Following on from her Stroke last year, Mum continues to make steady, albeit slow, progress thanks to her sheer willpower and determination alongside the great help she has received from the NHS, The Stroke Association and attending the Moving Forward and Continuation courses at our local leisure centre.
However, Mum remains quite infirm and ‘wobbly’ when she’s walking, both at home and when we’re out. She’s got a Rollator which is great for when we’re shopping or in town, plus a Zimmer frame, numerous walking sticks, a perch seat and a ‘wheelie tray’ that she uses indoors.
Mum’s ‘wobbles’ turn into falls. These happen when she’s at home on her own. We’ve noticed that they usually occur when she’s tired – either in the morning or late afternoon, which has resulted in her wearing her Care alarm at all times.
We’ve adapted her home in lots of ways to ensure that she’s as safe as possible following her stroke, and these changes seem to have made a difference. The changes we have made are simple, but effective and are easy for anyone to put in place. Here’s a handy list I hope you find useful.
In the Bathroom we’ve:
- Removed the bath and installed a walk-in shower
- Pre-set the shower temperature so it’s not too hot or too cold – or needs to be fiddled with
- Put good non-slip shower mats in the shower
- Put a shower caddy in the shower so all Mum’s shampoo, conditioner and shower gel is within easy reach and she doesn’t have to bend down
- Installed a grab rail in the shower and a new towel rail by the shower entrance
And Mum never locks the Bathroom door and I’m always at Mum’s when she has a shower and washes her hair.
In Mum’s Bedroom we’ve:
- Made sure Mum’s bed is at the right height and that the mattress is comfortable and turned each month
- Put two lights by her bed with easy, reachable switches
- Put night lights in the plug sockets so she can see a bit if she wakes up in the night and needs to pop to the toilet
- Put a phone on her bedside table, next to a back-up torch
In the Kitchen we’ve:
- Decluttered and made sure (and check daily) that all the surfaces are clear
- Cleaned out all the cupboards and put all the bits and pieces Mum regularly uses and needs within easy reach
- Put Mum’s perch stall by her breakfast bar so she can sit and eat comfortably – and safely
In the Lounge we’ve:
- Moved the furniture so Mum can move around with her ‘wheelie tray’ and Zimmer frame easily without knocking things over
- Made sure she’s got a nice, ‘proper’ reading chair by the window and next to the phone
- Put all her telly controls in a holder that sits over the arm of her armchair
- Added extra lights so both the Stairs and Hall are extremely well lit
- Made sure that the Hall is clear so there’s no risk of tripping
- Put a letter box cage on her door to save her bending down to get the post
If you’d like to find out more about caring for an elderly parent or relative in Sussex, please visit www.agespace.org/local/sussex or to contact Age Space Sussex, please email: [email protected] or call 01273 608544.