Could Mobility Aids Help Your Grandparents?*

*This is a collaborative post*

At some point in life, through age or ill health, our bodies will eventually let us down. It's a sad but true fact and something that I witnessed first hand over the many years spent with my grandparents.

My grandad spent his last years housebound, carers attending to him four times a day. He'd had various health problems including multiple strokes which meant that he'd lost the use of one side. My nanna, the saint that she was, had tried her upmost to care for my grandad herself. She had tended to him right up until her hospitalization and passing just three years ago. Remarkable really considering what she had been through. Hip replacements, surgery, a stretch in intensive care (that scared the hell out of us all), skin cancer, the second world war, you name it, my nanna had survived it all. As had my grandad. 

After each bout of ill health and hospitalization there was usually a period of rehabilitation before my grandparents would be allowed home, and believe me, they were always determined to get home. I always understood their need for this being a homebody myself, and who wants to while away their days in a care home or hospital if they can help it? It would seem that my grandparents weren't alone in their desire to remain in the family home with many elderly folk preferring to stay put. Obviously this is only ever a feasible and realistic option if an individual can manage daily living activities and can look after themselves properly. Basic daily habits such as showering, dressing, eating, shopping and housework can all become a challenge when our bodies begin to fail us.

When my grandparents were rehabilitated after their individual hospital stays, we had numerous visits from physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers. Each of these helped in their own way but the one health professional that stood out to me and made the biggest difference was the OT. To help my grandparents remain independent and manage their daily activities, the OT suggested the use of mobility aids. I can't say that I know of anyone who enjoys getting old, I know that my nanna felt hugely frustrated when the house was taken over by carer visits, walking sticks, grab rails, walking frames, commodes, toilet frames and the likes, but she also knew that they were a necessity and would make all the difference. Indeed with the use of these aids, she and my grandad got to live out their days in their much loved family bungalow. Without them they would never have coped.

If you have elderly grandparents who are struggling with their daily activities but who wish to remain in their home, why not consider assisted living, stairlifts or the use of mobility aids? It could be that a care home is the best solution, but before you make any drastic decisions I'd highly recommend that you explore all options. 

I'm so grateful that I got to watch my grandparents while their days away happily at home. I loved nothing more than seeing my grandparents tuck into a takeaway on a Friday night or hearing my grandad snoring in his armchair whilst my nanna and I watched Doc Martin. No doubt these are fond memories that will last a lifetime, I hope you get to make many of your own.

*Photos via Pexels

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