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March 4 2013 2 04 /03 /March /2013 17:35

I think I have blogged about fracturing my knee previously in October. Apart from having to get used to having support with transferring using hoists and 'banana' /transfer boards, I had to experiment and learn to use urinals and bedpanss when I am on my own. I am still squeamish about mentioning them but when you need to go, you have to go..and there wasn't always someone to hand to help me transfer.


However, it meant I had a chance to try out the products that I was selling. I love the design of the Uriwell, it looks cool. Here is a video showing you how it works




well, its great for the whole family. You can even get one for kids - however, its not so good if you're not a very mobile female. And certainly not if you need to sit at the edge of a wheelchair trying not to spill any. I am sure it would be fine for the male anatomy. It might even be okay for a female who can stand.




For women, there is also the slipper urinal. A white plastic urinal with rubber end cap for emptying, it is useful for bed or wheelchair use and is autoclavable to 135 degrees. It only holds up to 1 litre and you need a certain dexterity to be able to extricate it without spillage. From personal experience, you have to be extra careful when on a lurching train journey. But it does have the advantage for wheelchair users that if you are out and about and not sure how accessible toilet facilities are going to be, that it is portable and reasonably discreet.





  If you are laid up in bed a bed pan might be a better solution - to avold the likely possibility of spillage. I find that with some care, it can be used independently. You have to be quite adept in getting it under you but there is enough depth so that you can get it off from beneath you without getting your bed wet.



Would love to hear other people's views:-)

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November 25 2012 1 25 /11 /November /2012 15:36

I've been quiet lately because I fractured my knee and ended up in hospital for a longish stay while they sorted out care for me to be safe at home.


This means I ve been using equipment that I ve never had to use to before- like a hoist, urinals, hospital bed and banana board with slipsheets.



I had an Oxford Midi with the sling. It took me sometime to get used to being hoisted but once I got used to the support workers hoisting me, I found it helpful. The hospital OT came out to show me how it should be used and what straps should be used.


As a result of needing to be hoisted, they also insisted I had a hospital bed. With a pressure relief mattress so that I wont get pressure sores. I'm sure they meant well but I ve never had pressure sores ever before and this mattress was such that I could not grip to move positions in bed.I asked for bed barriers and/or a monkey bar to help me move. They did but not before I started having muscle spasms due to sleeping in one position for a couple of weeks!


I was so happy when they finally took the mattress away, some people swore by them but I think it depends on the individual. I am able to move my limbs in bed and that mattress actually hampered me from relieving my muscles. My masseur says she thinks I have sciatica now and my GP says just to take pain killers. So just a bit of warning.



This is how the bed is set up now.

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September 11 2012 3 11 /09 /September /2012 01:02

Guest Blog : Soxon success


 Hello and my name is Robert, and it was suggested to me that I write my story of my troubles with getting socks on and I’m delighted to be able to tell you about my success with Soxon.


To give a little bit of background,  I’m 25 now but since I was born I’ve issues with my mobility and my Father often generically said I had a walking difficulties however the name of my condition is as yet unknown and fully confirmed though its being researched, but it is mostly associated/linked to a condition called Kingdenborough syndrome  but I’ve been told over the last 2 or 3 years by my Doctors that I only have many but not all of the listed symptoms and my recent wee heart condition has made things more unclear and less unlikely in their view it is indeed that condition.


Over my younger and teenage years, the ability to get up off the floor myself without assistance (whether that from a person or a chair/table/bed) waned and after that my way of bending down my leg to get my sock on mysteriously disappeared. I could - and still can to varying extents and soreness and fatigue levels – walk but these things were noticeable and important to bear in mind, I’ve never been that nimble and flexible.


With me not being able to get my socks on, it wasn’t a big issue in the wide scheme of things as I lived at home and if needed, my Mum could help me but in regards to personal pride and my independence therein developed an issue , if I was on my summer holidays from school or college and was wanting to sleep on later then my Mum would have to wake me up and put my socks on my feet. While I was grateful for the assistance, it wasn’t a long term solution.


soxon.pngI didn’t look for a solution admittedly at that point but luckily a scheduled meeting with an NHS OT (occupational therapist) came up with an idea, after explaining I had 1 or 2 issues. I was gifted free on the NHS a ‘soxon’ via the NHS  and after a little bit of practice, my ‘sock thing’ as we nicknamed it at home, gave me the last piece of the jigsaw in regards to my independence to getting changed. Often my shoes were trainers that were already tied but easy to slip on or if smarter shoes, they were usually slip on in style too as many are and the rest of the body I could do even if not always conventional as even now I’ll sit down and pull up my bottom half. 


To use, I fit the sock on the 'soxon' and put my foot in it and then pull up and it seamlessly fits on. There is a video below , though maybe not exactly the same implement: its certainly the same method.


