Reducing the strain on carers by improving independence
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Reducing the strain on carers by improving independence





There comes a time when we receive new identities in life. This could be anything from wife, father, friend, organ donor, or volunteer. No matter which it is, they are not usually accepted with much hesitation. But, the labels we receive later in life are less forgiving: pensioner, elderly, disabled, dependent. If this is happening to yourself or a family member, you'll know that this can be a daunting transition.


It is easy to assume that as soon as someone fits into the "elderly" category, they are terminally ill and frail. Well, this isn't the case at all. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, three quarters of Americans over 65 consider themselves to be in good health.


However, as the aging population increases, so does the potential for chronic illnesses and dependency.


According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States by the U.S. Census Bureau, over six million people were living with a disability which impaired their independence and the Administration on Aging from the Department of Health and Human Services has said that "most older persons have at least one chronic condition and many have multiple conditions."


Needless to say, mobility is the biggest complaint from this group of the population and luckily there are ways in which to improve daily life without the need for an expensive and, for many, inaccessible carer. Regain your independence and your confidence by doing things yourself again.


With lessened mobility comes difficulty with basic tasks such as bathing and getting dressed. Many feel that assistance in these areas can feel degrading and embarrassing, but home adjustments can ensure that these tasks remain private whilst remaining safe.


For example, having a relaxing bath is a joy for many people. But, if you struggle to carry your body weight lowering into the bath, a bath seat board can create a higher seat in the tub so you can still enjoy bathing independently, without needing as much effort. Also, with less lowering needed, the less chance of slipping.


Similarly, getting in and out of bed can be a task when joints are aching. Bed is a place of comfort and to ensure you get the most out of it, Overbed tables are becoming increasingly popular. These tray-like surfaces allow for reading, writing or eating with ease.


But these are just some of helpful products available on the market. If you really want to make a difference, grab rails can be installed for balance and support, and perching stools can be great for reducing time on your feet in the kitchen. The fact is, there are enough options available to accommodate everyone, no matter what the level of struggle.


Living aids can not only make your home easier to live in, but it can give you the confidence to get out of there! When mobility is an issue, as it is for many elderly Americans, it is easy to fall into a routine of staying indoors and becoming addicted to daytime television.


Making changes around the home can not only make tasks easier to manage but it can give you your self-assurance back too. It's not always just about the tasks themselves but the lost freedom that comes with them. Some report feeling stressed, depressed and even hopeless at the idea of asking family members for help, but with ways to help yourself easier, this should lessen those feelings. Come out fighting and regain your independence by making small changes that make a huge difference.





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