Having to bend to tie shoe laces can cause pain and difficulty
Tying shoelaces can be a daily struggle for many people. Having to bend and stretch can be uncomfortable and cause pain, whilst also taking an inconvenient amount of time to do so. However, there are gadgets and types of shoe laces to help you avoid this. Elasticated and stretchy laces are the best known solutions, they help you transform your everyday lace-up shoes into slip-ons, to provide comfort and ease of use. How do they work and what are the alternatives?
How Do Elastic Laces for Shoes Work?
The stretch lace fabric of these shoe laces are threaded and tied in exactly the same way as ordinary laces. However, the elasticated fabric provides tension once tied, and it it this that makes sure your shoes remain tight and secure whilst wearing them.
When using elastic shoelaces, you only ever have to tie your shoelaces once the first time you apply them. After this your lace-ups work as slip-ons, permanently removing the need for you to bend and stretch. Eventually they may still come undone though.
Greeper Shoe Laces for Disability
Average elasticated shoe laces can easily break
There are many simplified versions of the elastic shoe lace on the market, most of which offer a temporary solution to the problem.
Cheaper elastic laces can lose their stretch over a short amount of time. Most importantly elastic laces often come undone whilst you’re wearing your shoes. This can make shoes uncomfortable and give you a less secure feeling whilst being worn as well as being a trip hazard!
This is why Greeper have designed an innovative and inclusive alternative to elastic shoe laces. Greepers are designed using high quality traditional polyester laces but have a simple fitting system that provides toggle that prevent the laces ever coming undone “Once applied, always tied”.
Greeper laces are ultimately more durable and comfortable than elastic shoe laces, they give better support as they use traditional laces that do not stretch.
After the initial application, Greeper shoelaces are forever tied. Unlike elasticated laces Greeper shoe laces do not rely on the tension of elastic to keep the shoes fastened. Instead an ingenious toggle system allows you to tighten or loosen the laces quickly and easily, whilst giving you piece of mind that they will always stay fastened.
Greeper Easy Fasten Shoelaces Vs Elasticated Shoe Laces
Reviewers the world over have made comparisons between elasticated laces and the innovative design of the Greeper shoelace. “220 Triathlon” magazine recently voted the Greeper Lace as “editors choice” and many world-renowned athletes champion the Greeper lace over other elasticated brands. It’s fair to say that when elasticated laces are pitted-against Greeper Laces, Greeper “out-run” the competition every time!
The benefits of Greeper laces vs elasticated shoe laces:
Greeper Laces never come undone – ensuring complete shoe support and comfort, reducing the risk of injury, increasing performance.
Quick and easy to fasten – Simple toggle system allows you to loosen and tighten your shoes in seconds, without ever untying your laces.
Fully adjustable – Eliminates overly-long lace loops, provides the ultimate fit and promotes foot health, especially for sports.
Polyester laces – Elastic shoe laces can become weak and break whilst running – the use of traditional-style polyester laces removes the fear of laces ever breaking or loosing tension.
Much better support to the foot. The laces themselves do not stretch, therefore the shoe supports the foot much better than laces where the laces are stretching during movement.
Time-saving Sports Laces
Caroline Steffan – ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship title-holder, wearing Greeper Laces.
One of the other pros of Greeper Laces is the time-saving aspect. Greeper Laces benefit from allowing you to quick-tighten your laces. If you are the sporting type, enjoying competitive sport – Greeper Laces can knock much needed seconds off you run-time.
The lace lock system allows super-swift lace tightening and the secure fitting provides security throughout your run.
This eliminates the need to stop-start to fix loose laces, and stops extra foot movement that often happens using elastic laces.
Once you have set up your Greeper Laces properly, they will help to shave those precious pit-stop seconds off your run time.
We’ve found a review on amazon by a customer who purchased Greeper Laces for her sports-loving husband:
Bought these for my hubby as he is a keen triathlon competitor. Just what he required to save himself a few valuable seconds… Thank you.
Greeper Always Tied Shoelaces Used by Everyone
Although championed by professional athletes and amateur sports fans alike, Greeper laces are an affordable inclusive design that can be used by anyone.
