As the weather is picking up this week – it’s a great time to explore. But when mobility and accessibility is an issue, it can be hard to pluck up the courage to actually go out the door.
Here at Ableworld we encourage people no matter their mobility issues to embrace it and strive for greater independence. If your disability means you have to use a wheelchair, powerchair or some form of walking aid, you should never let that stop you!
We’ve compiled a list of mobility-friendly activity ideas for you and your family to try out before the weather turns all gloomy in the autumn! So, pack some snacks, and let’s experience the great outdoors together!
Visit your local zoo
There is no better way to spend a summer’s day than a trip to the zoo. Zoos offer various exotic animals to look at in the enclosures and sometimes even the opportunity to get up-close at feeding times. As well as interactive games and activities that can educate its visitors. To name one, Chester Zoo is fully accessible to all visitors offering free disabled parking at the main entrance, free entry for caregivers plus wheelchair and scooter hire. It’s the perfect accessible day out for the whole family. Check your local zoo for specific disability inclusions.
Coastal walks and trails
Explore the beauty of the outdoors by heading to your local national park, coastal trail, or country farm with scenic views and accessible paths for everyone. There are hundreds of accessible hiking trails up and down the country so take a look at a site near you. Most parks will state on their website if the route is suitable for a wheelchair or mobility aid so always check in advance.
Mazes are great for the whole family
Mazes are a fun way to get away from the world and lose yourself in something entirely different. Whether you're a child or an adult, the maze offers a chance to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine whilst also solving puzzles in a fun capacity. There is something so refreshing about immersing yourself into a maze and knowing the only way to get out is to push through.
Visit your local fruit picking farm
From strawberry’s to raspberries to apples – whatever tickles your taste buds, fruit picking is a must-do this summer. It’s such an enjoyable pastime and can make for a very fun afternoon. Make sure to check your local farm and see what fruit they have available for picking as this also depends on the picking season.
Visit a museum or indoor attraction
Rainy day idea - we do live in the UK after all. Museums educate people in society about the diverse aspects of different cultures through their exhibitions, and as an ethical and customer-driven company, we understand it’s important that people with disabilities are all represented in that community. And although not all UK museums offer accessibility for all disabled people, we can name a few that do: The British Museum, Tate Modern, Museum of Liverpool, Cadbury World, National Railway Museum and many more.
Hopefully at least one of these activity ideas has inspired you this summer – just because you are confined by your disability doesn’t mean you have to be defined by it. Life is for living go out and explore the world!
Ableworld Wrexham is due to undergo a refreshing new facelift which includes moving 1 mile from where its own premises is located. Our brand new, 3,000 square foot upgraded store will be located on Regent Street, LL11 1PF.
The 3,000 square foot superstore will stock Ableworld's full range of mobility products, including scooters, wheelchairs, walkers and an extensive range of riser recliner chairs with displays of their stairlift range.
Ableworld Wrexham's new larger store is due to open in Autumn this year, this move will completely improve the store layout, bringing in more product ranges and making the store much easier to shop. The new store will have ample free parking and is easy and convenient to reach.
Mike Williams, Managing Director at Ableworld, explained "Opening a larger store will enable us to extend our services and product range for our customers and to support the local community. Wrexham is one of our earliest stores and we soon realised it was an inadequate size for our model along with ensuring we have adequate parking, we have been waiting years to find the correct property to move to, which has now recently become available."
We look forward to sharing further updates across our website and Facebook page in the upcoming weeks, so be sure to keep an eye out!
Allotments provide a place for people to grow their own food and potentially new friendships too while feeling part of a community of like-minded people working towards a common goal. National Allotment Week, created by the National Allotment Society (NAS) has a way of raising awareness of allotments and the role they play in helping people to live healthier lifestyles and develop friendships, running from 8th to 14th August it aims to spread the word that allotments can keep us happy and fit.
There are an estimated 330,000 allotment plots in the UK, the equivalent to 58 Hyde Parks. The National Awareness Week serves to remind us of the many benefits that allotments can provide. They bring communities together, offer a form of outdoor exercise and fresh-air for many people.
What is an Allotment?
An allotment is a piece of land used for growing your own fruits and vegetables. Many allotment-holders like to grow a few flowers too, especially those which attract pollinators. This is because to successfully produce fruit, flowers need to be pollinated and the most natural way to do this is with a little help from our flying friends such as honeybees and bumblebees.
