Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Adaptive Aids For Tiny Homes and Crazy Mermaids

Adaptive aids can be super useful if you are disabled, physically challenged, handicapped, crippled, old, feeble, injured or just plain lazy with an obsessive need for efficiency. I've had intermittent problems with my right hand, so I've come to rely more on adaptive aids that make life easier. Then horrors, I shattered my left wrist in late July, now I had two "bad" hands. Good grief. I began searching online for adaptive aids. Additionally, I needed ones that took up minuscule room. My motorhome is tiny and tight. Everything I own in the whole wide world is traveling with me, which is to say, I own very little, but it seems to me I have plenty. Sometimes in a fit of housekeeping and obsessive organization, I suddenly start donating, regifting or sending stuff to the dumpster or trade room.

Some campgrounds and RV parks have a space set aside for trading stuff. You drop off what you don't need or want and take what you do need or want. Awhile back a close friend hopped aboard for some thrilling travel (misadventures with me!) so I began seriously cleaning out the excess to make room for their comforts. I even parted with some sentimental things after copiously photographing them for the memories.

Everybody has their own ideas of what they need, I could live with a lot less, but some things I enjoy having around. I probably have more kitchen gear than most RV's my size, but until recently, cooking for friends was fun. Lately it's been way too hard for me to cook much of anything at all. Even so, over the years, I've made my kitchen gear do double and triple purpose, plus eventually I amassed useful equipment that nests neatly, saving valuable space.

Note that many adaptive aids are not called adaptive aids. Typically, it seems to me, when it is called an adaptive aid, the price escalates, perhaps because of the insurance hassle for those that are able to obtain insurance approval for various devices.

This little pencil sharpener was worth every penny at about $8 delivered to my door. I love to scribble my notes in pencil plus I use them for repair projects. (Measure once, cut twice.) This tiny machine leaves a small footprint (4.2 by 1.7 inches) yet works on batteries or included USB cord. It does the job fast with only one hand needed for gentle pressure. As a bonus, a spare blade is hidden near the optional battery compartment. 

This 30 LED Lamp uses 3 D batteries, which give the base some needed heft. It has two settings, bright, and brighter. I love this lamp because it's bright light when and where you need it. The comfy grip makes it easy to grab in a hurry for  outside peek-a-boo at night to investigate ghoulies, ghosties and other things that go bump in the night. The head rotates up and down, so you can angle the light perfectly.

This $9 tiny can opener simply works by setting it on top of the can, nothing to hook into, then just lightly press the button and LET GO. It will entertain you as it appears to wobble and wiggle erratically around the can, but it truly works hands free. It eventually stops by itself with a final satisfying grunt. It has opened every round can I have asked of it. I am amazed at the performance though the magnet top often doesn't work, this hasn't been a problem for me because it cuts on the side of the can, leaving no sharp edges, though I suppose you could cut yourself if you worked really hard at it. 

During the day or evening, my friend was shy about watching the forward TV when I was snoozing and recuperating in "back" just steps away in my very compact motorhome. I set up a stereo headset in the teensy living area, so he could enjoy rowdy TV shows with fabulous sound without disturbing me at all.  However, I slept in fits and found myself watching movies or TV at weird hours of the night when the incessant pain kept me wide awake. I bought this $19 pillow speaker (plus a speaker extension cord) that reached my bedroom TV just fine with cord to spare to run it neatly along the wall then draped over to my pillow. The tiny speaker on my pillow gave me fabulous sound without disturbing anyone, be it 3am or 3pm. It also worked with my computer and mp3 player. Nothing sticking in my ears and if I dozed back off, I never seemed to tangle with the padded speaker laying on or near my pillow. I typically set my TV or computer to shut off automatically after 30-60 minutes, in case I went back to la la pain pill land, the room would be darkened and the sound gone. The blue padded cover is removable and washable. 

I've actually had this unit awhile. I have such a hard time enjoying bicycling, that I caved in and bought a front wheel electric kit for my bicycle. It cost $799 with the 20 mile battery representing half the cost. I've never run out of battery power and because me, my bicycle, my dog, baskets, and cargo gear exceed the 170 pound weight used to rate the batteries, I doubt mine would last 20 miles, but I have no idea really. It depends on if you are using battery assist to go up hill, over sand or across flat pavement. This has been heaven on earth for me to tootle around having fun. Even when I sprained my ankle, I discovered riding the bicycle was easier than hobbling around with a quad cane, so off I went, wind in my hair. If the going gets tough, the tough push a magic button for some electric assistance. The fabulous thing is I pedal more, because I have the courage to go out more! 

Circulation and exercise is important for improving my health. That electric assist has enabled me to have confidence to go out on two wheels of pure fun knowing I can get back home. The doctor wouldn't give me a clear answer about riding a bicycle, so I quit going to doctors and began riding again. I take my arm brace off, wrap my wrist with an ace bandage and off I go. I have to be super careful, but so far, so good!  Life is meant for LIVING. I don't want my final days spent with a social life consisting of medical offices and insurance nightmares. I am a fruitcake, I know it, but if I had a choice of a year of misery or a day of fun... I would choose the day of fun. I even bought an old fashioned brass dinger for my bicycle. Ding ding! Crazy mermaid coming at ya!
Harley dog most often rides with me. He sits in the front basket while his toys ride in the back baskets.

About 15 years ago, I fractured my tailbone in a bad way. My Schwinn bicycle seat was giving me pure grief at times and other times numbing my crotch in a painful way. Now I use a Hobson split bicycle saddle. I had to fuss around the adjustments several times, then a few short rides to actually get used to the different pressure points. It's taken away the tailbone pain and my crotch is much happier.

While amazon offers many wonderful adaptive aids at competitive prices, delivered free to your door (even campgrounds and RV parks) some might seem a bit odd, such as the "Short Toilet Paper Aid" appears to be *ahem* a set of  kitchen tongs that *might* have been "re-purposed" and repriced. I show you the actual page I found it on, because I thought it was kind of hilarious.

***Prices mentioned were valid around mid September 2015, they may have gone down or up in cost since then. I use Amazon because it saves me travel, time, gas and hassle plus the selection is like visiting ten thousand stores at once. Get Prime and savor free 2 day shipping, very handy for gypsies.

1 comment:

  1. I have ridden a bike all my life, but also find that my two-year-old electric bike is a handicap aid of sorts. I fell three years ago and tore soft tissue in my replaced knees which meant that after riding on my old bike even a short distance caused me a ton of pain the next day. The electric bike gives me just enough boost that I can ride it without stressing my knees. I wholeheartedly recommend it for people with knee problems who still enjoy a bike!

    And I really like that can opener! My right thumb keeps giving me problems, so operating my hand crank can opener hurts sometimes. I am going to try to find one.

    And you forgot that for short people, there is nothing like a handicap grabber. I use one for opening my kitchen vent that I cannot reach.



Life is goof!