, like sticking them on a wall or placing them on tabletops that are a convenient height, to prevent any issues with being unable to reach or bend.

Activities don’t have to involve exercise – it is spring after all and any excuse to relax in the sunshine is fine with us! We have a range of outdoor products that are perfect for enjoying the benefits of spring, such as our Water Resistant Fleece Blankets, which are ideal for picnics or gardening. Thanks to their waterproof underside, these blankets are even suitable on damp grass, whilst their colourful fleecy design adds warmth even when there’s a slight chill in the air.pexels-photo-356339 If mobility is an issue, you could show off your artistic side by getting involved with some Easter craft fun. Golden Carers have lots of different craft activity ideas on their website, which are perfect for senior citizens and people living with a disability. Joining in with their artwork sessions provides a therapeutic experience, fun and accessible activities suitable for everyone, and the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. Paint a spring flower or create an Easter egg card, the choice is yours!

Elderly Activities have an especially good idea for creating Easter artwork on their site! Eggshell mosaics are an ideal activity suited to the elderly and are a great way to create simple pieces of art by simply using smashed up egg, food colouring and glue. This can provide a soothing and calm environment which can greatly aid senior citizens and those living with a disability. art-painting-easter-egg When organising Easter egg hunts, it’s important to accommodate for all ages and abilities. To make it fair, an idea is to give each player a different colour and they can only find eggs that match with their colour, which is ideal if some participants are disabled and it means that everyone will have an equal chance at winning. You can find ideas like this and many more at One Place For Special Needs.

Above all, Easter is a time for family and friends and no-one should feel isolated or alone. That’s why Share The Miracle volunteers across the country are handing out Easter eggs to the homeless, children in hospitals and elderly people living alone or in care homes, with an invitation to a social club or an Easter fun day. This kind-hearted initiative has been running for four years now and it just keeps growing, with 15,000 people in the UK receiving Easter gifts in 2015. Here’s how you can get involved!  pexels-photo-373331


 

If you have any Easter tips for other readers or want to share your opinion, tweet us at @AbilityStore or contact our Facebook page!

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National Gardening Week

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This week it’s National Gardening Week and to celebrate, we’re showing off our best products and providing handy tips to make sure you have the garden of your dreams! Gardening may seem like a chore sometimes but we have just the right tools to help you out this spring.


 

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Our range of Ergonomic Gardening Tools are specially designed with curved handles to alleviate any strain and aches in the wrists when gardening. The angle of the handle ensures that the wrist is kept in a natural position when using the tools, so digging and planting has never been easier! They are ideal for people with arthritis as they are comfortable to hold, and the non-slip grip on the handle provides security and stability when in use. Available as a weeder, trowel, cultivator and transplanter, or as a full set.

An excellent website to check out is Fred Shed, which provides detailed and expert advice on how to pick and choose the right gardening tool for you! Featuring on the site are lots of different kinds of tools which are also perfect for wheelchair users, ranging from pruning tools to lawnmowers. The site offers brilliant advice on the most efficient garden tools.

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There are several charities that provide opportunities to get outside and improve your green-fingers, even if you don’t have a garden of your own. Thrive, a leading UK charity, aims to offer gardening as therapy for people with disabilities, improving mental and physical health while providing a safe haven for those who feel isolated or alone. They also provide advice on how to create gardens that will specifically aid certain disabilities, such as vision impairment, depression, dementia and many more. It’s a great way to learn valuable skills, make new friends and connect with nature to reduce stress.

If you don’t have your own garden, public gardens are ideal for anyone wishing to spend time with flowers without getting their hands dirty! Many public gardens, such as Capel Manor Gardens, cater specifically to disabled visitors and provide wide walkways for wheelchair users, as well as free scooters and chairs that you can loan for the day. It’s a perfect way to experience the full therapeutic effects of plants, especially if you’re unable to get involved in gardening.

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Gardening doesn’t need to be another chore on the list – it has a wide range of positive effects that can greatly aid the body and mind, regardless of your age or ability. If you have any tips for other readers or want to share your opinions on gardening, make sure to tweet us at @AbilityStore or get in touch via our Facebook page!

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Out And About In Spring!

