Losing physical mobility can feel akin to losing independence. At ALS Stairlifts we know it is not a pleasant feeling, nor is it something which is enjoyable to witness a family member going through. Helping them to maintain their independence, then, can be one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. This does not have to overwhelming, either emotionally or financially, and it can have an amazingly positive effect on your loved one’s life.
With this in mind, how can you help your loved ones feel like their independence is secure, even though they may have lost some mobility over time?
Primarily, ensuring that the home is well-conditioned for someone with decreased mobility should be your first concern. Things that may seem simple, such as putting a tin of soup on a high shelf are suddenly verging on the impossible for your loved one. Home should be where you feel safest and so ensuring it is easy to live in is extremely important.
Easy access to essential items such as food and medication can be a simple case of lowering shelves or creating new, much more easily accessed, storage.
Identifying key hazard areas such as the kitchen and bathroom is also important. Common ways to prevent these hazards includes rails to support walking through the house, adding lighting and removing unnecessary floor hazards that may cause falls. Technology can also be implemented for offsite changes to thermostats, lighting or other such things at your loved one’s request. Solutions such as these mean you don’t always have to be there to make these changes and your relative feels more independent as a result.
Emergencies may not be avoidable, unfortunately. Ensuring that there is something in place if something does occur is paramount to the safety of your loved one. If a fall were to occur, for example, this can become a much more traumatic or serious issue if no one is present to help.
Personal emergency response systems can allow a user to call for help at the push of a button, giving both you and your loved one the peace of mind that they will receive the help that they need in an emergency. It is one of the easiest ways to gain independence when mobility is lacking as your loved one can be left to their own devices, but still be secure that if they were to have a mishap they would be safe.
Leaving the home is one of the most difficult aspects of losing mobility. An everyday trip to the corner shop for milk, for example, can be a much longer ordeal than it ever was in the past. Fortunately, we are living in an increasingly modern world. Online shopping can be the saving grace that your loved one needs, foregoing long and difficult trips to the supermarket and ensuring they are always fully stocked.
Even if your loved one is not comfortable using a computer or going online, you can do this for them. It is a simple but effective way to give your loved one back a piece of their independence.
If you feel that there are more ways in which you can help your loved ones stay mobile in their own homes, don’t hesitate to invest in a new stairlift that will bring a whole new element of mobility to their life.