If you follow my instagram account you’ll know I have become a little obsessed with daily living aids. These are products with a variety of purposes designed to make life tasks easier, particularly for disabled and elderly people. I am regularly reviewing products with ‘Tourettesy Videos’ for pure honesty over on my Instagram.
I was kindly sent some products to try from Tenura UK. They are a daily living aid manufacturer with an aim to improve quality of life in independent living.
These products are described as ‘long lasting, non- slip and chemical/ latex free’. They offer VAT exemption on lots of products for disabled people and their customer care is impeccable. I have been throroughly impressed by both their high quality and friendly service. As always I give honest reviews and speak about the pros and cons to each product truthfully. I genuinely believe these products to be extremely useful for different people. Not only are they available individually to buy lots of them are also available in bulk too.
Many of the Tenura products are sold in three colours each with a specific aim. I love this idea. Below is a link to a more in depth description, however in brief, yellow is for low lighting, red commands attention and blue is calming.
The First Product I received was this silicone non- slip circular coaster- I actually found it worked a lot better under plates than it did for mugs. I’m the clumsiest ever so still managed to knock this about with a mug on however with the plate/ bowl it did not budge which was great. The silicone is very thick and it’s quality is evident upon appearance. I love that its got little patterns indented into it.
WHAT IS IT? (taken from Tenura’s website as I couldn’t have explained their products any better!!!)
Creates a strong non slip surface, perfect for resting cups, plates and bowls on to prevent unwanted movement
Anti-microbial construction preventing bacteria from harboring on its surface
Available in 14cm and 19cm diameter, with a material thickness of 1.5mm
This coaster has many purposes and is made of non toxic silicone material which I think could be great in care homes or on hospital wards as well as in the home. I found they worked best with bowls on or underneath a plate or cup on a tray. There are plenty of ways these could be used! It worked nicely on a tray as well as under my food processor. It is also dishwasher safe.
WHAT DOES IT DO? (taken from Tenura’s website as I couldn’t have explained their products any better!!!)
Prevents plates, bowls and crockery from sliding on tables, counters and trays
Holds chopping boards in position
Holds kitchen appliances and mixing bowls in place
Holds objects firm on surfaces that are not horizontal and / or are subject to motion or tipping.
These coasters come in different sizes in addition to the three colours- the one I have was yellow and a medium size for £3.83.
Another product I tried from Tenura was the ‘Cup Caps’ as I felt they were very fitting for me (someone who spills drinks all the time!)
Tenura CupCaps (pack of 2)
I love these!!! I’m forever spilling my drink down myself, leaving cups on the side for hours on end and having hundreds of drinks on the go at once. These are a really great solution to avoid spills and ensure freshness of drinks. (Let’s be realistic- leaving your drink out uncovered is a little gross!)
The application of this product is incredibly easy and they’re a super flexible material. Remember to ensure the glass is dry and these slip on and suction to the cup very well.
WHAT DOES IT DO? (taken from Tenura’s website as I couldn’t have explained their products any better!!!)
Seals cups, mugs and cans preventing spills and stains
Keeps drinks fresher for longer
Can be applied with ease
Made with a strong anti-microbial construction preventing bacteria from harbouring on the material
Each pack contains 6cm and 8cm diameter CupCaps
They honestly feel like magic! I tipped my cup upside down and gave it a big shake and there wasn’t even a drip of spillage.
I think these would be perfect for young children or parents of children as well as disabled people with weak grip and their carers as they will help to avoid spillages. They are antimicrobial and can be kept in the fridge which is cool. (Pardon the pun!)
They are £10.00 for two which is really reasonable and they stretch to fit most cups or glasses- they don’t spill if knocked over or tipped upside down!!!
I have done a short video on my Instagram @aticcersguidetolife highlights in ‘reviews 2’ if you would like to see them working. You can pop any straw through these and you’re good to go.
The next product was my favourite of the bunch! Simple yet super effective.
Anti- Slip Circles
LOVE! These can be used on wet floor, showers, patios and baths, they are anti- slip stickers which have a rough grip surface on one side and a non marking sticker on the other. To test these out I stuck them on half the floor of my shower and at one end of my bath- within a day I had slipped on the side without the grips and realised how good they were. I now have these in both my bath and my shower all over and they’re great. They ‘take the edge off’ the slip if that makes sense- add a subtle grip. I would say put these a little closer together than you think and you’ll realise just how useful they are! They grip really easily sticking to the surface and don’t mark when removed. They are very easy to apply, and Tenura say they’re much more efficient than bath mats, which can attract mould. I also agree I would choose these over a bath mat as they have feel more hygienic and less clunky whilst seeming to have more grip in addition to being non abrasive.
