October 24, 2014

Helping elderly relatives stay independent

 

Senior and young holding hands

 

Many of us have family members whose age means they may no longer be as physically able as they once were.

A decline in health conditions or difficulties in doing the everyday things which once came easily doesn’t automatically mean that they should give up the home which they often love and are reluctant to leave.  Making a few changes and adaptations allows the elderly to continue to live independently and safely in their own homes for longer.

Dressing

There are a range of tools available to help with the task of dressing.

Long-handled shoe horns provide a way of putting on shoes without having to bend down.  You can also purchase hooks which assist with doing up buttons on clothing, and there are tools which aid putting on socks or tights.

Getting around

Moving around the home and outdoors can be made much easier with a selection of mobility aids. 

If stairs are difficult to deal with you could opt for fitting a stair-lift – a seat which slowly transports you up or downstairs at the touch of a button.  Internal and external steps can easily be dealt with by fitting ramps, and don’t forget to add handrails for that extra support.

Your family member might need extra support when walking around and so might benefit from one of a selection of rollators available.  These come in different designs – some include a basket or bag making them perfect for popping to the local shops, whilst others include a seat meaning they are ideal if someone is easily tired and needs to rest frequently.

For those who still want to get out and about, or want to move about in their home easily but find they can no longer walk for as long or as much as they’d like, there is also a range of wheelchairs which come in a range of weights and sizes.  These are specially designed to support and protect the user, and often include adjustable height options as well as adjustable backrests and seats.

Bathing

There are now a number of bath lifts available which make getting in and out of the bath easier.  They fit onto the bath as a seat, which the user then raises and lowers in and out of the bath by pressing a button.

Hand rails placed on either side of the bath tub and toilet are also extremely helpful.  Both freestanding and wall-mounted rails are available.

Emergency help

No matter how well prepared or how much a home is adapted to their needs, accidents do sometimes happen.  Installing an alarm system linked to a button which the user wears around their neck, means that they can alert the emergency services in the event of a fall even if they cannot get to a telephone.  This brings peace of mind to you and your loved one that they receive help quickly should they need it.

Finally, remember to check on your loved ones frequently, especially during the colder months of winter.  Make sure they have adequate food and heating available and that they know how to contact you if they need to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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