Category Archives: Uncategorised

Christmas Gift Ideas 2017

d2e Christmas 2017 red cane As we march towards another Christmas and the rush is on to find thoughtful gifts for friends, family and loved ones, we have put together our Top Ten list of thoughtful gift ideas and stocking fillers that will be a pleasure to give and to receive.

1) Bosign 2 in 1 Tablet and Neck

tablet and neck pillow cushion holiday flight car journeys At designed2enable we love a product that is multi-functional and so this thoughtfully designed, combo neck and tablet travel pillow, with its modern Scandinavian styling is right up our street!

Fashioned in a lovely salt and pepper grey, the fabric is soft and smooth to the touch. This travel pillow can be used at home when using your tablet but is equally handy on a flight, again for your tablet or when you want some shut-eye, to comfortably support your head and neck, whether you are sitting or lying down. You can read more HERE

2) Alaskan Husky Faux Fur Heated Cushion

heated luxury cushionThis beautifully soft heated cushion is so super snuggly that you’ll never want to leave the sofa. It takes just minutes to heat up and, if you need relief from aches and pains, the soft Intelliheat® heat pad can be removed from the cover to offer a more focussed heat.

Operated by the easy to use controller which has five temperature settings and auto shut-off for safety. Click HERE for more information.

3) Leather Blue Badge Disabled Parking Permit Holder and RADAR Key

Wallet for blue badge parking permit disability and RADAR disabled toilet key This leather blue badge wallet & matching leather RADAR key are made from soft and distressed Italian leather giving a distinctive vintage finish and the timeless appeal of premium quality.

Packaged in a specially designed presentation gift box. Click HERE for more information. The leather permit holder and RADAR KEY are also available to purchase individually.

4) Slate Grey Deluxe Faux Fur Heated Throw

slate grey hygge heated throw faux furBeautifully soft and wonderfully cosy, the deluxe heated throw in slate grey has a hygge inspired look and will keep you warm and snug throughout the cold winter.

With six heat settings, including a ‘ready to relax’ fast pre-heat setting, it also features auto-shut off after 1 or 9 hours, giving you peace of mind.You can then select from 1-5 to find your preferred continuous use temperature. It heats up in only 5 minutes thanks to Intelliheat Technology and is super energy efficient costing from as little as 1p to heat. Click HERE for more information.

5) LED Walking Stick / Cane Torch Light

torch light that attaches to walking stick cane Walking with a cane or stick at night is never easy, particularly if you are on uneven or unknown terrain. Finding your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night and not wanting to wake others by turning on lights can also be challenging. This LED torch lamp fits neatly onto a walking stick to light the way for you, and is a great gadget for preventing falls.

When you press the top button, a powerful beam of down-light shines to light the way and the torch lamp will fit any cane with a diameter of 22 – 26 mm. Click HERE to read more.

6) Radius Garden Hand Tools

ergonomic gardening tools

Radius Hand Tools are beautifully built and ergonomically designed. These garden tools are strong, lightweight and kind to the hands and wrists.

These tools are incredibly light to hold and have easy grip handles which are designed to follow the curve of the palm to minimise stress on hands and wrists whilst creating more leverage. The gardening hand tools are suitable for any keen gardener and are ideal for those with arthritis or weak hands and wrists. Available individually or as a set – click HERE to read more.

7) Handybar Car Support Handle

bar that attaches to car door to provide support getting in and out of the carThis is a great stocking filler for anyone who struggles to get in and out of the car. Handybar is a strong and portable non-slip handle support. 

Simply slot Handybar in to the U shaped striker plate which is built in to the car door frame (where the door closes) of most cars.The U-shaped striker plate is one of the strongest parts of the vehicle and is designed to keep your vehicle door closed in the event of a side-impact collision. You can read more HERE

8) Muggi Drinks Carrier

handy drinks carrier camping, picnic, sailing, elderly, wheelchair usersMuggi makes a great gift for any sailors, campers, caravaners, wheelchair users, office workers – the list goes on. It is a new and safe way to carry hot or cold drinks, muggi is light and easy to carry but also strong and secure.