WHAT DO THEY DO? (taken from Tenura’s website as I couldn’t have explained their products any better!!!)
Helps to prevent slips and falls in dry and wet conditions
Made from a strong non abrasive material which is very kind to bare skin
Creates a strong bond with a application surface thanks to its strong self adhesive backing
Available in rolls consisting of approx 30 (200mmx20mm) strips or 72 (40mm diameter) circles
THOUGHTS ON THEIR APPEARANCE:
The stickers are designed to prevent slipping and blend into the bath or shower and they definitely do just that. They apply well, without looking out of place. This was something my mum was super conscious of as we have just had her bathrooms done and she didn’t want them being ruined;). It’s safe to say she likes them too as they stick to her modern bathroom aesthetic! They are available in both white and transparent.
These are £7.20 for a roll and the roll is huge it would last ages with replaceable stickers or for multiple areas.
I did a quick video on my Instagram highlights ‘Reviews 2’ of the application of these in both my bath and shower. Ensure you clean the surface before applying the stickers and dry it well.
The next product is another from their silicone anti toxic range. It is super useful for opening jars and I think the smaller one would be really great to keep in a handbag for bottles and lip sticks!
WHAT IS IT? (taken from Tenura’s website as I couldn’t have explained their products any better!!!)
Makes jars and other containers much easier to open relieving strain on wrists, muscles and joints.
The Tenura rubber jar opener is non-toxic due to their silicone rubber construction, which means they can be used in kitchens and clinical areas.
They could definitely be used to open other items as well as jars and could be very suitable for a person with arthritis or little use of the wrist. The non- slip not only helps open the jar but also helps aid avoiding breakages or spillages due to over forcing the jar open. Due to the non-toxic development I also think they could be great to hold things such as potatoes or apples still when cutting!
HOW DO I USE THEM?
These are super easy to use, either put on top of the jar on in your palm and simply use them same way you would normally open a jar. It really helps to ease strain and pain in the wrist and avoids over extension which is greatfor hyper-mobile patients.
These are just £4 and again this is super reasonable for the quality of product.
Again there is another short video demonstration on my Instagram @aticcersguidetolife highlights ‘reviews 2’.
Overall I was thoroughly impressed by the quality and care that has gone into the Tenura products- I think each product has its strengths for both able bodied people and people with a variety of disabilities. I look forward to trying more!
Since my health deteriorated I can’t help but feel like I was massively thrown in at the deep end. Doctors offer little life advice and mainly medical advice- we don’t get told how to cope, manage and access services. Speaking to many many chronically ill people through the creation of this blog, I have discovered so many, like me, are unaware of our rights as disabled people.
Now I hope I don’t need to say this, but I’m going to mention it anyway. Disabled people ‘perks’ are not perks- they are there to make life more accessible for disabled people and to bring us up to an even-playing field. Please do not take advantage of any of the below and only apply for what you need.
Some of the following suggestions need a more in-depth explanation in individual posts- for example PIP, benefits, PA and care support. I will cover these more in the future. Talking about the more ‘official disabled stuff ‘ can take up a lot of spoons!
I’ve learnt a lot about the world since being sick. Disabled life is expensive. It takes double the amount of time to do everything. The general public can be weirdos. Talking about your access needs or educating others isn’t being selfish.
Let’s start by stating this: It is against the law to discriminate against someone because of their disability.
Disability Rights UK is a great place to go for any legal queries or advice regarding work or access.
Disability Equality Act 2010: ‘You are considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.’
Disability Equality Act 2010.
Disabled people are allowed to work, study and access the community. We are allowed to live a fulfilling life and reasonable adjustments should be made to ensure we are able to do so. Ofcourse our health conditions can often limit our choices but reasonable adjustments should be put in place to aid our abilities.
Reasonable adjustments: “Reasonable adjustments are changes to the work environment, employers, shops, local authorities and schools that allow people with disability to work safely and productively. Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, ‘disability’ includes: physical, psychological or neurological disease or disorder. illness, whether temporary or permanent.”
Scope has some amazing resources for more depth into this on their website. Also note that options available to you alter from county to county and town to town- annoying right?!
They like to make things a faff! Remember that, however once support is in place it will be life changing.
Discounts:The cost of being disabled is high! People often feel we are ‘lucky’ for being entitled to discounts. I mean. No comment.
