Tools for Independent Living

One day independent living feels hard, especially when delivery people make crazy decisions from my point of view.  I’m sure the delivery person wouldn’t have thought the person using the ramps would be the same person to try to bring these into the house, but he/she prevented my ability to use the ramp in the meantime.


Luckily, I have wonderful neighbors who arrived to help that afternoon.

Then there are days that I find a tool that makes my life easier and saves me from having to hire help.

This is the Brush Flex by McCauley.  This painting tool is perfect for those with limited physical mobility, those who shouldn’t be climbing step ladders or those tricky places, such as stairs, where a step-ladder is dangerous. Let me show you how simple this is to use.


The orange piece holds the paint brush. You simply slide the paint brush in from the top (widest part) handle first.  This tool will hold any size paint brush because the three holes you see on the handle are there to accommodate short to long paint brushes.

Line up the hole in your paint brush handle to one of the holes in the tool’s handle and screw in place with the enclosed screw.


One your brush is securely in place attach the metal extender to the back of the paint brush holder.


The metal piece on the extender is flexible, although it takes a bit of work for me to bend it.  This is a good thing because once you have the angle you want it won’t move while painting.

Here I have it in an almost straight position.


And here it is angled, which I like as it affords me a better view of what I am painting.

Once you have the Brush flex assembled with your paint brush simply attach any standard extension pole made for paint rollers to the bottom of the brush flex handle and go to work.


This wall in my living room I painted with a paint roller but had to ask for help cutting in along the ceiling.  Now with this tool I can cut in myself!

The handle of the brush flex can be used with regular paint rollers as well.  Simply attach a paint roller to the flexible handle instead of the paint brush holder.

I purchased this to paint the exterior siding where a roller isn’t feasible as it won’t get in all the grooves.  The Brush Flex cost $33, not cheap but hiring painters would have cost me a lot more than that.

I don’t know if this was designed specifically for those with mobility issues or not but I would like to believe it was. As we continue to talk openly about ageing in place and those with disabilities living on their own it’s nice to see products that give us a bit more independence to stay active in our homes.




  1. the flex brush looks cool.

    The ramp…
    well, honestly, if it wasn’t something crucial to you,
    it would be funny (sorry).


    yrs ago, I ordered a new stove.
    from another town. I PAID for it to be delivered. PAID.

    the day it was to be delivered, I got a phone call from the manager,

    “informing” me that I DID realize that it would be dropped on the sidewalk in FRONT of the house, not
    in the house, or in the spot in the kitchen.???

    WTF??? how did they think I was going to lift in into the house. After various discussions on my part, he agreed to have it put in the house (since I had PAID extra for delivery)


    • No way! I’ve heard of paying for delivery and the delivery people refusing to install the item, such as hooking up a gas stove but telling a customer the appliance would be left on the front sidewalk….NEVER. Good for you for insisting they deliver it to your door.


  2. Obviously the delivery guys are not required to think beyond the very limited basics. Something they should be trained on, no?

    As for your new toy… that is super cool! Let us know how well it works! (sometimes these tools seem good but don’t to a good job…)


    • Dale, love your way of thinking! I think it’s a combination of doing as little as they have to, it would have been nice if they brought the boxes up onto the deck for one, but also the fact that we’re just starting to see people with limited mobility making it on their own.

      The tool works great. It’s a bit heavy for my limited arm strength so I’m getting a work out with it…which is a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You know, I’ve heard it said that people living in a position of privilege are often so blind to it that they literally cannot see it, nor can the conceive of others not having it. Sorta thinking that must be the case with your able-bodied delivery person. Bet it didn’t even cross his mind that he might be blocking someone’s access by blocking the ramp.

    Reminds me of the time I read a comment by some online jerk lambasting poor people as lazy moochers. His evidence was that when he drives through poor neighborhoods during the work day he sees all sorts of people out and about – clearly that must mean that they are too lazy to work. I had to explain to him that working a 9-5 M-F schedule is a privilege that most poor people don’t get to enjoy, and that all of those people who arrive to clean his office building while he’s heading home, and serve him his dinner while he’s out late at a restaurant, and stock the shelves at night so that he isn’t inconvenienced with by them doing it during the day… they actually live somewhere!

