Jane Catchpole Dip COT SROT
Conservation of energy and pacing of activity
When conservation of energy, management of joint problems and care of joints is necessary, the following guidelines should prove helpful.
- Use your joints sensibly and think about them
- Always keep a little energy in reserve to avoid over-exertion
- List the tasks to be carried out: prioritise
- Consider: can it be eliminated? Postponed? Done by someone else? Stopped?
- Divide heavy and light tasks throughout the week
- Alternate active tasks with those that can be done while sitting down
- Can heavy tasks be simplified or divided into lighter components?
- Be flexible
- Sit to carry out tasks where possible, many tasks can be done equally well sitting
- Don't feel guilty about stopping when you feel tired
- Avoid lifting heavy items
- Avoid repeated bending and stretching
- Re-arrange kitchen, if necessary, to keep frequently used objects close at hand
- Use of labour or energy saving gadgets should be considered
- Do think carefully each time you use a joint
- Don't think you must do particular things because they are good for you
- Avoid continuous grip or keeping joints in one position
- Realise you cannot work off pain and swelling
- Avoid strain on individual joints
- Don't get involved in lengthy tasks that tax you beyond your
- Only start a job with the understanding that you can stop it if necessary
- Take adequate rest
- Wear prescribed splints and supports
- Use prescribed equipment
- Always keep a little energy in reserve
- Pace your activity, rest, exercise
Rest and exercise
A balance is needed between rest and exercise.
- Helps muscles regain their energy. Rest on a bed rather than a chair
- The amount required will depend on the individual
- Consider posture while resting
- Maintains muscle strength. Remember to exercise within your daily routine.
- Avoid sudden muscle activity which will put a strain on the joints
- Don't overtire muscles and exercise different muscle groups
- Concentrate on muscles around lax joints
Always think about maintaining good posture with weight evenly distributed.
- Back straight, shoulders relaxed, tummy and bottom tucked in
- Stand on both feet - taking weight evenly
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes
- Avoid standing for long periods of time
- Avoid low soft chairs
- Ensure good support, adequate back support, arm rests, head rest
- Good supportive comfortable upholstery.
- Working - position work at correct height for the chair
- An inclined working surface may help
- Good height bed - avoid strain getting in and out
- Firm mattress with good support
- Use a small pillow, the head should not be pushed forward
- Sit to have a shower
- A bath board and seat may be of help. There are a variety of inflatable bath seats which will allow you to lie fully in the bath
- Sit down on toilet or stool while washing and drying
- A raised seat helps reduce strain on muscles and joints
- Have an easy style to manage
- Wash hair while in the bath or shower
- Sit as much as possible while dressing
- Keep a flask or kettle in the bedroom for making a drink
- Keep a bag at the top and bottom of the stairs, articles to be taken up or down can be placed in it and taken in one trip
- Use a lightweight carpet sweeper rather that a vacuum cleaner
- A long handled dustpan and brush saves bending
- Iron only what is absolutely necessary. Sit on an appropriate height stool
- A continuous, level working surface enables pots and pans to be pushed rather than lifted
- Fill the kettle with a jug rather than lifting the kettle
- Soak items to be washed up and use a brush, this lessens the pressure needed to clean
- Dry dishes in draining rack
- Plan cooking to reduce the utensils needed to a minimum
- Trolleys which incorporate a seat can be useful
- Ask for packing and carryout assistance in supermarket
- Enquire if local firms have a delivery service
- Use mail order firms or use the internet
- Wear supportive shoes
- Moulded insoles may help
- Consider using: a stick; crutches; walking frame
- Ensure you are assessed for the most suitable and instructed in correct use
- Consider: kerb climbing ability, speed, distance covered on one battery charge
- Suspension, support of seat, is there a choice of seats?
- Will it dismantle to fit in a car, have you someone who can do this for you if the components are too heavy?
- Electric power point for re-charging?
- Consider: Attendant pushed/self-propelled/powered
- Folding to be put in a car. If powered points as for scooter, above
- Correct size
- Supportive cushioning/ optional extras or special requirements
- Electric power point for re-charging
- Ensure appropriate prescription by referral to a wheelchair clinic. Ask your O.T., Physio or other Health Care Professional
- Advice may be available from the Disabled Living Centre
If purchasing a wheelchair privately ask the firm to demonstrate the wheelchair in your home
- Prices and quality vary greatly, take time in deciding
- Consider: Automatic transmission
- Power steering Back supports
- Adaptations: enlarged keys, steering wheel, handbrake
- Wearing splints e.g. collar, wrist supports
- Inform the DVLC and your insurance company of your condition.
- Car badges issued under the Blue Badge Scheme enables parking near facilities. This is also valid for use in the EU and some American states will recognise it but check before travelling. See notes below
- Many large shopping centres have Shopmobility and National Trust Properties have wheelchairs and scooters for loan or hire.
Check before planning your trip to book a wheelchair or scooter in advance
- Short term loan of wheelchairs is available through the British Red Cross and St. John Ambulance
Further advice and help
- There are a number of Disabled Living Centres, check where in your area at /www.assist-uk.org or look in Yellow Pages.
- RADAR: The Disability Network:- www.radar.org.uk 12 City Forum, 250 City Road, London, EC1V 8AF.
Phone: 020 7250 3222; Minicom: 020 7250 4119;
- Mobility Advice and Vehicle Information Service (MAVIS),
Telephone (and minicom): 01344 661000, Fax: 01344 661066,
- Shopmobility http://www.shopmobilityuk.org
- Blue Badge Scheme: London has its own regulations and Blue Badge parking is very restricted.
- A useful book is the "London Blue Badge and Parking Guide" published by Collins PIE. See www.thepieguide.com
- "The Rough Guide" publishes TRG to accessible Britain in conjunction with Motability. It is usually free to those receiving High Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). www.accessibleguide.co.uk or call 0800 9537070 quote MO254
- Blue Badge enhanced GPS navigation www.bbnav.co.uk sat-nav covering Blue Badge Parking availability, local council parking rules etc.
- Blue Badge parking map www.bluebadge.direct.gov.uk online interactive UK map with Blue Badge parking access etc.