What can I grow on an Allotment?
Vegetables, fruit and herbs are the most commonly grown product. The Royal Horticultural Society makes a good point, that it makes sense to grow what you like to eat.
What are the benefits of an Allotment?
Allotments encourage people to spend time outdoors, immersed in nature and fresh air, which has lots of benefits for our health and wellbeing, including our mental health. They also promote a more nutritious diet; thanks to all the lovely homegrown organic fruit and vegetables you will enjoy and let's be honest, everything tastes so much better when you've grown it yourself!
If you're interested or have your own allotment but struggle getting down to the ground Ableworld has plenty of aids that are perfect such as the Garden Kneeler. It's a multi-use gardening aid that combines the functions of a comfortable knee mat and a robust standing aid to make the best garden tool. The Garden Kneeler features two curved arms that are ideally positioned at a height that enables the user to rise with assistance from their arms, it can also be turned over to double as a comfortable temporary seat which is perfect for when needing that all important cup of tea!
During our Summer Sale in 2022, Ableworld Shrewsbury decided to host a "Win the bear" competition whereby a lucky customer was in with the chance to win a big bear!
Cathy Wright, Store Manage at Ableworld Shrewsbury said that she would like all proceedings made from the competition to go to the Dementia Friends Society.
The Alzheimer's Society Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people's perception of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.
Entries were just £1 and with plenty of entrants, Cathy Wright managed to make over £75! On sale were also hand-knitted Forget Me Nots, which were also £1 each.
The lucky customer who won the bear was Mrs Taylor from Shrewsbury, she was absolutely over the moon!
We are excited to announce the winners of the Oswestry FREE Prize Draw.
In line with the Platinum Jubilee, Ableworld Oswestry, which is located at the main entrance of the RJ and AH Orthopaedic Hospital, recently ran a FREE Prize draw where four lucky winners won a total of £500 in Ableworld Vouchers. After receiving over 400 entries into the competition, four customers were randomly selected and presented with their winnings at Ableworld Oswestry.
In first place was Miss Eiran Jones who won a fantastic £250! In second place was Mrs. Pritchard who won a total of £150, then we have Mrs. Dunne & Mrs. Jones who each won a £50 Ableworld Voucher. “I am over the moon with my winnings,” said Mrs. Jones. “I have never won anything before, and this will be a great contribution towards a new mobility scooter”.
There is plenty of choice for the four lucky winners, from Scooters and Riser Recliners to pill boxes and slippers there is something for everyone.
“We have a lot of regular customers and sometimes it’s just nice to be able to thank them for their support and loyalty.” Said Mike, Store Manager at Ableworld. “With us being tucked inside the Hospital not everyone is aware we are here, or aware of the range of products and services we can offer to the local community and we’re hoping to raise that awareness.”
Incontinence can have various causes, but understanding the underlying cause and type of incontinence is vital to understanding the different treatment and products that are available. The most common cause of incontinence is weakening or damaging of the pelvic floor muscles but incontinence can also be caused by underlying neurological disorders, prostate problems and more practical problems such as poor accessibility of the toilet.
One thing the different types of incontinence have in common is that in most cases something can be done about it, consulting a doctor or healthcare professional in time is very important.
There are 7 different types of incontinence these are:
Stress/Exercise: Incontinence in physical exercise due to weakened pelvic floor muscles, this is the most common form of incontinence.
Pregnancy: In many cases pregnancy is the cause of incontinence in women. As a result in hormone changes and the pregnant belly, the pelvic floor muscles can no longer receive pressure on the bladder making there a risk of incontinence.
Urge: This type of incontinence is where there is a sudden urge to urinate which cannot be suppressed. This can sometimes be caused by nervous disorders, while stress, medication and excessive alcohol consumption can also play a role.
Overflow: This is where a person has trouble emptying their bladder entirely. Overflow incontinence often occurs as a result of damage to the nerves and muscles around the bladder.
Functional: This is a form of incontinence in which the bladder works well but because of psychological or physical condition someone has difficulty reaching the toilet in time, for example this could occur in people who are bedridden.
Overactive Bladder: This covers a range of urinary symptoms covering the feeling of needing to urinate frequently.
Faecal: This is generally associated with the loss of bladder control, but can also mean leakage of faecal matter. While bowel incontinence is more common in the elderly, adults and children can also be affected.
