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Independent Living Journal cover...


Independent LivingVolume 23 No 4

  published in December 2007

Featured Articles

Made for Walking (guide to walking sticks)

Walking sticks have a long history with their use dating back to Biblical times.

Over the centuries the basic design has not changed nor their role to support the user when walking by providing a third or fourth 'leg'.

Walking sticks also assist with balance and to reduce strain on joints such as knees or hips during walking. There is a large variety of walking sticks available to suit many different needs and wide colour choice to suit your personality.

Splish Splash (children's showering equipment)

Bathtime for children should be a pleasurable experience for both the carer and the child.

When a child has a disability bathing and showering can be a source of frustration and concern especially the safety of the child and manual handling issues for the carer. The provision of the suitable assistive technology is a large part of the solution.

There is a variety of equipment offering different levels of support in the bath and shower so it is important to match the features of the equipment with the levels of support needed by the child and the carers.

Rough & Ready (All-terrain scooters)

The use of motorised scooters in rural and remote communties can offer an alternative mode of transport and increase community invovlement for the older person where long distances are a way of life.

There is an increasing use of motorised scooters for older people in suburban and larger regional areas. However on a recent trip to Mount Isa and the Gulf in Northern Queensland there were relatively few scooter users, compared to the high proportion of people over the age of 65 living in rural and remote communities. Reasons for this include harsh environmental conditions, inadequate product knowledge, lack of maintenance and repair services and limited understanding of the regulations regarding scooter use.

CAPOT, not kaput! (Talking Point)

Many readers will have seen the cartoon that depicts an accessible toilet at the top of a flight of stairs. And, no doubt, many will have seen real life examples of similar bizarre design. There is no point in providing an accessible facility if it cannot be accessed.

Conversely, there is little point in proceeding down the Universal Housing Design highway if residents become prisoners in their own homes because the public domain remains inaccessible. Older people, people with disabilities and parents with strollers who move freely around their own homes, still need a Continuous Accessible Path Of Travel to the mail box on the corner, to the bus stop, to the local doctor or to the local school.