Care and Support
As we get older, we all want to continue with the best quality of life possible, writes Tracy Hargreaves
As we age we realise that we need to adapt to our changing bodies. They don’t always function like they used to and we have to be prepared to accept that. But the good news is as we are living longer our quality of life is getting better and there are now more facilities available to us than ever before.
Take retirement living. Many now are their own little luxury villages where people can have their own apartments, which have been built with the audience in mind. Wider doors for wheelchair access, plug sockets at accessible height, easy access around the site and with many having gardens or ponds, allowing people to have their independence, yet have services on tap such as meals prepared, trips out, cinema, hairdresser and cleaners, without having to leave the comfort of their complex. What’s more retirement living on a site such as this can also combat loneliness, which can happen as you get older and less able to leave the house, as there are always like-minded people around to socialise with and support you.
If you are looking for a care home, choosing the right one can be difficult and will depend on the services you require. Research carefully the ones that are simply residential or provide nursing or dementia care and arrange a visit. Get a feel for the place and the staff and if possible talk to some of the residents. Getting the right care is paramount when you are older, but it’s important to feel safe and secure in the environment in which you are living.
However, all is not lost if you do want to maintain your independence in your own home, but it may be necessary to equip your home to meet your needs.
For those who might have temporary and limited mobility, purchasing a purpose-built hospital bed for your home may be a far better solution, where adjustable and reclining beds are designed specifically to help the user be more comfortable over long periods of time. They come in a variety of sizes and the bed positions can be changed as well as raised or lowered giving easy access.
Likewise, a riser recliner chair elevates you to a near standing position and back down again. This allows you to stand up or sit down easily and unaided, and without pressure on your back or joints. It will also be both supportive and comfortable and an invaluable aid to your continuing mobility can make a real difference to your quality of life and afford you the reassurance and stability that comes from remaining independent in your own home for longer.
Many companies offer home cooked meals direct to your home if you are struggling to cook. You can even choose off a menu and be rest assured that they will cater for all allergies, dietary requirements and will be healthy and nutritious.
Our health also suffers as we get older but, getting the right help early on can mean a better quality of life, even though many of us might not want to accept it. Get your hearing and eyesight checked out regularly. Companies like Preston Hearing Care Centre offer a comprehensive hearing service either in their centres or in the comfort of your own home. They will consider your needs and provide the best solution. Gone are the days of the big bulky hearing aids, with vast improvements to technology and innovation, hearing aids cater to a range of needs and requirements.
Have a regular check up with your optician. An eye test is not just good for checking whether your glasses are up to date. It’s also a vital check on the health of your eyes. An eye test can pick up eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts, as well as general health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure.
The good news is that if you’re 60 or over, you can have a free NHS eye test every two years. Despite this, a 2011 survey from Age UK showed that nearly two million people over 60 did not take advantage of free eye tests in the previous two years.
As you are getting older, embrace life and enjoy it to the full and take advantage of all the great facilities and services on offer.