Brighton has a great scheme run by the charity ‘amaze’ they offer ‘compass cards’ which entitle disabled young people and their friends, family and carers discounts and freebies on local attractions, leisure centres and cafes. Google to see if your town has something similar! I do think a lot of funding for things like this has to do with external factors such as age, income etc…
Music Festivals free carer tickets: Accessing ‘normality’ can seem like it’s a whole world away. Attending social events is never easy and music festivals are up there with one of the hardest, that being said… There is an absolutely fabulous charity called ‘attitude is everything’they team up with all big music festivals across the UK such as community festival and reading festival to ensure music is accessible to disabled people. Their support is amazing on the day as well as answering any concerns leading up to the event. They offer support such as accessible toilets, viewing platforms, camping facilities with electricity for over night events, first aid, free carer ticket with proof of disability (whether they are a formal carer or not). Just find the accessibility tab on the festivals website to fill out online forms or call/ email them directly. In my experience each festival have been great.
Many other music gig/ concert booking services also offer a similar services including carer tickets. The link below is an example, but always contact the ticket provider. Viewing platforms, quiet rooms, queue jump, seated not standing are all examples of support available at music gigs no matter how big or small.
Cinema card: The CEA card entitles you to a free care ticket if you would be unable to attend without the support of a PA. As well as this, individual cinemas will have set schemes in place to support any access requirements you have.
Accessible theatres: Everything from disabled friendly viewings for autism or dementia and toilets, PA/carer tickets all to seating and transport.
English Heritage offer some free support for disabled people and their carers accessing any of their sites.
Getting out and about as a disabled person can be a huge challenge and whether you have a learning disability or find yourself wheelchair bound all needs are valid. Social isolation is a huge thing for disabled people and sometimes the thought of ‘faffing about’ trying to arrange a day out is not worth your energy. So many larger organisations are beginning to realise this and there is more support in place to aid your access needs. Not everything always runs smoothly, but knowing your own needs or having a carer/ friend know your needs can help.
Remember the judgement you receive from others is their problem and not yours. Until someone has spent a day in your shoes, they cannot comment.
Care teams: Care coordinators are few and far beyond. Speak to your GP about whether or not there is a possibility to have a medical practitioner or team look at your care holistically. I am not the best person to get advice on this as I don’t have this in place!
Appointments: I’ll be posting a ‘navigating hospital appointments’ post soon as there are lots and lots of pointers surrounding this.
PALS– Patient liaison service at your local hospital or their main switchboard are always a good place to start with queries and complaints.
Ergonomic Equipment: If you are working or studying, you could be eligible for a free Occupational Health needs assessment to enable you to stay in work or education with more support to nurture your disability, from this you may be able to get a chair, desk, computer equipment, assistant, software etc.. to aid your disability in the work place and ensure reasonable adjustments are met to help you meet your potential. OH cover everything from undiagnosed back pain to brain injuries, cancer to autoimmune conditions.
Disability Equipment: Below are links of sites which have a multitude of daily living aids to support your independent living. There are aids for almost everything you could possibly think of, which help you and your carers at home. You do have to pay for these aids, but you may be VAT exempt due to your disability- your PIP money can be used to purchase items. (I’ll discuss PIP more soon)
Amazon also have lots of options- if you message the seller, you may be exempt from paying VAT. Ofcourse not only for help with aftercare, but it is also always better to buy directly from the disability company ethically.
Carers allowance: The UK government funds people on low income who are ‘unofficial carers’ this can be a friend or family member who does or doesn’t live with you but offers care support for at least 35 hours a week.”You could get £67.25 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week depending on their benefits and whether you earn under £128 a week.”
Adult Social Care: I had a few referrals here and am going through the PA/ Direct Payment process- I will do a separate post on this soon but for now, the resources below may be useful.
DSA: Disabled students allowance. If you are a student you can apply for DSA. This is not physical money. They offer you a needs assessment and then discuss software, paid mentor support, equipment etc which could help you in your studies. The idea is to ensure disabled students are not disadvantaged and on an even playing field with their peers. You apply for this through student finance. I’ll discuss this further in another post.
PIP: A specific pot of money given to disabled people based on the impact of their health on their daily life and not a diagnosis alone.
I will be creating a ‘PIP for dummies’ guide very soon’ Personal independence payment is a big stressful faff and the system is not made in favour of the disabled people applying for it! I understand PIP can be particularly overwhelming for those who are sick. My tips for now. Get an advocate or friend/ family members support. Contact a local charity for help. Appeal. Don’t panic, hang on in there and get an advocate or carer to help… more on this soon.
Benefits: If your disability affects you so severely that you are unable to work, you can claim benefits. There seems to be a lot of stigma about people claiming benefits and people abusing the system. Know you are entitled to access support without judgement. Only you know what you are like on your worst day! I will explain these in more depth in future, but for now- citizens advice bureau and the below links should help a little. Sadly for some benefits really aren’t enough to live off so external support can be needed too.
