Category Archives: Lifestyle

Trees Please – Forest Bathing for Health & Wellbeing

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image: John Mundy @golfphotostore

Shinrin-Yoku is the medicine of simply being in the forest. As a remedial tonic to the over-stimulation of modern life, this practice of “forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”, of taking a walk, breathing in the fresh air, opening our senses and feeling contact with the earth and our natural surroundings has become a cornerstone of preventative health care and healing in Japanese medicine.

What kind of sickness can be cured from walking in the woods? An age old remedy to get some colour in your cheeks, as Grandma would say, it’s now scientifically proven that getting outside can help you heal and increase your vitality. We all recognise that we feel better and generally more alive when we step away from our technology and screens for an hour (or a whole day) and just practice being mindful of our surroundings, opening our senses of smell, sight, sound, hearing, taste. We have more energy, we feel more inspired, more in touch with our surroundings, we make healthier choices, and we develop a closer connection to the natural world around us, more aware of how our individual choices have an impact on our environment.

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Image: John Mundy @golfphotostore

In the last several decades there have been a number of scientific studies on the healing effects of simply being in wild and natural areas. It is no coincidence that this comes at a time when the popularity of outdoor adventure, environmental consciousness, adventure tourism, and alternative therapies such as wilderness therapy for troubled or at-risk youths are increasing ten-fold. A number of organisations are creating programs incorporating mindfulness meditation, hiking, just being outside. People are recognising the importance of our natural world to the health of our internal landscapes. This scientific research proves that our plants and trees are designed to heal. There is an incredible life-supporting synergy and cycle in the natural world, and forest therapy places us as humans amongst this healing environment. Many trees give off organic compounds which support our ‘natural killer’ cells – an integral part of our immune system’s way of fighting off cancer.

Other benefits of spending time in nature? Reduced stress, better sleep, increased recovery from illness, reduced blood pressure, improved mood, increase in ability to focus on one thing at a time, more energy. Opening our senses to nature also develops our intuition –  we learn to contact the world around us in new ways and in turn listen to what our bodies are telling us – messages that can be clouded by technology, mixed messages and distraction. When you spend too long in the city and all you want is to lie in the park, this is your cells sending you a message about what it needs. Other long term benefits on a more personal level include better relationships, increased flow of life force energy, overall increased happiness, a better understanding of the land on which we live, and the condition of our natural environment.

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Image: John Mundy @golfphotostore

One of the most significant problems in our age of connection is that, ironically, we are becoming more and more disconnected from reality. We develop relationships over social media rather than in person, we hide behind our technology, we don’t understand that our actions have a knock-on effect in the world. The more technologically wired we are, the more isolated we become, to the extent that we don’t need to leave our house all day. We order food online, we talk to our friends online, we work online, we shop online, we entertain ourselves online.  By stepping out of our homes, walking into the forest, we are aligning ourselves with nature and taking a step towards healing the chronic modern illness of disconnection.

And the idea, in returning to nature, is not to achieve anything, which is exactly the opposite of the demands of our daily lives. We are conditioned to always be achieving, working towards something. In the forest, Forest Bathing masters do nothing, and gain illumination. As Einstein wisely proclaimed,

“I think 99 times, and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me”.

So just be with the trees –  no need to count your steps, track your calories – just sit, or meander around, but the point is to relax rather than accomplish anything.

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Image: John Mundy @golfphotostore

The healing power of nature isn’t a new scientific discovery. John Muir, also known as “John of the Mountains”, an American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States, recognised this as early as the 1800s. He wrote “thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home. Wilderness is a necessity.” So we’ve known it for centuries, but age-old wisdom brings new significance in modern times, as a remedy for modern illness.

And on that note, I’m going to step away from my computer and get back to nature, back to where I came from.

