A note of caution (or think before you buy!)
Christmas shopping. It’s sometimes difficult to find just the right thing for that special person in your life.
If you have a friend or relative who has a disability, you may be tempted to buy them a disability aid for Christmas.
But please, think carefully! Most aids are simply tools, a bit like household appliances. Would you want an iron or a vacuum cleaner for Christmas? No, didn’t think so!
You wouldn’t buy someone spectacles for Christmas, or a set of dentures. So why would you buy them a walking aid, or some other daily living aid?
However, you might buy someone a set of designer frames, if they really coveted them. Or if they were into cooking you might treat them to the latest Kitchen Aid mixer.
You see the difference? Day to day necessities aren’t usually suitable as gifts, but something luxurious and indulgent just might be.
These are a selection of our favourites. We hope they give you food for thought.
The Bradley Timepiece by Eone
Designed for inclusivity, accessibility, aesthetics and quality, the Bradley timepiece is an alternative to a talking watch.
Bradley watches have raised markers so that you can feel the time by touch. So for example, there is a triangular marker for 12 o’clock. Longer lines for 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, and shorter ones for the other hours.
Two magnetised ball bearings travel around the watch face in separate tracks. One helps you to read the minutes, and the other the hours.
There are a good range of Bradley Timepieces, to suit all tastes. Our current favourite is the rose gold.
It has a stainless steel case and an aluminium face, with a stainless steel mesh strap – all in a lovely rose gold colour.
The strap is 20mm wide, and adjustable to fit wrists 6.25 – 8.5 inches (159 – 215 mm). It’s also water and shock resistant (but not suitable for submersion in water).
Bradley watches come with a full two year warranty and prices from £355 to £359.
Jaunty Wheelchair Gloves
These lovely leather fingerless gloves are designed by a wheelchair user, especially for people who self-propel in a wheelchair.
They are hard-wearing as they are made from HairSheep leather with a neoprene padded palm and thumb piece.
Ladies standard medium, large and extra-large sizes are available in three colour options:
- navy with a cranberry trim,
- turquoise with a taupe trim
- black with a cream trim.
(Size charts available on the website).
Additional sizes, and gloves for men can be made to order.
Gloves cost £75.00 but are eligible for VAT relief, which would make them £62.50 per pair.
Flexzi Camera Mount
Do you know someone who loves photography? If they use a wheelchair or scooter, then holding a camera whilst out and about may be a problem.
If it is, then the Flexzi Camera Mount may be an ideal gift.
Features include a quick velcro release fitting, which provides any standard compact camera a secure mountable base.
Cameras attach to the mount with a Universal tripod fitting.
The Flexzi Camera Mount costs £12.00. Click here to check it out, including a video of it in action!
A gift for a gardener
This sturdy Bullbarrow Garden Scoot has four tyres and manoeuvres easily to help with daily pruning and weeding tasks in your garden.
It comes fully assembled, and is sturdy thanks to its black powder coated steel frame. It comes with a removable tray underneath which will come in very handy as you move around the garden.
The garden scoot comes in a range of colours, and costs from £26.99 .
The Alinker is a three-wheeled walking bike designed to help people stay active.
On the Alinker, users sit upright and at eye level with standing companions, weight is supported by the seat with no stress on the lower body, handle bars provide additional support, feet remain on the ground keeping users stable and safe.
There doesn’t seem to be a supplier in the UK, but some people have imported through the Netherlands (where the Alinker is made), so you can check out their website.
You are advised to email them first, before placing an order. Price depends on exchange rates but is in excess of £1200.
If you are buying for a wheelchair user who likes to be active, why not consider a hand cycle such as the Coyote Shimano?
This is a quick release attachment which fits the majority of rigid frame wheelchairs, transforming it into a hand cycle.
Hand cycles can be used for recreation, shopping, commuting and provide a great way to take aerobic exercise.
Find it here, prices start at £995.
Know someone who loves to shop? If so, a suitable gift could be the Sholley shopping trolley. British-made, it comes in a range of designs to suit most tastes, and has useful accessories such as a matching handbag and cool bag.
As well as holding lots of shopping, the Sholley also scored highly in safety tests as a walking aid. It has lots of clever design features such as double swivel wheels on the front, making it easy to manoeuvre. And it has no back axle to get in the way. It also has a clever frame which makes it solid when in use and easy to fold.
From £79.50, with a 14 day money back guarantee if the recipient doesn’t like it.
Pampering experience – spa day
Why not pamper that special someone by booking them an experience such as a day at a spa?
Before you book, you might like to compile a list of useful questions, including whether the spa has:
- easy-access hydraulic treatment beds which can be lowered and raised
- lifts between floors
- pool hoists
- well-trained staff and adaptable therapists
Or for more information, check out https://www.spabreaks.com/spa_for_all – more info
If the person you’re buying for loves books, why not treat them to an Audible subscription? Audible provides access to a huge range of audio books.
Audible gives access to over 200,000 titles, with discounts of up to 70% off the full purchase price. There really are books to suit every tastes, and if a listener doesn’t enjoy the book, they can return it and exchange it for something else.
Once you’ve bought a title you can listen to it as many times as you want, it remains in your Audible library. There are various apps so you can listen on different devices, either at your computer or on the go, and new titles are being added all the time.
Gift memberships cost £23.99 for 3 months, £47.99 for 6 months, and £69.99 for 12 months.
This gives the recipient one credit a month, meaning they can download one book a month.
Does the person you’re buying for prefer magazines to books? Why not try a subscription to Readly instead?
This gives instant access to 1,000s of magazines online, catering to all interests.
It’s like having open access to the magazine counter at WH Smiths from the comfort of your own home! And because the magazines can be read online, people who use screen readers etc. should be able to access them.
Titles include a whole range of popular magazines such as Top Gear, Time, Good Food, Hello, Playboy, and magazines related to hobbies and interests such as technology, crafts, pets, exercise and so on.
A subscription gives access to new editions as they are published, and to past editions from the last 12 months.
Gift subscriptions cost from £7.99 for one month up to £95.88 for 12 months (and with other options in-between).
Talking photo album – £32.40
This is a great idea if you are buying for a child.
Simply insert your own pictures, photos or words in each page and record a message.
Playback your recordings with buttons at the bottom of each page.
Books include 20 pages in a double sided flip style album. This allows 6 minutes of recording time, with a maximum of 18 seconds per page.
Each page has a play/stop button.
Toys with adapted switches
Meru takes a range of popular toys and adapts the switches to make them accessible.
An example is the Fisher-Price Bright Beats Junior Beat Bo which has lots of features to amuse small children. It costs £17. Lots of other options are available such as switch-adapted Thomas the Tank Engine, Minions, toy microwaves etc.
Switches are attached to suit the individual child, so contact Meru via their website to discuss specific requirements.