I am a self-professed “techno-idiot.” Ask any of my friends or family, and Better Half will definitely back it up! I am still learning how to use Insta, so all my social media from this post is from Facebook. (Many people of my age still use it.) That being said, for any platform, if you type in either “amputee” or “adaptive,” you will find quite a list – hopefully something that fits your needs and interests.
Many support groups (check out a list by state at the Amputation Coalition website) who went viral during Covid have kept that component even though they have started live groups again. I have found that support groups that are run by inpatient rehab hospitals are still keeping them viral only. I belong to two in my area, and there are no plans to go live any time soon. At this writing, according to the powers to be, the pandemic has officially ended. I hope they go live soon, and going hybrid should become the norm.
Here are some groups to which I belong and have found very helpful. You will see that I am a cyclist, but I can bet my sound leg that there is a Facebook group for almost any activity that has adaptive members. And if not, what a great idea to start your own! (In alphabetical order)
- Adaptively Abled Amputees* - This is a Boston based tribe founded by Melissa DeChellis, an RBKA who is a certified adaptive trainer. This tribe promotes physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being. It hosts both virtual support and social hours as well as live gatherings for the folks who live in the Boston area. Members hail from all over the country. (also on Instagram.) *This group is now inclusive of all disabilities, not just amputees.
- Amputee Health and Fitness – this group is a bit more focused than # 3. If you are working on healthy habits, looking for workout resources, or need encouragement, this is the group for you.
- Amputee Peer and Support Group – a fabulous group to have your questions answered. Greenhorns to seasoned amputees can both ask questions and answer them. Lots of great advice out there – use what works for you!
- Be More Adaptive Closed Group – This group is inclusive and represents all people with disabilities. It covers a broad spectrum of adaptations, information, advice, and events.
- Cosi Talks – Specifically for lower extremity amputees. Cosi Belloso is a highly qualified, nationally known physical therapist. She hosts a live show called CosiTalks every Wednesday night (8:30 pm Eastern). She answers questions from viewers and has guest appearances from people involved in all aspects of lower limb loss/difference. There is so much to learn! I had the opportunity to have a K-level eval done by her in March – she is every bit the professional! (Also on Instagram and YouTube.)
- Curb Free With Cory Lee – Cory is quite the world traveler and has tons of tips for wheelchair users, especially those in power chairs. I so enjoy the pictures of where he goes and his knowledge of accessible places to travel. (Also on Instagram and YouTube.)
- Cycling With Disabilities – this group helps members with adaptive biking, be it two wheels, trikes, recumbents, e-bikes, push bikes, hybrids, places to ride, and advice for biking all over the world. If you are thinking about cycling, this experienced group will answer your questions.
- Footless Jo – Follow along with Jo as she shares her journey, her excellent tips, and her great sense of humor! (Also on Instagram and YouTube.)
- Handcycle – much more focused than #7, specifically for folks who handcycle, or like me, use a Berkelbikepro (combination foot pedal and handcycle recumbent).
- Ladies Only Amputee Support Group – the name says it all. A great group for sensitive issues. (I could not find one for Men only – read first sentence of this post.)
- Recumbent Classifieds – after checking out Cycling With Disabilities and Handcycle, this is the group to find a used a recumbent. Used recumbents won’t break your bank!
- The One-Handed World – dedicated to upper extremity amputees and a wealth of information! Two years ago I had a left thumb tendon replacement. The surgery was twenty minutes, but the recovery was over two months. The first two weeks, my entire hand was wrapped, including fingers. Not only did I have to figure out how to put on my prostheses with one hand, but also how to care for my ostomy. This group was incredibly helpful during my temporary inability to use my hand.
- The World Is Accessible – I recently found this group and really love it! It is compromised of mostly wheelchair users, but it also includes folks like me who walk with crutches (canes and walkers, too). This is truly a global group, so if you need travel advice, this is the group to join. (Also on Instagram.)
There are many more groups – this is just a taste of what’s out there, especially if you are just starting on your journey. Be careful of groups who are run by or who might attract devotees. Enjoy your social media but remember to get away from the screen and enjoy other activities – ahhh, balance.
Written by: Beth Hudson, RBKA