Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Hooked on Home Decor : Tips for Wheelchair Users
For folks who have been in wheelchairs for years, none of this is probably news, but if you're a new wheelchair user, why re-invent the wheel? I'd like to share some simple tips here that might help out.
Over the years, my aide has come up with some great decor tips that combine practical, inexpensive solutions for me to reach things along with an open and appealing look in my place. One of the best devices she's used is, quite simply, a hook.
You can buy single or double hooks, a series of hooks on boards , double hooks (small and big combined). You can get all kinds of looks from chrome to wood to themed hooks with decorations like ivy, horses, etc. Basically you can spend as little or as much as you want and match any style with hooks.
My aide, Meredith Gould, (who is also the author of numerous books, once of which is Tips for Your Home Office ) first used hooks near where I sit in my living room area. We put headphones, my head pointer, a dressing stick and reacher on those hooks. These are items I use in that area and it saves me from hunting around for them. I also have more independence with them right at hand.
Yesterday she replaced a single hook in the hallway with a board of ten hooks, five up, five down. Another reacher, a few jackets, a backpack and my only quad expensive reacher are on there for easy access in the center of my place or on the way out. I really like this board of hooks since it offers a lot of different "hanging angles" and I can place things on there in a way that's easier to grasp with very little dexterity.
We also have used hooks on the frig door (although they didn't work out too well for me), and in the kitchen for more reachers, towels, and eating utensils.
Hooks get rid of clutter that gathers on the floor making it non-accessible and a wheelchair hazard. They clear up space in drawers, closets and counters. Because they are easily moved, hooks are a great way to increase your independence, add to your decor and give your place a new look.
Another tip: Hang up surge protectors with multiple plugs on the wall for easier access to switch cords in/out. This reduces the likelihood of dust getting into them as well as accidentally rolling into their edges or the cords attached if they are loose on the floor .
Martha Stewart would be proud!
[visual description: A photo of a double chrome hook is shown. There are four hooks, two up and two down.]