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Independent Living Journal cover...


Independent LivingVolume 23 No 2

  published in June 2007

Featured Articles

Down and Dirty (gardening for everyone)

The effort required to maintain a garden can be reduced by incorporating energy saving techniques, appropriate equipment, and good design principles.

Gardening provides much pleasure and enjoyment when done safely. Health benefits include physical and mental activity, providing a leisure interest, relaxation, and improved self esteem. The ability to garden may be limited by not being able to bend, kneel, reach, or lift. This can be quite frustrating for avid gardeners.

Gardening requires strength, co-ordination, flexibility, balance and endurance. Selecting the appropriate tools may seem daunting due to the wide variety of tools available. It involves assessing level of ability, considering the task to be undertaken and reviewing specific tool features. With some careful planning and selecting the most suitable tools, gardening can be made easier and safer.

Off the Wall (fixed shower seats)

Wall mounted shower seats offer safety, stability and convenience.

Personal care and hygiene tasks are an essential part of every day living. The bathroom is, therefore, one of the most important rooms in the home and sometimes one of the most hazardous. A well designed bathroom with the right fixtures and fittings makes personal care easier and safer for the individual. A wall mounted shower seat is one such fixture.

Free standing shower seats and stools are usually considered easier to set up than a wall mounted shower seat because of the perceived difficulty in fixing wall mounted models to the shower wall. A wall mounted shower seat does, however, require a method of fixing and sufficient strength in the wall construction to take the weight of an adult. Wheelchair users, in particular, exert a greater force on the seat and fittings as they transfer from a wheelchair.

For these reasons, all manufacturers recommend installation by a qualified tradesperson. The weight of the load that the seat can take is known as the load capacity and should be suited to the user or users.

Back on Track (products for problem backs)

The frustrations of living with a back injury can be reduced with assistive devices, techniques and correct lifting principles.

When diagnosed with a lower back injury the advice is usually to avoid unnecessary daily tasks. This becomes more of a challenge as the injury extends into weeks or months, and the need and desire to be independent and resume everyday tasks increases. Bending, reaching, twisting and carrying heavy objects should be avoided and there are products available to minimise these actions.

This article shows a range of assistive products to be used in daily tasks for people with problem backs.