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As we wave goodbye to winter, we’re all looking forward to the best thing about warmer weather — being outdoors! With spring finally here, we’ve put together a few of our best products that will encourage you to venture out into the great outdoors. From gardening to picnic blankets, these products are guaranteed to blow away those winter blues.


Getting out and about is the perfect way to let the gentle breezes improve your health, mood and general well-being. But for some, it can be challenge to walk around due to limited mobility or a disability. Fortunately, our Veloped Trek is an ideal aid for the outdoorsy types! It has large, spacious storage options to keep your possessions secure whilst you’re on the move, and a handy seat for if you get tired or simply want to admire the view. The specially designed wheels enable you to hike over rough ground, whilst providing stability and a sense of adventure.

If you struggle to get outdoors, there are a range of activities that are perfect if you’re elderly or someone with a disability. Elder One Stop have a list of ideal ways to enjoy the outdoors that are accessible and require minimal effort, whilst this publication from Disability Rights UK has great advice on how to participate in sport and exercise when you’re someone living with a disability. There are various clubs around the UK that you can get involved in, such as The Ramblers who provide great opportunities to go walking regardless of your age or ability, plus it’s a chance to meet new people; exercise is more fun with friends.

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The Great British weather provides another obstacle to getting outdoors — the rain! Even though it’s finally getting warmer, the April showers can make it difficult to go outside or even face the thought of venturing out in a downpour. For wheelchair users, this can be particularly inconvenient to propel the chair and carry an umbrella at the same time. Fortunately, we have a great wheelchair umbrella which is perfect against the unpredictable English weather! It clamps easily onto the wheelchair to provide protection from the April showers or spring sunshine alike, and is available in a beach-style blue and white design to get you in the mood for summer.

Also, our wheelchair poncho is a great way to get outside even in the rain, with its drawstring hood and waterproof material, allowing you to venture out and enjoy spring, no matter what the weather is like. The poncho covers your legs too, to keep you warm and dry, and the easy pull zip fastening is secure and guaranteed to protect you from sudden cloud bursts. Small and lightweight, this design is ideal to carry around at any time — after all, the rain is unpredictable in the UK!

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When the rain finally decides to go away, it’s the perfect time to have a picnic and what picnic is complete without the perfect blanket? Our range of picnic blankets have a plain, waterproof underside and the top layer is soft, fleecy and patterned in four colourful designs. Picnics are an effortless way to enjoy the spring air, and with these blankets you can relax in comfort in the sunshine!

Whilst venturing out for a picnic, why not have a game of boccia? Our wooden boccia set is suitable for playing on any surface, and the simplicity of the game means that anyone can join in! You don’t have to be sporty or athletic to play this game and it is perfect for all ages and abilities. If you really enjoy it, you could even join a boccia club which are situated all across the UK; it’s a great way to make new friends and meet other people.

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If sport isn’t your thing, then gardening is a great way to experience the full benefits of spring. Our handy gardening tools are specially designed to be suitable for people of any age or ability, so gardening isn’t off-limits to anyone! The Ergonomic Garden Tools allow you to use the tools safely with no risk of unnecessary stress on the wrist, perfect for anyone with arthritis or limited joint mobility.

Similarly, our Garden Kneeler is ideal for gardeners who struggle to bend down or stand up; the steel arms provide a sturdy support to assist in moving, and the cushioned seat relieves your knees of any aches or pain. These gardening products are particularly perfect for elderly people, as they assist in making everyday hobbies much simpler, so you’ll be able to get outdoors and start planting those pretty spring flowers.

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We know getting out and about can be difficult if your age or disability restricts you from doing so, but we believe that everyone should have the chance to enjoy spring, and we hope our products make it easier to venture out. If you have any tips or favourite products, get in touch via our Twitter @AbilityStore!

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Spring Cleaning

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Winter is finally behind us and we can’t wait to dust off those chilly cobwebs! Spring cleaning isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re elderly or someone living with a disability, it can be even harder to face.  We’ve put together a few handy tips on how to blitz the winter blues and put a literal spring in your step…

Let us know if you try any out or if you have any tips of your own by tweeting us at @AbilityStore!