The bright colours and design of the Flats range of Greeper Laces are ideal for children’s shoes
Greeper laces come in a number of different styles and colours. The “Sports” design being perfect for all types of athletic sport-shoe and the “Hikers” design ideal for more outdoor-style footwear and activities.
The designers at Greeper understand the need for an everyday, easy to apply lace for everyone, including people with impairments or disability. That is why they have produced a number of non-sport styles to assist those who simply need a lace solution for work or school.
The “Execs” and “Flats” ranges are the ultimate in inclusive design. These can be worn with smart dress-shoes, school shoes or trainers, yet still providing the same comfort and security of the more athletic designs.
Stay Tied Laces For Children
Many parents find the white and black sports or exec laces ideal for children at school. It removes the need for children to retie their laces or the danger of the shoes coming off or even being taken off (!) by children with disabilities or behavioural problems. Like this recent feedback from Amazon: “bought these for my son who has autism and struggles to tie laces and they are perfect as he can do them on his own making him as independant as possible.”
Uniflow Straws are a simple yet ingeniously designed drinking aid for those people struggle with sucking on a straw. Illness and disabilities can cause difficulties with both physical and oral motor skills, and people can find it difficult to maintain suction when using ordinary straws.
Many people that experience dysphagia, a difficulty with swallowing and eating, find the innovative one way valve useful. These non return drinking straws allow a pause and rest between sips. It makes it easier to drink and reduces the risk of choking on liquids.
How Do Non Return Valve Straws Work?
Uniflow one way straws use basic physics to provide a rather smart solution to drinking and swallowing with a straw.
Uniflow one-way valve straws keep unconsumed liquid in the straw itself in between sips.
The basic principle is to ensure the liquid can only travel one way once suction is in place, and these non return straws feature a small valve in the base that helps to reduce air intake when in use. This then keeps any unused liquid in the straw itself in between sips.
The diameter of each no return straw is also slightly smaller than that of an ordinary straw of this size, which helps to maintain a reduced yet steadier liquid flow rate. This is ideal for those who may feel overwhelmed when drinking liquids due to their dysphagia.
Who May Benefit From Using Straws with a One-Way Valve?
There are a number of conditions where the risk and discomfort of dysphagia plays a major role in the sufferer’s quality of life. People with multiple sclerosis, or MS, can have have difficulty with swallowing and sucking. This can lead to not only coughing, choking and discomfort whilst drinking, but can then lead to further complications of health such as lung infections and dehydration.
Uniflow’s one-way valve design is ideal for teaching little ones to use a straw
The innovative design of the Uniflow one way drinking straws ensures liquids are consumed at a steady and slow pace. This helps to remove the fear of choking or coughing fits, and to provides piece of mind to those with swallowing difficulties.
Using One Way Valve Straws with Children
Straws with a one-way valve are also ideal for young children and toddlers who are learning to drink from a straw. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make the introduction to straws more simple for children. However, the non-return valve featured in each Uniflow straw actually provides the same outcome without the need to alter ordinary straws, which is perfect for busy parents of children keen to master straw-drinking.
1. To start, cut a regular straw in half. Not only is a shorter straw easier to handle, but it also takes less strength for a child to suck liquid from a shorter straw.
2. Dip the straw into a cup with liquid preferred by the child. Place the tip of your finger over the top of the straw to keep the liquid in the straw. Remove the straw from the cup, keeping the top of the straw covered with your fingertip.
3. Place the straw on the child’s lips at a slightly tilted down angle (so that if you release your finger, the liquid will flow into the mouth).
4. Remove your fingertip, allowing the liquid to flow into the child’s mouth. The goal here is for the child to comprehend that he/she is getting liquid from the straw. As you are doing this, tell the child to “take a sip.”
5. Once the child comprehends the idea of getting liquid from a straw, instruct him/her to close his or her lips around the straw. When the lips are closed around the straw, release your fingertip for the liquid to come out. You may have to provide lip closure exercises to assist the child with this skill. Pinching the lips together may help. Stretching the lips prior to straw drinking may help as well.
Uniflow No Return Straws are designed to be fun and inclusive.
The design of each one way drinking straw is simple and inclusive, with very little visual difference to ordinary straws. The Uniflow no
return straws are sold in packs of 15. Each pack includes several bright and cheery colours that will appeal to adults and children alike. The straws are also disposable, so are ideal for popping in your bag when out-and-about.
