Cerebral Palsy

Disability Life Hacks


In her latest blog post, Bernie Hunter share her top life hacks - those tips and tricks for improving your everyday skills.


Bernie

Getting ready

I am independent so I like to do as much as I can for myself including getting dressed, it can be a challenge to get myself dressed due to having Cerebral Palsy but I have my own way of working that is easiest for me. Here is an example of how I put on my socks- I get my clothes out the night before so I am prepared for the morning, I turn the top of my socks inside out, this means that I don’t have to spend time in the morning separating them before I can put them on, this is because of my hand movements. I do need assistance with some things such as putting my hair up etc.

Putting my boots on

I have just recently bought new boots with a zip on the side of them, I find it a real challenge to zip them up myself as it is a small zip and I can’t get a grip of it so instead of using my fingers I just use my pinky then I grip the zip with the pam of my hand and zip it up… it is still a challenge but I won’t accept any help and I do get there in the end!

House Equipment 

My house is not really accessible if you use a wheelchair like I do but that changed 10 years ago when I finally got a outside stair lift. There are 8 stairs to get into my house and it was getting harder for my family to help me up and down the stairs as I was getting older and plus I couldn’t have my wheelchair in the house. The stair lift is electric and is able to take the weight of my power wheelchair, I control it myself by pressing a button- my stair lift has broken now a number of times in the past but in saying that, I don’t know what I would do without it!

Communication & Equipment

I use a AAC device to communicate due to having difficulties with my speech, I try my best to use my device but I sometimes feel under pressure when I am talking to people as I feel like I keep people waiting so if I am going to work and I have an idea of what people are going to talk to me about, I will programme my answers in advance into my communication device and this saves me time and effort.

Bernie

I run a fan club for a TV comedy sitcom and as part of my duty is to post video clips of the show so I record clips off of my computer onto my phone. I find it really difficult to hold my phone steady due to my involuntary movements, I overcome this task by attaching my phone to a selfie stick which is on a stand and this allows me to take pictures and videos perfectly.

Writing

Most people hardly write anymore due to the amount of technology that is available these days but I personally like to still handwrite just to keep the skill. At primary school, I was never a good writer because of my hand movements due to my Cerebral Palsy so it was always a challenge for me. I have noticed a big improvement with my handwriting, in recent years. I think it is because I am more relaxed and I can write in my own way using an non slip mat to hold the paper in place and the right pen which I can easily grip.

List of things that help me

Wheelchair Accessories: Net Bag, Cup Holder, Clutch Bag 

Eating & Drinking: Neater Eater, Cup Cover