Being able to move around your own home is vital to maintaining an independent life. It not only reduces dependence on others but helps to maintain pride and self-confidence.
But for many people with disabilities it provides a serious challenge. For example any condition which affects your joints or muscles can slowly reduce your ability to move and fend for yourself. Fortunately there are a couple of ways to ensure that you remain mobile for as long as possible.
The first is exercise, mild to moderate strength training can help ward off and control muscle wasting in many cases, though for diseases such a muscular dystrophy the evidence is at best limited. Resistance training which uses rubber bands to provide continuous resistance throughout the movement has been shown to work well. In addition if combined with stretching exercises in the warm up and cool down period it can really help improve flexibility.
There are several sports designed for people with disabilities. You don’t need to be a paralympian to play them either. Disabled sports clubs not only help with fitness, but can also give you the chance to meet like-minded people and offer a boost to your self-confidence. The sports available range from wheelchair racing to Tai Chi. No matter which sport you choose they are great way to supplement your social life and improve your fitness.
The other thing to consider are mobility aids. Wheelchairs, scooters and stair lifts for the disabled are all eligible for grants. There are several organizations dedicated to helping to provide for remodeling houses to make them easier to mover around in. For example in the US there is the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs that can help you buy mobility aids. In the UK Disabled Facilities Grants are designed to help poorer people add modifications to their houses to keep them out of care homes.
Daniel Frank is a blogger from the UK who writes regularly on subjects related to sport and disability. Currently working on behalf of a stair lift manufacturer that specializes supplying people with mobility aids like a disabled stair lift.