Author Topic: Making life easier in various small ways  (Read 1695 times)

AndMac

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Making life easier in various small ways
« on: June 04, 2016, 04:56:43 PM »
Hello again, there's a couple of things I've done recently that have made my life easier and this is the only place I can share them.

The first one was getting a discreet fold-away commode for downstairs in my house the other week. My 3 bedroomed house is really too big for me at the moment, and the only toilet is upstairs. I have monoplegic cerebral palsy with arthritis on the same side.

 I have a commode in my bedroom so night time visits aren't a problem. I used to be fine during the day until arthritis struck,  the stairs are like the North Face of the Eiger, so steep.
The new commode really has made a difference. I don't have to worry about the time it will take me to get upstairs if nature calls suddenly.
It's very sturdy for the price (under 25) and far more comfortable than my wooden one which has a horribly sharp-edged wooden frame.

I also worked out a much safer way of getting in and out of my high, deep bath. I was using a bathroom step stool but simply sitting on the side/ boxed in back of the bath and swinging my legs in and out is so much simpler and safer.
 I have a grab rail in the right place to get me up and down from a seated position safely.  I was struggling to lift my legs over the edge stepping out and in, chiefly because they retain fluid so much.

Another recent swap that made life easier - I discovered that drawstring bin bags are far more helpful to me in getting rubbish out. The looped handles make it so easy to drag/lift them . I also use them as laundry bags, as when I chuck the bag over the bannisters to get clothes downstairs to my washing machine, the washing doesn't spill out.

I got given (freebie to review) a silicone collapsible colander, which has small perforations in the stainless steel base that enable me to safely drain rice as well as pasta, I just balance the colander on the edge of my washing up bowl to drain the contents of saucepans safely.
 I always microwave - steam or roast my veg, so I won't be using it to drain veg. It's replacing a huge Oxo Good Grips colander which is very safe, but so bulky and can't be used for rice.

"I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - if I can remember any of the damn things".

Dorothy Parker

gemini20

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2016, 06:08:22 PM »
Hi,Isnt it odd how some very simple things can make life so much easier, my hands seem to have become quite weak and I saw some bottle and can openers,just two handles and a rubber ring at the end,the bottle opener fits the 4 pint milk bottles perfectly and I bought them in the pound shop,bargain. >thumbsup<

Frances

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2016, 06:11:29 PM »
Hi there. A few ideas I have come up with. As there are 2 disabled people here, Son and Myself.
 We found even though we have a wet room the Bungalow is so tiny its always full of dirty clothes, Incontinence pads . Towels etc.
 It is far to difficult to empty it often. So it a wash in the sink 95% of the time. Yes the Kitchen sink, Its so much bigger and easier to to do stuff or get someone to help.
Plus both of us need the toilet a lot. So I have a commode in my Bedroom/living room. I had a very nice looking Wooden one , But I found it difficult to get at to clean myself.
So now I have a cheap NHS on. Which one arm can be removed. It is covered by a pretty throw when not in use and can be used as a chair if needed.
Also Ryan has a tiny bedroom. Only room for a single bed and a wardrobe. Plus Meds trolley.
  So he now has a flat TV on the only spare wall for the hours he is stuck in bed. He has the large living room. Which means he has room for his friends to pop in.
Also he has 100's of books Every wall is covered.
As for washing we can no longer manage to hang washing out. So I now have a clothes airer right By the back door.
So as its south facing. Unless the weather is awful it dries most of our stuff. So much cheaper than having to use a tumble drier.
I also decided now was the time to treat myself and I bought a small Table top Dishwasher. Its great!
Saves time and energy my standing by the sink caused, I never realized how much my back Hurt just washing up !.
Now I can no longer Garden. I have just finished creating an indoor garden in our small dining room. Well we didn't need a dining room as neither of us can sit a a table without considerable pain.
Thinking about it isn't it great how we all adapt our lives.  >biggrin<
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AndMac

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2016, 12:29:21 PM »
Thanks for sharing, I loved your thoughts, Frances. I have a rotary dryer so I can still manage to hang some washing. I've had a couple of near falls stepping sideways to hang out washing on a linear line, so that one has gone. I just stand still and haul the line around to come to me, and lean on my garden wheely bin for support  if needed. It works.

