Living Life In A Wheelchair

October 2018 Newsletter Edition

I am continuing to sort through my life, goals and how to best manage my physical needs. I am starting to think I need to finish getting my personal affairs in good order. Otherwise I don't think I will be as effective as possible in investing my life in others. I don't want my own challenges to hold me back in pursuing my goals. Ultimately I am working towards systems for managing my physical disability, my chronic pain and getting my day to day life under control.

I've been thinking through how to keep my floors clean. My wheelchair tracks sand, grit and dirt into my home. It is really hard for me to keep on top of this. I care about my home. I want it nice. I am at the point where I can't keep this up myself. I've purchased a high end robot vacuum to clean the floors for me. It is just too much for me to do each day. I don't have the endurance in my hips and knees to perform this. This is a lot of money up front. Otherwise I am at the point of hiring someone to do this each day. Long term the robot vacuum is a sound financial investment. I've discovered the consumables (filter and various brushes) may be ordered online from Asian countries for a fraction of the cost of buying here in Canada. I am really hoping this is a sound strategy for moving forward in my life.

I've been attending a seated exercise program. This is a different form of physiotherapy that hasn't been tried with me yet. I am not expecting this to lead to a recovery. What I am hoping to accomplish is better balance, stronger hip and knee joints with less pain and a slower rate of decline. It is worth trying to see how this goes for me. The idea is to do the exercises in a group setting once a week and then continue at home. I think the hope is the group setting is enough to keep a person encouraged to continue on their own. I've come to appreciate the group discussions after the exercise.

The county where I live has a winter housing subsidy. The goal of this program is to prevent homelessness for low income households. Specifically the design of this program is to offset the increased costs of heating during the winter months. Since I was approved last year I am on their mailing list. I've submitted an application for the coming winter subsidy. I will find out in the end of December or start of January if I am approved. Unfortunately the need far outweighs the available funds. The most needy receive the help. When I see budgets for social assistance programs being slashed it is wonderful seeing the county reaching out to those who are most at risk.

My home has required some routine maintenance. My smoke detectors reached the end of their useful service life. I replaced each of them with combination smoke detector - carbon monoxide detector units. The replacement units have a 10 year service life. When I translate this into my budget it means designating $1 a month per unit so I have the funds available to replace all 4 when their new 10 year service life has been reached.