Transport: Travelling on public transport is really hard as a disabled person- this becomes even harder when travelling alone and having to deal with the general public! Allow yourself extra time and be mindful that not everything always runs smoothly.
Below is hopefully every link you could ever need for transport!
Disabled persons bus pass: You could be entitled to free bus travel everywhere in the UK. Google ‘Free disabled bus travel’ or ‘disabled bus card’ then your town and it will come up with a link to your city/ council town hall- you can usually print the application online and post it or go into your town hall and there is a department to do it there. *top tip- if you go into the town hall they will take a photo of you for your ID- you might want to know this before you go!
AIRPORT SPECIAL ASSISTANCE: Contact the airline and airport you will be travelling with and tell them the dates and times of your flight- ask for special assistance- remember this needs to be done before you travel. I’m going to do a ‘how to be disabled- abroad’ post soon.
Brighton has a scheme called ‘helping hands’ your area may have something similar, have a gander.
Motability scheme: ‘The Motability Scheme enables people to get mobile by exchanging their mobility allowance to lease a new car, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle ( WAV ), scooter or powered wheelchair.’ (PIP again!)
Toll bridges and congestion charge: You may not have to pay or be eligible for a discount. Disabled people often have to drive to travel long distances for appointments etc.
Below are some examples:
Toll exemptions. You may be exempt from paying toll fees. Many disabled people cannot access public transport easily, and therefore need to drive more, spending more on petrol, parking etc…
Assistance dogs aren’t just for people who are blind, companies such as canine partners can aid you in your independent living by matching you with an assistance dog.
Watersure uk: The WaterSure Scheme can help you if your income is low and you use a lot of water due to your disability. They can also warn you if there are any issues which may leave you with out water. Many gas/ electric companies do the same.
RADAR KEY: A blue key with a heart shaped top. Many disabled people need clean, fast access to toilets. They open the majority of locked toilets in the UK. Open disabled toilets in parks and public places as well as restaurants etc which may support the scheme. These are between £3-4 and available from many care shops, lots of big boots, and online simply type ‘radar key’ into google and there are lots of links. If in Europe, there is a similar scheme called the ‘eurokey’.
BLUE BADGE: If you suffer from mobility issues, struggle to walk more than a short distances, anxieties around long distance walking which could lead to issues for your disability such as bowl incontinence or autism you may be eligible for a blue badge. This enables you to park in blue badge bays and on double yellow lines- subject to the towns rules- please always check the rules of the town you are in, as you are still likely to get a ticket. I will do another post on life with a blue badge. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DRIVE OR OWN A CAR TO GET A BLUE BADGE!
Sunflower scheme: The hidden disability sunflower scheme- started in airports but now implemented in shops, you can pick them up free in some big retail shops and supermarkets at the customer service desk or buy one here. I LOVE THIS SCHEME BUT THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE AWARENESS ON IT!
Not all disabilities are visible: Google ‘Not all disabilities are visible’ there are tonnes of resources and information from car magnets to badges, lanyards and stickers. Etsy is a great place to support small local businesses.
Access leisure card: Many councils have discounts or free leisure facilities for you and your carer. I have linked the Brighton one below as an example. Some schemes allow up to 3 people to attend with the disabled person free of charge.
As much as we are super lucky we don’t live in places such as the US, where we pay thousands in medical fees- if you regularly need lots of medication – prescription prices definitely do add up. £9.15 per item.
Here are a few ways you can save money on prescriptions.
If you are being prescribed something which can be sold over the counter such as a mild excema cream, paracetamol based medications, antihistamine, nurofen, ibroprofen gels etc, it will be cheaper to buy it over the counter than receive it on prescription. It will save both you and the NHS money.
See the link below to see if you are entitled to free prescriptions.
Medical exemption certificate, Maternity exemption, low income exemption, HC2, HC3 form are examples of free prescription entitlement.
Prepayment prescription Certificate: If you are not medically exempt, you are able to pay in ‘bulk’ for as many prescriptions as needed prepaid. £29.65 for 3 months. £105.90 for 12 months.
Apple Products: I’m not sure about Android but apple products have a range of accessible features. Accessibility in Settings can enable larger font etc. One feature I like it assistive touch- I have the little grey button on my screen as my hands hurt trying to stretch for the buttons all the time- you can turn the volume up and screenshot, restart etc all with this button.
Putting your medical information including allergies in the Health section of your phone can be good for 999 callsas it can be accessed if your phone is locked and you are unresponsive.
Writing ICE after emergency contact details.
Accessaloo-finding clean and accessible toilets. If you know me well you’ll know this is always super handy for me in a rush! ‘Navigate, add, save, rate & review accessible toilets’
Wheelmate– finding clean accessible toilets as well as disabled parking- app users can enter details of their finds.
