If you struggle with your mobility, whether through age, illness or injury, it is very important for most people to maintain some level of independence in and around the home. Whilst help from a family member or healthcare professional is undoubtedly appreciated, there are some things that you prefer to do for yourself, to maintain your dignity and independence. This could be something as simple as washing, cooking or moving around the house, or more difficult every day tasks, like personal hygiene, getting dressed or carrying out some light cleaning duties.
Whether your mobility is due to an existing condition or more recent ailment, whilst it is often difficult accept, it is important to remember, that you may no longer be able to do safely, what you did before. Simple everyday tasks often become difficult, frustrating and stressful or even dangerous. Your confidence takes a knock and dignity and self-esteem can plummet.
Here’s five ways to help you maintain your independence around your home
- Keeping warm: We know how important it is to keep warm, especially if we have circulation problems. Keep internal doors closed; consider fitting draught excluders to prevent valuable heat escaping. Heat packs, wheat-bags and slippers that can provide warmth and comfort. They are a very economical way to keep warm, popping them into the microwave for less than two minutes will provide long lasting heat and warmth.
- In the Kitchen: Keep frequently used kitchen utensils within easy reach, to avoid over-stretching or losing your balance, when reaching for them. Avoid moving/reaching for heavy objects wherever possible. It is not advisable bending down to lift them, or reaching up to them, try to store them at waist height e.g on a kitchen worktop. If you have difficulty opening cans and jars there are many products to choose from to make such a simple task easier.
- In the bedroom: Getting up in the night is a common cause of disrupted sleep. Keep an unbreakable or sealed drinks container by your medication on your bedside cabinet. Having a telephone close by for emergencies will also prevent unnecessary movement during the night. Did you know that motion sensor; activated night-lights are now readily available. If you do have to get up during the night, they light up the moment you get out of bed and stay on until no further movement is detected. Simply plug into your electrical socket, or a self adhesive battery operated light fixed to your furniture, means you are not stumbling around in the dark or having to go back to sleep with the light on once in bed.
- Bathing: Bathing is a crucial part of maintaining your independence. You are more susceptible to a fall in the bathroom than anywhere else in the house. Properly fitted grab rails or handles, next to bath or in the shower will give you more confidence getting into and out your bath or shower. If you have difficulty raising your legs over the bath edge, consider fitting a non-slip bath step next to the bath. For safer transfer (standing to getting into the bath itself), you might want to consider a bathlift. Battery operated, requiring no installation or electrical work, a bathlift is the safest way to enjoy a full depth bath. Sitting on the edge of the bath, you can safely transfer yourself onto the bathing seat, which lowers you into and lifts you out of, the bath with minimum fuss and without assistance. Personal hygiene is important to everyone and can be difficult if you struggle with upper body movement. Trying long handled bathing brushes and sponges, enable you to wash with dignity and precision without bending, stretching or requiring help from a care professional or family member.
- Toileting: Falling off of the toilet or struggling to stand after use is a common cause of accidents in the bathroom and toilet. It’s no longer necessary to replace your toilet, simply replace the existing seat with a raised toilet seat. Fitting a raised toilet seat means you don’t have to bend down as far to sit and makes it easier to stand. Better quality raised toilet seats are fitted with a toilet lid and some even arms, usually white in colour they are designed to match or complement your sanitary ware.
If you have difficulty walking; reaching, lifting or bending down, struggle getting into and out of your chair or worried using your bath or shower, there are hundreds of daily living products and mobility aids available on the market today, that can you help to maintain your independence and make your homer safer.
At Rise Furniture and Mobility, we provide inspirational solutions to help independent living, so you can stay in your home longer. You can browse our online shop by clicking here