Today, in the scheme of things, has been a good day. My pain levels are not too bad, I’m warm and cosy, listening to the rain outside and my mind is keen to get my thoughts out onto paper. So in that vein, (and rather facetiously I’m sorry 😆) this post has been inspired by thinking positively and trying to see the good side of life rather than focusing on the bad, so here goes………..
1. I can shop and shop all day – put me in a shopping mall and I’m away! I can just keep going and going, unlike my friends who have to keep stopping as their legs/feet/arms are hurting, poor things….
2. I get my friends in free to the theatre or the cinema – a CEA card (or in Wales a Hynt card as well) will give my accompanying caregiver a free companion ticket so usually there a queue of people wanting to be my carer for the night when there’s a good film on……
3. Designated areas at big events – usually (not always but hey, we’re being positive here!) in a big event, there’s a space reserved for wheelchair users. The Speedway GP at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff has big (one could almost say exclusive!) areas, close to the disabled toilets and more importantly, close to the bar which has a convenient lowered counter just for me!
4. No queues at concerts or airports – as a wheelchair user, you don’t need to queue for these events or places. There are always designated staff who will speed you through those pesky queues and straight through to where you need to be!
5. My Blue Badge allows me to park almost anywhere – I can use designated parking spaces for unlimited time or on double yellow lines for up to 3 hours(as long as I’m safely parked) I become very popular as the designated driver when it’s time to go out….
6. Good, spacious cabins on a cruise ship – whilst there’s not many of them and you need to be quick booking them, they are worth it as they are usually quite spacious and as my good friend Bridget said last time “that’s twice as big as mine!” I rest my case….
7. Council tax reduction – if you have a disability and require a room (like a bathroom, shower room or extra bedroom) or have made adaptations to your home to help you with that, your council should allow you a small reduction in your Council Tax. There are rules obviously and these vary but it’s well worth looking into and hey, every little helps eh? Get in touch with your local Council for details……
8. No VAT on mobility aids etc – if you need anything to help you with your disability, wheelchairs, toilets frames, grab handles, transfer boards (you get the gist) then you are entitled to VAT relief in those items. It normally involves signing a form but most good disability outlets will help you through the process!
9. Motability can help you get a car! – if you receive the higher level of the mobility aspect of PIP then you can use this benefit to get a Motability car. They also can help you with WAV’s (wheelchair accessible vehicles) vans and scooters.
Now it doesn’t work they way the haters think – that they just ‘give you a car’ (for goodness sake, I wish! 🤦♀️) – of course not but it is a very good way of getting the right vehicle for you. Each car has a different upfront payment and once you’ve chosen the right vehicle for you, you pay the upfront cost and then the car is yours for three years. Motability cover all the servicing, the tyres, insurance, recovery, everything. All you do is put fuel in and regain your independence. There are grants available to help you and you can also apply for grants for things like hoists or any other adaptations necessary. It is by far the safest way of getting on the road for any disabled person.
10. They can be great fun at entertaining children, nephews and nieces. My power chair can often be found winning races with my two young nieces and I’m very popular on shopping trips as I can carry all the shopping on my wheelchair’s handles!
Now obviously I’m being just a tad facetious here and obviously I do know that being a wheelchair user has many, many challenges, some of which can often seem insurmountable but just for today, and only for today, and seeing as we’ve just had Easter, the time to look forward to a new Spring, positivity was the way forward. 🌞🌼🐓🌼🌞
So a belated Happy Easter to you all and here’s to a wonderful Spring and Summer, May they bring you all nothing but happiness!
(Oh and not so much rain please? That just makes going out in my powerchair just a little bit tricky……😳)