Whether you are relaxing in your garden, enjoying an outdoor occasion or needing to carry drinks safely around the home, Muggi can hold up to four mugs or glasses. It will catch any unwanted spillages and features four non slip feet with finger and thumb holds making it easy for young or old hands. You can read more HERE

9) Weekly Pill Box with Stylish Leather Case

weekly pill box organiser with leather holderErgonomic pill box with an exquisite leather storage sleeve that will keep your medication discreetly to hand.

These weekly pill boxes with their attractive soft leather storage sleeve  are ergonomically shaped with easy open lids for simple refilling. The weekly pill box features seven individual compartments and is available in purple, lake green, navy blue and burgundy. You can read more HERE

10) Golden Leopard and Snow Leopard Print Canes

leopard print canes walking sticksAnimal prints are a classic design that never seem to go out of fashion and these Leopard Print Derby Walking Sticks are no exception. The derby handle canes in two-tone golden-yellow/ silver-grey and black are stylish, fashionable and eye-catching.

Ideal for both day and evening wear. The supportive derby handle is comfortable to use and the cane can be adjusted to the user’s height. You can read more HERE

This is just a small selection of our stylish daily living products, for more inspiration for Christmas gifts visit our website designed2enable.co.uk

Designer Stoma Bags & Ostomy Devices

silicone-flexible-device-ostomy-colostomy-bag

Silicone stoma device image credit: Dezeen

Until recently, the word colostomy had not featured in our lives. Now, within the last year, two family members suddenly found themselves with a colostomy bag as a result of major bowel and cancer operations, which requires a steep learning curve on maintenance and management and the emotional impact should not be underestimated. Some stomas can be reversed, but many are for life.

However, ostomy bags have come a long way and in many cases, they can be life-changing for the better, as they allow for a piece of diseased organ to be removed, allowing the user to live a healthier and fuller life.

After the initial operation, you are left with a stoma, which is the healthy end of the intestine, turned inside out and sits externally on the abdomen. This is the exit point for the poo and is the piece that the stoma bag can be fixed to. Stoma bags can now be ordered to your stoma’s own specific dimensions, ensuring a snugger fit which is more comfortable and less likely to leak.

Fashion designer Ted Baker had a temporary stoma and after experiencing the products that were then available to him, he worked with the manufacturer Coloplast to improve the design of the bag.

With both family members, it is a hidden disability and access to an accessible washroom can make life easier as this provides a washbasin next to the toilet which is really important for hygiene. Having a stoma bag makes you eligible for a Radar Key, providing access to accessible toilets around the UK.

Colostomy or stoma bags can generally be unattractive and quite unsexy, to say the least, but with the help of tattoos and a bit of imagination, some creative people have found a way to make them more attractive for intimate moments.

sexy-colostomy-bag-stephanie-monty-designed2enable

image credit: Dezeen

Inspired by her own family’s struggle with Crohn’s disease, Brunel University Graduate Stephanie Monty designed a prototype silicone ostomy device which is washable and re-usable and more appealing than the usual pouch. The flexible device adheres to the users’s skin, and is covered with a waterproof membrane that creates a natural, skin-like feel. Inflammation and infection are also an issue, so she included integrated vents that release gas but contain odours.

Northumbria  University student James Shutt noticed that stoma users were getting younger and after research involving teenage colostomy users, came up with the ‘Myostomy’ product.

Stoma decoration Myostomy range

Stoma device Myostomy Range

James found colostomy users struggle with sexual intimacy and body consciousness, as well as more practical issues such as the bag inflating with wind, or concerns about leaving their spare bags and cleaning kits behind if they stayed over at friends or a partner’s house. They also found that their partners were put off by the bag at intimate moments and really needed something that would be more discreet which would give the them more confidence with body image.

stoma plug myostomy range

Stoma Plug Myostomy Range

James’s Myostomy range includes a jewellery stoma plug that fits into the stoma to prevent any bowel accidents at intimate moments, which restores dignity for the user. James also came up with the idea of body art and tattoos to help users embrace their stoma. As yet, the Myostomy range has yet to be launched.