Accessable– Originally called DisabledGo- Access Guides with accessible information for disabled people, carers, wheelchair users. Includes restaurants, airports, hotels, hospitals, toilets and more.
Medical id: These are genius. Your id will come with an individual pin code on the back of the red circle piece. You then log in online and enter all your details of operations, allergies, diagnosis’ etc. They do have cheaper options, gold, other designs etc.. The idea is that you have your medical details on file and if you were to be in an emergency situation where you are unable to communicate or respond medical professionals or the ambulance service will recognise this symbol. It is a universally recognised symbol which commands attention. In my opinion the best place for the id is on your wrist as a bracelet or on your neck as a necklace- this is because this is where our pulse is checked. That being said they do have cards, keychains etc… Make sure to regularly update your ID details on file online. THEY COULD LITERALLY SAVE YOUR LIFE!
I’ve noticed people are very quick to focus on the negative side of disability (including myself), people refer to me as ‘the girl with tourettes’ at uni or tell me they’re proud of me, I inspire them, they don’t know how I do it- (I have to lol), whilst compliments like these are always lovely to hear, I can’t help but think I am infact just a ‘normal’ person who has additional challenges. Everyone encounters struggles in their lives- mine just happens to have happened at a young age and may last a long time. Having a disability (or 3) changes your life dramatically and the way an able- bodied person will live is exceptionally different to someone who suffers illness.
It is clear to me, many people who have not experienced illness themselves or been impacted by a poorly family member struggle to understand the concept that disabled people aren’t babies, have aspirations, goals & intelligence. We as humans are all very quick to focus on the negatives surrounding life. All things doom and gloom, the rubbish stuff that comes along with disabilities- be it symptoms, societies views or just simply feeling rubbish about life.
I think it’s important that I share why I think disabled people are amazing. Many employers are quick to think ‘I won’t hire them they’re disabled they’re unreliable,’ despite this being against the law hey ho! I believe so many disabled people are incredible, they come on par with other lovely humans. Focusing on personality type as opposed to abilities is important. If you have a driven disabled person, why should they be belittled? A person’s personality affects their work ethic, someone who is able bodied may not have half the qualities a disabled person may have and vice versa. I want to share the positives, the qualities that many disabled people have acquired, obtained in their human systems due to the powers of being disabled.
DISABLED NOT LESS ABLE
Disabled individuals have intense willpower.
Disabled people have alot of empathy, they have experienced the worst pain, nausea, diahorrea, bleeding, bruising and are therefore able to understand and empathise with others.
Disabled people don’t give up– they can’t. They show resilience. Giving up is not an option when you find yourself chronically ill. You have to keep going to appointments, physio, taking meds or you’re going to find yourself feeling worse and worse.
Disabled people think outside the box, Life isn’t always the most accessible, this means that disabled people have to be quick thinkers and be able to create their own peculiar, yet functional ‘life hacks’. (I’ll do a post of some of mine soon!)
Disabled people understand how to care for others as they’ve spent long periods of their lives needing to be cared for.
Disabled people are excellent first aiders. (although I’ve discovered I’m not strong enough to do CPR on my first aid course, I definitely have some great medical knowledge that the average Joe won’t have. I bet I can stop you fainting, bleeding, panicking, crying etc..
Disabled people are opinionated: Disabled people spend much of their lives advocating for themselves. I think its so important as a human being to have an opinion. People with a disability usually have a very strong sense of right and wrong due to finding themselves in vulnerable positions.
Disabled people are strong minded: They know what they want and not much will get in the way of what they would like to achieve. We are determined. The only thing likely to stop me is infact my health.
Disabled people can be very organised: Ha. I say ‘can be’, I used to be the most organised person ever… since becoming chronically ill, I am a nightmare!!!! I frustate myself with the inability to organise my medication, cook proper meals and remember things. Many disabled people are exeptionally organised, as if they do not keep their medication and paperwork sorted they would find themselves in a big fat mess. Not organising your life as a wheelchair user can lead to ‘trip hazards’ in the home. Not managing your medication well can be exceptionally dangerous.
Disabled people can have a great ‘3rd opinion’ on situations: I like to think I have two opinions, my first thought and my opinion as ‘the old me,’ ‘the healthy me’ and the opinion of someone who suffers with mobility and access needs. Having a mindset where you are able to see things from different points of view is a great quality that comes with being sick!
