Posted on 25/08/2015

Caring for the elderly and disabled

Caring for the elderly and disabled

Caring for the elderly or disabled can be a full time job, particularly if they have very little independence due to the symptoms surrounding their condition.

You may be a professional carer for a patient with critical mobility issues or you may be caring for the elderly members of your family who have limited funds but an essential need for support. Either way, any equipment used to make daily life easier for both them and you must be reliable and trusted, as well as affordable. That’s why we encourage you to ensure all bases are covered when it comes to meeting the needs of the person under your care.

Dining aids

One of the key aspects of staying independent is being able to feed yourself. If it’s too difficult for the person you’re caring for to prepare their own meals, you should at least encourage them to sit and feed themselves for as long as they are capable:

  • If the person you care for has reduced mobility in their hands, or a weakened grip, a sloped plate makes it easier to eat one handed by pushing food up against the raised edge.
  • Alternatively, the Medici® System Plate offers the same benefits of a sloped plate but is also coloured to suit people who are visually impaired or suffering with dementia.
  • A non slip mat can prevent plates from slipping when being carried on a tray and also stop movement when food is pushed around during mealtimes.
  • To cut down on post-meal washing for carers, it can be useful to ask the person you’re caring for to wear a clothing protector.

Bathroom aids

The bathroom is one of the most commonly used areas of any household, so it’s essential to make everything in there as easily accessible as possible:

  • Being clean instantly creates a more positive frame of mind, so if you know the person you care for struggles bending and stretching, make sure they have access to a long-handled bathing sponge and toe washer to reach those difficult areas.
  • For those with balance issues, or weak limbs, installing a grab rail can really help with getting into and out of the shower or bath. For a less permanent measure, try a suction grab bar.
  • Once in the bath or shower, a removable seat or stool can further aid stability and prevent falls.
  • When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go, so make sitting on and rising off the toilet easier with an adjustable toilet frame to support the weight of those you’re caring for, or a combination toilet seat and frame.

Bedroom aids

The bedroom should be a place of peace and tranquillity, not somewhere to start and end the day stressed. If the person you care for struggles sleeping and rising due to a disability or age-related illness, these bedroom aids may help:

  • The NRS 2-in-1 bed rail is one of our best selling products due to its exclusive design. It’s suitable for both slatted AND divan beds, with an ergonomic handle to help with getting in and out of bed, as well as repositioning during the night for a more relaxing sleep.
  • If the person you care for enjoys reading, but finds it uncomfortable to sit up in bed, an adjustable-back-rest may be just what they need.
  • For those recovering from surgery, or who can’t leave their bed for other medical reasons, an over bed/chair table is perfect for wheeling into position during those all-important meal times.

Out and about

It may be that the person you care for is still relatively mobile but just needs some extra support getting around. If this is the case, you could find the following very helpful:

  • For those who already own a walking frame, the addition of a detachable walking frame caddy could aid in carrying everyday items around the house and transferring meals safely from room to room.
  • If the person you care for enjoys being out in the fresh air, a wheeled rollator gives them extra support whilst walking and a shopping basket to help prevent falls through overbalancing.
  • If walking is an issue, the car is likely to be a preferable option. A handy bar and swivelling seat can greatly help the person you care for get into and out of the car.

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