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Keeping your child safe at Halloween

Halloween can be a fun time for children and adults alike, however, children with disabilities can find it more difficult.

What do Blue Buckets at Halloween mean?

Halloween is an exciting time of year for many autistic children and adults, but it can also be difficult for people with autism who struggle with unexpected changes or for those who are sensitive to noise, light and touch.

Back in 2018, a mother posted an image on social media of a blue pumpkin with the message, “If you see someone who appears to be an adult dressed up to trick-or-treat this year carrying this blue bucket, he’s our son! His name is BJ & he is autistic. While he has the body of a 21-year-old, he loves Halloween,”

She added, “Please help us keep his spirit alive & happy. So, when you see the blue bucket share a piece of candy. Spread awareness! These precious people are not “too big” to trick or treat,”.

The post went viral, gaining a lot of attention and support from the autism community and beyond.

These Blue Trick or Treat buckets are a signal to householders that the person carrying it has autism and may not be able to communicate as well as other children. These buckets are available to purchase online from sites such as Amazon and from some high street shops.

While some disagree with the practice, stating it labels children, as with a lot of things, it’s a choice that should be decided on the individual’s unique situation.

Read more about how the Blue Bucket / Blue Pumpkin initiative began, along with some tips on how to be mindful of children and young people with Autism here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-50245606

As it’s the first celebration we have during the dark nights it’s a great time to get all the children together for a bit of a party, but like every other occasion there are some safety steps we need to keep in mind:

 

HALLOWEEN COSTUMES

Halloween costumes can be great fun and children love to dress up as witches and skeletons and all sorts of other characters.

When purchasing a costume for your child make sure it is flameproof and adheres to British Safety Standards. These safety symbols are usually displayed on the label.

Evenings can get chilly around the end of October with the average temperature falling to 9c so it’s always a good idea for youngsters to wear vests, tights or leggings under the costumes. It would also be wise to ensure children have warm footwear and jackets when playing outside. If your child is in a wheelchair a warm fleece blanket tucked around them will keep them snug and warm.

 

BONFIRES AND FIREWORKS

Keep children at a safe distance away from fireworks and always have a responsible adult light them. Don’t throw a firework into a bonfire and never go back to a firework that has failed to go off.

Keep a barrier between the child and a bonfire or fireworks and always supervise them.

Sparklers can reach temperatures as high as 2000C so children should be always supervised when holding one. A handy tip is to stick a sparkler into a carrot to make it safer and easier for small hands to hold. Remember to allow space and never wave a sparkler around too close to others.

If clothing catches fire, remember, Stop Drop and Roll. Cool any burns immediately under cold running water for at least ten minutes. If the burn is a large area get medical advice as soon as possible. If clothing has been burned don’t try to pull it away as it may be stuck to the burn if this is the case seek medical help.

PUMPKINS AND CANDLES

Pumpkins are great fun and carving the scariest or funniest one can lead to lots of hilarity, however, care must be taken when using sharp knives. Get the children to draw on the pumpkin, let a responsible adult cut out the image, and let the child help scoop out the insides.

Now you have your pumpkin beautifully carved, it’s time to illuminate the design and put it on display. To avoid any accidents, don’t allow your child to carry a pumpkin with a lighted candle. If you prefer not to use tealights or candles, battery-powered candles are a good alternative to a live flame inside.

 

TRICK OR TREAT

Absolutely great fun and excitement, and a much-anticipated activity for little people. A good suggestion would be to plan the route you wish to take, avoid dark areas (unlit by streetlights), and wear something reflective to ensure the child is seen by cars. Young children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult when going out trick or treating. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure they can see clearly through it.

Never enter a stranger’s home, respect people’s property, close gates and don’t walk on flower beds. Some people fear Halloween so don’t knock on doors that don’t have some sort of Halloween decoration outside.

ALWAYS check that the wrappers are sealed and have not been tampered with. Unfortunately, although it is a rare occurrence, sweets have been known to be replaced with something sinister. It’s always best to check the treats properly before letting a child eat them, especially if the child has allergies.

Although the list above seems to be quite comprehensive and we do almost all these things automatically, it’s no great harm to read through and remind ourselves to be on the safe side. As the excitement builds some simple safety precautions can often be overlooked.

Buy Rollators at The Disability Resource Centre, North Wales

How to choose a Rollator

What is a Rollator?

To put it in simple terms a rollator is a walking aid with a wheel at the end of each leg. There are three wheel and four wheel rollators available. Usually they come with a handy pouch for storage and the four wheeled rollators come with a seat.The three wheel model is perfect for indoors as its tidy and easily manoeuvrable around objects in the home such as doors and tricky areas like hallways. They can also be used outdoors.The four wheel rollator is perfect for outdoors - it is larger than the three wheeler and has a seat which is perfect for the user if they need to take a rest, they can also be used indoors. They fold up for easy storage in the boot of a car making trips out much more pleasurable.

