Disabled and Housebound
Disabled and housebound, are these two separate problems? They can be mutually exclusive but much worse, you could be both disabled and housebound. I will discuss 5 ways to help you survive being housebound, I will throw in physical disability for good measure.
Walls feel like they are closing in
The biggest problem, you can easily loose contact with what is happening outside of your tiny world. This is an extremely difficult problem to handle. You can easily find yourself losing the will to live and compete. There are times when the walls feel like they are closing in. Its hard to know what to do if you physically can not get out side, no matter how much you may want to.
Friends are very important
Here are a few tips that might help you. Friends and family are very important, do not forget that. They can bring you news, information. presents, gossip. If they are good friends you can talk with them or at them. They will listen to you and help you to stay mentally alert. Anyway here are a few hints to help you with survival.
1) Bring the outside world into your home
Ask friends, carers or relations to bring something from the outside in for you to see, smell and handle. There is always something that tells you about the season, something from the garden, local park or maybe the beach, Change the photographs as the seasons change. Think of things that evoke thoughts of the month or season. Try to ensure that the curtains are pulled back during the day so you can see what is happening outside.
2) Keep your mind active
You need something to break the monotony and boredom. Maybe its possible to play games with friends such as chess, scrabble or bridge. The radio is always good because you can be doing something else while listening. Photography, painting or drawing will always keep you thinking. In a room the light will create shadows, pets and people can often be good subjects. Nothing beats a good 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle but you will need a separate table for it.
There are a huge number of other activities that can stimulate you. Keeping a diary is a good one but I do not find it easy but there are things like Audio Boo, a form of social networking. So often there are books that you have kept for a rainy day and don’t forget the Kindle.
Television, this is a difficult one to call. I hardly watch any TV but there are some excellent programs but there is also an awful lot of rubbish. Over a period of time I get hooked into TV and I soon reach the stage of where I am a professional couch potato. Before I know it I’m eating packets of biscuits, crunching my way through crisps and pizzas. Before I know it I have lost interest in everything else. The other problem with TV is that it always demands 100% of your concentration because the picture is changing. TIf you want to stop just tell your self its visual chewing gum.
If possible ask your friends and relatives to come at different times when they visit you. Their role is so important. Change and variation makes the days less monotonous and less predictable.
4) Use social media
The advent of the computer means that there is so much more information available, it is almost limitless. Here are a few ideas
- Write on different forums, if it is a good forum then the conversation thread can take unexpected turns. There are forums on anything you can think of, well almost anything.
- Learn new skills, for example touch typing, correspondence courses, languages.
- Start a blog, build a website, create a Facebook page and post comments to Twitter, start Audi Boo. It is very easy to build up a circle of virtual friends using the Internet and Social Networking.
5) Celebrate happy events
Make sure that you celebrate birthdays and personal successes. This is important because it gives you something to look forward to. Always ensure that they are joyful occasions and that there are people to celebrate them with you.
Always remember the good times
A calender or a diary allows you to plan for the future as well as record the moments that you enjoyed.
Being housebound is incredibly frustrating. As your strength and energy returns it is only too easy to push yourself too hard, you end up taking a step backwards. I’m talking from experience. Always remember the good times, that makes it much more bearable.
Carmel, you posted a few months ago now, but just to say I completely agree and I hope you are doing okay.
An interesting article but it takes a lot for granted. Many who are housebound and disabled do not get a chance to make friends, they are isolated and have none, in my case no friends and no family whatsoever. There is no way to get any so please don’t suggest ways – they wont work in my case. Tried them already. I work from home and it is also necessary for me to continue to. So people just turning up when it suits them does not work for me either, I would need to know it does not clash with my working hours – which vary all the time – as well as any other visitors, as it would be pointless to have different visitors at the same time and then get no visitors at all for ages.
Most of the people I can think of who have been disabled or housebound or both would not need advice about stuff such as invite friends around, they can think of all that for themselves, their problems are physical not mental or a low i.q! I’ve approached a few people just to talk about this and they always start to give me advice – it’s always totally inappropriate for me and my situation and they fail to see it, even though they know all of the circumstances. So that gets very wearing. It would be great if we could chat without the other person getting it into their head that they know better than me and trying to rethink my decisions. Changing the stuff that is already sorted as best as it can be is not the way to go. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband, if I want a second opinion I would go to him, that would make a lot more sense as he’s very well educated, intelligent and knows the whole situation inside and out. Please remember that with some people they don’t need advice or suggestions, they need support and a listening ear or to actually help rather than just tell people what to do.
Thankyou for your reply. It sounds as if you have been disabled and possibly house bound for a significant period of time. When I wrote the article I had recently had to stop work because of medical retirement. I could feel my social capital shrinking and I was not happy at this thought. My multiple sclerosis was starting to have a significant impact upon my life and I did not want to see the life I had taken for granted disappear because of my disability which was steadily getting worse.
Everyone must make life style decisions depending upon circumstances and some people do need help to arrive at a place where they are content. Whilst my position is not perfect I am now reasonably content. I can still get out of the house, meet people and earn some money to supplement my state pension all of which are important to me. I have a wife who provides tremendous support and help to make my life easier.
First of all speak to local CAB and you must appeal, appeal and appeal. It is quite possible that PIP application was not answered correctly, you must put down worst scenario. I hope you have kept a copy of the PIP form you submitted.
It is all very stressful, I am in the process of going from DLA to PIP, it is an horrendous, terribly unfriendly process
Very useful Advice ! Thank You! I Ve been diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease , so walking is painful …mi am 65 and still very lively ! My Flat is in a Historic Buliding – Third Floor : 56 Steps , very winding …. Getting more difficult to get out of late …..
Hi Patrick we haven’t met but i recently sent you an email about the cure for MS and other diseases, I see you give out good advice, and i thank you for it, I just wanted to thank you for expending the effort to Do something.
The Kindest regards Peter.