Everyday life as an amputee can throw up all kinds of situations, we asked our amputees for some tips they use themselves:
- Rotating ferrules for crutches or sticks can really help you change direction and are safer especially in smaller spaces as you don’t need to lift the crutch off of the floor just to turn around.
- A pair of traction or anti slipcovers for your shoes can be great as the colder weather comes in. Be careful they don’t have metal tips though as they could slip in the dry.
- Keep your Prosthetic Centre Number in your Mobile phone contacts.
- A pair of trousers with zip off legs can allow you to change them into shorts easily when having your leg worked on.
- Home automation kits, like Amazon Echo and Hive, can help control devices around the house using your voice or phone, great for moments when you’re not as mobile.
- Handrails around the house are very helpful.
- Always carry a can of WD40 when travelling.
- If your prosthetic is rubbing, try rubbing olive oil on the area.
- Limbo Cast protectors can protect your prosthetic in the shower, great if you’re away from home and need to shower and have no chair.
- Wet wipes are great for a quick wipe down.
- A micro fibre towel is ideal to dry off your stump throughout the day, especially on holiday in the sun.
- To cut down excess sweating from your stump, Mitchum deodorant can help.
- If you’re an above the knee amputee, dress the leg first then step into it, it’s much easier!
- Keep Fairy liquid under the bed, handy if your prosthetic pin gets stuck and you have to slide out of your liner.
- Always carry a shoehorn. Handy for all types of shoes.
- Rubbing your limb can really help with pains, soreness and itching. Using a small rubber spiky massage ball really helps to get into the muscle and prevent cuts if your nails are long
- Gorilla tape (or very strong sellotape), useful to have in case you have to patch a liner or quick repair of something.
- Waterproof socks – save getting your prosthetic foot wet.
- Badminton racket handle tape – use this on your crutches handles, it makes them more comfortable to use.
- Elastic laces make getting your shoes on and off quicker.
- Small first aid bag with plasters, tape, gel etc – good to throw into a bag when you’re out and about.
- Zombie bag – this is a small bag which contains a spare liner, socks, medical stuff, first aid etc, handy to have one packed so you can grab it if you need to go somewhere quickly.
- If you want to try wearing ankle boots or wellies then put a plastic bag over your sock first, then slide your foot into the boot – helps when getting it back off.
- Having any moisturizers or creams that you use in small travel tubs/bottles can be good to take if you’re going out.
- Look at getting a JonHen cooling towel – once wet can go very cold quickly which is great for wrapping around a hot limb etc.
- If you use crutches to help get up to the toilet during the night then getting a small bike light and fastening it to the crutches can help you see where you’re going without turning on lights and waking everyone up.
Check out our Accessible Aids section here.
Ice and snow can be difficult to walk on for anyone, but even more dangerous for amputees, people with a limb absence and people with other physical disabilities. Have a look at some tips below for getting around in the winter.
- Keep up with the weather. Get a good weather app on your phone and plan your trips around that.
- Stay in if you can. This one may seem obvious, but if you don’t have to go out and about, then don’t! If you have somewhere you have to be, it might be an idea to ask a friend or family member to go along with you, or at least let them know where you’ll be.
- Plan ahead. If you use an electric chair, make sure it’s fully charged. Think about anything you might need and if you can take it with you.
- Consider extra support. Even if crutches or walking sticks aren’t part of your everyday life, now may be the time to use them until the weather improves.
- Get a grip. Your normal shoes may not cut it in certain conditions, so it’s a good idea to have a pair with an extra grip that you can rely on to reduce the chance of a slip. Or how about handy ‘Ice Grippers’ which attach to your shoes. There are lots of different ones available from various stockists so have a look for the ones that best suit you and check reviews etc. Here’s one pair as an example.
- Accessorise. There are plenty of additions for crutches, sticks, shoes and chairs out there that are designed to help in dangerous conditions.
- Be wary of all surfaces. Ice and frost can be deceiving, so be wary no matter how safe a surface might seem.
- Don’t shy away from support. Asking for help can be tough and we understand why a lot of people don’t do it, but if it’s the difference between a bad fall or becoming stranded, we really recommend it. It could be as simple as someone waiting around to make sure you don’t struggle with a certain area.
- Expect a fall and know how to deal with it. If you’re a prosthetic user, you need to know how to fall. If you haven’t ever been given this information for your situation, ask your physio or NHS medical professional to teach you. You’ll also be able to practice getting back up, but always ask for help if you need it. For more on falls please click here.
- Don’t discount your wheelchair. If you’re used to walking with prosthetics, going back to your wheelchair can be inconvenient, but it may just offer you the security you need for a few days. Chairs can, however, present their own host of issues in bad weather, so be cautious.