Strawberi straw holder and Uniflow straws make the perfect companions
Although these one way straws are not recommended with fizzy or thick drinks (such as smoothies and fiber supplements) they are perfect for warm drinks, juices, cordial and water whether at home or on the go.
The perfect companion to the Uniflow non-return valve straw is the Strawberi straw holder. The Strawberi is a small yet very smart invention that clips on to the side of your glass or cup, and holds your straw in place. This is ideal for hands-free drinking and keeping mess and stress to a minimum when drinking.
Customer Quote from Amazon
These straws are great. My 92 year old mother was finding it increasingly difficult to drink from a cup and didn’t have the strength to keep sucking liquid up through an ordinary straw. These just need sucking up the tube once and then the liquid stays up the tube – she is now drinking lots more liquid. Thoroughly recommend them.
To buy your one way valve straws please click the box below:
@lwdisability Thanks for the lovely article! We’re working on making #uniflow even easier to use (and better value too).
The lite cup night light is a handy drinking aid for night time drinks and hydrating in the dark. The built in light and non-spill features make it a useful bedside cup.
At Living with Disability, we like to take into consideration the opinions and experiences of the blogging community and anybody living with disabilities who has discovered a great item that makes their life a little bit easier. We’ve previously discussed products as recommended by Tourettes Hero such as simple wrist straps and life changing weighted blankets and today we’re looking at an item recommended by Danni, found on Twitter as @Dannilion, a blogger who describes herself as ‘quite disabled’ and that ‘finding products that make life easier and increase my independence is very important to me’. With this in mind, Danni wrote a blog post all about her favourite items including the seemingly simple Lite Cup Night Light . At Living with Disability we’d never heard of the Litecup before so taking a closer look at it, we agreed with Danni, it really is a great product.
Litecup – Night Light and No Spill Cup in One
The Litecup is a clever little cup which features a non spill lid and a light in its base, which comes on automatically in the dark. Brilliant if you’re looking for your drink late at night and avoids the risk of spills. There are many different reasons that this product could be a great addition to your range of kitchen accessories and Danni explains that she likes it specifically because of its non-spill top. This allows her to drink whilst laid down as there are days where she finds it hard to leave bed and we believe many of our readers will recognise this experience. The Litecup comes in a range of different colours so you can pick a lid that suits your personal preference and it’s a great, affordable product which can make drinking much easier and less challenging.
Reviews of the product praise its robust build and ease of use. They also rate how long lasting the light is and how it can be knocked over without causing any spills. The Litecup is a great product which we believe many people could benefit from and we thank Dannilion for bringing it to our attention.
Weighted blankets come in many colours and patterns and look very much like ordinary bed coverings
Weighted blankets are heavy, specially made bed coverings. They use sewn-in bags of sand or other dense materials to make the covering heavy. They are mostly used for children with autism but be used to calm people with dementia or for other neurological conditions. They help children sleep and can help with tics and involuntary movements and conditions like restless leg syndrome.
This is another post inspired with thanks to @touretteshero. One of her fab blog posts led us to this product which we really believe deserves a mention on Living with Disability. The product in question is the use of weighted blankets, a simple invention which provides a carefully determined amount of pressure during sleep to help control any involuntary movements. They can improve the sleeping patterns and experience for those who have a number of different conditions.
Like the post on wrist straps, Tourettes Hero’s blog post, describes a product that has helped her get on with her life. She discusses how it helps provide some resistance to her tics but also mentions how the product was already on her horizon as she had seen them in use with autistic children. People who have an autistic spectrum disorder can have extreme difficulty sleeping due in many cases to proprieoceptive imbalance and even experience insomnia. A weighted blanket can significantly improve these problems and they can also help in the day time to help control the stimming that is related to autistic spectrum disorders.
Tourettes Hero with a heavy sleep aid…sorry, wrong pic, I mean with the marvelous Stephen Fry
So, what does a weighted blanket do?
Many of us have experienced the comforting feeling of heavy eiderdowns or blankets, maybe at grandparents as a child or the feeling of being ‘tucked up tightly’ with sheets. A weighted blanket provides what’s described as ‘deep pressure’ which is found to be calming and comforting especially for children on the Autistic Spectrum as research suggests they seek this deep pressure and want to be covered under several layers. With a weighted blanket, several layers aren’t needed and there is no risk of suffocation etc.