Support:

The Colostomy Association is available for support and they run the Stoma Aid project which collates unused stoma bags and re-distributes them to patients living with stomas in developing countries that cannot afford or access supplies.

StomaWise is an internet based support website offering support and advice to Ostomates of all types. They are available online and a contact telephone number is also available.

INDESmed Ergonomic Aluminium & Carbon Fibre Crutches

INDESmed aluminium colourful crutches

INDESmed Colourful Ergonomic Crutches

Spanish company INDESmed are a young, dynamic group of engineers, specialised in bio-engineering and medical devices who are well equipped to create functional and stylish mobility aids.

The INDESmed crutches are the latest addition to our online shop and have already proved to be very popular with our customers. The ergonomic crutches are manufactured with either carbon fibre or aluminium shafts and have been so beautifully designed that there is no annoying “click” sound when using them. The shaft of the crutches is slightly curved which makes these crutches very comfortable anatomically for the user.

The design of the soft and comfortable silicone hand-grip keeps the natural position of the wrist and spreads the corporal pressure over the hand, avoiding the pain in the palm of the hand. This also Improves the position of the thumb finger, decreasing or totally suppressing the hardness that appears due to a long-term use of crutches. INDESmed are so sure of the ergonomic design of their crutches that they guarantee NO TENDONITIS, or your money back!

INDESmed crutches are fully adjustable which can be achieved by moving the cuff and hand-grip along the curved area, but each size has been designed to maximize ergonomics and user comfort. Spare cuffs, silicone covers, hand-grips and tips are available to purchase, enabling you interchange the hand-grip covers or add new accessories to the shaft. The ferrule / tip is manufactured from high friction coefficient rubber and Dupon which improves the safety of the user.

carbon fiber lightweight crutches

INDESmed Lightweight Carbon Crutch

If you wish to sport the lightest, designer forearm crutch in the world, the INDESmed carbon fibre crutches are for you, weighing in at only 220 grams. They are available in small, medium or large sizes, with a black shaft and cuff and interchangeable silicon hand-grips in dark grey, black, purple and orange and look incredibly modern and stylish.

INDESmed also provide the equally trendy colourful aluminium crutches , manufactured to the same design as the carbon fibre and these weigh in at only 400 grams. The aluminium shafts are available in orange, blue, purple and titanium grey with coordinated silicone hand-grips.

orange, blue, purple grey lightweight crutches

INDESmed ‘No Click’ Coloured Crutches

You can read more about the INDESmed crutches here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opting into exercise improves knee osteoarthritis – Arthritis Digest Magazine

Arthritis-Digest-masthead-low-res-web

Choice is key when it comes to improving osteoarthritis symptoms through exercise, highlights a new study in Clinical Rheumatology.

A total of 69 older people with knee osteoarthritis were split into groups: a supervised community-based or unsupervised walking programme. Six months later, people who expressed a preference, either for the supervised or unsupervised programme, and who were assigned to their preferred choice of programme were more likely to continue with the walking sessions, compared to those who did not obtain their preferred choice of programme.

After nine months, people who had been given the group they wanted had improved levels of stiffness and function compared to those who did not get the group they wanted.

The researchers conclude:
“We show this approach promotes long-term adherence to a community-based walking program, while ensuring the maintenance of clinical benefits of walking, among older adults susceptible to avoid or not properly engage in physical activity.”

Keep up to date with the latest arthritis research news by subscribing to Arthritis Digest Magazine

Our Ponte Giulio Factory Visit for Accessible Bathroom Acccessories

Orvieto, Italy

Orvieto, Italy

We recently had the pleasure of being invited to visit the factory of Ponte Giulio, one of our accessible bathroom suppliers, which just happens to be in Italy! They didn’t have to ask us twice (well, actually they did because we didn’t think we had heard correctly the fist time)!

We flew out on the Thursday afternoon and were met at the airport by Marco and Massimo who then drove us the one and a half hour journey to their beautiful historic town of Orvieto, which is just north of Rome, built high on a cliff top, with five ancient gates in and out of the town. We arrived early evening and were immediately whisked off to dinner to a traditional Italian restaurant across the road from our hotel. We were joined by Enrico, the owner of Ponte Giulio who warmly welcomed us as friends, as well as business partners and we learnt more about the hugely successful family business which was started by his father, Emidio Carloni.

