Posted on 07/12/2015

Living with a disability at Christmas

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Living with a disability at Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when family and friends come together and celebrate the spirit of the season. However, if you’re living with a disability at Christmas (whether long-term or short-term), visiting relatives can go from an easily organised break to a major logistical ordeal.

Similarly, if you’re hosting festivities this year which include a disabled guest, you may be wondering how to make their visit as easy and stress-free as possible.

No matter which category you fall into, planning ahead is essential to a smooth visit so here are some things you might want to think about.

If you’re living with a disability and visiting relatives

  • Do you need support getting on and off the toilet? A folding toilet frame is easy to fit, and folds up to make it easy to transport or store.
  • If you find it hard to turn taps by yourself, some push-on tap turners provide a lever so you can push or pull to turn taps on or off.
  • It would be difficult to take a perching stool when visiting, but a folding perching stool will fit in the car or be easy to store for when it is needed.
  • If a longer visit is arranged it may be necessary to be able to access the bath or shower. You could consider a bathboard (available in various lengths or adjustable) with an integral grab rail or a suction grab rail for securing to a tiled wall. A folding shower chair could be used in a shower cubicle.
  • If you normally use a walking frame you may find it easier to take a folding walking frame to use for the duration of your visit (and which could be stored for future visits).

Being independent as a guest in someone else’s home will make the visit more enjoyable for both you and the host.

Remember, some of the suggested items could also be used in hotel rooms or other holiday venues.

If you’re hosting Christmas to include a guest living with a disability

  • A wheelchair user may need help getting in and out of a place they are visiting. A portable ramp can help with this.
  • Ask yourself – will the person be able to access a toilet and bath room?
  • If they are sleeping downstairs, and the toilet is upstairs, a folding commode with some liners will help so they don’t have to struggle up the stairs at night.
  • Do they use a raised toilet seat at home? A Raised Toilet Seat can easily be clipped on and off a regular toilet seat.
  • If they need help getting in and out of bed, or turning in bed, a Folding Easy Fit Bed Rail can be used on single or double slatted beds and divan beds (providing the base isn’t sprung). The rail also folds flat so it is easy to store for the next visit.

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