 There are some other things that have come to mind, so here they are too.

For keeping tidy - bins! Lots of bins everywhere. I have mini bins on the kitchen worktop and hang a bin bag off the corner of a drawer when prepping food, so the rubbish goes straight in to that.
Not that there is always much rubbish. You can clean new carrots and new potatoes with one of those green scouring pads you use for scrubbing pans - preferably one kept for the purpose.

I also use big plastic tubs - sold as garden tubs or horse feed tubs - for carting stuff from A-B. They can be kicked along the floor easily, or nudged with my stick. They are more stable than washing baskets but serve this purpose, as well as doing things like carting parcels from the postman/Amazon delivery bloke.

To have small items about my person, I use a waist pack/waist belt. I also use this when I go shopping, I put my debit card, cash and any other cards I think I may need in to this. My favourite pack has a pocket for a water bottle and is bright green, so keeps me visible on the trike.

 A word about my trike. I can still cycle and do so regularly for knee health,  he is without question, my favourite possession and the only inanimate thing that I can say that I truly love. I wish more people would consider using a trike rather than a mobility scooter. I often see scooters laden with shopping and bags threatening to fall off at the next set of pelican crossing bumps.

I have a deep box on the trike's luggage rack and karabiner clips attached to the springs of my saddle so that bags piled in the box won't fall off.

My other tip is for getting stuff up and down stairs safely. I have a cross bodied handbag that transports a lot of little things, up to the size of a magazine or book. For other items I often pop them in one of my backpacks. My stairs are a trial so I like to keep both hands free to haul myself up them and the backpack enables this.

A backpack always comes shopping with me too, to hold my jacket if I get warm. It also holds light, bulky items like bags of kale, multipacks of crisps, boxes of cereal, loaves of bread, boxes of tissues, etc coming home (and my empty reusable shopping bags on the outward journey).
« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 12:32:19 PM by AndMac »
"I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - if I can remember any of the damn things".

Dorothy Parker

lankou

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2016, 01:40:57 PM »
I think this useful thread could do with being made "sticky" so it appears every time we log on.

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2016, 03:34:36 PM »
I think this useful thread could do with being made "sticky" so it appears every time we log on.

Seconded >thumbsup<

Great thread, AndMac. Thanks for starting it >star<

Hurtyback

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2016, 03:46:16 PM »
It's great to hear the ways you have developed for making life easier. Thanks for sharing them, I'm sure they will be helpful for other people too  :-)

Frances

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2016, 04:22:47 PM »
Something I find very useful Are 2 laundry baskets. They are fairly narrow. But hold my Purple and Red recycling bags. They stand by the washing machine in the kitchen. Which means all recycling can just be popped in the relevant bag. Which saves me the trouble of putting them outside individually. .
Then when our carer comes on Tues or Friday he can take the bags out.
 Also a well sealed Bin is to keep our used incontinence Sheets pads in a bright yellow bag (Discreet Aye !!) etc.
Something that made me laugh the other day. My neighbor said how can you leave you Yellow incontinence bags out with the other rubbish for all to see,
Actually we have trouble managing the steps so the council collect them from my door.  >erm<
She makes her husband take hers to the tip !!! >doh< 
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auntieCtheM

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2016, 08:24:29 PM »
My garden is a jungle.  How to get a gardener.  I know, I'll ask the cleaner.  Sorted. The cleaners family are not well off so she has volunteered her father-in-law to come over and mow the lawn and trim the shrubs.  Deed organised.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2016, 09:04:44 PM »
I think this useful thread could do with being made "sticky" so it appears every time we log on.

Sorted  :-)

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2016, 11:07:55 PM »
Cheers, Kizzy >tah<

AndMac

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2016, 08:17:24 PM »
Ooh, I'm honoured. I'm sticky!
Today, I had a triumph for me when I fixed my rollator to the trike using a heavy duty luggage strap - a lovely rainbow one I was sent to review - and the rollator came shopping with me.