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Spring cleaning is not only good for cleansing your mind and soul;  it can also be beneficial for helping to reduce any risk of physical injury. Tidying up clutter can provide a safer way to navigate around the house, especially if you’re a wheelchair user, and prevent you from falling if you have reduced mobility. If you’re unable to clear clutter yourself, ask a friend, neighbour or family member to help and you’ll have lots more fun when there’s a friendly face to chat with whilst you work! Visiting Angels have some great tips on clearing unwanted items, such as unused clothing or furniture, to improve safety around the home.

An important area to focus on whilst spring cleaning is checking the medicine cabinet. Easily overlooked, this area of cleaning can save a life so don’t ignore it! Make sure your medication is labelled and stored correctly, any old medication thrown out (if it doesn’t retain its potency) and all medication stored in a cool, dark, dry place. This is especially crucial as mislabeled or expired medication can cause serious health hazards — you’ll feel loads better if you know everything is as it should be. Everyday Health has excellent advice on how to organise your medicine cabinet so you won’t get muddled anymore!

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Something to remember when spring cleaning is to never try and attempt to move heavy objects by yourself, particularly if you’re elderly or a person with limited mobility. Allow friends, family or neighbours to help — while it might feel like they’re taking over, you’ll still have control over what goes where, plus it’s not worth risking a possibly serious injury. If this is not an option, there are various online websites that offer volunteer services to help move heavy objects; a great one is the National Association of Senior Move Managers. If you’re someone offering to help out an elderly or person with a disability, Moving Made Smooth, Inc. provides superb tips on how to efficiently lift heavy items.

A spring clean is a good opportunity to check up on emergency kits and smoke alarms. If you’re unable to check, more than seventy local Age UKs use handy person services across most of the country, providing help with fitting smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors. They also efficiently check up on if the detectors are working properly, which is valuable to save a life. You can check on their website which is the nearest Age UK to you that offers these helpful services.

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When you’ve made some room in your home, it’s always a good idea to install some grab bars to provide extra support and safety. There are many that can be fastened on a wall discreetly to minimise safety hazards, in addition to maintaining a safe passage through your home which is ideal for wheelchair users or elderly people with limited mobility. Grab bars are secure and offer support in the risk of a fall, instead of having to grab an item of furniture, or something similar, which won’t be as safe and sturdy.

As we’ve briefly mentioned, it’s important to recruit friends, family members or neighbours to help with the task. As they say, many hands make light work and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to spring cleaning, especially if you’re not able to manage by yourself. If you know someone struggling to spruce up their house this springtime, offer a helping hand! And don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you if you’re finding it a challenge to tidy up. If this option isn’t available to you, there are a range of charities around the country who provide cleaning services specifically for the elderly or disabled citizens. Check out Becky’s Cleaning Services in Derby, or Bath Domestic Cleaning, plus many more across the country!

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Don’t let spring cleaning be a chore — with our advice, we hope to offer an easier method to dust away the winter blues and get ready for spring!

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Perfect Pet Care!

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With our new pet care range, we aim to help not only pet owners who need a little help with looking after pets but for animals themselves that may have limited mobility or suffer with arthritis and other conditions. As our pets offer us comfort, support and guidance, it’s important to make sure they stay happy and healthy. From the 2nd of April to the 2nd of May, it’s National Pet Month in the UK so we’ve put together a few ways to ensure your pets receive the help they need, thanks to our new purrfect products, plus some links to handy charities!

If you have any tips, or if you want to let us know what you think about our new range, send us a tweet at @AbilityStore!


A happy pet is a healthy pet and we believe that this makes a happy, healthy human too! Animals can be affected by things that we can’t hear or see, and it can be difficult and frustrating to figure out the cause of the problem with no means of communication. Our new Herbal Calming Tablets are ideal for soothing your dog or cat in a natural way, with no risk of drowsiness, and are especially reassuring during thunderstorms or fireworks season. They’re suitable for all ages and breeds and the soothing mixture of lemon, rosemary and lime blossom is perfect for calming your pet in stressful situations. Also in our pet care range is the De-Stress Pet Diffuser, which plugs in and emits a soothing scent of sweet basil and sage to calm down dogs, cat, horses, rabbits, rodents and birds. This simple yet effective product is efficient in calming nerves without causing drowsiness.

