In Frank O’s words…
My mum had a stroke and lost power on the right side of her body. Also, her eyesight’s not good. She says she was lighting the coal fire. She stood up, her right side collapsed, and she fell and broke her hip. She went into hospital and spent some time in a care home. Now she’s back in her own house.
We knew the first action was to fit grab rails to the front and back doors, and wherever there is a step in the house. We’ve also put handles on everything downstairs to help her get around. We took up the rugs so she can’t slip on those.
We’ve put handles on everything downstairs to help her get around and brought her bed downstairs, for safety.
We’ve also moved her bed downstairs for now, with a commode in that room, and we brought down a chest of drawers to put into the bedroom. We moved armchairs upstairs out of the way. She’s got no central heating in the house and the therapist said she can’t light the fire any more and risk falling into it. So I put lots of electric fires on timers so she doesn’t have to bend down to switch them on and off.
There’s a chair with arms on it that she can use to pull herself up, and that’s now on raised legs so she can stand up more easily. She used to have the telephone in the hallway and we moved it into the downstairs bedroom and put the wires under the carpet so she can’t fall over them.
It’s a massive health and safety operation, so you look for tripping hazards and any change of level is going to be a problem.
Keeping it simple
We have been providing her with ready cooked meals including veg, too, which requires far less standing to prepare.
As my mum is having carers visit three times a day, a key safe was fitted to allow free access to them. It also means that the neighbours, who are first call on the list for the alarm she wears on her wrist, don’t need to have an individual set of keys.
Looking to the future
It’s early days, but we’re considering applying for a grant to move the bathroom into bedroom three as there is a significant step into the current bathroom. There is also a walk-in pantry downstairs, which we may look at turning into a toilet.
Despite all the changes, Mum is glad to be back in her own home.”
Use our checklists to review the basic safety aspects of your home – such as lighting, heating, power and furniture.
If you’re finding the bathroom hard to navigate, there are many products and adaptations that make it easier to use.
From grants to local authority funding, find out what help is available to help pay for home adaptations.