PARKING: I have a handicap license plate and also a placard for when I ride in the vehicle of someone else. If by chance you need one or the other of these, they are issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles and they expire just like your car license plates, you will need to get a doctors prescription and it will either be a permanent or a temporary permit. You would think that would take care of the parking issue, and I am here to tell you it is just the tip of the iceberg, and anyone that needs these parking places desperately can tell you that each of us have at least 10 really good stories; my favorite is when I was pulling into the handicap spot and a woman pulled right in front of me almost hitting me and jumped out of her car and ran into the store, when I met up with her in the store and mentioned to her what she had done, she said “I am in a hurry and it looks like you made it ok”; as I stood there in my walker; it was just a “bless her heart” moment. When I go shopping and out doing errands, I always allow enough time to handle any situations which may take longer, like finding a good place to park. Then I always have a book or a journal to occupy my extra time, if I have any, and of course there is always people watching.
TAKING A BATH/SHOWER: This can be rather intimidating, however, it is manageable, if you would feel more comfortable the first couple times and you live alone; have someone dmv handicap placard there when you take your bath/shower. I am going to cover the bath first as that is the method I use, as I cannot stand in the shower. I fill the tub with water and I like my tub full and I also suggest this as it will create a buoyancy for you, I sit on the edge of the tub and lift one leg in and then the other one; I also have a rubber mat on the bottom of the tub securely suctioned to the tub; then my soap dish has a bar and I use that and the side of the tub to lower myself in; now be sure your hands and side of the tub are dry, if it is not dry then use a wet (dry is to
slippery) wash cloth when you do this, then wash as usual, I always have everything I want/need around the tub so I do not have do without and/or try and reach it, have to get out again etc; then getting out, get out while the tub still has water in it, I do not pull the plug until I am ready to get out; put your bath towel on the side of the tub (I use a very large towel) and then I get up on my knees and but my bottom close to the edge of the tub and lift up with one hand on the tub (on the towel) and one hand on the soap dish bar, once your bottom is on the edge of the tub lift one leg at a time over the tub, now if your legs are weak and/or your hands/arms; take a wet wash cloth and place it on your leg first and then lift, turn around and you have made it. Congratulations!!!! SHOWERING, is a little different and I am not that great of an expert on this, but just use the tips I have given you here for the bath and apply them to the shower.
SHOPPING: I always shop in the malls and stores that have the electric carts, it makes shopping a pure pleasure and it is fun. If your favorite stores do not have the carts, get yourself a scooter and there is your freedom.
GARDENING – Once again this can be done, just differently, use a stool and find the stool/chair that works for you for your specific condition; get raised flower/vegetable beds; gather all of what you need to do the job in a bag (my family/friends call me the bag lady) and then you will only need to get up and down once. I sit on the ground because then I scoot and that works for me. I take care of my yard and I also have a fishpond and I clean the filter and maintain it, it can all be done, you just need to figure out a new way of doing things.
TAKING THE TRASH OUT – Ok, now this is a trick, and I still can not (dislike that word, but sometimes that is just the way it is) handle the big green recycle green waste bin but I have figured out the rest. The trashcan I have is smaller and on wheels and I roll it down the driveway a little at a time, and the recycling I put in paper bags with handles (as paper is recyclable) and then move that out bit by bit to my car and drive it out to the curb and unload it. I can not handle the plastic crates they give us for recycling; I put a large note on each bag “recycle” and so far they have always picked it up.