Although unseasonably mild in the UK at the moment, you can be sure there’ll be cold weather on the way. So, here are some practical & stylish tips to help you prepare if you lack full mobility ……….
First some practicalities:
- Emergency Supplies. BBS have just hosted a Xmas ‘Space’ Party and wanted to decorate the venue in foil, like that of a spacecraft. After some research we chose kitchen foil instead of the aluminium foil emergency blankets you see runners using to maintain heat after a Marathon. Remembering basic chemistry, we worried about the flammability of aluminium so we contacted the manufacturer and they confirmed they are ‘highly flammable’. However, having ordered some samples these are now an essential part of my cold weather supplies, in case of a fall or being stranded anywhere, an emergency blanket permanently resides in the wheelchair bag and takes up no more room than a pack of tissues.
2. Wheelchair/Scooter Maintenance. Make sure your wheelchair/scooter/mobility device is in good working order, especially your brakes for icy conditions. Take tools and WD40 with you. I’ve had my front wheels seize up when there’s snow or ice so now I always carry my tools and have a small can of the ‘magic’ WD40 in my backpack along with my Chanel perfume!
3. Make sure your battery is charged and working both on a scooter or on your wheelchair. You don’t want to run out of charge in cold conditions. If you need a new battery take a look at the mobility scooter battery from Pro Rider Mobility
4. Another essential is the BBS cup holder DRINK – now available from our online Addition Shop at half price £15.99. It attaches to most mobility and non-mobility devices. You need to be able to have a hot drink at hand in cold weather, if only to warm your hands.
Now some stylish cold weather necessities:
1. Layer-up. I always wear at least 3 layers of which one is a natural fabric such as cotton, silk or pure wool. These keep heat in and let your skin breath.
2. Take a scarf Contrary to common belief it works as well as a hat as it covers your neck where the hypothalamus controls your body temperature as well as your ears and nose. Chinese Medicine highlights the issue of “wind” causing health problems, the neck is called the “wind gate” and there are some very important acupuncture points in this region. There are many references to scarves and protecting against cold but no scientific cases! The MS Trust advocate a scarf to reduce chills from draughts and protect against face and neck nerve pain.
I can attest to this having visited Copenhagen in October with just a jacket. A pure wool blanket scarf from H&M saved the day. I now wear a blanket scarf with a jacket and I’m just as warm as I would be wearing a coat. Heavy coats are difficult and uncomfortable to wear in a seated position and can restrict limited movement. It’s important to move as much as possible to increase blood circulation in cold weather. Scarves are also easy to take on and off when there’s a sudden drop/rise in temperature. A well-chosen scarf can add a sense of style to a simple coat…….I use the latest ‘fashion’ scarf to update older coats – cheaper and more sustainable!! BTW you can buy a designer Scarf by Lou Dalton from our online ADDITION Shop.
3.Gloves or Fingerless mittens are a final necessity for grabbing brakes, rims, gears etc. I prefer fingertips to gloved hands, a personal choice that can look trendy.