Mercury Shopping Mail Romford

For one week only we was based in the heart of Romford within  the Mercury Shopping Mail, showing off a small selection of mobility equipment which included a couple of mobility scooters, a portable powerchair and a few wheelchairs for people to come along and try to see how easy they are to use.

We was also letting people know about the Motability scheme which allows people to exchange some or all of their higher rate mobility alliance in leasing a mobility scooter or power chairs.

Stairlift Bexleyheath

Another Straight Stanner stairlift installed but 1st Step Mobility, this time within Bexleyheath.  This straight stairlift was installed in less than half a day ensuring minimum mess and disturbance to the household. If you would like to book your free home assessment or if you do have any questions then please call your local 1st Step  Mobility shop on 0208 304 1992

 

Stairlift Rental – Havering-Atte-Bower

Did you know that 1st Step Mobility also rent out straight stairlifts from only £40 a month. This customer in Havering-Atte-Bower took advantage of this offer with an installation fee of £350 the stairlift can often be installed the next working day. Why not take advantage of our free home assessment by calling your local 1st Step Mobility shop a call today!

How Can I Get A Blue Badge?

A blue badge symbol painted onto a car parking space

At our mobility shop in Hackney, we’ve had many conversations with our clients about their struggles to get out and about. As well as providing mobility equipment to help our customers get around, we’re always happy to offer advice about anything mobility-related. If you struggle with walking or other mobility problems, then you might be entitled to a Blue Badge. Here’s how you can get one.

 

How to apply for a Blue Badge?

The Blue Badge scheme is administered by your local authority / council, and you should contact them directly for information about the scheme and to get their application form.

Or, you can apply online on the gov.uk website.

It’s worth knowing that councils can charge for a Blue Badge, but the most you can be charge is £10.

You can’t use an expired badge, so it’s important to apply for a new one as early as possible. Your council will let you know when your badge needs to be renewed.

 

Who can get a Blue Badge?

You’ll automatically qualify for a Blue Badge if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are registered as blind (severely sight impaired).
  • You receive the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA). This has now been replaced with Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and you’ll be eligible for a Blue Badge if you have been awarded 8 or more points in the ‘moving around’ activity of PIP.
  • You receive a War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement.
  • You have received a lump sum payment as part of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme (tariffs 1 – 8 ) and have been certified as having a permanent or substantial disability.

If you’re applying for a badge and you meet any of these criteria you will automatically quality, if you have the correct documentation to support your claim. Which brings us onto our next point…

 

What documents will you need?

You’ll need the following documents to support your application. Make sure you have:

  • Your National Insurance number (or child reference number if you’re applying on behalf of a child).
  • Your driving licence, if you hold one.
  • The number, expiry date and local council on your current Blue Badge, if you hold one.
  • Your original decision letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (if you automatically qualify for a Blue Badge).
  • Proof of ID. A passport, driving license, or birth or marriage certificate will do just fine!
  • Proof of address. A Council Tax bill or utility bill dated in the last 3 months are both acceptable.
  • A photograph of the person the badge is for.

 

It’s important to make sure you send photocopies of your documents instead of the originals. If your application was lost in the post, your original documents would be gone too!

 

If you’re looking for mobility equipment in Essex, London, Kent or Hertfordshire, then why not pay a visit to our mobility shop in Hackney. Whether you’re looking for mobility equipment, or just a helping hand to give you some advice, we’d be happy to help. Visit our online store or contact us to get in touch!

Maintaining Good Posture in a Wheelchair

An elderly man hunched over and holding his back

As trusted wheelchair suppliers, 1st Step Mobility see first hand the struggles of many disabled people and wheelchair users, which may go unnoticed by those who don’t directly see it. For instance, people do not give much thought to posture for wheelchair users, but it’s an important thing to think about!

 

For wheelchair users, good posture helps relieve pressure on vulnerable areas like the spine, neck, and thighs, which in turn can help improve mobility and decrease the risk of long term health complications. Of course, “good posture” varies from person to person, and those with spinal problems will often be unable to sit in ways conventionally thought to be “good posture”. Thus, the ideal posture for individuals needs to be built around their condition and abilities, with an ultimate goal of ensuring comfort and stability whilst minimising strain.

 

Sitting correctly will allow users to propel their wheelchair effectively and efficiently in a way that reduces the risk of repetitive strain injuries in the shoulder, joint problems, and pressure sores. Users who are slouched in their chair or who slide around in them will have a harder time propelling themselves, and may even cause themselves pain or injury in the process.