 This meant I could walk around those shops that don't have shopping trolleys in comfort.

This effectively is every store locally, except those with trolleys! These are Aldi, Heron Foods, Wilko's and Aldi plus Tesco -which I visit about once every six weeks.

Today I walked around Select and got some new clothes with 25's worth Love 2 Shop vouchers I won in a prize draw. I got a pair of loose floaty elastic waisted trousers, two pairs of leggings and a long skirt. I then had a quick stroll around Wilko's and Poundworld.

I reckon that it should be possible to strap a rollator to the back of most mobility scooters with a similar sort of strap. This is the two pack I got, but I notice that identical ones are available on Amazon for a lower price.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adjustable-Luggage-Suitcase-Security-Colorized/dp/B018KL2QF2/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1465412618&sr=8-10&keywords=luggage+straps+rainbow

Latest discovery that may help others:

 I was using floor cleaning wipes to clean my hard floors rather than a mop and bucket, but have now discovered that an all purpose spray and microfibre cloth is more efficient - and environmentally friendly, and just leaves me with one microfibre cloth to wash rather than a pile of wipes to dispose of. I push the cloth around with a foot or one of my walking sticks.

"I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - if I can remember any of the damn things".

Dorothy Parker

AndMac

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2017, 03:32:01 PM »
Some culinary tweaks:
I have a microwave and combi oven because the oven is difficult to use. The combi does most things but I've discovered it's absolutely amazing what you can cook in the micro.

Rice, of all descriptions. You can do risotto easily by just stopping the micro every few minutes to add stock to the deep bowl / dish the risotto is in.
You can do bog standard rice easily, though do rinse it very thoroughly to get shot of all the excess starch. Just cover with salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes or so, if Basmati. Longer for white and longer still for brown rice.

Pasta, of all types. Cook as for rice, about 10 mins

Onions I cook onions in the microwave if gentle frying is required. Depending on the quantity they soften in a few minutes, they always take 10-15 on the stove. No fat needed, so healthier.  Just a tiny splash of water or no water depending on your preference.

Stove top flatbreads. Adding milk, yoghurt or oil and water to self raising flour or plain flour with baking powder in, plus some salt, gives you a pastry like dough that you can roll out. Add more flour if you find the dough sticky and add the liquid sparingly.
Knead dough a few times and roll out small circles a bit smaller than your frying pan.
Heat the pan on the stove top and toast each circle for 1-2 mins each side.
The ones made with milk and yoghurt are just like restaurant flatbreads.
The ones made with olive oil and water are more like pastry.
Eat with butter or you can also use it as a pizza base. Useful if you have run out of bread and have no yeast to do your own.
"I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - if I can remember any of the damn things".

Dorothy Parker

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2017, 09:33:12 PM »
 >tah< for these kitchen tips, AndMac - might even give a couple of them a go  ;-)

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Making life easier in various small ways
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2017, 02:37:57 PM »
Quote
I also use big plastic tubs - sold as garden tubs or horse feed tubs - for carting stuff from A-B. They can be kicked along the floor easily, or nudged with my stick. They are more stable than washing baskets but serve this purpose, as well as doing things like carting parcels from the postman/Amazon delivery bloke.

I use an old kerbside recycling boxes for this purpose. The ones we have here are nice, deep, sturdy rectangular affairs made of tough recycled plastic. It's easy to chuck small binbags into it, then in my wheelchair, push it down the ramp and round to the bin, using my feet against the narrow end of the box. I can then employ a grabber to remove the bags, and chuck them into the bin. I use the same pushing technique to get the emptied wheelie bin from the end of the entry where the binmen leave it, to the back of our house. 

And may I say a few words in praise of the humble bum bag? These can come in really handy when out and about. I can't wear mine comfortably round my waist, but it clips securely on to my wheelchair, and sits disctreetly at my hip, providing a handy pocket for shopping money, lists, keys, mobile phone, bottle of water, meds etc. It means that the backpack I keep on the back of the wheelchair can be used exclusively to carry shopping, and dispenses with the need for a coat when out on hot days - a major plus.