You didn’t come into this world.
You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean.
You are not a stranger here.” 
Alan Watts

Guest Post – Accomable recommend their top accessible city breaks

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Srin Madipalli, CEO and Co-founder of Accomable.com, the ‘Airbnb for disabled people’, shares his top tips for the best accessible city breaks in 2017.

Wheelchair accessible Barcelona

Barcelona City Centre

Barcelona –best for couples, culture vultures and foodies

Travel as a wheelchair user is rarely straightforward, but last summer I came to the conclusion that Barcelona is probably the most fun and accessible place in Europe I’ve visited.

First up: Barcelona has it all: iconic sights (tick!), a beautiful beach (tick!), lovely people and even better food (all present and correct!). Flights are plentiful and cheap and once you arrive, pretty much all of these attractions are accessible – from easy access to Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia to wheelchair friendly walkways along the beach (and free beach wheelchairs available too!).

Sagrada Familia Barcelona

Sagrada Familia

There is an awesome adapted apartment in Barcelona: MICs Sant Jordi is a block of cool, brilliantly adapted accessible apartments near the city centre of Barcelona. It’s simple, stylish and budget friendly too.

Finally, lots of the public transport is wheelchair accessible, including the Metro. This actually blew me away.

Discover more Barcelona accessible accommodation online.

Winchester – best for nature lovers, history buffs and foodies

Winchester was voted the best place to live in the UK last year, and it’s easy to see why, with its grand cathedral, excellent independent shops and thriving foodie scene.

The best way to explore is to follow the mile long accessible trail through Winchester, which takes you along the high street, into the cathedral (the ground floor is accessible) and onto Winchester College and Wolvesey Castle.

There is a good, budget accessible hotel in Winchester city centre, but if you have a car, there are some fantastic luxury options in the surrounding countryside, including one of my favourites, Wallops Wood.

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Interior of Wallops Wood, Winchester

Discover more Winchester accessible accommodation online.

Amsterdam – best for art lovers, activity junkies and easy Eurostar access

city of Amsterdam

What with all the crazy cyclists, cobbled streets and tram tracks, you might not consider Amsterdam to be a great accessible destination. But think again, because the city has some brilliant accessible offerings, with many wheelchair-friendly trams and buses, and easy access to world class museums like the Rijksmuseum.

Check out the Blue Boat Company for accessible tours on the canals or join the locals with one of Star Bikes’ specially adapted cycles.

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Star Bike Hire

There’s lots of good accessible accommodation in Amsterdam to fit a variety of tastes and budgets. Plus, if you’d prefer not to fly, you can get there by ferry from Harwich or by train by taking the Eurostar to Belgium and then changing trains and taking the Thalys service to Amsterdam.

Discover more about Amsterdam accessible accommodation online.

For more information on Accomable or to book an accessible stay, visit www.accomable.com

Product News: Hygge Inspired Homewares

Hygge inspired heated throw

Alaskan Husky Faux Fur Heated Throw

Even though they experience bitterly long cold winters, the Danes are well known for being one of the happiest nations. With up to 17 hours of darkness in the depth of winter and average temperatures of around 0C, the people of Denmark spend much of their time indoors. So how do they do it?

Their secret seems to be Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”), which is a lifestyle encompassing a romantic feel-good cosiness. The term Hygge comes from a Norwegian word meaning “Wellbeing”. It may be lighting candles and curling up on the sofa in front of a warm fire with a good book, or enjoying a mug of warm, luxurious hot chocolate and toasting crumpets on the fire. It is all about creating an intimate atmosphere and enjoying the moment, on your own or with friends and family.

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Alaskan Husky Faux Fur Heated Cushion

Scandinavian styled homewares are helping to export hygge to the UK and our heated throws and heated cushions can create a gorgeously perfect hygge moment, snuggled up on the sofa enveloped with beautiful warmth. They are so cheap to heat that they may help to reduce your heating bill and would be perfect for an older person, who feels the cold and spends time at home in a favourite chair or even wrapped up in bed on a cold winter’s day.

