Matt Hampson has been an ambassador of the Green Trousers website since our launch in October 2016. Matt has kindly contributed to a piece for us to share. We are proud to bring you “Matt Hampson’s Top 5 Equipment Essentials for Travelling”.
Matt is a very busy man working tirelessly for his foundation that supports others dealing with catastrophic injuries acquired through sport. This means he is often travelling in his specially adapted vehicle to various venues in the UK and throughout Europe. When Matt is travelling he carries a selection of disability equipment to ensure he can manage his daily routine safely and comfortably.
- Portable Gantry Hoist – “I carry a Portable Free Standing Gantry and Hoist to make sure I can get onto a bed, my wheelchair and my shower chair.” Most portable gantry tracks have extendable cross bars to cope with different width beds and transfer requirements. Many of the portable hoists simply then clip on to a trolley on the track. There is some assembly with this type of equipment and it does require some space in transit. Matt said “The portable gantry is essential for my hoisting, it allows for me to be hoisted safely”.
- In-Situ Sling – “As I’m hoisted for all transfers and have very little mobility, an in-situ sing is a must!, I’m sat out in my wheelchair for quite a few hours during the day and getting a sling on and off is just too difficult” . In-Situ slings are largely made of a breathable spacer fabric. Most typically they do not have apertures as the aperture can introduce an area of pressure. For hoisted users that have very little mobility it can be extremely difficult fitting and removing a sling. An in-situ sling can reduce the risk to carers by eliminating the need to lean the user to fit and remove the sling. The users skin can also be protected by eliminating sheer forces that can occur when a sling is fitted and removed.
- Slide Sheet – “I take a Slide Sheet away with me so I can be moved easily on the bed. I can be repositioned for personal care or for fitting and removing my sling”.
- Body Support Wedge – Matt uses a Body Support Wedge to support him in bed. Wedges can be used to help with a multitude of situations from simply supporting whilst sleeping, to aiding breathing and swallowing. When we asked how the wedge helped Matt, he replied “The wedge can make a huge difference to me when I’m away from home, you don’t always have the luxury of a profiling bed when staying away”
- Portable Shower Chair – Matt has a shower chair that can be partially dismantled to take up a smaller footprint when stowed for travelling. When asked of his experiences Matt replied “Often bathrooms in adapted accommodation only have fold down shower seats which aren’t suitable for me”. The shower chair that Matt carries is similar to his chair at home with a padded seat, adjustable footrests, supportive backrest and armrests. Whilst we don’t have a portable shower chair quite the same as Matt’s you can see an example of one on our website here.
Matt has also said that planning is essential, making sure rooms will be of an adequate size with turning space for his wheelchair, and that there is adequate access into the building for example.
Useful resources for travelling with a disability
Changing Places – The Changing Places website has a list of specially adapted bathrooms/toilets across the UK with a minimum specification such as a height adjustable changing table and ceiling hoist for example.
Green Trousers would like to thank Matt for spending the time helping us to create this post to share with others travelling with a disability. If you have any queries relating to this post or you would like to share your experiences, please get in touch.