Mar 01

Advice On Exercise For Arthritis Sufferers


Arthritis can be a debilitating condition that can make it difficult to do even basic daily tasks when it becomes severe.

However, doing certain exercise can help alleviate symptoms and make it easier to live an independent life for longer. The Express has highlighted advice about the best exercise to do if you suffer from arthritis.

Among the options are pilates and bowls, both of which can be beneficial to people who suffer from arthritis.

Speaking to the newspaper, Wendy Davis, from Arthritis Care, commented: “Those with arthritis can benefit from a combination of gentle stretching, strengthening and aerobic exercise – this includes yoga and pilates, or even sports such as bowls or petanque.”

Even low-impact activities like gardening or housework can class as aerobic exercise for arthritis sufferers, she added.

The important thing, according to the news provider, is to make sure you’re doing the right kind and level of exercise for your arthritis – this will ensure it doesn’t get worse.

Making changes to your home, such as by installing a walk-in shower bath and other additions to the bathroom that make it easier to use it if you have reduced mobility, may be another step you want to consider if your arthritis is worsening or becoming severe.

There are a host of other adaptations you can make to your home to ensure you’re able to stay there as long as possible, even if your mobility is reduced as you get older. One council in the UK revealed earlier this year that it’s trying to encourage more elderly people to make use of assistive technology.

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council is offering people devices on a free 12-week trial, as well as providing training on how to use them.

Half height shower doors
Feb 23

Advice On Designing Accessible Bathrooms Offered


If you’re considering carrying out a bathroom redesign this year, there are a number of elements you should think about to ensure it’s future-proof.

Among them is to ensure that it’s an accessible space. An article in the Telegraph has offered some suggestions on how best to go about this without compromising on style.

One of the top suggestions is to install a walk-in shower. Because these do away with the traditional shower tray, they become easy access showers that make bathing safer for both younger and older members of a family.

What’s more, if you only have a small bathroom, a walk-in shower can be an excellent way to make the most of the space. By choosing simple tiles and a stylish shower screen, it can look elegant as well as being highly practical.

Another element worth splashing out on during a bathroom revamp is low-slip floor tiles. These are available in a range of colours and designs, so you should be able to find something that suits your decor.

Even taking the time to think about the kind of taps you install can make a difference to those with reduced dexterity being able to use things in the bathroom. The newspaper noted that by selecting long-handled, lever-style taps you’ll make it easier for people who struggle with their dexterity to use them.

In December, a study by suggested that more and more families are considering multigenerational living, which could make it more important to make alterations like these to ensure everyone can safely use spaces like the bathroom.

Feb 15

MPs Call For Govt To Address Elderly Housing Problems


More help should be given to elderly people in the UK so they can adapt their homes to suit their changing needs and reduce the number moving into residential care, MPs have urged in a new report.

The Communities and Local Government Committee’s Housing For Older People document highlighted the problems faced by the ageing population to stay safe and comfortable in their homes.

The report noted that this group of people’s issues are diverse, but called for a “national strategy, which brings together and improves the policy on housing for older people”.

Among the suggestions are readily available handyman services to make repairs, adaptations and maintenance to enable residents to stay in their homes for as long as possible.

The green paper also recommended all new properties be made to Category 2 Building Regulations standard so they adequately satisfy people’s needs as they get older; it called for councils to address how they intend to deliver appropriate houses to the elderly; urged lenders to improve customer service and guidance for older people applying for mortgages; and to increase access to shared ownership and equity.

This strategy is urgent, the MPs claimed, as 18 per cent of the UK population was over 65 years of age in 2016. What’s more, the number of people 85 and over looks likely to double over the next 25 years.

One thing that elderly people do need to change in their home is their bathroom. As they become less mobile, walk-in baths or easy access showers are much easier to use than standard facilities.

By making these adaptations to their bathroom, they will be able to wash themselves more easily without any help. Therefore, they will stay independent and in their own home for much longer – a liberty most people want to hold on to as they get older.

Feb 10

British Red Cross Criticises Elderly Care


Small walk in baths are just some of the many ways in which people can maintain more independence at home as they get older.

This is important for many people, and can actually benefit the mental health of some too.

It is also not a great time to be entering social care as the NHS and social care crisis has hit the UK harder than ever this year.

The two are thought to be exacerbating each other, with some saying the crisis in social care is putting increased pressure on the NHS.