We were up early the next morning and taken to the factory which is a short distance from the main town of Orvieto and were initially driven around the property which is impressive in size. The business employs 50 people and is run as a warm and friendly family business. The founder Emidio is in his 80′s and retired but still visits the factory on a daily basis, keeping a watchful eye and we had the great pleasure of meeting him.

manufacturing plant for Ponte Giulio grab rails and shower seats

Ponte Giulio Factory

The morning was spent meeting the employees, touring the factory and watching the manufacturing processes, which in many cases were automated with robotics. The rails are bent, cut to size and polished by machinery but the anti-bacterial vinyl covering on the grab rails is completed with a manual process, to enable it to be applied to the rails.

Their very stylish acrylic basins are made manually, using one slab of an acrylic based material, which is then placed on top of a mould and gently smoothed into place by hand. They are then placed in a vacuumed environment to complete the process and to set the acrylic to a hard finish.  The acrylic basins are a show stopper, very contemporary, smooth and elegant, they are pore free, easy to maintain, with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Some basins have an integral grab bar at the front which can provide extra stability for the user, if they are unsteady on their feet or a point to pull against for a wheelchair user to manoeuvre themselves under the basin. The rail can also be used as a towel or flannel rail.  The basins do not have an overflow and so the drain is free flowing, but an overflow can easily be added upon request.

grab rails shower seat and sink

Ponte Giulio Range

We broke at lunchtime with a quick dash into town for a delicious lunch of mixed seafood and roasted vegetables and a glass of their very special Ovieto Classico wine, which is very easy on the palate. We were then treated to the stunning panoramic view of Orvieto (see image top of page) on our way back to the factory, to discuss business and to look at their research and development area and exciting new products in the pipeline. Ponte Giulio trade internationally with distributors in many countries, and have a strong presence in the  U.S.A. The UK is a relatively new area for them and so it was interesting to discuss the opportunities that are available for us both here in the UK.

Outside the Ponte Giulio factory in Italy

Factory visit Ponte Giulio

At the end of the day, we said our thanks and farewells to Enrico (above centre) and arranged to meet Marco Ragno (above right) for dinner. The food in Orvieto is heavenly; cake, fruit, cured meats and cheese, bread and croissants for breakfast. We loved the antipasti selection for cured meats, cheese, olives and bruschetta. The other delights that we sampled were wild boar, rabbit kebabs, pasta with hare, seafood , fried chickpea pancakes ( these were amazing) and fish of the day with olives, cherry tomatoes, oranges  and dauphin potatoes. This was our last meal and the powerful taste of the sweet oranges stayed with me all the way back to the UK!

Orvieto food

Orvieto food

As a wheelchair user, I did have slight trepidation in staying in Orvieto, with the one in 4 hills and cobbled streets, but I took my Freewheel with me and all was good. We had the weekend to explore the town which is full of shops, cafes, restaurants and so much history. The Duomo stands proudly at the top of the town, towering majestically over Orvieto.

Italian cathedral / Duomo Orvieto

Duomo Orvieto

The shops offered an interesting array of designer leather bags, ceramics and sculptures, olive wood homewares and small fashion boutiques, which made it very easy to wander around and take in the atmosphere. It was also lovely to sit in the sunshine and enjoy a coffee and people watch.

streets of Orvieto

Streets of Orvieto

Just before we left, we happened to spot a lady walking past with an OMHU cane. OMHU was then bought by Sabi, who re branded the canes. designed2enable are the UK sales agents for Sabi canes and pill boxes ( as we also were for OMHU),  so it was a real treat for us to see our canes in use in the small town of Orvieto. The lady was visiting all the way from Hawaii and she kindly let us take a photo – see below, and said how much she loved her cane.

Hawaii lady OMHU cane Orvieto

Lady with an OMHU/Sabi Cane

Sadly our time came to an end on Sunday afternoon and Massimo drove us back to the airport for our journey home. Needless to say it was typically cold and raining when we landed. Boo hoo!

