Does Santa Need Help Up The Stairs?
This time of year, more than any other, sees a rise in the number of relatives meeting up to celebrate the Christmas season. It is also now when those same relatives realise the mobility needs of their older family members.
Families tend to get together and spend more time with each other – maybe overnight, maybe over the whole Christmas and New Year period. This provides the opportunity for a younger relative to notice how their parent is coping around the home, that they may have missed, from fleeting visits at other times of the year.
Some older people tend to see asking for help from family, or buying a stair lift to be stigmatising. They feel that they should be able to manage stairs themselves without any additional assistance.
The problem comes when their fitness to haul themselves up the stairs, perhaps using grab rails, becomes worse, but they neglect to do anything about it. Stigma around getting help in older age is a real problem and causes a lot of unnecessary suffering and worry for relatives.
What is needed as families and friends gather together, is an honest appraisal of someones ability to climb both up and down their stairs. The winter season is the time when most falls occur, so in order to be proactive about it, and avoid a trip or fall, it is wise to seek free advice about stairlifts, even if you are not quite ready to proceed and buy one just now.
The hospitals are at maximum capacity as well in December and January, and in order to discharge people as quickly as possible we get many enquiries for emergency stairlift installations. We also think it is better all round if a relative can come home and spend Christmas with family, so if you need a Christmas installation for the quickest response you can phone me directly on 0800 007 5050.
According to Andrew Cannon, managing director of BUPA:-
“We believe that the cold weather and the effects of illness and loneliness over the winter months can cause individuals and their families to reconsider their care needs. It’s also a time of year when people naturally plan for the year ahead.”Source:BUPA.co.uk
It is a fine balance when the older adult parent changes their role and it then becomes the child who looks after the needs of the parent. Below is a video from Dr. James Dobson who shares a letter written by an octogenarian reader of his, which you might find relates to this rather well.
So if you are a younger relative you need to have courage to have the difficult conversations about coping on the stairs, and also compassion for their feelings, because it can be a hard step for some to accept that help.
If you need any further advice on this matter there are a number of online guides that can help you. I have read through what the Home Instead organisation produce and they have a free online course for family members to help keep elderly people safe. Here is the link to it.
And if you need free advice on anything concerning stair lifts, then please call me on 0800 007 5050 or email me here and myself or one of the team will assist you, just as soon as we can.