 

So how can this be achieved? A good place to start is the seat, which needs to be stable and evenly distribute weight. Harnesses and cushions can be used to provide personalised and optimal support.

 

Footrests must be positioned correctly to give user a functional angle for the knees and ankles to rest at. This is generally thought to be around 90 degrees, but this cannot always be practically implemented. The angle used instead needs to be sure to not disrupt the hips or create too much pressure on the buttocks and thighs.

 

Backrests also play an important role when it comes to posture, and a wide range are available depending on individual needs – some more active users may prefer smaller backrests that allow for greater mobility, whilst others may require more support for their spine. Like the rest of the wheelchair, the type of backrest that is best depends on the user’s needs, comfort, and preferred function. Armrests are also vital to posture and for allowing a user to rest both their arm and neck muscles. There is much less variance here and most users will have their elbows supported at a 90 degree angle.

 

Looking for trusted wheelchair suppliers in London, Kent, or Essex? 1st step Mobility can help you find your ideal wheelchair for an affordable price whilst providing 1st class service. Visit our store today, browse our wares online, or contact us for more information today.

Which Mobility Aid Do I Need?

An elderly lady holding on to a man and woman for support.

It’s time to talk about how to choose the right mobility aid for you. When it comes to mobility equipment in Essex, there are many options and most aids can be modified to suit your needs. Here’s a few pointers to help you decide which mobility aid is the best for you.

 

Walking aids

1st Step Mobility offer an abundance of walking aids, such as walking frames and shopping rollators. These kind of mobility aids are usually used if you need a little bit of extra support and stability whilst walking – something to ease the strain on muscles and joints. Walking aids are a great choice if you’re looking to stay active!

 

Wheelchairs and mobility scooters

For those who aren’t able to walk long distances, there’s also wheeled alternatives – otherwise known as wheelchairs! A manual wheelchair allows you to be mobile and active by moving your arms to push the wheelchair forwards.

There’s also a power wheelchair, which is an electric chair powered by you. Nowadays, there are so many ways power chairs can be adapted to suit people’s needs – some people can even drive a wheelchair powered through your voice or eyes!

If you don’t think you can use a manual chair, but don’t think you need a power wheelchair, we also offer mobility scooters as another alternative.

 

Personal care aids

When it comes to personal care equipment, there’s more choice than ever! If it’s getting in and out of the bath that you struggle with, then investing in a slatted bath board might be beneficial to you. Or if it’s access to the car that you need some help with, a revolving car seat or handybar will make getting in and out of the car easy and comfortable!

Are you searching for mobility equipment in Essex? Do you need some help deciding which mobility aid would be best for you? If you’re looking for mobility to aids to help make your life easier, then why not pay us a visit to one of our showrooms in London, Kent, Hertfordshire and Essex. Visit our online store or contact us if you want to speak to our friendly team.

Alber Viaplus Power Assist

Are you after a power pack to help propel you REA wheelchair then this Alber Viaplus is the answer. This powerful power pack can be easily fitted onto your REA Clematic or Rea Azalea and will help in assisting in pushing the wheelchair, the speed and direction can easily be controlled via the handles mounted onto the push handle of the the wheelchair.

For more information or to how one works then please give us a call on 01708 746644.

 

How To Deal With An Invisible Disability

A woman laying in bed with a hot water bottle and a blanket.

As a trusted mobility shop in Hackney, 1st Step Mobility understand that there are many reasons that someone might be in need of our equipment, and sometimes these reasons aren’t always visible. We often meet people with illnesses such as Lupus and Fibromyalgia who are often in need of mobility equipment to help with their day-to-day transportation. Mobility equipment helps with daily life, but here are some extra tips on how to deal with an invisible disability.

 

Supportive friends and family

Friends and family who are there to support, encourage and listen to you can play a big part in helping people to cope with an invisible illness. You might ask family members to help you with tasks around the home to help you conserve your energy, whilst a friend can support you by simply coming round for a chat or a being a shoulder to cry on.

Illness can often help us to easily prioritise our friendships so we can spend our energy on those who matter. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family for support, after all that’s what they’re there for!

 

Encourage others going through something similar

Who better to offer advice than someone who has gone through exactly the same thing? You personally know how difficult it can be some days to live with an invisible disability, so why not take some time to help someone vulnerable going through a similar situation.

