Coping with Balance Issues

Many medical issues such as MS or vestibular disorders cause problems with balance. People with disorders like this feel unsteady or dizzy while moving. Vestibular disorders can be caused by many medical conditions, medication, or a problem with the inner ear or brain.

 

The inner ear is a labyrinth of bones and soft tissues that help maintain balance. It works by interacting with visual and skeletal systems to check and maintain body position both at rest and in motion. It also helps you maintain a steady focus on something even when body position changes.

 

If there is a break down in this communication or in the vestibular system itself, balance issues occur. People with balance impairment may feel like the room is spinning and may stagger or fall when trying to walk. They may also experience dizziness, a sense of falling, lightheadedness, blurred vision, or disorientation. Balance disorders may start all of a sudden and with no obvious cause.

 

Even with medical treatment, balance disorders can have a tremendous impact on daily life. Your doctor may recommend different movements, diet changes, or medications to relieve symptoms, however, many balance disorders and accompanying symptoms never really go away. Fortunately, it’s possible to live a full, independent life with lifestyle changes and assistive devices.

Aids for Balance Issues

To help people with balance disorders live safely and independently, manufacturers offer a variety of products.

Walking Aids

One of the biggest concerns for people with balance issues to walking without falling. Walking sticks or frames can be quite helpful. Depending on the level of concern, doctors may also suggest rollators or tri-walkers to help people with balance issues stay upright.

Bedroom Aids

Getting in and out of bed can also present problems for people with balance issues. The act of standing often causes dizziness to increase or induces a sense of falling. Bed sticks and bed transfer devices enable to the user to safely get in and out of bed without help.

Bathroom Aids

Showering, bathing, and going to the toilet can also be dangerous for people with balance concerns. Coupled with slippery surfaces, the likelihood of falling increases. Shower chairs help people with balance issues safely bathe themselves while support rails and grab rails make getting on off the toilet easier.

Daily Living Aids

For people coping with balance issues or dizziness, reaching up to take something off a high shelf or bending to get something off the floor can cause an increase in symptoms and may lead to falling. Using a grabber tool enables users to keep their feet firmly on the floor while accessing higher items or picking up something from the floor.

 

Similarly, putting on socks, stocking, or shoes can also be difficult. Stocking aids and long handled shoe horns make getting dressed much easier and safer.

Exercise Aids

Depending on the cause of your balance disorder, doctors may suggest movements or exercises to improve balance. In cases such as that, a rocker board can be helpful. Before beginning any balance exercises, it’s important to speak with your healthcare professional to ensure it’s right for your situation.

 

With the right combination of assistive devices and medical treatment, many people with balance issues can lead full, independent lives.

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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).