My parents are probably not alone in being keen to stay in their home as long as possible, all their lives if they can. Mum managed it as Dad was able to care for her until the last few days of her life when she had to go into hospital. Now he’s in the house alone it would be good to make it possible for him to do the same. We’ve already done a number of things to make it easier for him and we’ll probably need to do more as we go on.
Some of the things we considered were:
- Trying to make stairs easier to manage. There are a number of ways to do this. A good first step is a handrail on both sides that way you have support available on both sides and that’s particularly useful if you have a weaker arm or need support both going up and coming down. Moving up from that to a stair life is another option to maintain your mobility and allow you to continue to use all the floors of your house.
- Getting rid of trip hazards. My parents seemed to have any number of these, as they had rugs and mats all over the place. It’s better to do without them if you can, particularly if you struggle to lift your feet high enough to avoid catching them as you walk.
- Make shopping easier. My brother started taking my parents shopping a while back. He was going anyway for his family, so he took them along and helped with the heavy bags. This suited them as they could still choose their own things, but they didn’t have to worry about carrying back bulky or heavy items. Another option is doing an internet shop and getting the order delivered.
- Choose a few aids to help around the house. You can get all sorts of things, particularly for the kitchen or bathroom, and it will make it easier to open tins or pick things up off the floor.
- Get some help in. A cleaner is a real help when you become less mobile. It can also help a little with keeping an eye on elderly parents, for example you might not need to nip in to check on them in you know the cleaner is going in that day.