There are lots of ways in which seniors can continue to live a fulfilled way of life in the comfort of their own homes. Here are a few suggestions…
Staying within the comforts of home in a community of friends and neighbours is almost always preferable. Timely home adaptations, from handrails to stair lifts, can go a long way to making this possible.
There’s also a wide range of well-designed helpful products on the market, from kitchen gadgets for arthritic hands to adjustable beds and electronic armchairs that lift the sitter to a standing position.
For someone concerned about falls, an emergency call button device is well worth considering. It can take the form of either a pendant or wristband. When pressed, the button connects the wearer with a 24-hour control centre, which is connected through the phone line. Trained operators will instantly know who you are and where you’re calling from. They’ll assess the situation and decide what type of help you need, be it a family member, a friend, or the emergency services. Available for a regular fee, they can bring peace of mind both for the wearer and their relatives. AgeUK has a scheme.
Another invaluable change can be within the bathroom. When changes in mobility mean that it is a struggle to get in and out of a bath then it’s well worth looking into having a shower cubicle installed or better still, turning the bathroom into a wet room that avoids the user having to step into a shower. These are best professionally installed and once in place, can make a huge difference to an individual’s sense of wellbeing.
A HELPING HAND
Home care allows a person, either on their own or with a loved one, to stay at home, even when they require 24-hour care and support. A variety of services can be paid for out of a carer’s allowance or attendance allowance payments, as well as from other grants for example.
There are a number of agencies providing care for people in their own homes in this area and their teams are able to cater for a wide range of needs. It could be as simple as providing company for someone who has become isolated or providing practical, supportive help around the home, or at key times of the day such as ‘being there’ for someone when they take a daily shower as they’ve lost confidence after a fall.
Some find companionship on a shopping trip useful, particularly if they can no longer drive, or having someone to help first thing in the morning or at bedtime can make a real difference. Help with meals and monitoring medication can be vital, particularly if someone becomes forgetful. Some agencies offer qualified staff for night care and even full-time care and live-in companionship.
FRIENDLY HOME HELP
The benefit for paying for help is that the service itself is delivered on a more personal basis and an individual can build a relationship with the person who visits them. The visits themselves may be a minimum of an hour which means that there’s time to do the useful ‘extra bits’ that people really appreciate like changing beds and washing bed linen, or simply having a chat that can make all the difference to day-to-day life.
DID YOU KNOW
Many areas have good neighbour schemes that offer lifts to older people to ensure they can get to health appointments or to shop at a supermarket.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
AgeUK, the nationwide charity has a wealth of advice and information, as well as products to buy, from its website www.ageuk.org.uk If you need advice or information on money, care or health, call 0800 678 1602. They’re open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year.
Centre for Ageing Better www.ageing-better.org.uk offers information on home adaptations.