As well as their mental state, it’s important to keep an eye on your pet’s physical health, particularly if you rely on a guide dog to assist you. Just like us, animals can get old and experience limited mobility as their joints become sore, restricting them from running around or being able to assist their owners. We have brilliant solutions to achy joints, in the form of our Heating Pad, Pet Warmer and Cooling Mat. They are ideal for older pets with arthritis or just to warm up or cool down, as well as puppies and kittens! The mats fit snugly into your pet’s bed to relax them and provide a soothing comfort from aches and pains.

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If you don’t or can’t have a pet yourself but feel like you could benefit from the positive effects they provide, there are plenty of charities that visit care homes and hospitals with therapy dogs and cats. Pets As Therapy is a great charity that allows people in need to spend time with animals, which is proven to greatly help those living with dementia, autism and strokes. The pets additionally prevent loneliness which can sadly be quite common for elderly people living alone, and provide a furry companion for those who can’t have one of their own.

Owning a pet can be quite a challenge, especially as we age and for people living with a disability. It’s an extra mouth to feed and more responsibility to look after another living creature, whilst looking after yourself. Fortunately, we have some great products to make every day life easier! Our new No Rinse Shampoo for dogs and cats is perfect for pet owners who struggle to reach the shower, as it doesn’t require water and washes your pet efficiently and quickly. This simpler way of cleaning your furry friend is ideal for those living with mobility problems, with no need to bend over a bath to get your pet clean or simply if your pet isn’t too fond of bath time! Also, why not try our new Arms-Length Pooper Scooper? It provides a convenient way to clean up after your dog, especially if you suffer from back problems or struggle to bend down, and its easy assembly means it’s suitable for anyone!

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If you’re a pet owner who likes to be on the move, we have the perfect range of travel products for you and your pet. In vehicles, dogs in particular can get over-excited, especially if they’re not strapped into the seat. This can be hazardous for the dog and driver alike. Our Carsafe Harness is a simple yet effective method of keeping your dog safe in the car; the harness is specifically designed to make sure your dog is comfortable and remains in the optimum position whilst wearing the harness, ensuring peace of mind on car journeys.  In addition, dogs on the go can often get dehydrated whilst moving around so our Collapsible Travel Bowl and Travel Water Bowl are perfect for keeping them hydrated and healthy. Both products fold flat for easy storage and the lightweight design means they can be carried around with no problems. These bowls are a definite no-brainer for carrying food or water on days out, holidays or weekends away with your pup! If it’s just an ideal water solution you’re looking for, then our Crufts Travel Water Bottle is perfect for transporting water wherever you are. It is leak-proof and comes with a water holder to be carried easily.

Exercise is highly important for animals, especially dogs, as it allows them to strengthen their joints and muscles and reduces the risk of arthritis. It also improves their mood, helping them to become physically and mentally happy. Our new pet care range includes products which are ideal for helping to make ‘walkies’ a lot easier for you and your dog! The Hi-Vis Collar is perfect for increasing the safety of your dog walks — the flashing light and vivid colour are a great solution for poor or no light when walking your canine friend. Plus, if you’re struggling to clean up after your dog in the dark, our Dog Walking Torch is a combined torch and bag dispenser, designed to aid specifically in clearing up! The bright torch is great to help you see where you’re walking and the dispenser inside it provides an easier way to carry the bags. This product also comes with a handy clip which can attach easily onto your belt or the dog’s lead.

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Our pet care range is specially designed to help your furry friends mentally and physically, as well . If you have any tips for pet care or advice for other pet owners, get in touch with us at @AbilityStore!

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Positivity, photography and a huge love for travelling, with guest contributor Jeri Murphy

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We’ve heard all about travelling in the UK from SimplyEmma and her fab blog, but what’s it like for wheelchair users across the pond? Jeri Murphy, writer and photographer for Anything Is Possible Travel tells us all about her travels across the US and beyond with her daughter Carrieanna who has MS and uses a wheelchair, and how accessible they find the States.

Are you planning to go travelling this year? Let us know what you think about Jeri’s advice, or offer some of your own, by tweeting us at @AbilityStore!