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OneLeg Wood Posture Stool

Beautifully crafted from Oak, OneLeg Wood Posture Stool typifies the simplicity of traditional Danish design whilst being ergonomic and functional. The stool is available in two height options and can be used as a coffee table or general seating around the home and would be great for sitting on while you toast those crumpets on the fire!

OneLeg Wood stool has a unique curved foot that allows the user to tilt and rotate around, following the body’s movements.

Oak Wood Danish posture stool

OneLeg Wood Posture Stools

When you sit on a OneLeg stool it gives your spine a completely natural stretch, with no load on the back, knees and feet. Moving around on the stool loosens tension and improves the core strength of your abdominal muscles and back. You will be amazed at the improvement to your core strength and focus by using OneLeg.

You can find out more about our products here

Keeping Fit And Active in Retirement

Petanque players

There are a number of inspirational older people in my life, who have managed to stay fit, healthy and active into their later years. Many of them simply attribute “keeping busy” as their long-living secrets, maintaining social engagements and responsibilities in a community, giving each day purpose and structure. Our physical health is directly correlated with our mental health – if we feel needed, important, and positive about things, our body is naturally happier, and works to keep up and maintain mobility. Getting together with others for physical activity can be the best way to get endorphins moving through the body, boosting physical and mental energy, increasing mood, and engaging in social interaction.

So, you want to get physical, or stay physical, as you move into later years. What are the best options for heart health, joint mobility, flexibility, strength, and getting out of your head and into your body?

 Walking /Rambling

Check with your local community organisers about local walking groups, weekend rambler gatherings, or perhaps just talk to your friends or neighbours about getting together a casual walking group a couple of times a week. Walking is wonderful for heart health, maintaining healthy weight, developing strength in the legs, promoting healthy circulation and can be a nice time to chat with your walking buddies. It’s also very invigorating for us mentally to be amongst nature, fresh air and in tune with our surroundings. Plus, if you have a dog, they will be a great advocate for this one!

Yoga

There is a vast range in styles of yoga, and one style will be great for one person, and not so great for the next. As an individual, you need to find the style that works for you. For older bodies, a slower, more restorative style may be the best option, with not too much dynamic flow.

  • Iyengar Yoga is a tradition of yoga strongly focussed on alignment, and uses props and tools to make each pose more accessible. Classes tend to move at a slower pace, working slowly into the pose using the assistance of props such as blocks, straps, cushions and the helping hand of  a teacher. This style of yoga is all about making each pose accessible to you – not trying to bend you into a certain shape.

  • Hatha Yoga is the classical foundation of yoga, based on a series of asana (poses) that focus on the breath, awareness, and moving mindfully. There are many different levels of hatha yoga, and teachers will often run 6-8 week beginners courses, moving through the practices mindfully and offering adjustments and assistance to students. This can be a great option for bodies with a lot of tightness – you don’t have to move too quickly, in fact, its better to slow down and observe the sensations.

  • Yin/ Restorative Yoga is a powerful, deeply restful style of yoga where you navigate into the pose, using bolsters, cushions, blocks and straps to find your way in, and then hold the pose for anywhere from 3-10 minutes, slowly transitioning to the next. The idea is to completely surrender into each pose, taking strain off the muscles and accessing deep physical and emotional tissue to release tightness in the body and the mind. This is a wonderful option for stiff bodies, allowing time to go deeply into a pose without placing strain on the joints or overexerting  the heart.

Swimming/ Water Aerobics

Swimming is a great low-impact option for exercise – good for improving and maintaining cardiovascular fitness without putting strain on the joints. Start slow with a few laps, and work your way up. Another good option is group exercise water fitness, such as water aerobics or aqua jogging, which involves wearing an flotation belt and walking up and down the pool, much like walking outside, but low impact, and wonderful for toning the legs and abdomen. It can also help to improve balance and prevent falls. Check with your local pool about swimming times and groups exercise schedules.