Guest Post – Accomable recommend their top accessible city breaks

Accomable logo

Srin Madipalli, CEO and Co-founder of Accomable.com, the ‘Airbnb for disabled people’, shares his top tips for the best accessible city breaks in 2017.

Wheelchair accessible Barcelona

Barcelona City Centre

Barcelona –best for couples, culture vultures and foodies

Travel as a wheelchair user is rarely straightforward, but last summer I came to the conclusion that Barcelona is probably the most fun and accessible place in Europe I’ve visited.

First up: Barcelona has it all: iconic sights (tick!), a beautiful beach (tick!), lovely people and even better food (all present and correct!). Flights are plentiful and cheap and once you arrive, pretty much all of these attractions are accessible – from easy access to Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia to wheelchair friendly walkways along the beach (and free beach wheelchairs available too!).

Sagrada Familia Barcelona

Sagrada Familia

There is an awesome adapted apartment in Barcelona: MICs Sant Jordi is a block of cool, brilliantly adapted accessible apartments near the city centre of Barcelona. It’s simple, stylish and budget friendly too.

Finally, lots of the public transport is wheelchair accessible, including the Metro. This actually blew me away.

Discover more Barcelona accessible accommodation online.

Winchester – best for nature lovers, history buffs and foodies

Winchester was voted the best place to live in the UK last year, and it’s easy to see why, with its grand cathedral, excellent independent shops and thriving foodie scene.

The best way to explore is to follow the mile long accessible trail through Winchester, which takes you along the high street, into the cathedral (the ground floor is accessible) and onto Winchester College and Wolvesey Castle.

There is a good, budget accessible hotel in Winchester city centre, but if you have a car, there are some fantastic luxury options in the surrounding countryside, including one of my favourites, Wallops Wood.

Accessible accommodation  Winchester

Interior of Wallops Wood, Winchester

Discover more Winchester accessible accommodation online.

Amsterdam – best for art lovers, activity junkies and easy Eurostar access

city of Amsterdam

What with all the crazy cyclists, cobbled streets and tram tracks, you might not consider Amsterdam to be a great accessible destination. But think again, because the city has some brilliant accessible offerings, with many wheelchair-friendly trams and buses, and easy access to world class museums like the Rijksmuseum.

Check out the Blue Boat Company for accessible tours on the canals or join the locals with one of Star Bikes’ specially adapted cycles.

Star Bikes amsterdam

Star Bike Hire

There’s lots of good accessible accommodation in Amsterdam to fit a variety of tastes and budgets. Plus, if you’d prefer not to fly, you can get there by ferry from Harwich or by train by taking the Eurostar to Belgium and then changing trains and taking the Thalys service to Amsterdam.

Discover more about Amsterdam accessible accommodation online.

For more information on Accomable or to book an accessible stay, visit www.accomable.com

Robots as Companions and Carers

Robots for care homes

Robots programmed to help elderly residents in care homes

The idea of robots as companions, housemates or therapists is something we imagined as children when the future seemed very distant, but 2016 is apparently the future, and here they are.

ENRICHME (ENabling Robot and assisted living environment for Independent Care and Health Monitoring of the Elderly) is an international collaboration involving the University of Lincoln in the UK. They have developed a range of robots specifically for use inside the homes of the aged community, to help them maintain health and wellbeing – both mental and physical.

The robots are being integrated to work with ‘smart home’ technology, to provide 24-7 feedback to carers and health professionals from the inside of the person’s home. The robots are currently being used mainly as a big mobile phone or mobile assistance – giving reminders to take medications, locating lost items around the house, and enabling video chat with family and friends so that members of the elderly community are able to stay in touch with people via modern communication.

Ongoing developmental research is gathering data on how effective these robots are for the elderly community, but early research shows that they are of particular benefit to people with mild cognitive impairments, such as the early symptoms of the onset of dementia, but with bodies that are still physically able and healthy.

The European Research Project ‘Robot-Era’ recently concluded the world’s largest real-life trial of robot aides for the elderly. The four year trial was funded by Apple suppliers, Robotech and the European Commission, and are said to be ready to be released for commercial sales in 2017.

