Give the Gift of Independence with a Walk-in Tub or ShowerBarry Smith
It’s an unfortunate part of life – as people age, they become more fragile, forgetful and dependent on others to help them with everyday things. Everything from cooking meals to taking a bath can become dangerous. Depending on how mentally and physically unfit an elderly person is, they might really not be able to live alone. But independence is something elderly people value as much as anyone else.
That’s why the best gift you can give your elderly loved ones this Christmas is independence. There are a few ways you can go about helping an elderly loved one live more independently. One of the first steps would be to think about your loved one’s needs and potential dangers in their home. Here’s a list of things you can do to help your loved one live an independent life.
A Safe Bathroom for the Elderly: Walk-in Tubs and Rails
Using a bathroom becomes surprisingly dangerous to people who lack mobility. To keep your loved one’s bathroom safe, there are a few things you can do. The easiest, most cost effective way to make a bathroom safer is by installing rails next to the toilet, bathtub and in the shower while also ensuring the lighting is good.
But even when you install rails, your loved one can still slip and fall while getting in and out of the bath. To make the bathroom even safer, you should consider having a walk-in tub installed in your loved one’s bathroom.
Walk-in tubs are specially designed for elderly and handicapped persons. There are a number of safety features to prevent risk of injury in the bathroom. Walk-in tubs usually have non-slip surfaces to help prevent falls and are fitted with doors for easier access. Many tubs have other premium features like jets so your loved one can enjoy a massage to help relieve pain from aching muscles.
While a walk-in tub won’t be a cheap gift, the peace of mind, independence and luxury your loved one will be able to enjoy is well worthwhile. A handicap tub or shower will last a lifetime, making it a wonderful gift. Even if you aren’t able to buy walk-in tub and have it installed before Christmas, it’s certainly worth saving so you can get one next year!
Make Shopping Easier
If you can’t afford to buy a walk-in tub this Christmas, then there are still things you can do to help your loved one live independently.
A great thing to help your elderly loved one with is shopping for groceries and household items. You can do this by showing your elderly loved one how to shop for essentials online. This way all the essentials will be delivered at your loved one’s house and they’ll never have to drive or stand in queues at stores again.
But even if your loved one can’t use a computer, you can order things and have it delivered to your loved one’s home.
Encourage Physical Activity
Getting regular exercise is just as important in old age as every other stage in life. You could consider giving your elderly loved one a gift to encourage physical activity. Most old people won’t be able to do high intensity exercise, so rather think of low intensity exercises you can encourage your loved one to do. One simple gift you can give your elderly loved one is a pedometer. This will encourage them to go for walks outside and enjoy nature whenever possible.
Help with the Garden
The last thing your elderly loved one wants is to lose their independence because they can’t take care of their lawn. If your elderly loved one has a garden, they probably find it rather difficult to keep it looking neat. You can help your loved one by paying for gardening services to mow their lawn. Being unable to trim the lawn is a problem elderly people are often faced with. And while regulations often require residents to keep their yards neat, going outside and mowing the lawn can be just too much for elderly residents to do. At best, mowing the lawn is a strenuous task for old people. A lack of mobility can also make it a dangerous endeavor.
Why Elderly People Want Independence
Although people who don’t suffer any lack of mobility take independence for granted, handicapped people are constantly reminded of things they can’t do on their own. Most people feel a sense of pride and worthiness in being able to live independently. When circumstances force elderly people to move in with their children (or to a retirement home) it has a negative impact on their feeling of self-worth. It’s difficult for people who were once the breadwinners in their families, or caretakers of their own parents to accept being cared for almost like children.
Often times, younger people falsely accuse elderly loved ones of being stubborn for wanting to live alone and do things themselves. While this can clearly look like stubbornness, keep in mind that younger people aren’t old enough to understand the psychology of aging. It’s normal for people to feel like fighting a battle will help them overcome it, even if it won’t change their state. Old people also want to enjoy life to the full and live without inhibitions. No one wants to feel like sitting in a chair feeling ill is all life has left to offer them.
So before growing impatient, think about life from your elderly loved one’s perspective. Giving them the gift of independence this Christmas won’t just help them get through everyday life more easily, it will truly touch their heart and help them feel a greater sense of confidence and self-worth.