Ableworld offers a wide range of incontinence products to help with continence management and to improve the quality of life for those who live with these symptoms.
Here at Ableworld, we have recently been supporting a charity whose mission is much like ours, to inspire people with disabilities to change their lives and provide independence.
Flying Scholarships for disabled people, (FSDP) help a new class of ‘scholars’ each year to achieve milestones in their life, and discover a new lease of life to realise what they CAN do, rather than what they CAN’T. In the charities 39 year history, FSDP has helped over 400 men and women’s lives by giving the opportunity to learn how to fly a plane in adapted aircrafts, experiencing the joy of freedom in the sky and regaining confidence.
Ableworld were fortunate to be able to support FSDP through supplying equipment for their Scholars training programme earlier in the year at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire. For our efforts in supporting the charity, we were awarded a scholar for this year’s flying programme. Ellie, and Grace from the Marketing Department at Ableworld recently attended the Scholarship Presentation Ceremony where this year’s scholars received their certificates. The Ceremony was hosted at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, where all Sponsors got to meet with their Scholars.
It was such an amazing experience to see each of the scholar’s excitement for what’s to come in the programme, It was a wonderful and enjoyable day for all. We are really excited to see our scholar, Jane’s journey and see what she achieves over the next few weeks as she starts her flying training.
Jane Shelton originally joined the program to show her children that you can achieve anything despite any debilitating physical constraints. Over the next few weeks, Jane will be taking part in her first session of flying a plane. “I am really excited to begin my journey,” Jane said, “When I first applied to be a part of the FSDP program, I never thought I would make the final selection of scholars. But here we are and I start flying in the next few weeks”.
If you would like to know further information about FSDP, scholarships, or to potentially sponsor a scholar yourself so that more people like Jane can learn how to fly, visit their website here.
During our Spring Promotion in 2022, Ableworld ran a competition to 'Win Back the Cost of your Adjustable Bed', which means any customers who had purchased an Adjustable Bed between April and June were automatically entered into the FREE draw.
In July, the three lucky customers were randomly selected to win back the cost of their bed. Our three lucky customers were Mrs Darley from Lincoln, Mrs Jamieson from Blackpool and Mrs Watkins from Bridgend. Ableworld gave a total of £1997 back to their customers!
Mrs Watkins from Bridgend, South Wales said "I was absolutely over the moon! I've now been able to purchase a Wrenbury Riser Recliner with my winnings which I couldn't afford before!" Lou, Store Manager at Ableworld Bridgend said "I really enjoy making a difference to people's lives, it makes me so happy when we get to make someone smile."
We hope you enjoy living the life of luxury, Mrs Watkins!
During our Summer Sale, Ableworld are offering customers the chance to 'Win back the Cost of their Road Scooter', if you would like more information on how to be one of our lucky winners please click here.
Chances are, you’ve probably heard of incontinence and have an idea of what it may be. However, incontinence is something you probably don’t think about and most probably won’t, unless it affects you. Therefore, we’ve created an overview of what it is, what causes incontinence, how to treat incontinence and a few helpful tips for living with incontinence.
Affecting both men and women across the UK, incontinence is when you’re unable to control either your bowel or bladder, which can lead to accidental leakage. Widely known as urinary and bowel incontinence, several types of incontinence fall under these two, with an estimated three to six million people in the UK living with a form of urinary incontinence alone.
What causes incontinence?
While there are many different forms of incontinence, there are a variety of elements that contribute to both urinary and bowel incontinence. These can include: overactive bladder, pregnancy and childbirth, certain medications, neurological conditions, UTI's, bowel problems, diarrhoea, haemorrhoids and many more.
Are you able to treat incontinence?
As mentioned, incontinence is a very individual thing, which comes down to the various types of incontinence that can be experienced by a person. Therefore, there are several ways to help a person manage a weak bladder and incontinence. However, these won't work for everyone and in some cases, there is anything that can be done. Some treatments can include medications, pelvic floor exercises, bladder and bowel training.
