Adapted Cleaning


Oh how I wish that my disability could translate into an automatic “get out of housework free” pass. Unfortunately that isn’t the reality. (Although a girl can dream, right?) Since becoming an amputee has not excluded me from cleaning, I have had to figure out a way to make the dreaded tasks easy and safe.

I struggled for years before and after my amputation with one task in particular. For me, wrestling with my bulky vacuum was both laborious and frustrating. I often became tangled in the long cords and wrapped around the various hoses and “convenient on board accessories” to the point where I resembled a frustrated mummy!

My stairs were rarely clean, not because I didn’t know that they were dirty but because I didn’t feel steady enough with the unruly hoses to tackle the job. I finally came to the conclusion that I didn’t despise vacuuming. After all, it isn’t terribly difficult to push a machine across the floor.  Rather, I hated MY vacuum because it was not conducive to an individual with an orthopedic impairment.  Realizing that my limb loss was not going to go away, nor was my responsibility to clean the floors, I searched for a better vacuum.

I wanted something that was as lightweight as possible, without compromising cleaning power. Self-propelled was a must have feature because it simplifies the task and reduces my exertion. I also wanted something that was low maintenance and reliable. I think I was pickier when it came to my vacuum than I was when I was car shopping!

After weeks of research and trials at various stores in my area, I finally found the vacuum that works for me. I love my Oreck XL upright vacuum.  It is extremely lightweight, weighing in at only 8 pounds. Because it is so light and compact I can carry it up and down the stairs with one hand, leaving my other hand free to hold onto the handrail.  It is easy to push around obstacles and between floor types. I find the fact that I no longer become entangled by the long hoses and cords a bonus!

I still don’t enjoy cleaning, but I don’t avoid it as much. Finding the correct tools has made a huge difference in my life. After all, adapting is the culmination of a lot of little things.

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.

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