Disabled people are problem solvers: A prime example would be how to get around physically inaccessible situations. They are quick thinkers, able to foresee all the things that may go wrong and preplan for them. Disabled people aren’t phased by much and are able to approach emergency situations in a calm matter. Disabled people understand how to ‘fix’ problems such as coming down off medication, forgetting medication, breaking things, being unable to do things, everyday struggles and dilemmas- disabled people are used to facing.
Disabled people are understanding, important and helpful.
According to Census UK, only 18% of the UK’s working population have ticked the disability box-, yet 22% of the UK population are considered disabled. I understand many disabled people are too ill to work, however do people not tick the disability box due to the fact disabled people are worried of their employers potential discrimination due to their disability? Does disabled always mean they are not as good at their job? NO! Disability does not affect your personality anymore than your personality affects your personality!
I hope this post makes you appreciate all the positive qualities in yourself or disabled people in your life.
It was kindly gifted by a lovely member of a community group in Brighton! He is a star xxx
My mobility scooter has changed my life dramatically & I can get out & about much more whilst most importantly being able to stay out! Although my mental fatigue levels are still the same as they would be if I were walking, my physical fatigue is less & I am able to take rest breaks easier.
I live on one of the biggest hills in Brighton… Now it copes well with the hill all things considered but I do have to lean forwards loads on the incline to balance out which puts a lot of strain on my back & feels a little unstable!
Like Many scooters it doesn’t cope very well on uneven ground although if the grass is freshly cut and dry it seems to cope okay.
TOP TIP IF YOU LIVE IN A HILLY PLACE: Never let your scooter run low on battery, before planning your journey home, always remember that getting up a hill takes a lot more oomph from your scooters batteries & it is likely if you let it get into the red zone you’re going to find yourself in a bit of a pickle half way up what feels like a mountain.
I had a little adventure to see if my chair could cope with my local countryside, overall it did well. I would absolutely not recommend you take it onto mixed terrains regularly as it’d probably destroy your scooter! Things it struggles with are things like rabbit holes/ molehills, uneven grass and non flat slopes (I always get stuck in those little water stream thingys that lead to drains) I’m sure there’s a correct term for these instead of thingys, but I’m no water source expert!
Now this is my first mobility scooter I’ve owned myself, although I have hired many. It is a little wobbly (the seat particularly & I struggle with sciatica if I’m in the chair to long, but in terms of practicality and efficiency it’s great & quick to use.
It’s very nippy & definitely a lot more lightweight than others I‘ve tried. It fits in the boot of my Vauxhall viva (smaller than a Corsa!) which is fab HOWEVER, despite its ‘light weight’ advertisement, my disabled self most definitely cannot lift it alone!!
I would definitely recommend this for day trips out to museums, shopping centres, cities etc as it can go on buses etc with you. I find if you don’t drive it completely straight into a ramp you nearly topple out, this could be down to the driver (ME!) as opposed to the chair itself. I definitely am looking into getting a different type of chair/ scooter but will keep onto this one for short distances such as days out.
It’s also super great for when I get fatigued (ME) as the handle bars are adjustable and move all the way forward, I tend to get someone to stand on the front like a skateboard or sit on my lap and steer whilst I nap in the chair.
ISSUES I’VE ENCOUNTERED:
I have very hypermobile hands and fingers and struggle with moving the mechanism to steer & reverse etc. So do bear this in mind if you have wrist joint problems or finger hypermobility- probably not the safest option but what I do is wrap a bit of string around it or my lanyard and the lever towards me with the string to save my fingers!
The arms are adjustable and every part of the scooter comes off. I would say the basket although handy is probably a little small!
In terms of locking it up- I have a U bike lock for it which is a bit of a faff but I can’t really see any other way to lock it.
It comes with a spare key which is amazing (I lose everything!
It’s extremely lightweight- and although it’s a lot lighter than many other scooters- I still cannot lift or manoeuvre it myself.
Having a basket is amazing for storage as I need two hands to steer my scooter, I tend to put my handbag inbetween my feet and then my charger and bike lock in the basket.
I always need to carry my splints when on this as I get really sore wrists and fingers. When I get too tired it’s pretty fab (although probably not most safe!) , as I can (with help) position the handle bar further away from me and have someone stand on the front/ sit on my lap and steer or position the handle bar to be closer to me so I don’t need to lean out if I’m alone
TOP TIP: Always take your bus pass out with youjust incase you have a scooter mishap-been there, done that and it isn’t fun!
I want to look into getting a phone holder thingy & drink holder and also a bag to clip on.
The steering levers are not great for people with hypermobility at all. I have really weak hands & fingers and they struggle maintaining grip/ pushing it.
My mobility scooter is very good for quick trips out maybe to the supermarket for example but it gives me bad sciatica on longer trips. Painful hips and knees, lower back too.
