Visiting the Library – Independently

Seniors and others suffering from arthritis often find themselves housebound. If they are fortunate enough, they may have a good network of relatives or caregivers available to shuttle them to shops, restaurants, and doctor’s appointments.

Shuttle vans are great, but whatever happened to good old independence? Many persons with arthritis may wonder if that flew out the window when arthritis came along. We will illustrate how it is not only possible for persons with arthritis to be mobile and independent, but how this can help enrich their lives. This is best shown by a trip to the local library–independently.

Many Ways to Be Mobile

Mobility, of course, is all relative. To the bed-ridden, mobility can mean simply the ability to get out of bed and use the facilities by oneself. For others, mobility can mean being lucky enough to be able to use a cane, wheelchair, or walker.

For some, getting up is the hard part. This is best accomplished by the use of various helpful bars, handles, and lifts that allow comfortable transition off of beds, sofas, and chairs.

After bathing and dressing, it’s time to hit the road and go to the library!

How Do You Carry Books With a Walker?

Or a cane or wheelchair? That’s the trick. Any arthritic person who has tried to balance books or groceries in one hand, while manipulating a wheelchair or cane with the other hand, can attest to the difficulty of this.

Luckily, the manufacturers of assistive arthritic devices have really put out some neat pouches, carts, and carry-alls:

  • Are you fairly mobile on your own? Lightweight, folding shopping carts are available to carry your books and some groceries, too.
  • Use a walker? There are a surprisingly large number of baskets and pouches to help users of walkers carry small items.
  • For wheelchair users, extra-big backpacks which attach to the back of the chair help carry items. (And by the way–don’t you hate those cold plastic arms on wheelchairs? Try some easy-to-slip-on fleece arm covers!)
  • A combo walker/scooter person? You’ve covered, too, with a slick holder for your scooter–to carry your walker. Easy to put in, easy to take out.

Other Great Gadgets for Going Out!

Besides carriers, you might need a few other items that make going out even easier. Ever noticed how those super-grippy walker tips are great for slippery floors–but they snag on carpeting? Easy glide tips pop right on and let you slide the walker across carpeted surfaces (and don’t all libraries seem to have carpeting?). Anticipate coming home late? Well, after a long evening, it’s a snap to find your way home with a set of three bright-white LED lights made especially to attach to walkers.

So, stay out until the cows come home!