    Anyhow, I LOVE your paintbrush tool, and I might have to get one myself. The garage is in desperate need of painting, and one side is right up against the fence, so it’s almost impossible to get a ladder back there safely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! I love to hear about ignorant people put in their place over the subject of the poor. I hear so much of it and it makes me sick. When I was in college with two little ones I took in babysitting and restored yard sale finds to sell. But I needed help purchasing food. One day a guy started yelling at my in the grocery store for buying a frozen pizza and bag of chips. I pointed out to him that I worked, went to school and was a single mom but I didn’t make enough to make ends meet. We were buying the pizza and chips to go with a $1 movie rental because we couldn’t afford to go out to a movie. He rolled his eyes and still mumbled something under his breath. They just don’t get it. Our families still need treats, such as a movie night, so the children don’t feel deprived while we work to make our lives better.

      The paint brush tool is handy but it’s a bit heavy for me, I have to prop my arm to control it when reaching up really high but it works so I’m thrilled. Let me know how you like it if you get one. I had to purchase mine through Amazon because none of the home improvement stores around here carried it.

      As for the delivery guy, I take it in stride and remind myself that this community is just learning to accept seeing me out and about. In the three years I’ve been here I have yet to see another person in a wheel chair. Nothing new for me as I was the first person to fight for the right to attend regular public school. I was an oddity then and an oddity still today. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I started reading this a couple of hours ago and got distracted by a nap. ;( I showed the first picture to my daughter who is here today and she had a cow. All she could say was “who raised that moron.” I told her you were my hero and she agreed. The paint thingy is very handy looking. Have not seen them here but then, I’m not painting much these days. I am so happy you have good neighbors. As it should be. We are going to have to find ways to make it on our own for many years to come. Keep at it,


    • Love your daughter’s comment. My neighbors urged me to call and complain but I don’t expect to ever have another large package like that so it would probably be a waste of time.

      I love seeing new products that are designed for both the ageing community and the disabled to allow us to continue to do as much as possible on our own. It’s about time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t look at it as complaining, Lois. Look at it as informing. They need to educate their drivers for the next ramp they drop something off at the bottom of. The next person may not have good neighbors to help. You don’t need to be mean, just informative and educational. You will help the next person.


  5. I’m really impressed that you can control the paintbrush with that long handle, over your head. I would not be able to do that.
    I think your dilemma with the delivery person blocking your ramp is a good example of why it’s important to cultivate to a relationship the neighbors. Another pair of hands, a borrowed tool, keeping watch on each other’s houses, just knowing someone is close by if help is needed — makes life a lot easier. It does take time and making an effort though.


    • I purchased it to paint the siding on the house but it won’t stop raining here. I gave it a try indoors and find that as long as I balance my arm on the arm rest I do fine but I do get tired as the metal portion is quite heavy for me.

      I agree with your thoughts on cultivating relationships with the neighbors and I am very fortunate in having good people around me. I used to say I wanted to self-sufficient but now I realize we need others so I tend to use the term self-reliant.


  6. Duhh.. some people have no forethought at all when considering the ramp. So pleased you had helpful neighbours Lois and that handy gadget for holding paintbrushes is a real winner in my eyes.. SO useful.. ❤


    • I chock it up to this being a transitional period. In my childhood we hid people who were “less than normal” whether physically or mentally. Even a decade ago, when families kept their disabled family member at home they didn’t take them out. But now more of us are living independently and demanding the world accommodate us. As this becomes more normal to see delivery people will see ramps and think before leaving packages blocking them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very true Lois, people need educating on this, I picked up some litter on some steps in town the other day and put it in a bin.. It was slippy plastic, and had someone slipped on it they could easily fall down a huge flight of stone steps it was on.. That is a throw back to working in the factory setting and keeping the walk ways clear between the lines of machines.. Health and Safety.. It comes second nature to me..


        • I see people all the time tossing litter out the car windows or dropping it as they walk, they are too lazy to carry it home to dispose of properly. This is not new. When I was younger my grandfather used to say he wanted to move to Canada when he retired because things were cleaner, no trash about. Sadly, he didn’t make the move he wanted to so desperately.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I am very intrigued by your painting gadget. We don’t need it now, but I considering buying one to have for later. I’m afraid if I put it off, I’ll forget about it.

    Neighbors can be the best thing or the worst thing in the world. Glad you have some good ones around you. However, you have set a good example for all that you do for them and their kids.


    • I wasn’t sure if many would see the advantages of another gadget but thought I’d share since this is one gadget that I find useful for once.

      I am lucky to have the neighbors, friends and family that I do have. I wish everyone was as fortunate as I have been.


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