Tag Archives: stroke

How To Measure Your Walking Stick / Cane

Top & Derby walking stick stylish

Top & Derby Chatfield Canes

When buying a new cane or walking stick, you need to ensure that you are buying the correct size. Buying the wrong sized cane can result in a stressed shoulder or elbow joint. The length of the walking stick is not determined by your height, but by the distance from your wrist joint to the floor. You will find that the correct length of walking stick will be more comfortable and more efficient when you use it.

When sizing your cane, it is best to have someone to help you.  Put on a pair of shoes that you most frequently wear and stand upright, letting your arm hang loosely by your side, with your arm very slightly bent. The person helping you should then measure the distance from the floor up to your wrist joint. This measurement will determine the ideal length of cane for you. If you are purchasing a cane that is pre-cut in various size options and your measurement falls between two sizes, we recommend purchasing the cane that is the size above your measurement.

size-guide-for-top-derby-walking-sticks

Sizing guide for walking stick measurement

If you have bought a cane to cut to size yourself, again, having a friend to help measure the size would be helpful. In this case, remove the ferrule and turn the cane upside down, so that the handle is resting on the floor and measure up to the wrist joint and with a piece of chalk or a pencil, make a mark on the shaft of the cane at this point. You will need to factor in the measurement of the ferrule and then using a small saw,  cut the cane to customise it to your size. You can then replace the ferrule onto the end of the cane.

If you already have a cane that you feel is the perfect height for you, then simply measure the length from the bottom of the cane to the top of the handle and repeat as above.

If you are buying a walking stick as a gift for someone and you are unsure of the length of walking stick to buy, an adjustable height walking stick would be the safest option and these are widely available as either a telescopic/height adjustable walking stick or a folding height adjustable walking stick.

folding adjustable walking stick black

Flexyfoot folding height adjustable walking stick

A new cane need not be dull, if you purchase one that has some style or flair it can be used as a fashion statement, just like a pair of trendy glasses that says something about who you are.  So be brave and bold and let your cane say something about who you are #StayActiveWithStyle.

colourful stylish funky canes

Sabi Classic Canes

At designed2enable, we have an enviable collection of stylish, trendy, funky and contemporary walking sticks and canes that will help you stand out from the crowd. Click HERE for our full range.

 

 

Surf Therapy

Adapted Surfboard for disabiity

Image: Surfability

Surf’s Up!

An exciting new development in surf technology is making headway for wheelchair users to experience the waves first hand.

Cerebra Innovation Centre,  in partnership with Surfability UK and Tonic Surf Therapy, have begun designing bespoke surf boards for people with limited mobility and neurological difficulties, allowing wheelchair-bound adrenaline junkies to get out of their chairs and onto the water.

Kai Lewis is a thirteen year old boy from Port Talbot, who suffered a stroke at age one and consequently lives with cerebral palsy.  He helped to test out the new products recently out on the water at Llangennith Beach in West Wales. Onlookers watched as Kai surfed his first wave, with a little help from his tandem surfer, a trained surf instructor riding on the back of his board. The board is a pioneer surf product, with a supportive “bucket” seat and space on the back for an experienced surfer to steer it in the right direction. Kai had a very successful day out on the water, catching waves with a huge grin on his face and his mother looking on proudly.

Adapted surfboard

Image: Surfability

Surfability UK (surfing for disabled children) and Tonic Surf Therapy (working with surf and ocean therapy programmes in the UK and the USA) have teamed up with Cerebra Innovation Clinic to develop this product. Surfability UK was founded in 2013, as a response to increasing demand for inclusive surfing lessons that would allow people living with disabilities to experience the surf first hand. They design specific surf lessons and experiences for groups and individuals based on their needs, in a safe and supportive environment. Amongst their equipment are Tandem Surfboards, Surfing Helmets, Buoyancy Aids and Beach Access Wheelchairs. They also use innovative communication with IPad software to ensure clear communication and instruction between teacher and student.

They aren’t the first to make progress in making surf more accessible to wheelchair users, but they are the first to create individualised products for specific conditions.  Ross Head, CIC Product Design Manager, says that “since its inception, CIC has made a tremendous difference to the lives of many children with neurological conditions across the UK. The unique strategic vision for CIC means that we are able to respond to individual requests for help and can make small numbers of bespoke products that focus heavily on individual requirements and inclusion into society.”

Overall, the day was a great success, supported by top weather conditions and a supportive team by Kai’s side. His mother,  Leanne Lewis, expressed her pride, saying “hopefully it’s going to get more children out of their wheelchairs… The more you can get them out the better.” Most exciting is what these continuing innovations in surf and mobility technology represent for the future, for wheelchair users, and for surf lovers alike. If you’re a surfer, or you simply love the water, you’ll know the thrill of the wave, and the residual calm, and how the water becomes like a meditation when you immerse yourself in it. Everyone deserves to experience that feeling, and now they can, thanks to CIC, Surfability UK and Tonic Surf Therapy.

For more information on innovative surf technology and therapy, take a look at the following:
Surfability UK:  http://www.surfabilityukcic.org/
Cerebra: http://w3.cerebra.org.uk/
Tonic Surf Therapy: http://www.cynnalycardi.org.uk/

Author credit:  Rosie Moreton for designed2enable.co.uk

Self Lacing Shoes and Footwear for Disability

Putting on a pair of shoes can be a daily struggle and a chore if you are disabled or elderly.  But shoe designers are coming up with some interesting, futuristic designs that could help make life easier.

As a result of an open letter sent  by a teenager with Cerebral Palsy, Nike have developed a cool pair of trainers designed for people with disabilities. Matthew Walzer, then 16, wrote asking Nike to make a pair of accessible shoes that would provide support and a closure system that could be used by everyone.

