Being able to drive is often a key to independence and getting out and about. You may need to make some changes because of your PGP to allow you to continue to drive.
- To get into the car, keep your knees together and sit down first, then swing your legs in together. You can also get a swivel cushion to help you turn round (provided by an occupational therapist), or use a plastic bag to help you slide. Reverse the action when you get out. Remove the plastic bag before driving as you could slide on it if you had to stop suddenly.
- Avoid carrying a baby car seat with the baby in it. Where possible, put the seat in the car first, then put the baby in, and vice versa. If you must carry your baby, cradle him/her in both arms close to your body in front of you for the shortest distance possible.
- It is also possible to get a lightweight wheeled car seat frame that attaches to many baby car seats. You can then just lift or slide the seat out straight onto the frame, and push the baby from there.
- If you have the opportunity, it is often easier to drive an automatic car as there is no need to lift both feet to change gear. If you have a company car you may be able to exchange it for an automatic, or if you are changing your car anyway, it is worth considering (not the cheapest option, unfortunately).
Parking badges (Blue Badge scheme)
In some areas these badges are available on a temporary basis, but in others this is not the case. However, if you are severely disabled by your PGP, especially if you have had your baby, it is worth applying for a badge, and appealing if you are unsuccessful. This is an area in which we would like to campaign for women disabled with severe PGP. If you have been housebound, it makes an enormous difference to your life when you are able to access all those places you would like to go simply by obtaining a parking permit.
Content reviewed and updated in 2016.