It’s that time of year again when our thoughts turn to Christmas and what to buy our family and friends. The hardest people to buy for tend to be our parents and elderly relatives. I know I struggle each year. We always seem to get the same old gifts each year such as a soap set, chocolate or boring old socks or cardigans. When you ask your parents or an elderly person what they would like for Christmas, they tend to say oh nothing don’t worry about me, or I have everything I need. But what we need to remember is that the elderly are a proud bunch of people and probably wouldn’t ask for help or say what they really want anyway. This year why not think outside the box a little and see if there is something you can buy them which really would make a difference to their lives.
Try to think of a gift which is not the norm. If they love the theatre why not book tickets for a night at the theatre or a show which they would love to go and see. If your parents are quite elderly they would probably appreciate an experience gift or day out rather than an actually present. You can wrap the tickets up so they have something to open on Christmas day.
Another idea is to get together with the rest of the family and put money together to get them something really beneficial. What you could do is head over to your parent’s home and take a look around their home. Is the home elderly friendly? Is the bathroom safe and designed for elderly? Perhaps they are struggling with getting in and out of the bath and really a walk in bath or walk in shower would be much better for them. One of the biggest problem the elderly have which they probably wont like to admit to is keeping up with their hygiene and bathing. The reason being is that mobility gets more limited the older you get, bending, stretching and general everyday habitual tasks become more of a problem. Also with limited mobility, accidents are more likely to happen so it really is important that the homes of our elderly relatives are looked at in terms of being elderly friendly.
If the whole family put their heads together and really thought about what would make a difference to our parents this Christmas I am sure you would come up with something that really would benefit their lives. Perhaps pay them a surprise visit and question them about what changes around the home would make a serious difference to their lives. Probe them as they may be too proud to say. Also think about 5 years time, how old will they be, what might need changing or altering to make living at home easier to prevent them from having to move into a care home. Ask any elderly person and their biggest wish is to see out their last years i their own homes. But this is only possible if the home is a safe environment.
Perhaps they are struggling with the stairs and cannot afford to move into a bungalow. This is when a stair lift might be the perfect gift to give them this year. Perhaps they already sleep in a downstairs room but the bathroom is upstairs and less out of reach. It might seem like a huge upheaval but installing a downstairs bathroom would be a great idea and not as big a job as you might think.
When looking at a bathroom, bathroom accessories such as grab handles, levers and other extras can help to make a bathroom easy to use and safe as possible. A walk in shower with a seat is the best bet when it comes to redesigning a bathroom for the elderly or disabled. This month here at Walk in Showers and Baths we are offering seasonal discounts for installations in the month of November. We want to help as many people as possible live their lives as independently as possible and we know this starts with the bathroom.
So if you really want to give a thoughtful gift this year, why not see what you can do to make the lives of our elderly relatives easier. Remember we will all be in the same situation one day and if you children see you trying to help your elderly relatives, they may well help you in the same way one day. Spend some time with them and ask them about what they are struggling with if anything. Explain how this Christmas you would rather buy them something or fix up their home to make their life a little easier. If it is a new bathroom they really need, why not get together with the rest of the family and see if you can put some money together to buy a joint present such as a new bathroom. Or if funds do not allow, at least get some bathroom accessories such as grab rails to make life that little bit easier.
So if your trying to think what to buy your parents this Christmas and want to give them something that really has some thought put into it, think about their circumstances and what they would really want or what would be really beneficial. I am sure socks and soap are handy but a trip to the theatre or a new bathroom would be far more appreciated.