Look Your Best

Looking your best not only applies to what you wear and the confidence you have about yourself but also in how you prepare yourself prior to getting dressed. Learning to navigate basic hygiene tasks while visually impaired or blind doesn’t have to be daunting if you learn and familiarize yourself with a few basic tips and techniques.

Hair

There are two very different basic hygiene tasks when it comes to hair. One is keeping it clean and the other is shaving it off. Both can be important when trying to look your best.

Knowing if you’re picking up a bottle of shampoo or conditioner has just gotten easier with one line of products. According to Allure, Herbal Essence has done a total redesign for the packaging of the brand’s Bio:Renew line of botanical shampoos and conditioners. The redesigned shampoo bottles will feature a row of raised lines on the bottom of the back of the bottle — “S” for shampoo — while the conditioner bottles will have two rows of raised dots in the same place with a “C” for reference.

Shaving doesn’t have to be any harder than shampooing. VisionAware states, “Many people consider shaving to be a personal grooming task that is potentially dangerous for someone who is blind or has low vision. In everyday practice, however, the skill is not dangerous at all. Many of the skills and techniques involved in shaving do not rely upon vision and may only require basic safety adaptations and closer attention to tactile feedback.”

Your basic shaving supplies should include a razor, shaving cream or lotion, after-shave, a washcloth, and a towel. Wash the area to be shaved with soap and water and pat dry. This will soften the hair making it easier to shave cleanly and safely.  Shaving cream will protect your skin and help you better locate the areas you’ve already shaved. A popular razor with our customers is the Norelco Triple Head Electric Shaver.  If you are partially sighted you might find it useful to utilize a magnified mirror such as the 10X LED Lighted Travel and Home Mirror.  Lightweight, foldable and just what you need at home and when you travel – a lighted, 10X distortion free glass mirror with bright lights surrounding it. Cover folds back and mirror becomes self-standing for hands-free viewing.

Skin

More and more companies are incorporating braille into their products’ packaging. One of the first to do so was L’Occitane. In the 1990s, founder Olivier Baussan noticed a blind customer in a store feeling the bottles to get familiar with the product. He started putting braille on the company’s packaging in 1997. About 70 per cent of L’Occitane products now come with braille labelling. An article by the Unseen Blogger looks at five L’Occitane products that she personally tried including; shea light comforting face cream, verbena foaming bath soak, lavender relaxing roll-on, shea butter hand cream, and almond shower oil. She provides the pros and cons, as well as, links to the aforementioned products.

Beauty is Within discusses a new makeup line by Visionary Cosmetics designed for the blind and visually impaired. Visionary Cosmetics offers a wide range of makeup and beauty products including eyeshadow, lipsticks and glosses, highlighters, makeup remover, and more. The website is fully accessible, so shopping is very easy for those without sight. In addition, the buyer has a choice of braille or large print on every product.

If your vision is limited, a useful tool when doing eye makeup is the 3X Makeup Magnifying Glasses.  Flip the magnifying lens away from the eye you are putting eyeliner or mascara on and look through the 3X magnifying lens covering the other eye.

Nails

Keeping your nails clean and fungus free is an essential part of good hygiene and a great finishing touch towards looking your best. You should clean your nails daily. Scrub your nails with a pumice stone or soft scrubbing brush, warm water, and soap.

Trimming your nails is also important to keep them in shape. If you have loss of vision and just need a little help in seeing where you’re clipping this 2X Magnifying Nail Clipper could be just what you need. For someone who is totally blind it is recommended to feel where the clippers are touching and to clip a little at a time in a slight upward angle.  Sam, from The Blind Life, both talks his way through and shows you a nail clipping technique in this video. Commenters were quick to note that there is really no necessity to go outside to do this if you’re able to sweep up behind yourself.  If you’re worried about cutting too much off, you can also use a nail file to both smooth any rough edges and to further trim the length down.

Want to add color to your nails? Cold nail polish or a nail polish pen are the best ways to apply color to your freshly cleaned nails.  It’s advisable to plan ahead and put the nail polish in the fridge for at least two hours prior to using it. Alternatively, you may find it easier just to keep the nail polish in the fridge at all times. The cold nail polish is easier to feel and makes it less likely to paint outside of the nail area. Nail polish remover on a cotton swap may be applied around the cuticles of each nail to remove any potential smudges.