How to Choose a Rollator

When purchasing a rollator there are many factors to take into consideration, such as should you get a three wheel or four wheel?  Where you are intending to use it, and will you need a seat? Your own weight and height.You may like to consider some of these points:
  • If you want it for indoor use, then the three wheel rollators would be the best option they are lighter and have a tighter turning radius.
  • Think about the size of your house as this may  have an impact on the width of your rollator if there are narrow spaces in your kitchen or bathroom then the three wheel rollator is the one to choose as they can be partially collapsed to fit through tight spaces.
  • Do you need a seat? All four wheel models have seats and are more stable. If it important you have a seat, then you need to go for a four wheel model think about the shape and material of the seat. Padded and contoured seats are far more comfortable than hard plastic seats.
  • Are you going to be out and about? Then the four wheel model is the one to choose they are wider than the three wheel model and sturdier for outdoor use.
  • All rollators are height adjustable ensuring the correct position for your height. Your  retailor should be able to adjust the rollator to the correct height for you.
  • When choosing a rollator look for both the weight capacity and the overall product weight. Be sure you are comfortably under the weight capacity of the product to ensure it will support you correctly (this applies to all mobility products). The overall product weight is important if you must lift it into a car or upstairs.
  • The weight of the rollator will depend on its construction as the steel frame variety are much heavier than the aluminium. As a rule, the steel framed rollator is cheaper than the aluminium model.
Once you are happy with the type you need then go to a reputable dealer who will go through the options for you as well as the safety measures i.e. brakes and wheels.
If you are a first time user then you will be amazed at the difference a rollator can make to your mobility and you will enjoy getting about more.

A small selection of our favourite Rollators:

Drive R8 Red Aluminium Rollator with Padded Seat and Vinyl Underseat Bag Angel Mobility LIGHTWEIGHT ROLLATOR FOLDING TRI WALKER WALKING FRAME ZIMMER 3 WHEEL WALKER (Red) Weighs only 4.2 kg Drive Black Nitro Wheel Rollator with Backrest, Seat and bag (Eligible for VAT relief in the UK) Homecraft Folding Three Wheeled Rollator, Tri Walker with Lockable Cable Brakes, Carry Bag, Basket and Tray, Walking Mobility Aid, Lightweight Foldable Steel Frame, Thick Tyres, Quartz Days Deluxe Lightweight Folding Four Wheel Rollator, Rollator, Easy Storage and Travel, Carry Bag, Mobility Aids, Adjustable Seat Height 55 cm
Keeping Warm in Winter. Advice from The Disability Resource Centre, North Wales

Some tips to help you keep warm this winter

Winter is almost upon us. Its going to be a bit different from normal winters with most of us staying at home as much as possible and with this in mind here are a few hints on how to stay warm indoors.

Get your boiler servicedIf possible before winter  have your boiler serviced to make sure it is fit for winter.  Use a reputable firm to do this for you, local trades people are often best and get a recommendation from a source you trust if you can.Wrap up warm and cosy There are some lovely warm socks and fleeces on the market which are nice and brightly coloured to bring a bit of cheer to your day.  It is also a good idea to have a blanket near to hand just in case you get cold while sitting watching tv.Keep at least one room warmKeep your main room between 18-21 degrees C and the rest of the house at least at 16 degrees C. If you cannot heat the whole house heat the living room during the day and the bedroom for a while before you go to bed and just before you get up in the morning.
  • Close the curtains as this helps enormously to keep in the heat.
  • In bed use an electric blanket or a hot water bottle. If it is a very cold night use more than one hot water bottle (you can of course use a hot water bottle when you are sitting in the living room).  Note: Do not use a hot water bottle and an electric blanket together as there may be danger of electrocution if the water from the bottle spills onto the blanket.
  • It may be a good idea to move your sofa or big pieces of furniture away from the radiator as this will allow the room to heat up quicker.
Look after yourself by eating well
  • Have regular hot drinks and food such as porridge, soups, and stews. Soups and stews are very convenient and can be made in batches and frozen in portions that are just right for you.
Keep active
  • Stay active, move around as much as possible - these days there are many keep fit programs you can find online which are fun to do.
  • If possible go out for a walk (remember to social distance) - it may be cold outside but you will soon warm up. To stay comfortable, wear layers you can take off as you warm up and make sure the shoes you are wearing are suitable for the terrain outside and are non-slip. If you are lucky enough to live in the country or by the sea there will be many pretty routes for you to take, if you live in town then just a walk to the shops to do some window shopping is also very good. A walk can help improve your mood as well as keep you fit.
There is something very comforting about being warm at home on cold nights reading, watching tv or just chatting so enjoy every moment if you can, and remember spring will soon be here.
Here are some of our favourite items that will help to keep you warm and toasty this winter:

