Travelling and getting out and about with a disability
Getting out and about, whether you have a health condition, long-term disability or simply want to remain active as you get older, is a great way to maintain independence and lead a healthy lifestyle.
With many different factors to consider when out and about - from the changeable weather, to how accessible the terrain is - we’ve compiled our best advice and handy products to make getting out and about much easier for you.
The benefits of getting outdoors
- Healthy mind - A change of scenery helps to break out of a routine and boost your mental wellbeing, even if it’s something as simple as taking a different route to your local supermarket or going to a different park to your usual one.
- Healthy body - Going outdoors, and especially in nature, is beneficial to your physical, with studies showing that spending time with nature can improve blood pressure and even decrease the risk of cancer.
- More independence - For individuals living with a disability, going outside can mean much more than just enjoying the scenery. Even a small journey down the road is a great way to maintain your independence and develop the confidence to start planning longer journeys.
How to make a journey accessible and easy
There are a number of ways to make getting out and about easier and more accessible, from being prepared and planning your outing, to keep your options open for the ever-changeable British weather. If you require one, choosing the right mobility aid is important for getting outdoors, as there are things to consider like the terrain, battery life and if the mobility aid can fit in your vehicle.
Plan your journey
Depending on the length of your outing, it’s a good idea to check beforehand what the accessibility is like. Online forums and Facebook groups are a handy way to get some more information about the places you want to visit, and public transport companies often have information regarding their accessibility on their websites. By being prepared and knowing what to expect, your journey can be made a lot calmer and stress-free.
Check the weather
Famous for being unpredictable, the British weather can definitely put a stop to any outdoor plans, whether it’s too hot or pouring down with rain. Wheelchair users can often feel the cold more due to sitting down instead of walking, so a simple product like a wool blanket is ideal to wrap around your legs and keep warm. A snug and comforting fleece lined leg cosy is perfect for keeping out the cold on long journeys, with waterproof material to stay dry in the rain. To deflect both the rain and the sun, a wheelchair umbrella can simply fasten onto your chair and protect you from the elements, hands-free.
Use mobility aids and supports
Depending on your mobility, you may find it easier to venture out with the support of a walking stick, crutch or rollator, if you don’t require a wheelchair. A walking stick is ideal to provide balance if you have minor mobility issues, and you can choose from lots of beautiful designs or folding sticks to fit in a bag. If you’re looking for a bit more stability and a more ergonomic handle, try a crutch, as most come with a comfortable arm cuff and sturdy ferrule for support. Or, if you want a walking aid which combines stability, style and comfort, a rollator may be the answer for you. The wheeled frames enable you to push forward at your own pace, whilst four-wheeled rollators even feature a handy seat.
Vehicle Aids & Travelling
If you’re travelling by car or another vehicle, you want your journey to be comfortable and relaxing, particularly if it’s a long trip. When venturing out, it’s important to start your journey by getting in your vehicle easily and safely with the help of a handy bar. Car transfer aids are ideal for providing stability and support when getting in and out of a vehicle, something which can be difficult to do with limited mobility, dizziness or back problems. For the utmost comfort whilst in the car, try a leveller cushion to support the coccyx and prevent back pain, or use a swivel seat cushion to make exiting the vehicle easier. If you’re a blue badge user, a stylish blue badge holder can keep the badge safe whilst looking fashionable and colourful.
Going outside is a fun and exciting activity for everyone, regardless of age and ability, and it can be made much easier with the help of a few choice mobility aids and careful planning.
Euan's Guide- https://www.euansguide.com/
Accessible Travel - http://www.accessibletravel.co.uk/
Disabled Holidays - https://www.disabledholidays.com/