Changed My Disabled Life If you’re on a limited budget, it can be hard to find products that will improve your life while still staying within your financial limits.
Fortunately, there are some products that are incredibly helpful to disabled people, and they also won’t break the bank. Here are 10 of my favorite tools and devices under $100 that have made living with multiple sclerosis easier and more comfortable!
- A Google Home
At first, I wasn’t too sure what I’d do with a Google Home. Then, my aunt and uncle gave me one as a birthday gift, and it turned out to be one of the best gifts ever. It allows me to play music, read books aloud, check weather forecasts and set timers with just my voice.
Having Google Home read a book aloud has been helpful in keeping me on task when I get distracted by any number of things that seem more important than getting something done! This is also great for people who have difficulty reading themselves. With Google Home, you can listen to audiobooks without having to use your hands or eyes at all.
2. Pain Scale Ruler
If you’re disabled, it can be hard to get a sense of how your pain is affected by factors like exercise or sitting for long periods. If that’s true for you, keep a pain scale ruler on hand to help you better understand your condition and record any changes.
The markings indicate levels of pain from 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst possible). It also has tick marks at one-half intervals so you can more accurately pinpoint where your pain falls within a range.
Available in three sizes, ranging from 3/4 inch wide x 8 inches long ($6) to 2 inches wide x 24 inches long ($12).
3. USB Desk Fan
It was a scorching summer day in July when I first plugged in my USB desk fan. It wasn’t anything extravagant just one of those cool breeze fans you plug into your computer but it felt so good on my face that I didn’t want to take it off. Even though I never considered myself to be disabled, having such a small luxury seemed like such a big deal for me.
Before I had gotten sick, I hadn’t thought about how easy it is to take things like air conditioning and heating for granted. After getting sick, these simple luxuries suddenly became a necessity.
Having an extra fan around was just what I needed to keep cool during our hot summers and warm during our cold winters!
4. A Chromecast (for watching Netflix in bed)
It’s a lot easier to sleep when you don’t have wires coming out of your ears. And did I mention it works with Netflix and YouTube? Bonus.
A Back Pain Massager (for back pain): I get low-level back pain pretty often, but using a back massager takes away all my worries in about 10 minutes.
Definitely worth its weight in gold! Just be careful if you use it on really sore muscles, as they can hurt more afterward.
5. Amazon Echo Dot
It’s small, it’s cute, and you can use it to play music and ask Google anything. And because I have multiple sclerosis (MS), an invisible disease that disrupts communication between my brain and body, a portable assistant like Alexa is a life-changer for me.
Since getting one about two years ago, I depend on Alexa for all sorts of basic tasks I used to find difficult or impossible for example, shopping online. Now I just say Alexa, order diapers from Amazon and they arrive in two days with free shipping.
In fact, everything I need arrives quickly through Prime: groceries, toys for my kids, cleaning supplies…you name it! Best of all? No more lugging around heavy bags! The only thing Alexa can’t do is help me get out of bed when my legs won’t cooperate.
6. Sleep Mask with Ear Plugs
Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night? The constant light from your cell phone and other electronics is a major cause of sleep problems.
While there are several affordable blue-light-blocking apps for smartphones, try investing in a pair of sleep masks with ear plugs to block out ambient noise as well. These will also come in handy if you need to get to sleep early on an airplane, or just want to meditate quietly somewhere!
7. Laptop Stand (to hold my laptop on the table rather than my lap)
A laptop stand is useful for anyone who uses a laptop, but it’s even more helpful for those with disabilities. I’m sitting here at my desk right now and I have a friend in mind as I write.
He has cerebral palsy, which has paralyzed half of his body and made sitting excruciatingly painful. It might sound silly to consider whether or not a product will alleviate suffering, but to him and many others like him, it makes all the difference in their day-to-day lives.
His name is Kevin, and he loves computers. He would be lost without them — and wouldn’t be able to use them nearly as effectively if he had to sit on a pillow just so he could see what was on his screen.
So when I saw an ad for a laptop stand that was under $100, I knew that it would make Kevin happy…and help him get some relief from pain while working on something he loves! His smile says it all!
8. The Standing Desk Book
Standing desks are in vogue, but some people just aren’t ready to invest that much money. If you’re trying to improve your health and save some cash, try a standing desk converter or book stand.
When you’re at your computer, don’t forget to stand and move around every 20–30 minutes as well! You can also look into an adjustable height sit/stand desk if you want to be able to switch between sitting and standing throughout your day.
Here are 10 things under $100 that have changed my disabled life
9. 1/2 inch Foam Pad for Chair Tops (to sit in different ways at my desk chair)
Being disabled, especially with repetitive stress injuries (RSI) in my spine and neck, makes it crucial for me to sit differently throughout the day. This means switching positions a lot: sometimes slouching more to lean on my desk at different angles, sometimes sitting more upright when I’m typing or using my mouse.
Switching between these positions is really important to keep from causing new pain — or aggravating old pain. A small 1/2-inch foam pad has made all of that possible! I can just take it off my chair top, move around where I want to be sitting, then put it back down again. It doesn’t hurt anything underneath either because of its size!
10. Recliner Seat Cushion (to get more support from chairs and car seats. Also, I use this as a sleep pillow.)
I suffer from depression and anxiety. Because of my illnesses, I can’t sit for long periods of time. I need to be moving, otherwise, my brain gets stagnant and overloaded with too many thoughts.
However, sitting is a requirement for most workplaces because people need to sit still at their desks during working hours. So what do you do when you need to move around but you have a job that requires you to sit?
Well, if your answer was to buy a new office chair with all sorts of bells and whistles that will allow me to recline so far back that it looks like I’m almost lying down on my desk, then congratulations! You have good taste in office furniture!