Looking for other items to make your life easier and more carefree? Be sure to check out the other great products offered at independent living aids, LLC.

Mobility at Home

Whether you’re able bodied, dealing with a chronic illness or disease, have aged not quite as gracefully as you had hoped or through an unfortunate injury everyone wants to be able to have the freedom and mobility to get around their own homes.  This blog will focus on making the living room, bathroom, and bedroom safer, more mobility friendly, and help lessen the chances of accidents occurring.

The Living Room

Chances are the living room is one of the very first rooms upon entering a house.  Our living rooms are where we go to relax and unwind or socialize with family and friends. Carpet and rugs in this common area may be problematic if there are wheelchair, canes, or walker considerations. Consider changing to tiled, hardwood, or laminate flooring. Make sure there is some traction on the floor as surfaces can easily become slippery when using canes, crutches, or some shoes. Keeping clutter at a minimum in all walkways is another important step to take.

Next is the living room furniture. It should be welcoming and not overly jumbled together creating a risk of bumping into things or even falling. Replacing your furniture may be out of the question but there are things you can obtain and utilize to make your current furniture more user friendly. One option would be to buy a set of furniture risers if it is difficult to rise from a seated position. Another option, that can be transferred between rooms, is the SafetySure StandEase which looks a bit like a backwards walker. This lightweight device makes getting up or sitting down easier with the sturdy bars to grasp on to. Plus, it can easily go with you whenever you find yourself traveling or on the go.

The Bathroom

Bathrooms are hot spots for falls and injuries. Fortunately, many bathroom safety measures are simple and inexpensive. WebMD offers an article on home safety tips for persons with limited mobility. Most of these tips are taken from that article.

  • Don’t rush in the bathroom. Hurrying can make you less careful. It’s important not to wait too long before going to the bathroom.
  • Install skid-free mats. Low-pile, non-skid bathmats can prevent falls on wet and slippery floors. Non-slip mats or appliqués are also helpful in the tub or shower.
  • Put in extra seating. If your bathroom is big enough, put a sturdy chair by the sink so you can brush your teeth and groom yourself while seated. Shower chairs, such as the Deluxe Bath Bench with Back, are a great option whether you have a tub or an open shower to help keep you safe while keeping clean.
  • Don’t bend and stretch. Instead, put in a bath organizer, shelf, or wall-mounted dispenser for shampoo, conditioner, and liquid soap. A long-handled scrub brush makes it easier to wash feet, legs, and other hard-to-reach places. A standing toilet paper holder can help if it’s difficult to reach a wall-mounted holder.
  • Make it easy to get up. A toilet seat riser or toilet safety rails (with or without a toilet seat) are helpful if you have trouble getting up or down from the toilet. A grab bar or two next to the toilet is another option.

For more suggestions on mobility aids for the bathroom or to purchase check out ila’s bathroom aids.

The Bedroom

If possible, keep your bedroom on the main level of your living quarters. Climbing up and down stairs could pose an accident risk, especially if tired or having issues with your balance. Keep essentials next to your bed including any nighttime medications, drinking water, a flashlight, and a phone. If you frequently find yourself waking to use the bathroom at night a nightlight is an inexpensive aid to help you find your way.

One of the simplest ways to make a bedroom more comfortable is to look at choosing a bed that fits your needs. According to This Caring Home, Falls around the bed area are common. The bed may be too soft or not at a good transfer height. It could be that your mind wants to get in or out of bed but your body refuses or the other way around. One mobility aid that could assist in the case of balance issues or weak muscles is the SafetySure Bed Pull-Up. It easily attaches to the bottom of the bedframe and has eight, equally spaced, cushioned handles allowing you to rise at your own pace.

Finally, one last tip from the WebMD article.  When it comes to getting dressed, sitting in a sturdy armchair to dress and undress can be more stable than sitting on a bed or standing. And you can use the arms to steady yourself when you sit down, reach, or stand up. Use a long-handled shoehorn to put on shoes without bending over. A dressing stick – essentially a stick with a hook at the end – can help you pull on pants or skirts, take off socks, and reach clothes that are hung up high.  To purchase these type of mobility aids or to browse more options see dressing aids.