Your ability to move about can impact how you communicate. You might need longer to get to places or be unable to sit or stand for a long time. Having the right phone can make a big difference.
What limits our mobility?
Mobility can be limited by a physical or neurological condition, or as a result of ageing, injury or a medical condition – and changes to our mobility can happen at any age.
As technology advances, the devices we use to communicate are more mobile than ever, which means that reduced mobility doesn't have to mean reduced independence.
Recognising mobility issues
Having reduced mobility might not be as obvious as some other impairments and it’s sometimes hard to admit when you're not able to move about as easily as before.
If you're taking a bit longer to get to the phone, or if you're finding it harder to sit or stand still while talking on the phone, then a few small changes could make a big improvement to how you communicate.
Which phone features should I be looking for?
There are lots of products and services that can help you communicate more easily if mobility is an issue.
- cordless phones – mean you can make and take calls wherever you are in and around the house. Lots of cordless phones have more than one handset connected to the line, which means you can have them in different places, with at least one always charging. (We suggest keeping a corded phone connected as well, in case you need to make a call during a power cut.)
- answering machine – means people can leave a message that you can listen to when it’s convenient (you could also use a network-based answer message service like BT Answer 1571 or BT Call Minder – for details of charges for these services, see bt.com/callingfeatures)
- hands-free capability – phones that you can use hands free can be really helpful if you use a wheelchair
- call control – phones that let you screen or filter unwanted calls, making sure that you’re only answering the calls you want to take.
An extension cable or an extra socket lets you put the phone in a place that’s easier to get to. You can get DIY extension socket kits and cables from our online shop and other retail outlets. You can also arrange for BT to fit a socket for you by ringing 0800 800 150 (there’s a standard charge for this service).
Getting help with mobility
There are several organisations that can help you if you have limited mobility. Your local authority might be able to help with special equipment and assessing your needs. An occupational therapist can also work out what extra support you need.
Simple tips to help with mobility
There are lots of ways to make it easier to communicate when you find it difficult to get around your home:
- bring things you use often closer to you (for the phone, you could use an extension lead). Make sure wires and small items are out of the way to avoid tripping
- consider moving furniture and equipment around so your space is more accessible
- make sure your home is well lit
- if you use a wheelchair, think about using cordless or wireless devices that you can take with you around your home
- keep items in the place where you'll need to use them – keeping a pen and note pad by your phone is always good idea
- if you need time getting to the door, think about getting an intercom system.
We've got lots more tips on our Making calling easier page.