Tuesday 16 July 2013

Is your home elderly-friendly?

When my uncle was diagnosed with MND (Motor Neurone Disease), I must admit I'd never considered half of the adjustments that could be made around a home to make things slightly easier. From the simple and obvious ones - adding wheelchair ramps and grab rails in the bathroom - to the more complex and expensive changes, such as hiring medicalised beds and wheelchair accessible vehicles or creating a wet room - it's a very steep learning curve. The MND Association is a great source of support and advice for anyone coming to terms with a recent diagnosis and worrying about what the future holds. And if you're considering becoming a full-time carer for an elderly relative, I hope the advice below may be of use to you.


What do I need to consider before becoming a full time carer for my parents?

The realities of caring for a family member are complex. The most essential character trait that should be possessed by anyone who wishes to commit to the task of caring is patience.


Although caring for your parents is an admirable desire, it is absolutely essential that you determine whether you have the time and money and can offer the commitment that will be required. The main reason that so many in the UK offer their services to their parents is to help them retain their independence and dignity.

If your parents live in a house that is difficult to negotiate without help, it might prove to be a good idea to investigate whether the installation of a range of aids to mobility might make your task easier and also help your parents navigate their own home.

Some local authorities may assist with the provision of Stannah homelifts through the means tested Disabled Facilities Grant and this option is certainly worth exploring for those on a limited budget.


Obviously, we would all like to stay in the comfort of our own homes for as long as possible and if care from a family member can achieve this ambition, then so much the better. There are problems though, and one of the most difficult paths to navigate is that of prioritising care of one’s own family with that of one’s parents.

Another problem is that of finance. If your parents are in comfortable monetary circumstances and do not need to draw from assistance from the State, then so much the better. Conversely, if you have the financial resources to look after your parents then life will be a lot easier but if you feel that your role as a carer needs Local Authority back up, for example, or you need to work, you should take a long hard look at the situation.

The current government changes to the UK’s welfare system mean that both carers and their parents can expect a worrying time ahead and you may find that the demands on your time are going to be far greater than originally anticipated. It is important that you check with your local authority whether you can install Stannah homelifts and other appliances in the family home and receive financial help for this conversion.


It is essential to realise that as a carer you will have to be able to take breaks throughout the year. Even if you visit your parents as a carer rather than actually living with them, you will need some respite. The main organisation for Carers, Carers UK, suggests that 81% of all carers are ‘not aware of the support available’ and urges all who perform a caring role to recognise that they too need support.

for more information : http://www.carersuk.org/

Disclosure : This is a sponsored post.

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