One of the biggest drives behind developing robotic care for elderly communities is to reduce strain on the healthcare system and care staffing. Mario, a European company developing robotics for elderly care, funded by the European Commission, intends to commercialise cost-effective robots by 2018 that healthcare providers can integrate into the care system, which benefits both the patient and the system.

Robot lifting patient

Robot being used in healthcare to lift patients

The way to commercialise the robots and get them into healthcare facilities is to prove that they are effective at improving senior quality of life, and at the same time reduce the cost of caring. There is  a large stigma attached to the idea of robots in our home, probably spurred by science fiction films of robots taking over the human population and controlling us. The care industry and robotics industry have work to do to get people to realise that robots are not to completely remove human interactions, but rather to complement them, reduce the load on carers to the elderly, and improve quality of life, giving peace of mind to their families in case of emergency. Mario doesn’t consider robotics an answer to everything, but if it can help elderly people to stay safe and comfortable in their own homes for longer, and at a more affordable cost, isn’t that a great thing?

paro robotic seal for elderly

Paro robotic seal for elderly and dementia patients

Another smaller-scale robot that has been well-received in care homes recently is Paro, a robotic seal. In studies, Paro has traditionally been brought to nursing homes where older people (often suffering from dementia or mental decline) hold the robot and interact with it. Positive effects include a general improvement in mood and reduction in depression. And Paro is really cute!

Of course, there are many mixed feelings, including some hilarious opinionated words from the ageing community. An article in the Guardian cites robot care for the elderly as “another way of dying miserably”. Europe’s Mobiserv project has been researching a “social companion robot” called Nadine, to encourage old people to eat healthily, exercise, and let them know when they haven’t spoken to anyone in a while – as if they hadn’t noticed!

The article ends with a reference to our ingrained fear of robots taking over the world; “who cares if Nadine and her kind go haywire and get rid of us? Will the other humans even notice?”

Robotic advancements are happening, and I suppose as elderly people, children or relatives of those elderly people, all we can do is ensure that the proper level of care and a degree of compassion is  a part of these “companion” machines. But is that worse? If they have…. feelings? Will they help themselves to cups of tea and biscuits from the pantry? Will they leave the toilet seat up? Only time will tell.

Our Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

christmas-2016

Our Christmas Gift List 2016

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Medical socks for tired legs

Top and Derby Compression Socks

Everybody loves a trendy pair of socks for Christmas and these modern compression socks look great and have the added bonus of keeping your legs feeling energised all day long. Our Top & Derby compression socks increase blood flow, help prevent swelling, varicose veins and relieve tired and aching legs. They would make a great gift for anyone who is on their feet all day, pregnant mums and the elderly. Also available in Black. Read more HERE

decor-walther-bath-pillow-d2e

Decor Walther Bath Pillow

There is nothing more relaxing than a hot bath and a few candles at the end of a hard day, and the Decor Walther Bath Pillow is a great place to rest your head. The Decor Walther Bath Pillow is in keeping with any modern and contemporary bathroom and would make a luxurious gift for someone you love. The bath cushion comes with two suction cups to keep it in place and it is machine washable. Read more HERE

bowls-stack

Staybowlizer

Staybowlizer is a silicone ring that acts as a third hand by suctioning onto a work surface, securing bowls of all shapes and sizes, whilst you mix and incorporate ingredients with your free hands. It can hold any bowl size in place, whilst you are mixing, beating and whipping up a favourite recipe. It will withstand high temperatures and can therefore be used to create a double boiler or bain-marie and makes a great trivet or hotplate. It is so versatile it can even be used to keep a dog bowl secure, preventing it from being chased around the kitchen by a hungry hound! You can read more HERE

Tarten and Camel folding walking stick

Folding walking sticks

Make a statement with one of these striking, folding derby canes. The shape of the handle offers excellent support to the hand and can be hooked over the arm when not in use. The sides of the handle are rounded for comfort and the strong and light aluminium shaft folds into four sections. Lightweight, attractive and height adjustable, these folding canes can be stowed away discreetly when they are not needed and the adjustable height option of these cane makes them a safe, stylish and considerate gift. You can read more HERE

heated luxury cushion

Alaskan Heated Cushion

This beautifully soft hygge inspired heated cushion is so super snuggly that you’ll never want to leave the sofa. It takes just minutes to heat up and, if you need relief from aches and pains, the soft Intelliheat® heat pad can be removed from the cover to offer a more intense heat. Operated by the easy to use controller which has five temperature settings and auto shut-off for safety. Matching heated throw is also available. Read more HERE