I have now got 2 ‘soxons’ as I ordered another one incase I am wanting to shower in my wetroom during the day downstairs and then get changed again (say, I was going out for dinner and wanted to be fresh) and then I’d have one already downstairs and wouldn’t need to go upstairs (where the original one is kept in my sockdrawer beside my bed for the mornings) as stairs are the bane of my life, and also good to have a back-up one incase I lose one while away somewhere.


If you have issues bending down or other related issues, I’d thoroughly recommend what is a relatively simple invention as it’s taken a pair of socks of a worry off my mind, before I’d have to ask even childhood friends or my Mum, and that’s massive for me.  


Thanks for reading,


Robert Ryan/@Boab10 on twitter



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September 9 2012 1 09 /09 /September /2012 23:59


I said I would blog about this.This is a true story.


What do you do if you, a wheelchair user, were to drop a bag of cherries on the floor, and you were entirely on your own?


I was in a quandary. I did not want to squash all the cherries on the floor - which would happen if I moved. There would be an almighty mess. With my grabber, I managed to get hold of a broom (luckily situated within reach with a grabber) and swept most of the cherries from under the wheel. But inevitably, some got crushed. I used some wipes at the end of the grabber and managed to wipe the mess off and pick the crushed cherries, the juice  and stones up.


it was a long laborious process but I then picked up as many as I could and left the others in a corner for when someone else to come along to sweep up.





so hooray for having a grabber! I have several but this one was perfect for this job.

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September 9 2012 1 09 /09 /September /2012 23:37


This is reposted from a blog by Alistair Somerfield about TapCare which uses Near Field Communication to enable and control simple, affordable personalised care. go to the TapCare website to find out more.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-m-yuMtFmYxI/UEIxTA1ES_I/AAAAAAAAAFQ/ZsCqhi7-ff8/s1600/TapCare.jpgMy mother in law has regular carer visits every day.

At 7.30am, 12.00pm, 4.45pm and 9.30pm she is visited by 2 carers to assist her with bathing, and dressing and medications. We help look after her in terms of meals and social life.

Given our work and childcare, we cannot be around all the time so we need some way to confirm that things are OK and regular needs are being met.

This is why we have made a Tapcare clock.

TapCare clock
It's just a normal clock but we've stuck Near Field Communication tags to the back of it.

They're matched up to the times the carers should be attending.

If everything is OK, she just taps her phone on the clock at the right time.

We get a quick Tweet and know what's happening.

If things aren't OK: for example, if the carers are delayed or they have left something undone. Then she can just tap the Call Me tag which is near her in bed.

That tag sends a Text and Tweet to us.

What TapCare means
So TapCare is trying to make a balance between technology and personal life. We don't want to make the house and fittings even more medical-looking than now so hiding the tags in the clock is better.

It's also cognitively easier to remember and something the carers can remind her to do if she forgets.

Keeping in contact and maintaining independence are mutual things that need agreement from all of us.

TapCare works for us because it allows us to just build a telecare system that is simple and personalised to the needs of my mother in law



you might also want to read

Take personal control of care and health

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April 12 2012 5 12 /04 /April /2012 23:26

I am always excited when new stock arrive. Today is no exception, Mr G's Batty sock and stocking aid arrived (he wanted something to help him put on his socks) and Mrs C's foam handle for the knork as well. However I have also ordered some telestiks. I've never seen anybody with them before. I originally look them up for Donna because her mobile kept falling on the floor and it was difficult to get it up again. But they look so useful I had no hesitation in opening one up  for myself.


telestix.jpgi had great fun trying it out on picking up keys. credit cards, pieces of paper. But best of all I could put it on a strap accessory and hang it on my wheelchair along with my brolly. Now I know that when I am out I won't have to worry if I drop things when I am on my own. I wished I had it with me the other day when I dropped a pound coin but there was no one around for me to ask for help. My grabber is a bit too unwieldy to carry around on my wheelchair.


this is what the manufacturers say -


TeleStik® is the newly designed portable reacher that does what the others don’t. TeleStik® allows you to retrieve hard-to-reach items without requiring significant grip strength or dexterity. And it gets in tighter places than other reachers because of its sleek design and clever sticking mechanisms.

If you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or any other condition that makes it difficult to operate a traditional reacher, TeleStik® is your answer.

For those tight squeezes, like behind the desk where there’s no room to open and close a claw, TeleStik® will fish your telephone or computer line, where the others can’t.


Here is the video which I found interesting because I've not seen anyone with one here before.




It says that its for people who cannot use ordinary grabbers but I am beginning to love mine and I am already thinking up new uses for it and its going everywhere with me!

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Independent living campaigner, blogger, tweeter.
  • eleanor.ila@gmail.com Independent living campaigner, blogger, tweeter.