From your blog we can see that you’ve been to lots of different places such as Amsterdam, Alaska, California, New Zealand and many more! In your experience, do you think any particular place is better for wheelchair users than others?

Due to Federal ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] laws, I believe it’s definitely easier for wheelchair users to travel within the United States. Most businesses are required to provide accessible restroom facilities, hotels must have accessible rooms (with appropriate modifications to make toilet and showers accessible). Exceptions are made for existing buildings built before 1993.

Obviously planes must feature a lot in your journeys; what do you think about their accessibility? Do you think anything could be improved for Carrieanna when you travel by plane?

Since she cannot walk Carrieanna needs an aisle chair to get to her seat on a plane. (Fortunately, she is able to stand for a few seconds so she is generally able to pivot and sit rather than being lifted into her seat.) She is often able to acquire front row seating, which is helpful for boarding and also when she experiences spasticity in her legs (a common MS symptom). The toilet facility on a domestic flight is small and, to the best of my knowledge, does not have grab bars which would allow a disabled person to hoist herself onto the commode. This is generally not a problem for Carrieanna on a short flight, but would certainly be an issue on a cross-country or International flight.

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What are some common obstacles that occur when travelling and how do you think they could be overcome?

The US is generally very proactive in providing accessibility. Other countries that I have visited are less so. We are always very specific when searching for lodging that meets Carrieanna’s needs. Most importantly, an accessible toilet and a roll-in shower (with shower controls within reach of the shower bench) are two details that we pay close attention to. Wheelchair-friendly sidewalks and paths are another important consideration. For example, we need to pay strict attention to our path while rolling over cobblestone in Amsterdam, Paris and San Juan, Puerto Rico, or through nature preserves in St. Maarten or Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in California.

How accessible do you find most hotels to be? Do you think anything could be changed to make holidays easier and more accessible for wheelchair users?

In the US we have had success with lodging, although we must be very specific with our needs. (We recently encountered a bathroom accessibility issue at a hotel in Tucson, Arizona. This was chronicled in a review on the TripAdvisor website.) A book entitled “Resting Easy in the US” by Candy Harrington, with its very detailed review of accessible lodging, has been a very helpful resource. Outside of the US, it is more difficult to find accessible lodging that meets our needs. A website or registry of accessible lodging throughout the world, with specific features listed for each accessible room — similar to Candy’s book — would be very helpful and make international travel more appealing to wheelchair users.

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What inspired you to start going travelling and where was the first place you visited together? How did you plan in advance to make sure everything was suitable for Carrieanna?

Carrieanna’s father was an avid traveler, and before her MS diagnosis they traveled (or camped) frequently. He also encouraged Carrieanna to travel with school groups, and as a teenager she visited Italy, Germany, and the Galapagos Islands. After she began experiencing the physical challenges of MS her father was committed to helping her travel as much as she wanted. Our first international trip post-diagnosis was a week in Amsterdam in the spring of 2007 (a college graduation gift to Carrieanna). Her father spent weeks thoroughly researching and reserving accessible lodging and airline seating, as well as confirming accessibility at most of the most interesting tourist attractions in Amsterdam. Two years later we three again visited Amsterdam, with four days in Paris added to the trip. Six months prior to that trip I spent a day in Paris confirming the accessibility of our hotel and the museums and other attractions we wanted to visit.

We have to say, we love Carrieanna’s positive and upbeat attitude and her belief that: “if you haven’t tried, you don’t know if you can do it”.  How does it feel to know that you and Carrieanna have most definitely inspired many disabled readers across the world, and what would you like them to know?

We are grateful for the travel opportunities we are able to enjoy in spite of the added mobility challenges Carrieanna faces. And we truly hope to inspire others to get out and explore as much as they want. There are many resources listed on the “blogroll” page of Anything Is Possible Travel’s website, and we hope that the blog posts and photos will encourage others to experience the joys of travel, whether near or far!

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Spring 2017 – Ideas for the home.

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Spring is in the air and it is the perfect time for refreshing your home. There are some beautiful homeware products this season and especially if you need those practical items that help to make everyday life easier but you also want them to look good.