NRGset[1]

Radius Garden Hand Tools

Radius Hand Tools are beautifully built and ergonomically designed. These garden tools are strong, lightweight and kind to the hands and wrists. The easy grip handles are designed to follow the curve of the palm to minimise stress on hands and wrists whilst creating more leverage. They would make a great gift for any keen gardener and are ideal for those with arthritis or weak hands and wrists. Available as a set or individually. Read more HERE

Flexyfoot folding walking stick blue 1

Flexyfoot Folding Walking Stick with Oval Handle

Ergonomic and comfortable to use, this folding walking is easy to transport when you are not needing to use it. But quite frankly, why would you not want to use it! The folding walking stick is available in two adjustable height options and has an oval handle for comfort. The Flexyfoot ferrule provides a safer grip through its innovative tread and flexible ‘bellows’. This means the rubber tip remains constantly in contact with the ground as you are moving, even if you are twisting or on wet, or uneven ground. Read more HERE

attractive shoe horns

Long Handled Shoe Horns

Ideal for anyone who finds it difficult putting their shoes on, these long handled attractive shoe horns would make a lovely gift. The hook handle means that it can be hung anywhere and never get lost. Available in three great colour options. Read more HERE

no-bend-pet-bowl-for-cats

No Bend Pet Bowl

For someone who struggles to bend down, or are unsteady on their feet, the daily task of feeding a cat or dog can be challenging. This simple pet feeder could be the solution; the extendable and height adjustable handle allows you to select your ideal height, without needing to bend or kneel and reduces the risk of falls. No Bend Pet Bowl is dishwasher safe and the easy grip, twist and lock design of the handle allows it to be easily removed for cleaning and storing. No mess, no spilling, no fuss! Read more HERE

See our website for the full range of products, read more HERE

Thank you for reading and we wish you a very Merry Christmas!        

 

Beginning a Meditation Practice

Mindfulness

Meditation is another practice recently added to our never-ending list of things that we could do to improve our lives and our wellbeing, and is quite possibly the easiest, most simple of them all, but in many ways it is also the most challenging.

You would think that we would be able to find the time and the inclination to sit for as little as a couple of minutes a day and just do nothing. In fact, you would think it would be a welcome relief from the chores of everyday life.

Unfortunately over the course of our lives we have been conditioned to constantly be moving, occupying, thinking, planning, analysing, assessing, stressing and all the other “doing” words that imply the opposite of meditation, which is simply “being”.

So how do we get back to that space of “being”? That place of just settling into stillness and observation without reaction, without feeling the need to run away from our thoughts and into the welcoming arms of distraction?

Below are a selection of tips and tricks to ease yourself slowly into a regular meditation practice. Nothing too intimidating, starting small and easing yourself into a daily habit that can make you feel more peaceful and focussed, more comfortable with discomfort, more aware and more appreciative of the little things in every day life. Meditation helps you to understand yourself from the inside out; why you react to certain things in a certain way, how you make decisions, why you are the way you are. It also gives you a greater awareness of, and control over, your thoughts, and the ability to choose whether to listen to them or not.

It’s worth a try.

Start small.  Start with 2-5 minutes of just sitting in a relatively quiet, calm place with few distractions.

  • Focus on your breath. Breathe in and out through your nose, which activates your parasympathetic nervous system, activating your rest and digest hormones, which tells your body that it is safe, and it’s okay to relax. Focus on the rise and fall of your stomach, or the tickle of the air as it enters and leaves your nose.

