If an aging family member in your home has lost the ability to rise from a chair, lost the ability to walk, or lost the ability to climb stairs, several options are open to assist them. These range from making it easier to get around to helping regain some mobility.
Depending on the nature of their mobility issues, you could build an elevator, design a granny flat, use a mobility aid, or get the help of physical therapist
1. Build an elevator
Affordable shaftless residential elevators are available to assist the elderly get around in a two-story home. This type of elevator moves safely between upstairs and downstairs and will work even if there is a power outage. It will help your elderly family member to be more independent and make life easier in many ways. Installation is quick and easy.
There are a number of safety features available with a home elevator. There is a charging station both upstairs and downstairs, so when it is descending it recharges itself as kinetic energy converts to electricity. The cables are made of galvanized steel aircraft cables that have a breaking strength of about 7,000 pounds. There are a top and a bottom sensor that stops the elevator if an object, pet, or child get under the elevator car. Finally, there is a door safety system. The elevator will not move unless the doors are securely shut. This prevents someone from accidentally stepping out while the elevator is still moving.
2. Design a granny flat
A granny flat, also known as a basement suite, a garage apartment, a mother-in-law house, or a guesthouse, is within building codes and local regulations if it is used exclusively to accommodate an elderly family member. It can be designed to facilitate mobility because it can be made into a standalone unit with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and toilet. However, to comply with building codes it has to fit in with the overall structure of the house. This financially viable option works for everyone in the family. First, it allows an elderly family member have their own space. Second, it makes it easier for you to provide the best possible care. Rather than being forced to send them to a nursing home, you are close enough to make sure that all their needs are met and that they have everything they want. Third, it is easy for the children to do their own thing without having to worry about being too noisy or overactive. According to an insightful article about granny flats at My Aging Parent, a granny flat can be custom-designed to meet specific needs: "Since you are getting a whole new flat designed for the elder people in your family, you can have all the facilities required by an elderly person. Wider doors, ramps, large bathrooms, flush floors and gadgets that make your elderly relatives’ lives easier can be installed in these flats. The flat is designed to have an easy access to the main house, which is very convenient for the elderly."
3. Use A Mobility Aid
Numerous devices are available to assist with mobility issues:
- Walking aids like walking sticks, crutches, and walkers help maintain ambulation by improving stability, reducing the load on lower limbs, and assisting with generating movement.
- Gait trainers are devices that offer more support than standard walking aids because they assist with balance, weight-bearing, and postural alignment. They are among the best aids available to improve walking practice.
- A walk aid scooter is a combination of a walking air and a scooter. By sitting on a seat while walking, it reduces foot pressure.
- Wheelchairs may be either manual or electrically powered.
- Mobility scooters are recommended for individuals who have significant mobility impairment.
4. Work with A Physical Therapist
After diagnosing your aging family member, a physical therapist, also known as a physiotherapist, will create a treatment plan. The therapist and your aging family member might, for example, agree to set a goal to increase strength, improve balance, or improve aerobic capacity. Once the aim is clear, treatment may include biomechanics or kinesiology, manual therapy, and exercise therapy.
In summary, you can assist your elderly relative by making it easier to go up and down stairs, by creating an independent space for them, by providing them with walking equipment or devices, and by working with a physiotherapist.