Now the British Red Cross, which called the problems the NHS faced last year a humanitarian crisis, has claimed that many of the problems faced by the NHS are due to elderly people becoming stuck in an “endless cycle of avoidable hospital readmissions”.

Chief executive Mike Adamson told The Independent newspaper: “We believe that routine home inspections, when someone vulnerable is discharged from hospital, could flag basic steps that would prevent dangerous falls and repeat admittance to hospital. This could dramatically ease the flow of patients in and out of hospitals, helping to free up critical bed space.”

In a report, the charity says that elderly people are increasingly being sent home from hospital, without the right care in place only for them to end up back in A&E.

The report goes on to show that emergency readmission has risen 23 per cent over the past five years, and states this is due to the lack of care available for elderly people. They criticised hospitals for not identifying the issues earlier on, and addressing them.

Feb 05

Politicians Ignore Stagnating Life Expectancy


As people get older, it’s important to look into how to meet the lifestyle and healthcare needs as we get older – and disability baths are just one way to go about doing this.

Despite measures such as this, politicians in the UK government’s health department have been criticised for failing to target the stagnating life expectancy in this country.

The criticism comes as the government is looking at raising the pension age, a move which some academics say is unfair due to the stagnating life expectancy of many.

“Concerns about life expectancy have been raised by academics at least twice in 2017, and twice the [Department of Health’s] responses have been disappointing, even attacking the researchers involved,” they wrote in the article for the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Fingers are being pointed at other countries such as Scandinavia and Japan, where life expectancies continue to grow.

There are a number of reasons being given for the lengthening of life expectancy in many areas with the improvement of healthcare and the lack of natural disasters and epidemics being cited as reasons why life expectancy is growing.

The researchers also flagged the growing gap in life expectancy for people from different socioeconomic backgrounds and areas.

Though researchers argue that eventually a plateau should eventually be reached we are “nowhere near that”, and the stagnating life expectancy in this country is the worst in Europe.

Though the government has admitted they think the socioeconomic disparities are cause for concern, they say that there is still improvement as a result of the money they have pumped into the NHS.

Jan 29

Council Hoping To Boost Use Of Assistive Tech By Elderly


We all understand that as we get older we may need to make modifications to our homes to help us stay safe and live independent lives.

That might involve having things like easy access showers installed in our bathrooms, but now one council in the UK is running a scheme to try and get more elderly residents in its area to adopt assistive care technology.

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council has received a £25,000 grant from the Local Government Association (LGA) to help it develop a project that it hopes will encourage more elderly people to make use of such devices.

Dave Tyrell, project manager, told UK Authority that it can be difficult to encourage people in this demographic to adopt new technology, which is why they’re going to work with a behavioural insights specialist to help drive take-up.

“I think people are sometimes put off because they think of technology as being complicated,” he explained.

Mr Tyrell added: “We want to look at what people understand about how it works, with the key words being ‘awareness’ and ‘training’.”

To help overcome any negative perception of the cost, the council will be offering people devices free of charge for a 12-week period, as well as providing them at no cost after they are discharged from hospital. The hope is that these devices will help people stay safe in their homes.

There are always new innovations happening where technology is concerned, and one of the latest comes in the form of an IllumiBowl light that can be attached to the rim of your toilet. Technabob noted that the light turns on and off using motion sensors, illuminating your toilet in the night and making it easy to navigate your bathroom.

Jan 26

Advice To Make Your Home Safe For Someone With Alzheimer’s


If you are getting ready to take on the role of caring for a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, there are a number of steps you should consider to ensure your home is a safe environment for them.

Channel3000 has offered some advice on what to prioritise and how to decide where to start with these changes.

The first thing to do is assess your home safety based on your loved one’s needs and condition. You need to think about whether they can still manage stairs, if they have fallen over recently, and how good their sight is, for instance.

Bathrooms are a good place to start, and there are a number of simple modifications that can make both of your lives easier.

Shower seating is advisable, as well as grab bars and a tap cover for your bath, as this can prevent them from injuring themselves if they slip while in the bath.

Making sure your floor is non-slip, as well as the shower tray or bath, is also essential to help reduce the risk of falls. Another tip is to ensure your water temperature isn’t too hot. Fitting thermostatic anti-scald valves or taps will limit the temperature of the hot water to a maximum of 48 degrees at the outlet.