  • Get comfortable. The first barrier for most meditation practitioners is finding comfort in the physical body. You want to set your body up then forget about it, and get to the real work in your mind, but it takes a lot of trial and error to get to that point. Find what works for you. And remember that we have spent our lives sitting in chairs, not sitting on the floor, and it will take time to build a new habit for your body. Be kind to yourself whilst finding this stable seated position. Try not to lie down, because our body tends to associate lying with sleeping. You want to relax, but not too much.. You can try sitting cross legged, propping your sit-bones onto a firm cushion to give your hips more space to breathe. You ideally want your hips higher than your knees, otherwise you’ll know about it after about 5 minutes of sitting. If cross-legged isn’t comfortable or accessible for you (which for many it isn’t), try kneeling. You can again place a cushion (or three) under your bottom, between your legs, or a folded blanket under the knees or under the ankles. If this is no good, move to a chair and simply sit calmly. Try to have your feet in contact with the ground. The most important thing in your seated position is that your spine remains upright, so that the energy in your body can move efficiently up to your head.

  • Try yoga to get into the meditative headspace.  A gentle restorative practice can slow you down at the end of the day and get you more in touch with your internal atmosphere. A vigorous vinyasa flow can make you forget the stresses of the day, release some feel-good endorphins and approach a short meditation at the end of the practice with inner calm and clarity. Yoga will also help to warm up your body in preparation for meditation, and traditionally the two go hand in hand, for very good reason.

  • Do it anywhere. Planes, trains, cars, the daily commute, in the ad break, as you walk to work. Meditation doesn’t have to always be a stationary practice. Try to bring a mindful attentiveness to little actions in your day, and instead of filling up each idle moment in your day with technology or distraction, try just noticing what is, and taking a moment to check in with yourself.

  • Body scan. Starting from the soles of your feet, work your way up your body, each little part, drawing awareness to the sensations of comfort, discomfort, warmth, coolness, tingling, contact with the earth or another part of your body, noticing how everything within you is intrinsically connected.

  • Guided meditations. There are a number of apps and guided meditation programs that help with establishing a regular practice. The Chopra Centre regularly offer free 3 week programs, and the Headspace App is an easy to use, practical approach to meditation.

  • Be kind. Go easy on yourself. Don’t expect fireworks and floating in the clouds. Go into each practice with no expectation, start small, and build it up slowly. Observe without judgement the patterns in your mind, gently inquire into yourself, then let it all float away, coming back to your breath, every time. At the end of your practice, smile and be grateful for this little space in your day to check in with yourself.

Product News: Rollz Flex Shopping Trolley / Rollator

Sturdy shopping trolley

Rollz Flex Shopper / Rollator

Shopping can be a fun but exhausting activity and for anyone that has mobility problems or tires easily, the Rollz Flex Shopping Trolley, which double as a rollator,  could be the perfect solution.

Danish manufacturer Rollz, who are specialists in the ergonomic design of innovative mobility products are known for their award winning Rollz Motion Rollator. They have now produced another gem of a product with the Rollz Flex which has a very modern design and is ideal for anyone who may need a walking stick or a little extra support but who is not quite ready for a traditional rollator.

Topro Rollz Flex Rollator Grey

Rollz Flex Shopper with Denim Grey Bag

The Rollz Flex could easily become your best shopping buddy. It is lightweight and folds easily into a compact form for stowing in the boot of your car or storing at home. The push bar handle is height adjustable and can be positioned upright, or half or fully tilted forwards. When it is tilted forwards it can be leant on for support, just like a rollator.  The integral seat is there for when you need a rest and the push bar handle doubles as a back support when it is tilted fully forwards, for added safety.

Flex shopping trolley with adjustable handle bar

Rollz Flex Shopper with adjustable push bar handle

Every aspect of safety has been considered in the design of the Rollz Flex and therefore innovative drum brakes are included to provide safe and controlled braking and parking.  The manoeuvrable front wheels allow for easy steering and a threshold device is included on rear wheels for easy curb mounting.

The integral shopping bag is waterproof and holds a large capacity for storing all your shopping and the inner lining of the bag is removable and washable.  The Flex frame is available in white with either a Bright Purple or Denim Grey shopping bag.

Video Demonstration:

We think that you will love this product, we certainly do!

You can find more information on the Rollz Flex Shopping Trolley / Rolllator here