HOT HANDS Foot Warmers 5 Pack


Seogva Oversized Sherpa Hoodie, Wearable Hoodie Sweatshirt Blanket, Super Soft Warm Comfortable Blanket Hoodie, One Size Fits All, Men, Women, Girls, Boys, Friends (Gray)
Heat Holders - Mens 2.3 TOG Winter Warm Thick Non Slip Low Cut Ankle Thermal Slipper Socks with Grips (6-11 uk, LC Black/Charcoal)
Alomejor1 Men Heated Vest USB Powered Heating Vest Warm Keeping Cotton Smart Heated Sleeveless Gilet 3 Heating Modes(6XL)
Heating Pad Electric Foot Warmer - Extra Large Size 20in x 32in Full-Body Use for Feet, Back, Shoulders Heat Therapy with Auto Shut Off for Pain, Cramps, Tension
See more items on Amazon:
Buy a riser recliner chair. Advice from The Disability Resource Centre, North Wales

How to choose the correct recliner chair

Buying a riser recliner chair is an investment so we have identified some steps to choosing the right chair.

  1. Make sure you have the space needed for your chair. A riser and recliner chair takes up more space than you would think, remember it will take up more space when fully reclined than when its in in the normal seating position.
  2. Select the best style chair for your comfort, make sure you are comfortable in your chair and that you can easily use the controls.
  3. Ensure your chair is correctly measured for you, when you go to buy your chair ask the retailor to measure you, so you get the correct size chair.
  4. Choose whether you need to adjust the backrest independently from the footrest this will determine whether you buy a single or twin motor chair.

 Single or Twin Motor?

  • A single motor riser recliner chair, as the name suggested, operates via just one motor. When the button is pressed, both the back and the footrest adjust at the same time. Single motor chairs are often cheaper than twin or dual motors, but you cannot adjust the backrest and the footrest independently of each other.
  • Twin motor chairs give you the ability to control the backrest and footrest independently of each other allowing a much more scope to get comfortable in your desired position. Dual motor riser recliner chairs are becoming more popular due to their versatility.

Style of Chair

There are two main styles of chair: The waterfall back and the button back.
  • The Waterfall Back is more versatile as you can unzip the cushions to adjust the filling for lumber and neck support on most, they are very comfortable and stylish looking.
  • Button Back is a more traditional design it is also very comfortable.
The type of chair you purchase will depend on your needs and taste. There are lots of colours to choose from so you should be able to find one to fit your décor, in most cases you can also purchase a standard armchair and sofa to match your riser recliner.
Whichever design you opt for we hope you enjoy a whole new seating comfort.

Here are some of our favourites:

Axbridge Dual motor electric riser and recliner mobility lift chair rise / lift and tilt with USB charging port
BTM Power Lift Chair Electric Riser Recliner for Elderly Leather Sofa Recliner Armchair Living Room Chair with Side Pocket and Cup Holders, Functional w/Remote Control, Black
Cavendish electric riser and recliner chair with drink holders - choice of colours (Cream) rise and recline
More4Homes POSTANA DUAL MOTOR ELECTRIC RISE RECLINER JUMBO CORD FABRIC ARMCHAIR ELECTRIC LIFT RISER CHAIR (Brown)
The Clayton Dual Motor Electric Rise and Recliner Mobility Chair with USB Charging Port in handset - Choice of Colours (Grey)

Abergele Mobility closes its doors

We are very sad to hear that recently another local mobility shop, Abergele Mobility has closed its doors for good. This comes as a shock and we are saddened by this news, it is a great shame. We have worked with Abergele mobility over the years with them sending work our way and vice versa. As a company their experience in providing a range of hire equipment, care aids and disability equipment for individuals came as a high priority to them and I’m sure they will be missed.We would like to reassure Abergele Mobility customers from Abergele and the surrounding areas of North Wales that we are here and happy to help.We offer free and impartial advice as well as free home demonstrations from trained professionals with no pressure to buy, we are just happy to help and advise. We hire out disability equipment to all local areas at competitive prices. We have a well-equipped showroom on the grounds of Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan.We are happy to offer our services where we can.For any other enquiries please get in touch 01745 341967 
Disability Resource Centre Wales - Wheelchair Safety in Winter

Staying Safe On Your Wheelchair This Winter

Wheelchair Safety Advice from The Disability Resource Centre:

Winter is coming so now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you can stay safe when using your wheelchair this winter.

Here are a few points you might like consider if you are going to be travelling in your wheelchair this winter.