Whether you meet someone through an online group, a local support group, or a friend of the family, volunteering some of your time and expertise (you are an expert on living with an invisible disability after all!) will make a big difference to both of your lives.

 

Know your limits

When it comes to invisible disabilities, the expectations of work, the world, and even yourself can become frustrating when you’re unable to do as much as you’d like. It is not uncommon for people to be confused when your hidden illness means you need to cancel or change plans at the last second.

It’s important to know your limits and set boundaries to conserve your energy. There’s no need to conform to the pressure and expectations of others.

 

Are you suffering from an invisible disability? If you’re looking for mobility equipment in London, Kent, Hertfordshire or Essex then why not pay a visit to our mobility shop in Hackney. Visit our store, browse our products online, or contact us for information today.

 

Securing Your Mobility Scooter

It’s unfortunate that even criminals would stoop so low as to steal a vital piece of equipment, but mobility scooters in London do get stolen, with a number of cases populating the news as of late, featuring both the theft of the full vehicle, as well as expensive components being ripped out, such as the battery. As the news stories show, the most determined of thieves cannot always be stopped, but there are definitely precautions you can take to reduce the likelihood of opportunistic thefts occurring.

 

Secure Your Scooter

When at home, you’ll ideally want to keep your mobility scooter inside your home, or inside a secure garage, but this isn’t always on option for everyone. In the case that you have to leave your scooter outside, ensure that it is properly secured with some kind of padlock – chains, D-locks, immobilisers and wheel clamps can all work, though which is most practical to use will differ from person to person.

 

Stay Alert

Some people may forget to remove their ignition keys or lock up their scooter when out and about on their scooter if they plan on “quickly popping into a shop”. This is all well and good, but that short time is sometimes all a thief needs! It may be hard to imagine someone walking (or riding!) or with your scooter in broad daylight, but these things do happen – stay vigilant! If you routinely make the same journey, you may want to alter your route, or park in different areas, as those with an easily recognisable routine can quickly become targets!

 

Mark Your Scooter

It is possible to purchase scooter alarms to use as a deterrent, and scooter trackers that can actually track the location your cotter gets taken to if it’s stolen. It is also possible to get your mobility scooter “tagged” in a similar manner to push bikes, which makes it easier for police to return your scooter to if it’s recovered in the event of it being stolen.
 

1st Step Mobility supply a wide range of mobility scooters in London, Kent, and Essex. Feel free to visit our showrooms directly, or browse our selection online – you can also contact us with any questions by phone or by emailing us at info@1ststepmobility.com.

How Much Do You Know About Lupus?

An elderly person holding onto a walking frame.

As a supplier of quality mobility equipment in Essex, the team at 1st Step Mobility know that there can be any number of reasons that someone might be in need of our equipment, and sometimes these reasons may not always be obvious at first (or even second) glance. With May marking Lupus Awareness Month in the US (and #WorldLupusDay scheduled for 10th May), now seemed a good a time as any to shine a light on what can be an invisible ailment that can adversely affect mobility.

 

Lupus manifests as a myriad of symptoms which are often attributed to other causes and ailments, which can lead to an average delay in proper diagnosis of Lupus of 6 years! Lupus affects the immune system, meaning many areas of the body can become inflamed due to an excess of antibodies being released unnecessarily. Symptoms include facial rashes, sensitivity to sunlight, joint pain, fatigue, hair loss, and more. These symptoms have to be managed by the patient as there is no known cure. It is not an infectious disease, and is instead thought to be triggered by certain events like viral infections and drastic hormone changes, such as during puberty, childbirth, and menopause. As such, women are more likely to suffer from Lupus than men.

 

Lupus can weigh quite heavily on a sufferer’s quality of life, and can be life threatening if vital organs are affected, which can be difficult to predict. People with Lupus can manage the disease by eating a healthy diet, taking medication, monitoring their sunlight exposure, finding the right balance between exercise and rest, and not smoking. Joining support groups or using home nursing equipment or appropriate mobility aids can also help various individuals with Lupus, especially if they suffer heavily with joint pain and fatigue.

 

You can find out more about the disease as well as what you can do to help raise awareness by visiting the Lupus UK website.

 

1st Step Mobility are a supplier of reliable nursing and mobility equipment in Essex (01708 746 644), London (0208 551 7260), and Kent (01322 339 992). Call us today or send us an email at info@1ststepmobility.com with any questions you may have about our products or services.