You may also want to consider fitting childproof latches on cupboards where you store medication or cleaning products. The same goes for the kitchen, with the publication noting that it’s advisable to lock up potentially dangerous items like knives, matches and scissors, as well as cleaning chemicals.

Fitting safety knobs on the stove to prevent your loved one from accidentally turning it on is another sensible step to take.

Given that 520,000 people in the UK currently suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, according to figures from the Alzheimer’s Society, this advice could be useful for many people.

Jan 19

Older People More At Risk Of Flu


If you have need to use UK disability baths, it’s important that you also don’t threaten your independence by not taking care of your health as properly as you should.

You may already have heard of Aussie Flu or French Flu, so called because the flu strain took hold in Australia’s winter, and is now causing a crisis in France.

It hit the UK in recent weeks, and this virulent strain has been blamed for knocking people out for quite some time, suffering high fevers, stomach upsets and vomiting, coughs and extreme aches and pains.

The epidemic has come at a time when the NHS is already suffering a significant crisis, with A&E waiting times at their highest ever. Both the health secretary and the prime minister have been forced to apologise for the situation in the health service.

Older people are being urged to have their flu vaccination if they haven’t already, as well as other vulnerable people.

There has in fact already been an improved uptake in the flu vaccination with over a million being delivered by November this year.

Older people are more at risk of catching flu, though there is conflicting advice over the impact vaccination has. Results out this week showed that last year’s vaccine had no impact on whether or not people over 65 caught flu, whereas a paper also out this week shows that immunity is improved with repeat vaccinations over several years.

Either way, if you haven’t had your flu vaccine yet and you are over 65 or a carer, you can still obtain yours from many pharmacies.

Jan 10

Do You Claim Carer’s Credit?


If you look after a disabled person and are providing 20 hours of care or more a week, it’s possible that you might be eligible to claim carer’s credit. This is a scheme designed to help carers build up better state pension entitlements, so you could really benefit if you research it this year.

New research from Royal London, however, has just revealed that although each year of credits would add £237 annually to a carer’s state pension, the scheme itself has failed to reach 97 per cent of its target group.

“Governments cannot simply hope that people find the information on official websites or rely on the occasional ministerial press release. It is time for proactive communications with those who are meant to benefit so that far more people get the help to which they are entitled,” director of policy Steve Webb commented.

To qualify for these credits, the disabled person you’re caring for must be in receipt of one of the following benefits: attendance allowance, constant attendance allowance, disability living allowance care component at the middle or highest rate, personal independence payment or Armed Forces independence payment.

If the person in need of care doesn’t receive any of these, a health or social care professional will have to sign the credit application and confirm the details.

You yourself have to be over the age of 16 but under state pension age, and be looking after one or more people for a minimum of 20 hours a week. You can also still get carer’s credit if you take a break from caring (up to 12 consecutive weeks).

For advice and help with shower seating and other bathroom modifications, get in touch with us today.

Jan 07

13m Brits Argue ‘About Sharing Bathrooms’


It can be difficult living with friends and family, but apparently one of the most challenging things about cohabiting for Brits is sharing bathrooms.

According to recent figures from Direct Line Home Insurance, 13 million adults have had an argument about the use of the bathroom in the past. For 800,000 of these people, the disagreement has been so severe it has resulted in the end of a friendship.

Dan Simson, head of home insurance at Direct Line, said: “Shared bathrooms can quickly descend into chaos, with families feuding over the ‘best bathroom’, couples bickering about whose turn it is to clean the shower and flatmates clashing over who used the last of the shampoo.”

The findings revealed the most common disagreement is to do with the state the bathroom has been left in, with 40 per cent saying this was the major cause of conflict in their house.

Some 29 per cent stated that arguments were usually about leaving the toilet seat up, while 23 per cent had disputes about how long people spent in the washroom.

These are just some of the reasons why many would prefer to have their own private bathroom, with 15 million Brits having to share the space with at least three other people.

It is not a surprise so many inhabitants share bathrooms these days – two million claim to use theirs with five or more people – as multigenerational living has become the norm in the UK.

Indeed, online estate agent recently revealed that three in five Brits would consider purchasing a property with relatives, AOL reported. However, while families may want to live together, residing with several generations in one house could easily lead to conflict.

Older residents would fare better by having their own facilities, so they can install easy access showers or baths that are easier to climb in and out of.