Follow our guide below for the latest spring trends and take a look at how you can refresh your home for that fantastic, new spring feel.

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Every day living aids are becoming much more sophisticated, with new and updated designs being made all the time as people want style along with practicality. This spring trend for 2017 is all about refined, beautiful products with touches of marble, brass and soft shapes.

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If you are after the ultimate in luxury and comfort, look no further than the Santana available in 3 colours of leather or fabric, designed to go with any room. Pair with the High Vision Floor Light to make for a cosy reading corner. A stainless steel grab rail can offer support while blending effortlessly into any décor. For dining, an ergonomic cutlery set provides grip and comfort with a sleek design. If you’re looking for a bit of flare when it comes to walking aids, the marbled Fischer sticks are eye catching yet graceful, the faux marble design that never goes out of style and adds a little opulence. Our ever popular Let’s Go Out is a modern rollator that will look good whether you’re just nipping to the shops or off to a fancy restaurant.

 

Bright Green

It’s no surprise that bright green is such a popular colour for spring, with its vibrant hues it can brighten up any home.

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Our Wade Dignity range can provide easier eating for those with tremors, dexterity problems and even dementia. Subtle features include deep bowls for effortless scooping, sloped bases and double handles. This range looks like ceramic but is much more durable and aids independent eating and drinking. Our EZ Squeeze can opener allows for anyone with the use of one hand to simply open food cans and tins.

 

Wood effect

Many homes have wood furnishings but it can often be difficult to find the right mobility aids to compliment the surroundings with a lot of them looking too clunky or made from plastic. With our wood and wood-effect products, you can get the right support you need from stylish pieces.

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Our fireside and high back chairs are elegantly designed furniture piece with wooden accents that give a traditional feel. The chairs can provide great posture support and hours of comfort. Our panda bamboo range are natural, durable pieces. The furniture raisers enable the user to sit and stand comfortable from chairs or their bed while blending effortlessly. The step features an attractive wave design which gives grip and allows any water to flow away, making it suitable even for use in bathrooms. The wood effect grab rails are some of the most contemporary on the market, made from hard wearing plastic ensuring grip, strength and easy maintenance. A long handled bath brush is ideal for users with limited arm or shoulder movement to allowing for personal care and improvement in circulation and skin texture.

Tell us about your accessible home or any interior tips and tricks you have by tweeting us @AbilityStore!

You can see our full range in the Spring 2017 Collection category.

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Managing a Meal

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Cooking is like marmite —  you either  love it or hate it. But for most of our life, we manage to do it. However, many people over 60 are finding it increasingly difficult to cook up the nutrition that they need daily, due to a loss of mobility or appetite. As this week is Health and Nutrition Week, here are a few tips below if you or someone you know are struggling in the kitchen — let us know if you try any out by tweeting @AbilityStore!


 

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Often for people over 60 who are living alone, a meal for one can seem daunting and isolating. This is where family and friends can join in — a meal is much easier to prepare when there’s more people chipping in with food. A group of people close to you can provide emotional comfort as well as nourishment, and a social buzz can help rekindle a healthy appetite. A lack of interest in eating can often relate to feeling lonely or isolated, so lunch clubs are ideal to visit — you can learn to cook, eat properly and meet new people!

With this overwhelming surge of new technology, the kitchen can be a difficult place to navigate, especially for those with decreased mobility. Oxo has a range of fantastic products to be used for cooking, specifically designed for people who find kitchen gadgets a struggle. From graters and knives to peelers and a brand new spiralizer, these products are a must-have to turn your kitchen into a chef’s paradise.

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It can often be difficult to build up an appetite if eating isn’t a priority for you right now. Although exercise may seem like the last thing you want to do, the NHS recommends it, especially for people aged 65 and older. Just a few minutes a day can help build up an appetite, plus you can keep healthy and mobile! Start slowly and build up, and you’ll be amazed at the return of your appetite.

A good idea is to switch to smaller meals, especially if three large meals a day is too hard to face. Light and frequent snacks are a good alternative, especially if they contain all the right proteins and nutrients, plus it means you don’t have to spend a long time in the kitchen with a complicated recipe. Try to avoid food containing saturated fats, like cake or fizzy drinks — stick to high-energy healthy snacks that’ll fill you up.