1. Plan your journey

When going on a journey no matter how far it is important to stay safe in your wheelchair in winter so plan your journey ahead of time.Look at the weather predictions and available routes that you can travel. Choose where you want to go and figure out the safest method of reaching your destination when considering the weather reports.This way, whilst the weather might not look terrible outside at the time you depart (it has a habit of changing), you can ensure that you are prepared for as many sudden changes as possible.

2. Pay attention to your surroundings

As you know, during winter the ground may be flooded, it may be icy or covered in snow.Because of that, it is really important that you keep an eye out on your surroundings when you are travelling in your wheelchair. Obstacles like black ice can be hard to see, so bare this in mind when travelling.

3. Stock up

When you are out for the day and the weather has taken turned for the worse, it can be important to have some extra items with you. This can be helpful in the case of an emergency, as you won’t be stuck without the tools and items that you need.Make batteries sure they are fully charged. It is also a good idea to bring snacks and drinks with you as wellWe would also suggest that you pack enough medication so that you don’t have to worry about not having the right amount when you are out for the day.

4. Take some extra clothing

For example, take a waterproof capes or a wheelchair poncho to help to keep you comfortable and dry in bad weather.Wearing some leather wheelchair gloves can also be a really good idea if you are using a manual wheelchair. This is especially true when you consider the potential for a very strong chill.It may be of use to pack an extra jumper or coat.

5. Get your wheelchair serviced

It is a good to get your wheelchair serviced before the winter to make sure the batteries and brakes etc are working correctly.  Contact our Service & Repair department for more information   

Caregiving for an Alzheimer’s Patient: How to Prepare

About Alzheimer’s Disease:

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder, meaning it is characterized by the gradual death of brain cells. It is the most common type of dementia that generally affects seniors over the age of 65. Its most common symptoms are memory loss and cognitive decline. While research is being done, we are still not sure the exact cause of Alzheimer’s.FACTS & STATISTICS:
  • More than 850,000 Britons live with Alzheimer’s disease. One in fourteen people age 65 or older has Alzheimer’s. However, 1 in 20 cases of Alzheimer's’ occurs in patients between the ages of 40-65.
  • It is the leading cause of death for females in the UK and the second largest cause of death for males.
  • 5 million Britons are carers, providing care valued at £132 billion per year.
The facts are this: without caregivers, we would not be able to handle the aging epidemic that is Alzheimer’s disease.

Preparing to Be an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Alzheimer’s disease affects about 816,000 Britons, about 774,000 of which are 65 and older. It can be your grandparent, your cousin, your sibling or even your parent who faces the diagnosis. Eventually, those with Alzheimer’s require round-the-clock care, and for many families, that means taking the loved one into their own home.To prepare to become a caregiver, it’s important to make your home as comfortable and safe as possible for the person with Alzheimer’s. Every home is going to need different modifications depending on the family’s needs. If you are unsure about where to start, talk with your loved one’s doctor for advice and review.One of the biggest dangers you want to avoid is a slip and fall. It is the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related accidents in seniors. A fall can also lead to fatal injury-- every 20 seconds an older adult dies from a fall related injury.To prevent falls, make sure the walkways in your house are clear. Place ramps over stairs to make them easier and safer to navigate. Walkways should be level both outside and indoors. You may want to consider taking up any rugs that could prove to be a tripping hazard. Avoid low furniture like coffee tables and ottomans that can get in their way. When it comes to decor, the simpler you can make it, the better.Set up a bedroom for your loved one where they can have peace, quiet, and privacy. In the best case scenario, this bedroom is on the first floor and has a connecting bathroom. While this may not be possible depending on your home layout, it’s important the Alzheimer’s patient has easy access to a bathroom even if it not directly attached to their room. Install grab bars and a shower bench in their bathroom for safe and easy bathing.Finally, you want the house to be well lit. Keep lights on or accessible in their bedroom and consider putting in an auto switch that turns the lights on whenever they enter their bathroom. Use plug in lights to illuminate hallways or consider installing track lighting that keeps them visible.

***

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting millions of people. The disease robs people of the memory and makes it harder for them to function in day-to-day life. To help them, many family members and loved ones take in people with Alzheimer’s as unpaid caregivers. These caregivers work around the clock to provide a safe and comfortable environment where the patient can spend the rest of their days.
Disability Resource Centre Wales

Mental Health Foundation

The Mental Health Foundation is an influential charity which is recognised by families, communities, health professionals and policy makers.

The Mental Health website

Their web site is well organised and the Foundation’s online publications catalogue lists over two hundred and fifty reports, briefings and information booklets, most of which are freely available as downloadable .pdf documents.

The web site features an extensive news section including newsletters and more. Additionally, the site has a comprehensive help section covering everything from advice to a mental health A-Zpodcasts and videos, and practical advice on how to look after your mental health.

Find our more....

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