Tips on living with incontinence:
Although treatments can’t and won’t work for many living with incontinence, there are several ways you can prepare yourself to ensure you’re living well with incontinence. Our key tips for those living with incontinence are: Be prepared, make sure you always have a stock of incontinence products at home, in your car or in a bag that you carry around with you to ensure you’re always ready should anything happen. This is extremely important if you’re travelling on a long journey too. Skincare, incontinence if not treated properly, can lead to problems with your skin. Therefore, its important to make sure you’re washing and drying regularly and properly, removing any residue and helping to prevent broken skin and infection. Dress code, make sure you always dress for comfort and to allow easy access should you need to change any incontinence pads when you’re out and about. Spare clothes are always handy to have with you too. Stay hydrated, unless instructed to drink normally. This means getting enough water while cutting back on caffeine and fizzy drinks as you don’t want to dehydrate yourself through the worry of incontinence.
If you need any advice on what causes incontinence, or incontinence care products then please get in touch. You can do this by calling your local Ableworld store, one of our staff members would be more than happy to help. Alternatively, you can browse our range of continence care products here.
With both an ageing population and individuals of all ages with more complex needs that require additional social care support, there is an increasing requirement to recruit and retain staff in the adult social care sector. The Good Care Campaign is about celebrating the great work of social carer's.
A social care worker’s job is to give practical and emotional support to a wide range of people. They work with individuals, families, and communities to assist them in improving their well-being so they can live a better quality of life
Some services that social care workers may look after are household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or preparing meals. They assist with personal care like washing, dressing, and using the toilet. They may also offer short-term support to help people live independently, especially after an illness or injury. They can aid in organizing physical, social, and leisure activities, which are called day-care services
Social care can change lives. It enables people to carry out tasks they otherwise won’t be able to do. Individuals are given the opportunity to live with dignity and as much independence as they can. Everyone is entitled to live life to the fullest and social care can enable them to do so.
They deserve our appreciation not just for a month but all year round!
When the sun is out it can be great for our overall physical well-being; it is a great mood enhancer and delivers the Vitamin D that our bodies need. However, there are a few things to think about to protect ourselves
Moisturise and protect - Never forget the sun protection cream – at any age. Older skin tends to be drier, so a good layer of moisturiser below the sun cream can mean more effective protection.
Keep hydrated - It’s often the case that older people will try to drink less, but in hot weather hydration is really important. It doesn’t have to be just pints of water if you find it dull. What’s important is that it’s a fluid – so juices and squashes work well.
Wear a hat - Thinner hair (or none at all!) a hat protects us from the heat of the sun, and works with sun cream to help ward off the threat of skin cancer. And if you feel you’re burning up – cover up or seek out the shade. Have lightweight scarves or jackets to hand to cover any skin that is starting to feel warm or look red.
Don't forget pets - Animals can't control their temperature in the same way we do, so to protect them from the heat you should walk your dog in the early morning or late evening when it's cooler. Do not leave your pets in the car and make sure they have plenty of shade and water when playing outdoors.
Look out for people in your community - Older people, those who live alone, younger children and babies find it particularly hard to cope when the temperature rises, so it's important to look out for those people in our community. Check in on friends, family and neighbours who may struggle in the heat.
If someone is unwell or needs further help, call NHS 111 or speak to your local pharmacist.
Mrs Parkinson came into Ableworld Stafford back in May and purchased a Spirit Auto-Fold powerchair, so that she could independently go on the bus into her local town again. She has since been back in touch with the Stafford team and says she is ‘’thrilled to have her freedom back after 2.5 years of lockdown’’, and also ‘’loves how easy it is to manoeuvre in and around shops.’’
We are very proud and honoured to have helped Mrs Parkinson regain her independence and her confidence all by purchasing a new powerchair. Now, she is able to get on the bus into town and conquer the world around her. She was initially worried that people would treat her differently because she was using a mobility chair, but with the help of the Stafford team and her new grown confidence in herself, she has been able to once again go to local shops and more importantly her local church group all on her own – something she was very passionate about doing. Even when she goes out in her chair ‘’lots of people are very kind and helpful’’ – we are thrilled to have helped Mrs Parkinson reclaim her independence and live her life to the fullest.
Something Mrs Parkinson said really touch us here at Ableworld, and something I think we should all remember to live by is ‘’it doesn’t matter how old you are or how your disability affects you, everyone needs help sometimes and that’s okay.’’
If you are local to Stafford and would like to visit us, the team at Ableworld Stafford would love to welcome you at Kingsmead Retail Park, Stafford, ST16 3AD for any of your mobility needs. We are open 9am – 5:30pm Monday to Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm. Tel: 01785 319315.