Aids & servicesto make it a bit easier

Find out about disability aids which may be suitable for you such as ‘perching’ stools, grab sticks, walking frames, shower seats, grab rails inside and outside plus checking the correct height of a walking stick by contacting Occupational Therapy.  My advice?  Contact them now, don’t wait until you really need some help – be proactive (did I mention to manage your condition?!).  NRS is a great site to browse through - quite an eye opener on the goods out there to make life a bit easier - but talk with an OT first.

Assisted collect - If you have difficulty putting your bins out for collection then contact your council and ask for assisted refuse collection.  You may be asked to provide proof of your condition in order to qualify for this free service.  Once agreed it means the bin men will get your bin from your property and return it once emptied.   This is for all types of refuse, not just general waste.

Bulky waste removal - from May 2022 Reading households can now book a free bulky waste collection every six months.  New free service will assist residents to dispose of large items and reduce number of trips needed to the re3 centre andwill also help to discourage fly tipping

Folding walking sticks and Flexi foot ferrule - lightwieght, folding sticks are handy to keep to hand when mobility issues/fatigue affect you.   The cost depends on typwe or handle, colour of stick etc. so shop around - there are usually a few options in the BMSTC shop.  The ferrule, the rubber grip on the end of the stick, can also be replaced by a mew flexible Flexi foot one - talk to a physio to enure you get the stick height and ferrule right for you.

Grab sticks, button loops, key holder & kitchen pots etc. - aids for everyday living inclue grab sticks (I have one in virtually every room in my house, and use as needed to aid dressing), certain kithen pots, like Sisyema, are microwave friendsly, have a handle and are lightweight.  A selection of such aids can be found in the BMSTC shop

Hot and cold - the MS Trust offer some useful suggestions for dealing with heat & cold sensitivity.  Things I've tried include:

  • Keep your pillow 'other side' cool with a Chillow - see a video about it here.  Shop around for the best price.
  • Coolmax technology is available for clothing and bedding
  • Neck cooling ties have a seam of water-retaining beads which swell when submerged in water.  They offer a cooling effect and can be reused
  • Heatholder socks will help keep your feet warm - they also offer slipper socks with non-slip soles

Hotter shoes - offering wider fittings, extra long zips etc. and available on line.

Key safe is a strong mechanical metal box in which you can securely stores the key to your door. It is installed into brick or concrete on the outside of your property and your keys are accessed by a combination code.  The combination code will only be known to you and anyone granted access to your property.  Correct fitting is important to ensure security.  Your local council's adult social care team can advise on getting one fitted if you need assistance

  • Allows carers and other welcome visitors access to the house safely
  • Can store your spare keys
  • Keys are protected by the coded lock
  • Safer than hiding keys under the mat or in the garden
  • The code can be given to family and friends; the emergency services can keep the number so paramedics etc can enter if and when appropriate.

Message in a bottle - The Lions Message in a Bottle scheme is a simple idea designed to encourage people to keep their personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location - the fridge. Whilst it is focused on the more vulnerable people in our community, anyone can have an accident at home, so this scheme can benefit anyone, including you.  Available in the BMSTC shop and from the Lions.  Don't put it off - do it now.

Mobility scooter - I use a Pride GOGO sport – the one recommended for me to meet my needs.  My advice is to be clear what you plan to use it for; else it can be an expensive mistake.  Shop around as prices vary.  The staff at Sun Mobility in Earley, Reading are very helpful and offer a range you can try.

Personal alarm - Mine is through “Forestcare lifeline is a personal alarm system that provides 24/7 support”.  I test my pendant roughly once a month, and although not the height of fashion, it gives me, family and friends comfort knowing help is available 24/7.  There is a variety of providers out there so shop around.

Pharmacy2UFree delivery, easy to reorder look in to using this easy service - no more queueing!

Priority register for Thames water etcThe Priority Services Register (PSR) provides extra help and additional support during a power cut for elderly, very ill or disabled people, or those who rely on power for medical equipment.  Look here for more information.

Raised toilet seat - if muscle weakness is making standing up from a standard height loo tricky, search the range of seat raisers available that either clip on to a seat, or provide a raise seat surrounding the loo.

Rise/recline single/dual motor chairs - these will enable you to lay back, with your feet up (single motor) OR also raise you to a near-standing position.  A huge range of styles and sizes are offered - try them out somewhere, get advise on the right size for you and shop around.

SAD aka seasonal affected disorder - I’ve had my LitePod for years, use it between the clock changes Oct-Mar, and it is on a timer plug so I get a morning blast of light for 30 mins.  I know someone who swears by her dawn light simulator – wakes you up in the morning more naturally than an alarm.  Light therapy devices are available on many online stores and in store.  

Sample bottles - the MS nurse will usually ask you to get a urine test if  symptoms flare up as a UTI is a common cause.  As your GP surgery for a couple of spare bottles so you are ready with a sterile container if you need a test.

Seat stick - these are like a walking stick, but the top opens out in to a small seat.  Invaluable when you need to take a short perch and rest.

Social Prescribing - aim of the Social Prescribing service is to link people aged 16 and over to the activities and support offered by Reading’s voluntary and community groups, empowering people to improve their health and wellbeing.  In Reading this comes through the Reading Voluntary Action (RVA). In some areas it is through your council.  Check here to learn more.

Therabands, physio balls - ideal for keeping muscles from stiffening up, giving gentle resistence and gentle exercise.  Widely available, including in the BMSTC shop

Torch - a helping hand from local churches offering a range of services.  As they say "Our vision is to be a network of local hubs to provide help and hope to people in need, by churches working together in unity, and in partnership with the charities, public and private sectors".  See more.

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