A neck rest would be useful
(The charge lasts just fine, I’m just a numpty that forgets to charge it!)
I am beginning to write for a new company called ‘Eq4all’ or ‘Equality for all’. A task I am taking on aswell as running social media accounts is connections in Brighton.
I have began to compile a big fat list of ‘inaccessible’ spots in Brighton. I intend to arrange a meeting with the local council to discuss these as it is not okay! It could take me some time! Bare with…
I also am in the process of having lots and lots of meetings with local charities & organisations to get my ‘a little poorly- Brighton’ group up and running.
Having an invisible disability in a world that ignores people with more visible disabilities is hard. I have ME. I sleep a lot. It’s my main problem. People do not get it because they cannot see it. Sometimes I wish my disabilities were more visible. Although being an ambulatory wheelchair user, (someone who uses a wheelchair but can walk,) I have learnt the British public are very quick to avoid eye contact & walk in the other direction. On days I’m very very fatigued but still have day to day tasks to do getting out and about can be a challenge. The world is not accessible for people like me. People struggle to understand what the word ‘accessible,’ means, accessible can mean a variety of things for a variety of people. Accessible toilets- emergency red cords being at the right height for someone who may fall in a disabled toilet. (10cm off the ground). Having an alternative to a giant step outside a store. Flat ground as opposed to uneven surfaces.
The way I’m looked at in a wheelchair or not looked at – ignored, can have a massive toll on my mental health. I have a mobility scooter but yes I can walk, WOW?! People are amazed when they see me stand out of my scooter – as if they had just seen someone rise from the dead out their coffin. It’s astonishing. I’ve had many a day out on my scooter getting stuck, rammed into boxes of inconveniently placed products in shopping isles or attempting to go up a step & completely misjudging my ability to ‘fly’ & crashing straight into it going flying. It frustrates me that there are sometimes no other options for me. Just the other day I had people staring at me as I disembarked my scooter, attempting to carry it up a step, out of a pothole, falling side to side – dismantling the seat, all to grab some lunch from a shop. A human right. Situations like these trigger immense anxiety but I know I am lucky. I am very stubborn and do not ask for help, even when I know I need it. I am lucky in the sense I am able to stand & walk short distances. The many times I have found myself in situations similar to these, I have stopped- felt sorry for myself and thought about the 13.9M other disabled people in the UK alone who may not be able to have got up that step, or through that doorway. Having a disability means a lot of my control is taken, the inaccessible world is beginning taking my dignity too. Stopping disabled people from having basic human rights sucks & it is not okay.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the heart of travel in Amsterdam, hire bikes, get the train, tram, fly whatever & wherever.
I’ve read many a positive post about trams in Amsterdam & how great they are. I was told they would always let you on with your mobility scooter… I experienced differently. Twice. Apparently battery powered mobility aids don’t count as mobility aids according to some drivers. Be prepared for a little ignorance. I wanted to check on this as perhaps information online was misleading. After going to the ticket office, it was confirmed it was in fact against the law to refuse a disabled person access to public transport due to their disability. Always check things & know your rights.
– Blue Boat Company: This is a company which runs canal cruises which enable you to take your wheelchair or rolator. You can be put on the boat via a lowering lift & I think this is absolutely fab! We didn’t do this & simply did a regular tour but I heard about it & it sounds amazing for those with less mobility. The steps down to the boats were a little slippy & steep especially for a clumsy person like me! We simply used a bike lock to tie up my scooter on the little pontoon & popped it on charge in their ticket office, (with a little bit of persuasion from a tourettesy smiley girl 😉 ).
– Star Bikes Rental.
WOW! The loveliest man ever! He offered advice on where to go as a Brit living in Amsterdam help to use the mobility aids, the best range of mobility aids ever!!! You can get normal push bikes there too!
– Access: One thing I would mention is that ALOT of the touristy type shops have a big step up into the shop & inside too. There was no room for my scooter in some ‘tat shops’ which sucks because I absolutely love to waste hard earned money on a pile of crap that sits in the drawer for the rest of my life.
– Cobbled streets: There most definitely were some back streets that perhaps were not the best for a girl on wheels. Cobbled streets = Very bumpy ride. As fortunately I am able to walk short distances, I saved my spoons and locked up my scooter to be able to do these streets.
– Cyclists own the roads: In Amsterdam cyclists are the ‘lorries of the motorway’ don’t get in their way or risk losing a limb.
– Hotel shuttle bus/ coach can be an accessible cheaper save you getting tired.
– Bridges are everywhere- good flat!
– Arrange bigger taxis in advance.