A large specially made heavy bed covering can be used at night to aid sleeping. Many families have said that using weighted blankets has given their child the first uninterrupted night’s sleep of their lives. They can help the child relax and feel comfortable in their bedroom. As well as large blankets there are a range of smaller products and lap pads which are designed for day time use, even in classrooms and at the dinner table. A weighted lap pad is designed to promote calm behaviour, enhance focus and concentration and also allows for further learning and comprehension if used in schools.
This video shows reviews on brand of weighted blankets and shows their uses:
At Living with Disability we’ve been impressed by the work of @touretteshero on Twitter and in the newspapers, battling against prejudice and ignorance. We have been looking at her blog has some pretty interesting and useful gadgets if you have Tourettes Syndrome or in fact a range of conditions which may result in tics such as Myoclonus or Distonia. Some of her ideas could also be considered if you have a stereotypic movement disorder. Today, we’re going to have a look at a simple item which wasn’t designed for those living with disabilities in mind.
A mobile phone wrist strap may seem like a simple invention which helps any mobile phone user keep their phone close at bay and in most senses it is, but reading this great blog post from Tourettes Hero, you can see how useful a wrist strap would be for her situation as it would ensure the phone was safe and accessible whenever it was needed.
There are a huge range of different mobile phone wrist straps out there, as there are with most mobile phone accessories. You can find simple black ones, those that can be adjusted to different lengths and those which keep your phone firmly attached to your wrist. Whichever suits you best is dependent on your own situation and how you access your phone. A wrist strap will ensure it never goes missing or becomes out of reach and you won’t have to worry about it going missing whilst out and about. The wrist strap has been
A Smartphone Wrist Strap
revolutionised as the picture shows, so now even the newest generations of smart phone can be safely secured to your wrist to ensure you have access whenever you need it.
An ingenious idea as Tourettes Hero says and something that you wouldn’t even imagine could be such a help until you look at it in more detail and think how such a simple little thing can be used effectively on a daily basis. There is a huge range available at a range of different prices so you’ll be sure to find one which suits your circumstances. You can even use wrist straps for other gadgets including your camera. Other people might find a wrist strap for walking sticks useful or for an ipod, digital camera or purse.
With a forward by no other than Stephen Fry it looks really interesting:
Meet Jess, aka Touretteshero. Jess has Tourettes Syndrome, which means that she makes sounds and movements over which she has no control. Jess swears, she s one of about 10% of people with Tourettes who do. She says biscuit a lot, about 16 times per minute (that s 6 million a year!), and then there are the sometimes life-threatening arm and leg tics… Tourettes can be tough to live with, often bringing out unpleasant behaviour in people who don t understand it, but it can also be inspiring and, above all, funny. Jess s verbal tics are often truly surreal Leisurewear Velociraptor Training Party! , Capital letters talk to themselves at night or If all the hoofed animals could count there wouldn t be a banking crisis. These excerpts from Jess s personal blog follow a year in her life and the whole spectrum of her experiences. We re introduced to her support network of close friends, including Fat Sister, Leftwing Idiot and King Russell, as well as strangers who can be unpredictably helpful or hurtful. Moving, funny, shocking, tender, and inspiring, Jess s words are courageous and optimistic in the face of the major challenges she faces. Welcome to Biscuit Land.
After discussing both the DUO and the Bridgit recently, both products from the Such and Such Design Company, we thought we’d also include their Strawberi into our directory. All three products were introduced at the New Product Showcase at Naidex National 2012 in May and all three have major benefits for a range of different users. For now, let’s take a closer look at the Strawberi – smart straw holder.
Drink Hands Free
The Strawberi smart straw holder attaches your drinking straw safely to the side of your drinking vessel, allowing you to enjoy your drink without having to worry about spills or splashes. In fact, you can drink completely hands free. It’s perfect for anybody who perhaps lives with tremors or unexpected muscle spasms as you don’t need to steady your glass or cup with your hand. What’s more, for young children (aged three and over) who often decide that they’ll only drink from a straw, it removes some of the mess and stress from cleaning up all those spilt drinks as they struggle to keep the straw in the correct position.
