How to Help Disabled People When the Weather is Bad

Winter weather can bring hardships to everyone. Snow, ice, wind, and bitterly cold temperatures can make life complicated. This is especially true for those with a mobility disability. Cold weather can also present other difficulties for the disabled that are not an issue for those without these conditions.  


The following tips are very useful for helping your loved one get through the challenging winter months:  


Arrange for Assisted Transportation. Even if your loved one has a specially equipped vehicle to accommodate their disability, getting to and from that vehicle may present a problem. The smallest patch of ice, snow that is too wet and thick, or even wind that is blowing too hard may cause your loved one to fall or be harmed. Salted walkways and driveways help, but they are not a guarantee of safety. Having someone available to get them to and from the vehicle at home and at their destination will protect them during winter weather.  


Check Their Clothing. When you have mobility issues, you need to be able to use your arms at their fullest ability. When you put on a bulky winter coat or put on layers of clothing, the use of your arms can be inhibited. Additionally, for those who are sitting in a wheelchair, a longer coat or layers of clothing can be quite uncomfortable. However, your loved one still needs to remain warm. Work together to find a solution that keeps them warm while not hindering their mobility.  


Weatherproof Their Living Area. Loved ones who have a disability often have lowered immunity systems. This can lead to more bouts of the flu or common cold. To help them fight this problem, make sure that their living areas are weatherproofed. Help them program the thermostat and check for any other weather-related issues that may be a problem.  


Bring Them A Pot of Soup. Sounds silly, but find a reason to come over and check on your loved one without making it seem like you are checking on them. For those who are relatively independent with their disability, being checked on is a little frustrating, even though it is appreciated. So, find a reason to check on them by bringing in a pot of soup. There is nothing better to enjoy on a cold day anyways, and it gives you a great excuse to visit.  


The best thing that you can do to help your loved one during winter is to think about what affects you personally during this period of time. The things you struggle with during winter will probably be very similar to the things they are struggling with at this time. Keeping this in mind, you will be able to provide them with the help they need to keep them safe, warm, and happy. 


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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).