Books DIY

DIY – Covers and Pouches for Mobility Aids

sew.jpgI didn’t order a copy of this book in time to do a proper review, but decided to go ahead and post anyway when a reader emailed and mentioned it. The holidays are coming, and for those who sew, it’s time to break out the needles and get to work. Let’s consider this an introduction — comments are welcome, of course, from anyone who’s used the book.

boat.jpgWalk and Roll is full of cheerful, sensible and clever add-ons for walkers, wheelchairs and scooters. Author Lynn Gorges’ imaginative designs rely on commonly available household linens; they’re more varied, more colorful and more creative than any I have seen commercially made. I’m guessing that the patterns themselves are fairly simple, but Lynn’s planning could save a lot of precious pre-holiday time.

Lynn has done a very nice job on the details, too. Notice the trim below the seat on the walker on the book cover? A distinctive walker pouch is often a source of pride in my dad’s nursing home — this kind of trim could escalate bragging rights (and the opportunities for social interaction) through the roof!

seat.jpgThere are all kinds of different motifs on Lynn’s webpage: a carrier with a cupholder that looks as if it rivals the ones I’ve written about here and here, and a walker pouch that integrates a license plate. Finding these accessories for men is difficult unless black vinyl gives you a thrill; Lynn’s book lets you incorporate anyone’s interests into an attractive gift, whether the recipient is male or female.

What sets Lynn’s designs apart is the quality of her work. Though these projects are meant to be made by loving hands at home, they look as if they’ve been custom-designed just for your recipient. Lynn’s done the planning and made the patterns; you get the fun of putting it all together.

Walk and Roll , via Minding Our Elders

Special thanks to Isabelle from the blog Senior Friendly Libraries


Enabling Romance

Image of the Book Enabling RomanceWhen a spinal cord injury occurs, the first issue is usually survival. Once that’s assured, the next questions usually deal with quality of life. Whether spoken or unspoken, the question of sex looms large on that second list. Ken Droll and Erica Levy Klein, write, in their book Enabling Romance write:

. . . there are millions of people with disabilities who eventually discover they can enjoy sexual satisfaction despite their physical limitations. Unfortunately, they often receive very little support or information from parents or rehab professionals who may be too embarrassed to too uncomfortable to attempt a discussion of this issue. Even in an era of sexual enlightenment, a code of silence seems to envelop the issue of disabilities and sexuality.


Minding Our Elders – Care-Givers Speak

Image of Minding Our Elders BookCarol Bradley Bursack aptly describes her book Minding Our Elders as a “portable support group”. It’s a series of stories told, not about the elders of the title, but about their minders — by the caregivers who took (or who are taking) care of them.

The tone of the book is informal and conversational. Each of the twenty-six stories is essentially a stream-of-consciousness tale, a slice of the life of the teller. The stories are full of human resentments, love, confusion, anger, contradictions and emotional pain.


GIMP – Fame and Frailty

Image of the Cover of the Book GIMPThere are a lot of reasons to read GIMP, the autobiography of Mark Zupan. Zupan was eighteen years old when he climbed, drunk out of his mind, into the back of a friend’s pick-up truck and fell asleep. Sleeping off that drunk changed Zupan’s life permanently.

GIMP is the story of the aftermath, written in Zupan’s voice by co-author Tim Swanson. It’s gritty and real. It’s explicit, and is brutally, not to say crudely, straightforward about what quadriplegic injuries meant to Zupan then and what they’ve meant in the years since.

Books Everyday Gear Games/Recreation

Electronic Book for One-Handed Page Turning

Image of a Sony Electronic ReaderThe Sony Reader is an electronic ‘book’ that eliminates the need for two-handed page turning. According to a recent review at Cool Tools, it’s got a screen that’s visible even in sunlight. If the screen is as easy to read as Sony and the review claim, it could be a convenient solution for one-handed reading, either out-and-about, on an across-the-bed table, or just around the house.

At 7 by 4 inches, it’s about the size of a small paperback, and fairly light at only 9 ounces. It recharges in about 4 hours, and each charge is good for about 7,500 page “turns” — according to the review, the approximate equivalent of about 7 book’s worth of page-turning.

‘Books’ can be purchased at the Sony Connect store. For you those of you who speak the lingo, the Reader uses BBeB as well as PDF, TXT and RTF formats.

Quite pricey at $350 (USD), but maybe just the tool for the right avid reader who has difficulty turning pages and holding conventional books.

Read the whole, information-packed review on Cool Tools.

Available on the Sony website, and at Best Buy.

Update: Maybe the Reader’s available at a brick-and-mortar Best Buy somewhere, but not in the Mid-Atlantic states right now; none in stores, and none in “the warehouse”. I stopped by yesterday (5/18/07) hoping to see one, and an employee checked BB’s internal inventory system, with that rather dismal result.

At Home Books Everyday Gear

Another Book of Homemade Adaptations

Image of the book Adapt My WorldAdapt My World is a book born of love and creativity. The author’s daughter had medical problems from birth; the disabilities she has had to grapple with inspired the “homemade adaptations” her mother writes about.

I wish I could say that I loved the book. In spirit, it’s much like what GearAbility is about — fixes, adaptations and work-arounds for everyday life. As a book, though, it’s quite a disappointment.

At Home Books DIY Everyday Gear Gifts Nursing Home

Handmade Helps for Disabled Living

Image of Cover of Handmade Helps BookThe other night when my husband was searching our bookshelves for a copy of Eros and Magic in the Renaissance (don’t ask), he found a copy of a marvelous book I’d picked up years ago. Handmade Helps for Disabled Living (by Stuart Grainger) is a compendium of ideas and projects designed to make living with various disabilities easier.