Assistive Devices

Hello all,
many folks indicate some form of embarrassment or discomfort when it comes to walkers, wheelchairs, scooters, and such in public. Let me tell you, this was one of the biggest hurdles with my condition. It still is on occasion. It certainly is tough to overcome, and many folks simply don’t understand. I come from a community where there is much abuse of government assist programs, so there is a bit of a stigma when it comes to people that require assistive devices that really don’t require them.
I’m not ashamed or embarrassed about my condition. I’ve recently purchased a rollovator and a scooter, and feel more confident with myself since. They, at fist are clumsy and awkward, and I still get called a dumb ass by my GF, when I forget to use them! Generally people are more receptive to the idea that, “hey, there must be something wrong with him” because they see an assistive device. Even if we carry a cane just for aesthetics! Alternatively, we are just pointed out as being impaired usually by alcohol. People are typically willing to help with doors and such. Most are sympathetic towards my condition (not that I ask for sympathy).
My point is that, it was easier than I thought to overcome that feeling of embarrassment over my condition. Since I have started using assistive devises, folks are more understanding than I thought. And there is certainly more awareness surrounding people with disabilities than recent years.
I am also very prepared to explain my condition to people. I find that even if they have no clue what I’m saying, it sounds good and pacifies curiosities. It also helps justify assistive devises.


i agree. although many still continue to be convinced I am drunk and therefore not seriously disabled. I have found the Liftware assisted fork/spoon very very helpful! Bought it online. Fits in my hand better than Gyenno although same principle.

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Hi, Hutchinson. Glad it’s working out for you. My mind is willing but the body refuses to cooperate. Therefore, I rarely leave the house. I’m arranging for different insurance as Aetna refuses to keep paying for ongoing therapy. Best wishes to you.

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Geri, I have similar issues. The greater effort I make (especially in public) to stand up straight, walk proper, talk with certainty and clarity etc., my body simply says no way! And now I have bowel and urinary problems, hampering public interactions. I was doing PT, however, I don’t carry proper insurance. And found my condition to surpass the benefits anyway. To lesson my financial burdens, and possibly start PT again, I applied for Ontario Disability Benefits. They indicated that my family income was too high at less than $ 25000.00/year. Low-income is considered 200 percent of the federal poverty level, and poor is defined as 100 percent of the poverty level. For 2013, a family of four making less than $23,624 is considered at the federal poverty level, and $47,248 is considered low income. I made an attempt to work part-time (only a few hours /wk) hoping to ease financial tensions. This did not work, as I was dealing with the public, and the visible disability issues created uncomfortable situations.

That being said, I still make attempts to go out and ignore the starring, and other inconveniences of this condition. However, I sympathize with you. I to wish you all the best. (Sorry for the long winded response)!

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I suppose it’s time for me to give into something beyond a cane - which doesn’t work for me. I’ve had such a hard time accepting this condition and feel very embarrassed in the presence of old friends and acquaintances. I cry every day, and can’t discuss my health without becoming emotional. So, I just don’t discuss it much. And, my husband is not prepared for the future of this hardship. I have lost several friends because I can’t/won’t go out for brunch, drinks, etc. It all just sux.

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Don’t give up. I can’t coordinate with a cane. I have found a rollator (like a walker but with four wheels) to be very useful. I understand about your embarrassment, but really, its okay. We’re all here and we understand.

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Catherine, I completely understand. I have strong faith in God which gives Me much peace. Oh yeah, I cry, too. Better to vent the feelings instead of keeping them inside. I’ll pray for you.

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I have that trouble too with incontinence…which limits my ability to participate in activities greatly. Also, flatulence, all of which are socially unacceptable but which are beyond my control. I don’t know how to deal with it either, besides stay homebound. Sucks, esp. in nice weather.


Do you have other symptoms of depression? If you have it, an anti-depressant can help a lot. I know it did for me. Any doctor can hook you up with treatment.

It is very common for people with brain injuries to be depressed. I never needed it before, but do now…

I know what you mean about it being frustrating to go out. The bathroom is a major problem. There is also no way for me to do a buffet. Also, I can’t stand long. With all that, it is much easier for me to stay home.

An anti depressant turned my life around🙂 Depression is
acknowledged as a symptom, and should be treated🙂xB

I am on welbutrin and have seen a psychologist (not lately because it’s so much trouble). I do sometimes try to go out with my husband to the places he likes, but it’s getting harder. The slurring is an issue, too, and at a pub, I recently lurched towards a table to avoid talking to a kinda-friend. She just laughed loudly - so embarrassing!

Catherine: I do that all the time-it hurts when people are ignorant and laugh ( or just stand there instead of helping when they see me struggling), but try not to let it get it to you. It’s their problem. They’re ignorant and not worth your energy.

I find that carrying a cane helps since I “look” handicapped, too. Also, we wrote about my situation on Facebook so my friends know about my situation. I think that the more people know, the more likely they are to be friendly and helpful. I have also talked to neighbors openly, and they have been good also.

I guess what I was referring to was people in grocery stores, on the streeet being ignorant and laughing instead of helping-even though they see me struggling. And I do have a rollater. People are very quick to judge and are downright mean. But once in a while there is someone who is nice and I really appreciate that!

I agree with you. I just st try to remember that those people are not important to me, but that only helps a little.

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For the incontinence part I have to plan…plan…plan. The trouble is I like my morning coffee too much. It takes a few hours to get rid of it all. As far as bowels, I have lost most of the control over them. I’ve came home many times from driving because I’ve had an accident. I generally try not to go in public until the afternoon, when I’m mostly cleared out.

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Thanks, Hutchy…I will try your suggestion re: not going out until afternoon. FYI I like my morning coffee too…thanks again.

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Sometimes I feel like all my intellectual capability and creativity is spent on managing my bathroom needs. You would think it shouldn’t be that way!

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you know it, linda4!