Slow and Steady

Posts Tagged ‘name and shame

I went to the Aztec Centre today. The website says

The Aztec Centre in Croydon has the largest selection of assisted living and mobility aids in the area.


I went there to get a stick with a stool. When I’m walking I tend to stop a lot because it hurts my back. I tend to lean forward to stretch my back. I thought having a stick with a stool would be handy. When I get to the centre, there is a young lady who was very friendly and came to help me straight away.

Then it all went a bit wrong.

She showed me the 2 styles of stool sticks they stock and told me quite bluntly that they were both rubbish and a waste of money.  I appreciate her honesty, but I couldn’t help but be upset. I didn’t say anything to her because it’s not her fault, she’s just selling them.

Truthfully though, I did cuss her out on the way home in my car. I thought that if she knows a product is crap, why isn’t she reporting it and getting something done?

Then I remembered the amount of times I used to complain about products at my old workplace that were rubbish, and the powers that be never responded.

This pisses me off though. This place is The largest selection of assisted living and mobility aids in the area.

Yet they have only 2 styles, and each of them are rubbish? Fix the fuck up.

I know I can buy it online, but there are things that you do need to see. If I had bought either one of those sticks online, they would have both needed to be sent back. That is not always free. Also, lets remember a lot of the people who need these aids may be elderly and not have computer access.

On one, the actual stick on one wasn’t wide enough  have a solid base. It was more of a long umbrella width than a stick. The other seat was low, made from elastic, and hard to get up off.

I know everyone’s conditions are different but I honestly don’t know who would find those helpful. The assistant knows that they are not helpful. So do something about it.

I’m going to send this post to their customer service department. Will anything change? Who knows, but at least I know I tried.

This, coupled with the wheelchair scenario and the fact my room still hasn’t been hoovered over 10 days later has left me in a  bad state today.

Bed time for me.


Well that is what private gyms owners seem to think. I’ve been going swimming at my local pool for years, as it’s the only non stretching exercise that doesn’t hurt a lot. A few months back my friend invited me to his gym. It had a heated pool, jacuzzi and a steam room. It was bliss, and I didn’t feel as sore as I usually do the next day. I decided that while it’s like 30 times (Nope, I’m not exaggerating) more expensive, it was worth it.  I started looking around and what I found surprised and irritated the hell out of me.

The Nuffield gym that is down the road from my house has no disabled parking, and the walk to the reception is far. It would be a nightmare to use a wheelchair in the car park because it’s gravel. While the pool is on the ground floor, I couldn’t use the gym even if I wanted to because there is no lift. I didn’t sign up there because when I went for my trial day, the jacuzzi wasn’t working and when I got talking to the members, it sounded as though it was a regular occurrence.

I then tried Solutions. Again, no parking, no lift and the gym is upstairs. The pool itself was lovely and warm. The shallow bit was so shallow, I hit my head on the floor when I was swimming! The doors are also fire doors and are really really heavy. As there was no lifeguard, I had to wait for someone to come out of the changing room to get back in there. The jacuzzi had 3 steep steps. Just no.

Greens was a good experience on the whole. They have disabled parking, and a private disabled changing room, which led straight out to the pool. The water was a bit cold, but still warmer than my local pool. The only problem with this gym was the steep steps into the jacuzzi and the stairs to go into the steam room.

There are 2 Virgin Active gyms near me. I knew as soon as I parked by the first one that it was going to be a problem. It only had steps going up the door. They weren’t steep, but the fact that they were there alerted me to the fact that people with mobility problems were not catered for.

I was proved right when the oily salesperson came up and sneered at my 4 wheeled trolley. There were 3 flights of stairs to get to the changing room to get to the pool. I laughed. Hard.

Then we get to the final one, the other Virgin Active. It has disabled parking, and lift to the gym. They have something none of the others did. A hoist! I can get in and out easily. The steam room and jacuzzi are all one level. The jacuzzi does have steps, but they are the very very shallow ones. On the whole it’s a nice space and I’m going  to look forward to exercising there.


All the others should fix up though. I think it’s disgusting that in 2012 people with mobility issues are not catered for.  Swimming is the one exercise that is almost always recommended for people with chronic pain. Even if not swimming, just exercising  in warm water is good enough. For most of these journeys, I used Dial-A-Ride, and the people I met on them were very interested in whether or not we were catered for. The market is there, but it seems like very few private gyms are interested in us.  Maybe the owners only want a certain look for their club…?