Helping you to continue to help yourself.
In expanding our range of products, Blue Badge Company will soon be carrying a selection of dressing aids, designed to make autonomy in the wardrobe department a greater possibility for more disabled and elderly people. We already stock the Zip Pull but there are various others which will be available from Argos as of this Saturday! As well as through our website from March, we'll keep you posted! These gadgets are little life changers that don’t just fasten your shirt but hold fast your independence. They are exactly the kind of thing I’ll be buying for my Granny should her arthritic fingers get the better of her again!
Dressing is an everyday activity which able bodied people take completely for granted, a perfunctory task carried out with varying degrees of care or attention, but one done by oneself, for oneself as a matter of course. But for many people with disabilities or restricted movement, it is a daily struggle and can be a demoralising operation.
Just recently I injured my shoulder to the degree that I couldn’t lift my arm above chest height, couldn’t twist or turn it or carry anything with it, if any of these things occurred by accident I would find myself in excruciating, unbearable pain. I couldn’t get dressed easily and certainly not without pain, I couldn’t carry my rucksack or pick up my young daughter, I couldn’t get things down from the shelves, fasten my seatbelt, reach over to turn out the light or lie on my side. It was really debilitating. It was the result of cold weather combined with bad posture and repetitive movement whilst working from home and had happened before around 20 years ago when working outdoors in bad weather. The first time it affected both shoulders and I found myself unable to do the simplest of tasks without assistance, I couldn’t even carry the kettle to the tap. It went on for a good many weeks, perhaps a few months, which felt like forever and made me feel both dread and reassurance on the second occasion; dread that this might go on for ages like last time and reassurance that it would indeed end at some point and, if I was careful, could be avoided thereafter. Thanks to some gentle yoga exercise (and some serious pain killers!) I was able to recover relatively quickly. Both times made me really think about people who face this kind of scenario on a daily basis with no respite, no end and how easy it is to go from able to disabled, we don’t know what we’ve got ‘til it’s gone.
I think one of the things I would find most challenging should I find myself substantially disabled would be to allow myself to become dependent on another person to help me dress. For a start, I’m terrible at deciding what to wear and you’d need the patience of saint to go through the number of outfits I’d try on to find the right one! Of course, should it become necessary, I hope I would gracefully accept my fate and that my incredible husband would still be by my side to help me out or otherwise that I would be grateful to the heroic people of the caring profession who might provide me with assistance. I know that there is no option for many people who find themselves severely physically disabled and I admire their dignity in acquiescence to their situation. I can only aspire to be as noble in adversity or decline as some of the admirable and exceptional people I have met whose great fortitude refuses to allow them to be undone by their physical disability.
Hat’s off to you all.