Despite all the motivational and mental wellness posts you may find here at MWB, let me be frank: having a physical imparement can make one tired and unmotivated. I know this personally because I have an advanced case of Charcoe-Maria-Tooth disease (CMT). So there are many people facing much worse hardships than me, such as those with MD (Muscular Dystrophy) or MS (Multiple Sclerosis), but here are 11 tips to make living with a disability eaiser that I have found very useful.
Get Rid of Clutter
Deseases can sap your energy, make you feel tired and take away your motivation. Keeping things orderly can help. Less stuff to pick pick up means less work for you cleaning around the house. Practicing Feng shui is a great way to minimze clutter and at the same time can create a sense of calm. In addition, if you have trouble seeing, de-cluttering can make it easier to know the whereabouts of important things.
Use Delivery or Pickup Services
Fatigue can make it tough to get out and shop for the things you need. In part due to the pandemic many moree places are offering delivery or curb-side pick-up services which can can make a big difference. I love the curb-side service offered by my local Weis grocery store!
Plan ‘Laundry Week’
When you feel tired and unmotivated all the time, even ordinary chores like doing the laundry can seem daunting. Instead of trying to get it all done in one “laundry day,” try to spread the wash over the course of week. Lights one day darks on another. Get the idea? I finally figured out by taking clothes that can wrinkle out of the dryer as soon as they’re done can save you time from having to iron them.
Wheels Are Your Friends
Carrying heavy things around the house can take a toll quickly when you’re tired. Or, like me, maybe you are unable to lift and caryy nearly anything at all! The easy answer is to let a rolling cart do the work. All types and sizes of carts and dollys can be found at a local hardware store.
Keep Common Items Handy
It’s important to be able to get to the things you need. Save yourself some fustration keep often used items somewhere between knee level and a couple of inches above your head. If you are in a wheelchair, keep items between 15 and 52 inches off the floor. You can use things like hooks, shelves, hanging baskets, or even lazy-susans to keep your often used items organized and within reach.
Many people, especially as we grow older, have some form of memory loss which can a hassle and make online activities a challenge. There are many apps available to help you keep track of your passwords while making sure they remain secure. Many of these apps can auto-fill your login information to help you along but be sure to use them only your persaonal computer or device.
Use Shower Aids
This is big one for me because numbness and weakness in my arms and legs makes bathing difficult. Some inexpensive items like a washcloth mitt or soap-on-a-rope can help. If you need more assistance, consider a handheld shower wand, shower chair, or a transfer seat to make getting in and out of shower or tub easier. A fall in the shower needs to be avoided at all cost!
There’s Mealtime Help Available
Numbness or weakness can affect how you eat, too. But a few simple things can help. Weighted utensils with large handles and nonskid plates and bowls can give you more control. I use untensils with larger wooden handles to increase my grip and always use cups with large handles to make drinking easier. When dining out, don’t be afraid to ask the kitchen staff to cut your meal into bite-size pieces before they serve it, just show appreciation with a nice tip!
Consider Adaptive Clothing
Like bathing and eating, getting dressed can be a challenge when you have muscular difficulties. Again some small changes can make a big difference. For example, you can get pants with an elastic waistband rather than a drawstring or belt. Replacing buttons with fabric fasteners, magnetic fasteners, or hooks can help, too. If zippers are tough for you to grasp, add a tab or a loop. Front-fastening bras or ones that go on over your head are also good options for women.
Use Personal-Care Tools
Independence in the bathroom can be a concern if you have a tough time with fine motor skills. My next project is adding a bidet toilet bowl to make cleaing up easier! If your reach is limited, long-handled bottom wipers can work. If you have trouble flushing the toilet, wider and flatter handles are available to make pressing them down much easier.
Stay in Touch
If you have trouble with your voice or speech, technology can help you communicate with family, friends, and your medical team. There are simple devices that can make your voice louder and there are systems that let you type what you need to say, or select pictures or icons that will play audio messages. Many of us have an issue with typing and can take adnantage to speech-to-text software like Dragon Speaking Naturally.
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