Nike Flyease

Nike Flyease trainers

In his letter, Matthew said “Out of all the challenges I have overcome in my life, there is one that I am still trying to master, tying my shoes. Cerebral palsy stiffens the muscles in the body. As a result I have flexibility in only one of my hands which makes it impossible for me to tie my shoes. My dream is to go to the college of my choice without having to worry about someone coming to tie my shoes everyday”

In response to his plea, Nike have developed Flyease, a trainer that uses a wrap around zipper system to secure the shoe, whilst a larger opening has been created to make it easier to slide the foot in and out.

In a posting on the Nike website, designer Tinker Hatfield said “While varying levels of mobility make it difficult to provide a universal solution, we feel this is a significant development for anyone who has ever struggled with independently securing their foot within Nike shoes.” Matthew responded by saying “There are not enough ‘thank yous’ in the world to express my undying gratitude.”

Limited quantities of the LeBron Soldier 8 FLYEASE are now available on Nike.com website.

 

Japanese footwear designer Masaya Hashimoto has joined forces with Italian shoe maker Vibram to create the Vibram Furoshiki; a minimalist piece of footwear that has been described as Origami for the feet.

Vibram-furoshiki shoes

Vibram Furoshiki

Furoshiki-Vibram-shoes-stretch

Furoshiki is the traditional Japanese technique of cloth wrapping which is still used today for gift wrapping and transporting goods. This ancient technique has been used to create a minimalist piece of footwear with an innovative and anatomical grip sole that literally wraps the shoe in place. This is a really interesting concept which may help those with limited hand dexterity. You could imagine they would feel like second skin footwear; whether they will be waterproof or more of a slipper shoe is unclear but we will watch the shoe’s progress with interest.

 

Later this year, Nike is planning to release the Nike AIr MAG, a pair of self-lacing shoes, inspired by the time travel film  ’Back to the Future II’ worn by the fictional character Marty McFly when he is transported in the movie to 2015.

nike-mag-2015-release

Nike Air MAG

Rollers embedded in the sole of the Nike Air MAG  would be activated by a control system which senses weight in the sole of the shoe. The power laces then respond by tightening and wrapping themselves around the shoe. Teasers have been dropped recently by Nike’s designer Tinker Hatfield as to the launch date later this year for the Air MAG so watch this space…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Active Hands for Rehabilitation

Inimove Rehabilitation Device used with Active Hands Gripping Aid

Inimove device used with Active Hands Gripping Aid

Active Hands Gripping Aids are the perfect solution if you have limited grip or poor hand function, the gripping aids work beautifully with the Inimove rehabilitation device.  Active Hands enable you to hold the device; the glove straps around your hand in the gripped position giving you the ability to grip the device securely.

Inimove, is a rehabilitation device for stroke, brain injury and trauma and for ADHD. We recently trialled Inimove with the Queen Elizabeth Foundation, Brain Injury Centre, Banstead, Surrey. Carol Carr, Head of Physiotherapy at QEF, kindly wrote a testimonial for Inimove: Inimove Testimonial

Inimove Rehabilitation Training Devices

Inimove Rehabilitation Training Devices

Carol wrote a glowing testimonial for Inimove but felt that the grip for Inimove Complex and Complex Duo might not suit everyone.  She suggested that a moulded handle or a strap might help those with limited hand dexterity and we have found that Active Hands Gripping Aids are an ideal solution.  We have tested the Active Hands gloves with Inimove, which enable the user to strap the hand to the device, giving a stable hold and therefore allowing the user to gain the full benefit from the rehabilitation device.

Active Hands Gripping Aid

Active Hands Gripping Aid

Active hands, durable and versatile general purpose gripping aids, are also ideal for a wide range of tasks – at home, in the gym or out and about. Whether you’ve had a stroke, suffered a spinal injury or have any condition which reduces your hand function, Active Hands gripping aids could unlock any number of activities for you:

  • Working out in the gym (e.g. holding free weights, using a rowing machine)
  • Playing on the Nintendo Wii
  • DIY at home (using a saw or hammer)
  • Holding a pool or snooker cue
  • Rowing or Kayaking
  • Gardening
  • Holding a glass or bottle

You can find more information about Active Hands Gripping Aids HERE

Further information on Inimove training devices are available HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get moving with Inimove

New for Christmas from designed2enable is the Danish designed Inimove.

Inimove-Complex-Duo-2-fine motor skills, fine motor skills activities, fun

Inimove Complex Duo

Inimove is a unique rehabilitation training device used to rehabilitate those suffering from injuries caused by stroke, brain damage, trauma, arthritis and people with ADHD. Using Inimove will improve cognitive ability, co-ordination and strengthen the muscles in the hands, arms and shoulders.

The device is made up of a series of stacked wooden discs – it looks like a quality child’s toy but requires a unique combination of fine motor skills and mental concentration to resolve. The unpredictable pattern of movement makes it challenging and motivating, and there’s the reward of a successful experience when the user brings the discs together.

Inimove comes in a range of difficulties available to enable the user to increase the complexity of the training as they improve.  It’s fun, challenging and suitable for all ages, and makes a great Christmas or birthday present. Inimove has been used with great results by the Queen Elizabeth Foundation at it’s Brain Injury Center in Surrey.

Inimove is typical of the products we specialise in: beautifully designed assistive products for the elderly, disabled and those needing a little extra help in life.  We look for new, innovative products with great aesthetic design as well as functionality. Inimove has all of these features and we’re delighted to be partnering with them as their UK supplier.

Cognitive-rehabilitation-home training-fun-motor skills

Inimove Cognitive

The Inimove range  is available through our online shop