Living With Polio
DON’T LIFT THAT LOAD!
I live alone and can’t always wait for my daughter to come over and move things for me. Or I get home from marketing and some of the foods have to make a quick trip to the freezer or refrigerator. As my mobility kept getting worse I turned more and more to using carrying aids. Among other things, I like the independence they give me.
Using mechanical help for carrying is one area where a few changes saves a lot of energy and muscle strain. Carrying loads with your arms pulls your center of gravity forward, which can strain your back while also stressing the shoulder and arm muscles and weight-bearing joints in the legs. Here are several inexpensive carrying aids which I have used for many years.
Remember luggage carts? That’s what we used to use for carrying luggage before suitcases had wheels. They’re still available and still doing the job for carrying all sorts of things. Use one for transporting loads between the car, house or office, and from room to room. Take it to the mall to carry your purchases. You’ll find lots of other uses for it. But you really need to keep it open and ready to use. If you have to retrieve the cart from a closet and set it up every time, you may not bother to do it and you’ll end up just picking up the load and carrying it yourself (bad idea). I keep my luggage cart set up and stored close to the kitchen and garage, the area where it’s used the most.
A collapsible grocery cart is another great carrying tool. You can keep it in the garage ready to use when you get home from marketing. Or you can carry it in your car if you’re taking food to a potluck, for example. This gadget has multiple uses, too, such as carrying laundry to and from the laundry room or carrying newly purchased plants from the car to the garden.
Don’t discount rolling backpacks as great carrying tools. They were initially marketed for students but can be used for many things, including tools, clothing, etc.
Another thing that I use in the kitchen for carrying is – of all things – the drafting chair that I sit on for preparing food, doing dishes, etc. This chair is wonderful for moving heavy pots and dishes between the refrigerator to the stove or sink. Of course, I always put a kitchen towel down first to keep the seat clean. All the aids listed above are available through Amazon, no need to go out shopping.
© 2008 Grace R. Young
Courtesy of Diane Young and Sharon Lark.