– Do not walk or stand in bike lanes you’ll get knocked over
– Stay on same side of the road as cars when cycling, on the right follow blue bike signs
–Museums: To be really honest. I’ve never really liked museums & I’ve done a lot in my time- which is fab & very important/ educational for kids (thanks mum for the endless amounts of castles, mountains & museums as a child 😉 however I definitely have over done it. I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve always struggled with anxiety & found them to be overcrowded & trigger claustrophobia, because I’m the clumsiest person ever & worry I’m going to ram into a 5000 year old artefact and smash it into millions of pieces. Or frankly because they are so tiring. Either way too hot or way too cold. Quiet. Strangely quiet. Lack of seats. When in a museum I find myself looking around waiting for the next bench. I need to sit. It’s exhausting. Anyway! When we were in dam we decided not to do hundreds of museums. We did really want to do a few- Anne Frank being the main one!
– Van Gogh museum is wheelchair accessible.
– I’ve heard good things about the Heineken experience & it is very accessible fun place- although I would recommend you don’t drink if on prescription meds.
–Rijksmuseum- Accessible, check their website for more info.
– ANNEFRANK: I really really wanted to do this but I messed up trying to book tickets (you have to book months and months in advance) I’ll definitely be going back to Amsterdam to try and do this! So Anne frank tickets! You need to book online on their website. Further tickets get released on the day (9am I believe) I’ve heard you can queue outside but you will be there for hours- queues with Tourettes & fatigue don’t seem to go hand in hand. Unfortunately, it is not all accessible. The Shop, restaurant and main exhibit are. If you have seen the cringiest yet all time teen favourite film ‘ The fault in our stars’ you’ll know this already. Amazingly Amsterdam have an ‘Anne Frank virtual reality tour’ Guide Dogs for those who are hard of sight are not allowed inside the Anne Frank Museum although if you are hard of hearing they do have scripts of written text as oppose to audio.
– STROOP WAFFLES ARE SO GOOD OMG OMG OMG HAVE THEM ! You can get these caramel waffles everywhere and anywhere! They are definitely overpriced in the airport/ train station & in tourist shops- get them from little grocery store type places! We got loads and ate them for breakfast. Also a really good idea for someone who is very fainty as they’re a good little sugar rush to carry around when you are out and about!
– Loads of good vegan & gluten free options!
– Tonnes of amazing coffee shops, restaurants & bakeries.
XXXX Know the difference between a coffee shop and a coffeeshop! XXXX
– Coffee shop / Café = A shop that sells coffee. People don’t generally call these coffee shops, rather cafes. There are a lot of fantastic cafes in Amsterdam from new and modern to old and atmospheric. THIS IS A CAFE!!
– Coffeeshop (no space!): A shop that sells marijuana. Some of these shops are really only counters where you can purchase marijuana for consumption later. (Some have a small room in the back for smoking purposes.) Don’t be that person asking for green stuff in a shop that sells coffee. Or going in for a coffee & cake on your mobility scooter & coming away feeling a little groovy.
GOOD TO KNOW
– People: People are so lovely! So chilled. Chatty. Always happy to help.
– There are so many hotels in Amsterdam & lots are run in chains.
– Apps: Able Amsterdam & Accessaloo.
– Pretty picture spots, any canal anywhere! Near the Floating catboat. Amsterdam Centraal Station. Vondelpark. Red light district- avoid taking any photos of the women!
– Excursions: Outside of Amsterdam you can see some pretty cool things!
– BUY SOME Sketchers D’lites! I PROMISE YOU THESE ARE THE COMFIEST SHOES YOU WILL HAVE EVER TRIED. You won’t regret it. Yet again, I’m writing about Sketchers- specifically ‘Sketchers D’lites’ these shoes are the best for walking- I have very flat feet & they are perfect. Memory foam base. Breathable. Wow. People laugh at me because sketchers are typically a 80 year old lady shoe, however once you’ve converted to sketchers it’s unlikely you’ll look back! I am in fact looking to get memory foam insoles when I see my podiatrist in order to feel as comfy as I do in Sketchers in every shoe! As a bonus they’ve started to sell more attractive & a wider variety of D’lites.
– I didn’t know this till now BUT- It’s the law to carry a form of ID everywhere you go- driving license, passport or identity card.
– Avoid Big Bike tours, unless you really want to annoy local residents.
– Dam square your wheels might get stuck maybe a good idea walk round here a little if u can or avoid & go elsewhere as there is tonnes to see! Or just brave it, if you’re feeling a little risky just prepare for thinner wheels or walking sticks getting stuck.
– 112 – this is the emergency services number.
– Get a hotel near to things if you are planning on lots of day trips.
– Stay safe & be careful with any of the funny green stuff they sell in Amsterdam.