Whether you have needed to use various mobility aids for most of your life or have only recently started using them, you will usually be able to get yourself into a routine and have things arranged in and around your home so that you have a situation that works for you.
Having your rooms laid out in a way that helps you to get around a bit better without obstruction, knowing where you can find your various mobility aids quickly and easily and having some sort of a system that you understand can make your daily living easier.
When you go out shopping and to other public places there is often at least minimal effort that has been put into place, whether it’s an access ramp, offered assistance, wider entrances and aisles, disabled toilets or parking or something else, it all helps and shows that some thought has been put into the various facilities.
While there cant be a perfect day everyday where everything you need is there for you and nothing or nobody gets in your way, it’s still nice to see some of the above mentioned conveniences in place if you need them.
This is all provided without the people who run those places knowing you personally, by law some facilities need to be in place, in other situations it’s about courtesy and other people understanding that if they want the general public to be able to access something then they need to make sure that it is as accessible as possible and that it’s made even easier for a person with mobility needs.
But what about the people that you actually know, your family and friends, these are people that will know of your mobility needs already, some will have more of an interest and an understanding than others and some you may only see every once in a while but the fact is that they know of your mobility needs.
So knowing that, how well do the people in your life accommodate your mobility needs?
It may just be the simplest of things that can go a long way to helping you, for example if you go over to visit a relative at their own home and they have young children that may leave toys and other items out on the floor, will the adults within that home make sure that they have cleared the floor of obstruction enough for you before you arrive, or at least as you arrive?
Or maybe some relatives may see the situation as you’re in their home now, with their rules in place and they may in fact not even attempt to make anything easier for you if you go over to visit.
Even something like arriving at a friends or a relatives house where they may have a car or two parked on their driveway, this is something that might not cause much of a problem to people without mobility needs or with a wide drive but if the space is narrow, it may make it more difficult for you to get past and to reach the front door if you’re using a walking frame, or a mobility scooter or wheelchair.
It’s small adjustments, small considerations and forethought by the people that you know that although it may be hardly any effort required on their behalf, it will make a significant difference to you.
You could be going to see someone who lives in a block of high rise flats, and there will be a lift there so no concerns about reaching their floor but as an extra bit of assistance for you it would be even better if the person who you are going to see is waiting for you at the entrance of the block of flats as you arrive.
Even if you have arrived with someone, to have the person who you are going to see actually be there to let you into the block can save you from the messing around of intercom systems not working, and doors that are not always easy to pull open and to keep open as you enter the block.
These are just some examples and there are many more situations both as you try to access the homes of relatives and friends and as you try to get about in their homes and gardens.
It can be easy for a person without disabilities to forget or simply not think about how the slightest thing can make the difference between you being able to move past something easily or not at all.
It wont necessarily be the case that they don’t care if you end up struggling, it is more often that because they dont have to worry how they will manage with certain situations that they simply don’t realise how difficult the simplest of situations may be for some people with mobility needs.
Some family and friends will go out of their way for you, while some will occasionally forget and not realise the difference that their consideration makes and others might not do much at all to understand or to accommodate your mobility needs.
What have you found regarding your family and friends when it comes to your mobility needs?