These are undoubtedly very hard times. The coronavirus pandemic has forced most people into isolation, which means that families have been divided and elderly parents are living alone with little or no support. It can be very distressing knowing that your mother or father is not receiving the usual level of care and attention, especially when they have mobility issues or need to take regular medication. However, there are few tricks we’ve learned from the experts about how to support people living alone.
Elderly Parents in Isolation
It is a sad fact that for many elderly people, living in isolation is actually the norm. Age Concern and other charities raise the issue every Christmas of elderly people having no social contact with others for weeks at a time. Because of the way we live today, with families often living in different parts of the country and elderly people unable to afford a care home, and often wanting to stay in their own homes, a whole industry of support has arisen. Although never as good as a friendly support worker, products and tools are available to help people live independently, and provide comfort too. So, let’s take a look at how you can help your elderly relatives even when you’re unable to assist them daily.
Help In the Living Room
For those of us who are fit and healthy, you’d think the living room was the one place that people didn’t need help. But if you’ve ever tried getting up from an armchair after a big session at the gym, or after a C-section, then you’ll have a good idea of how some elderly people struggle every day.
Help in the living room comes in the form of armchairs that lift you up, and also gently lower you into your seat. There’s no more pulling on the arms or collapsing into the chair and wondering if you’ll have the strength to get up again when you have an electric lift chair.
Help In The Bathroom
Both the toilet and the shower, or bath, can become a huge challenge as mobility reduces. Toilets can be made easier to use with the help of toilet seat raisers and grab bars, and baths and showers can be made easier to use with stools, bath benches and bath lifts.
Help in the Kitchen
Preparing and cooking food can become more difficult, especially if arthritis starts to affect the hands. So a selection of kitchen aids to help open tins and jars, chop food and serve meals is vital. A good perching stool is also a must, as it provides support so you can work in the kitchen for longer, preparing meals and cleaning up afterwards.
Help in the Bedroom
Similar to the living room, the bedroom poses many challenges. Beds can become difficult to get out of, so an electric adjustable bed can be really useful – they not only help people out of bed, but make the bed more comfortable for reading and taking meals.
For those that suffer some incontinence, a commode is essential in a bedroom, especially if the room does not have an en suite bathroom. Often people wake up desperately needing the toilet and simply do not have time to get to the bathroom, so a commode next to the bed can help avoid a lot of upset. It’s a good idea to have some sanitiser gel handy next to the commode.
For occasions when you do not wake up in time, some good bed pads and a waterproof mattress cover help avoid a mess and make it easy to clean up after yourself.
When you are at home every day it can be hard to keep track of what medicine you have taken, so a pillbox with sections for every day is extremely useful. Some pillboxes also come with alarms to help remind people when it is time to take medicine.
There are just a few ideas of how you can help your loved ones stay safe and comfortable at home. This pandemic will be over soon and we will be able to start getting our lives back to normal again, but even when it is over, all these medical devices can help bring a little more comfort and independence to people’s lives.