Also, if you ever get annoyed with straws being popped out of your fizzy drinks because of all the bubbles, you need no longer worry. Strawberi is simple clip which holds the straw securely so you can enjoy your favourite fizzy drink. A very simple idea which you can reuse and are on sale in packs of five or ten. Once you’ve started using one, the whole family will want to get involved and as a dishwasher safe product it’s extremely easy to use and reuse again and again.
There are a multitude of accessible drinking products on the market all designed to ensure there is something out there to suit your specific needs and whilst other products may be more appealing to some users, we’re sure the Strawberi will be the perfect for others and they’re also great value. To buy, click in the box below:
High-Tech Helpers: EnuSens Toilet Training Alarm System
Helping your child understand toilet training
Having an older child who suffers from bladder weakness and needs more support in their toilet training can be a very testing and difficult thing to live with. However, this new product, exhibited at Naidex’s New Product Showcase has been designed with education and sensitivity in mind. EnuSens is an enurises monitor which has education and support as its main goals, helping to guide children into waking up when nature calls without having to be attached to a noisy buzzer or rely on uncomfortable training underwear, that never ever feels good. This new toilet training alarm system is designed to work on your child’s confidence, understanding their own body and their self-esteem.
Working with your child to understand their body
High Tech sensors make this system discrete and reliable for detecting enuresis
EnuSensTM can be used to help educate children to wake up and use the bathroom. Some children can respond faster than others to this type of training, depending on age and other various factors. What’s more this product also helps children understand how their body works, if they have the capacity to do and it also can be used in a number of healthcare settings. Receiving positive feedback from the Convention has seen the product easily available online and the soft cotton sensor means all chances of being uncomfortable can be eliminated. What’s more, you could use these product in conjunction with Brolly Sheets or the Uriwell range to create an even less clinical atmosphere.
Used by Adults
This product can also be used by adults, either in bed or perhaps whilst out and about in a wheelchair. The hardwearing sensor allows for comfort as well as easy positioning in the correct position in the chair and if you have a support team or carers, it allows them to respond immediately to any accidents or leakage. Even better, although there is an alarm option this can be silenced so there is no need to feel undignified or embarrassed by any little accidents and they can be handled safely without any need for upset.
If you’re interested in this product, click in the below box:
DRI Sleeper Bed Wetting Alarm
Wet-Stop3 Bedwetting Alarm-Green
TensCare Dry Night Trainer Bed Wetting Alarm
Rodger Wireless Bedwetting Enuresis Alarm – NEW 2012 Model
You can use your Talking Tin Lid on any food container
If you have a visual disability, then having your kitchen set up in the right way is essential to avoid the many risks that could occur. The RNIB and other charities work tirelessly to provide gadgets and inventions which can make the kitchen a safer place and somewhere you can independently access everything you need. One of their inventions is the talking tin lids, a truly great idea.
Talking tin lids are a specially designed recording produce which can help you identify the contents of any food storage container, most obviously tinned foods. They are extremely easy to record messages on and then you know exactly what’s in the tin and also, if there’s space you can record a best before date too, further enhancing your food safety in the home.
The majority of talking tin lids available has a 10 second recording time although you can get them with up to 40 seconds. In 10 seconds it is possible to say “baked beans, best before 15th Dec” for example so you can ensure you know what product is there and how long its shelf life is. The talking tin lids fit comfortably with magnets to all tin lids including ring pull tins but excluding those that have aluminium lids. You can also use them on other containers as they come with a self-adhesive metal disc and/or an elastic strap to attach them with. However, the tin lids are not microwave or freezer safe so keep this in mind whilst using them.
They have received some great reviews from the visually impaired community, many of whom are delighted by the fact that they aid daily independence and make finding ingredients and cooking much easier than before. There are many different options and they can be used on containers of all shapes and sizes due to the additional adhesive choice.
If you are interested in finding out more about Talking Tin Lids please click the box.
About this blog
We like to find new gadgets or uses of existing products that help people with disabilities. We don't like clinical or stigmatising looking ugly products that make your home look like a hospital ward!
Please leave a comment if you would like to submit a review or suggest a product. You can always talk to us on twitter @lwdisability or facebook. We love to be offered guest posts and happily include your bio with blog link or for a chosen cause or charity.