Working in the Independent Living and Mobility Sector here at Helping Hands for many years, all too often, we hear so many comments regarding the negative attitudes and behaviour towards disability.

Research into this is staggering. Prejudice, intolerance and ignorance being the biggest challenges. By creating greater awareness and better understanding of disability we can reduce the stigma and discrimination that is felt by so many disabled people.

All too often, people only recognise disabilities if they are visible and yet, this is so often not the case. Invisible disabilities are all too common and are sadly misjudged as being normal!

Attitudes really do need to change if disabled people have any chance of equality and feeling like they are part of society.

The last 20 years have seen important legislative changes looking at tackling discrimination and despite these changes, negativity still exists. There is so much more that can be done to change attitudes and build confidence. Education, creating a barrier free environment, support and raising living standards is just the beginning.

As a society, if we all made that bit more of an effort to understand, what a difference we could make.

Positive attitudes really can make the world of difference!


                                     - MOBILITY -    


Mobility issues can affect anyone, at any age, but the elderly are at a greater risk of becoming immobile due to an increased risk of falls, balance problems and stiff and painful joints. All of these have a great impact on their level of activity and independence.

There are lots of healthcare professionals and services who can help, by providing the best way to cope with any mobility issues. For example: GP's, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists to name just a few.


At Helping Hands, we can provide a wide range of useful mobility solutions so you can maintain your independence. A few examples of these are, WALKING STICKSSUPPORT BRACESGRAB RAILSPRACTICAL AIDS and many more practical aids.

To find out more about what we can provide, please contact a member of our team by either popping along to our shop in Dawlish or via our website.


For more information on Mobility issues, click on this link www.patient.co.uk  and enter mobility blog in their search box.

                      - MINIMISING FALLS -  


Falls are a major cause of injury especially for the older person.

A fall can cause:

  • Hip and wrist fractures
  • Hip and shoulder dislocation
  • Head injuries and abrasions
  • Bruising and sprains
  • Fear of falling that can result in loss of confidence and restriction of activities

Contrary to popular belief, falls are not inevitable and many older people can be prevented from falling with a few simple changes:

  • Exercise - Improves balance, strength and flexibility
  • Footwear - Comfortable and well fitting - proper width, low or no heel and slip-resistant soles

Improving safety indoors and outdoors by doing simple checks, for example:

  • Decluttering walkways and corridors
  • Have adequate lighting
  • Check mats, rugs and carpets are secure and not worn
  • Install GRAB RAILS around the home especially the bathroom
  • Check that chairs and beds are sturdy and easy to get into and out of
  • Make sure steps (inside and outside) are well lit


At Helping Hands we can provide a wide range of PRACTICAL AIDS to maintain your independence. If you are looking for something specific then please contact a member of our team who will be happy to help.


For more help and advice on minimising falls, check out the following website:




and enter, minimising falls in the search box.



Wheelchairs can be used by anyone who is unable to get around by foot, whether it is through a medical condition, injury or the elderly. Wheelchairs are a great way to maintain independence.

Depending on the needs of the wheelchair user, it is a good idea to know the type of wheelchair they will need, what features it should have and how to use it safely.

The following points are a guide to help you when considering using or buying a wheelchair.

The wheelchair should:

  • Not be too wide as it can cause bad posture
  • Not be too narrow as it can cause skin breakdown from rubbing against the frame of the chair
  • At the most, the user should have a 1 inch clearance on each side of the chair
  • When sitting in the chair, the weight of the user must ALWAYS be taken into account. Weight should be equally distributed and the body and limbs should be balanced. 
  • Have 2-3 inches between the front of the seat and the knee joint as this helps with proper weight ditribution and prevents cutting off circulation to the legs, or pressing on nerves to the legs and feet
  • Leg rests should clear the floor by 2 inches

Options when looking at wheelchairs are:

  • A wide or narrow wheelchair - For space that is minimal when using and storing a wheelchair
  • Lightweight or heavy duty wheelchairs - For easy manoevering by user or person who will be pushing the wheelchair
  • Wheelchair accessories - Arm-rests, lap boards, trays or weather proof covers, etc


For more help and advice on buying a wheelchair please pop in to our High Street shop or click on our MOBILITY EQUIPMENT HIRE page on our website.


The following link may also be of help to you when considering buying/using a wheelchair:


www.about.com - and enter Wheelchairs in the search box.




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