Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

At home mobility – what to consider and ideas

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There are clear benefits for both physical and mental health when staying in your own home and live in care extends this option to more people. However, where mobility has been affected, at home mobility aids are necessary to ensure live in care is a realistic option. Mobility aids are an increasing market and there are many items available but it can be difficult to ascertain the essentials for your own home. Here we look at some of the key items that can make a real difference to your at home mobility and your ability to receive care safely.


Handles and rails

If mobility is a factor for you then it can have a serious impact by exhausting you and increasing the risk of a fall. Whilst they may seem simplistic, aids such as handles and rails in strategic spots can make a significant difference in reducing the risk of a fall and allowing you to maintain independence in a safe way.

Stair lift

If stairs are tricky to negotiate but necessary for bathroom or bedroom requirements then you may want to consider a stair lift. It can feel like a big change or an unreasonable extravagance but can be a worthwhile investment to significantly extend the time you will be able to comfortably live at home. There are now a range of stair lifts available, able to fit the majority of staircases and that can work quickly, safely and quietly.

Bathroom aids

Washing and dressing are tasks a live in carer will assist with but you may want to retain as much independence in this area as possible. There are many gadgets and aids available to help from affordable items through to specialist baths or toilets and from permanent fixtures to temporary aids. For a relatively inexpensive short-term solution, there are specialised seats and hoists to help with showers and baths. Alternatively, you may want to consider the longer term investment of a wet room, walk in bath or toilet hoist or investigate the possibility of being assessed by the NHS to pay for necessary adjustments.

Walking aids

Whilst handles and rails can help with getting around in particular areas of your home, you should also look into walking aids for use both in and out of your home. The reassurance of a walking stick, crutch or walking frame can make a big difference to the ability to safely negotiate and navigate your own home. More sophisticated frames can be ideal to take out of the home with features such as built in seats and space to store shopping.


Lift and recline chairs

For continued mobility at home, it is essential to keep as active as possible. This can be more difficult when something as simple as getting out of your chair is painful or uncomfortable. This is where the lift and recline chairs are helpful as they make sitting and getting up much easier, allowing you to maintain your independence and supporting you to keep active.

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