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If a lack of culinary skills is what’s stopping you from cooking, check your local community centre for cooking classes! As well as learning to develop a new skill and make nutritious healthy meals, it’s also a great opportunity to meet new friends. A good one is Senior Chef, which is based near Canterbury and offers a free eight-week cooking course for people aged 65 and over.

There are also a range of charities that allow you to have your meal cooked by a volunteer. The Casserole Club is an excellent charity that you can sign up to and receive a free meal, whilst becoming friends with the volunteers, or neighbours, that bring them over! It’s a great way to ensure that you’re getting the nourishment you need, as well as regular social interaction to keep you healthy, physically and mentally.

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The Importance Of Physical Therapy During Cancer

 

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If you’re recovering from an illness or accident, physical therapy is a crucial part of rebuilding lost energy and mobility, especially if daily tasks and chores are becoming too much. Virgil Anderson, who was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, (a cancer caused by asbestos exposure) provides important information about the benefits of physical therapy during his treatment, and raises awareness of how cancer treatment can affect you.

If you or someone you know has experienced the benefits of physical therapy, tweet us at @AbilityStore and let us know your thoughts and feelings about it!


Physical Therapy For Cancer Patients

In the past, cancer patients were treated with padded gloves both during and after treatment. Rest was the best medicine at the time. However, researchers are now discovering that moving and exercise are more important than perpetual rest. Explore the benefits and safe pathway toward a strong body through physical therapy and exercise. Patients may see faster recovery times as a result.

Slow and Steady

The best way to start any physical therapy is through a graduated schedule. Patients should begin with simple and small movements, especially after cancer treatment. Therapy specialists might have the person walk or stretch for several sessions. Patients move forward with their workout when the specialist feels that it’s appropriate. Moving the body forces the circulation to spread across the body, which nourishes the tissues. Ample nutrients, oxygen and other substances allow the body to heal after a cancer battle. The professional simply guides the patient through a safe routine in order to avoid any injuries.

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Coping With Treatment Side Effects

According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, physical therapy and basic exercise helps patients deal with common side effects. In particular, fatigue tends to plague patients during and after treatment. Physical therapists encourage movement through each session, which boosts the energy levels. The body naturally responds to the exercise with good hormones being released into the tissues. Although fatigue and aches may not be entirely cured, they’re significantly reduced in intensity. In fact, some patients may not need as many prescription painkillers as before since the physical therapy is helping them cope in a natural way.

Strengthening the Muscles

During any cancer treatment, the body’s tissues decline. Tumours are targeted by the treatment, but healthy tissues can also be affected. Working in consistent physical-therapy sessions means that patients are building muscle. These tissues support the bones that are slowly gaining tissue after treatment as well. As muscles develop, patients will have a higher metabolism with a greater appetite. Because every body system is intricately connected, the physical therapy improves almost every aspect of the patient’s prognosis. A cancer diagnosis becomes a hurdle in life that can be challenged and won with perseverance.

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Specialised Therapies for Each Patient

Every cancer patient is unique, which means that a physical-therapy session must be just as customised to the person. Working with a professional is beneficial because they can look at a patient’s physical and mental capabilities. As a team, patients and therapists set goals during the sessions so that there are milestones to chase and overcome. Communication between the parties is always encouraged because setbacks can occur. Therapists simply alter the sessions as necessary so that the patient can move through a challenging obstacle.

Considering Medical Tests Throughout

Physical therapists work closely with patients’ doctors because medical tests must be considered during any session. The American Cancer Society notes that blood tests are constantly being checked so that patients can recover with as much normalcy as possible. If red-blood-cell counts drop too low, for example, the patient has an anaemic state that must be addressed before any physical therapy. Both professionals will ensure that the patient is safe throughout the therapy so that it offers the most benefits. In many cases, the physical activity helps the ailment heal as the body gains more strength and immunity against germs.

When patients graduate from official physical therapy during cancer remission, it’s important to continue with daily exercise. Patients can work with their doctors in order to create a safe routine, including resistance training and aerobic workouts. Fighting cancer is a daily battle, but it can be eased with basic body movements.

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