Adaptive Fashion

Time and time again, I’ve heard and seen the struggles with practical and fashion forward clothing for wheelchair users. The daily struggle to squeeze and pull and wiggle into tight clothing that often bunches in all the wrong spots is a challenge. Wouldn’t it be easier and more comfortable if fashion didn’t stray from “parachute pants” and over-sized hoodies from the GAP?

Izzy Camilleri is a Toronto based fashion designer who’s designed clothes for many famous stars such as Mark Wahlberg, Angelina Jolie, David Bowie, Jennifer Lopez, Daniel Radcliffe and Meryl Streep. Her gorgeous collections have featured in fashion magazines like Vogue and InStyle. After being asked to design a cape for a wheelchair user back in 2004, she has created a whole line of clothing that promises style and comfort for a seated body as apposed to a standing body.

IZ Adaptive Clothing Design features include:

– Pants cut to not ride down at the back, no bunching or digging into the stomach
– Waist band has hidden elastic at the back to provide all day comfort
– No back pockets and flattened seams
– Long coats are in an L-shape, longer in the front and shorter in the back
– Leather coats with two zippers, front and back
– Wrap skirts
– Open back pants which can be put on completely while seated for quick changes

My favourite piece is the Leather Jacket which zips from both the front and the back. I’ve personally tried putting a leather jacket on someone in a wheelchair  and let me tell you… it’s not easy!

See the website for more fashion. http://www.izadaptive.com/

Have you found a good clothing line which caters to those seated? Please comment below as we’d love to share your finds with others!

Michelle Wolfe

Rollators

rollator

For many of us, walking seems easy and is something to which we don’t give a second thought.  For a large portion of the population, however, walking is challenging enough that assistance is needed. Approximately 25% of Canadian seniors require a walking aid (canes, scooters, walkers). Gait aids help reduce the risk of falling, improve stability during walking, and help normalize walking patterns.

For those requiring a walker, there are a variety of walker types. Your therapist will recommend the style that is best for your condition and ability. Whether you need a walker with 4 wheels and a seat (called a rollator), or one with 2 wheels, or no wheels, I recommend speaking with your therapist.

In Ontario, the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) (government funded program) pays 75% of the cost of a rollator for residents who meet the criteria for funding. Essentially you have to be an Ontario resident with a valid health card, require the rollator at all times (not just for work or just outside the home, for example), have a physical disability of longer than 6 months, and not have had ADP funding for another rollator in the past 5 years. You will also need an ADP authorized therapist to fill out the application for you.

Check out the ADP fact sheet for more information. Check out my Do’s and Don’ts of Rollator use:

Do

  • Consult a therapist to ensure you get the correct rollator.
  • Read your manual before using your rollator for the first time for the specific use of your model.
  • Roll the walker slowly, taking even, short steps.
  • Keep your arms closer to your body, elbows slightly bent.
  • When turning, stay inside the handles of the rollator and roll and turn the walker rather than twisting your body.
  • When sitting, lock the brakes and keep the backs of your legs close to the seat.
  • Place one hand on the seat and one on the handle while sitting down.
  • Bend forward slightly and lean back slowly to sit.
  • When sitting, make sure both feet are flat on the floor.
  • To get up, place one hand on the seat and one on the handle, lean forward while keeping your feet under you and slowly stand.
  • Turn to face the rollator before disengaging the brakes to walk.

Don’t

  • Don’t push the rollator ahead of your body with arms outstretched.
  • Don’t walk quickly or with uneven steps.
  • Never turn or change direction without moving the rollator at the same time.
  • Do not use the seat as a wheelchair.
  • Don’t let go of the rollator until you are in a safe position to be properly seated on furniture.
  • Don’t forget to use the brakes when sitting or standing up from the seat.
  • Avoid lifting the rollator on curbs or uneven ground. Use the curb climber if available.

Aim2Walk offers ADP application assistance with our in-house ADP Authorizer. Please email matt@aim2walk.ca or call 416-679-9255 for more information.

Matt

Rock’n Roll Car Show

Last week, I wrote about the newly amalgamated York South Chapter MS group. I touched on some of their annual fundraising events and the groups’ dedication to helping others with MS. This Fathers day will be their 2nd annual “Lets Rock’n Roll MS Away” Classic Car Show and Family Fun Day.

With last year’s tremendous success, the committee, which is comprised of a number of community and business leaders, as well as volunteers who themselves are afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), are working diligently to put together another fun-filled afternoon. This years BBQ event is filled with live music, dunk tank, games, ice cream, cotton candy, a car show, and much more. It’s a nice day for the whole family to enjoy! We hope to see you there!

Rock'n Roll MS away
When: Sunday June 21st, (Fathers Day)
Where: Schomberg Fairgrounds
Time: 11:00am to 5:00pm
Admission: $5 (kids 3 and under FREE)

www.letsrocknrollmsaway.com