Dance/ Aerobics

Get the heart rate up, laugh at yourself and your friends, and develop a greater sense of bodily awareness and confidence in movement. An excellent cardio workout to maintain heart health, strengthening and toning for the body, and an inevitable mood lifter – try a zumba class at your local community centre. Dance and aerobics develops rhythm, and core strength which helps to maintain balance.

Boules

Throwing  or rolling big balls to hit little balls. Boules is  a wide category, including games such as lawn bowling and petanque. Beyond the concentration, skill and tactics required, boules forces all the muscles to work against resistance in order to ensure the balance and stability of the lower body. And despite a laid-back rhythm, and the preconceived idea that boules is only for the over-60s, you can burn up to 180 calories in an hour, making it a solid workout. A fun, social game, with a little heat of competition to keep you on your toes.

Bridge

A mentally challenging game involving memory, visualisation and concentration, which is discovered to be effective in preventing the onset of mental disorders such  as depression and Alzheimer’s. Much like the satisfaction of completing a cryptic crossword, bridge provides an intellectual challenge and problem-solving satisfaction, leaving the player on a mental high with a sense of achievement. Even better if it is repeated regularly on a weekly basis, providing social and intellectual stimulation.

Volunteering

Get out of the house and into the community. Volunteering is a good way to get involved in a project or cause close to your heart, develop your sense of purpose and self worth, and meet new people. Helping at an animal shelter, organising community events, or helping people in need, are just a selection of volunteer projects. Think about something you feel passionately about, and get involved in something you can call your “passion project”.

This is just a selection of ideas – check with your local community organisers and fitness centres and see what they have to offer. If all else fails, taking a regular walk in the fresh air and taking on the challenge of a crossword or sudoku in the daily newspaper  is a simple and effective way to stimulate your mental and physical body.

Iris Apfel, Style Icon

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image credit: thetimes.co.uk

Iris Apfel first came onto our radar a few years ago when she was featured on Advanced Style Blog. At the grand age of 94, most people are slowing down in life but Iris is an incredible woman who has become a ‘geriatric starlet’, known for her iconic style and creative brilliance.

A former interior designer, Iris and her husband Carl Apfel; a textile merchant who died earlier this year, landed a contract consulting on the interiors for the White House and were well known within the New York design circles.

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Iris & her husband Carl. Image: Rex

Her career as an interior designer and textile creator took her around the world. Through her travels to the far corners of the world, she collected her eclectic mix of vintage and designer clothes and costume jewellery which was exhibited at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.  This exhibition was a turning point in her career. Apfel styled the show herself and through word of mouth became a new fashion sensation, more or less overnight.

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Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Iris is celebrated in countless style magazines covers and insists that her appeal is due to the glamour that is missing in life these days and the fact that people like her because she is different. She is a master at mixing something cheap with something chic and manages to create her own style. She engages with all sorts of people, of all ages, from all walks of life and shares with them her excitement about living.

Loved for her no-nonsense attitude, she is well known for her ‘Irisisms’ where she shares her pearls of wisdom and her style inspiration:

“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess”

“When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else”

“I don’t see anything wrong with a wrinkle. It’s kind of a badge of courage”

“There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and above all, attitude”

This year has seen the launch of Iris, a documentary film about Apfel’s life. Iris is living proof that keeping active is the key to ageing gracefully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog by Kathy Lawrence

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Supporting family and friends as they get older

Kathy Lawrence is co-founder of the When They Get Older web site.

When my parents first began to need real help I was so grateful to have friends who could give me the benefit of their experience. But there was still an awful lot to learn. From how the NHS works to why you need power of attorney and how to choose a care home, most of us are entering uncharted territory as our ageing friends and relatives need more support. And for many of us that’s something we have to squeeze in between our day jobs, caring for our own families, and having a life for ourselves.

That’s why we created When They Get Older. It’s a web site where we’ve brought together expert advice and experience about a huge range of topics around how life changes as people age. We’re aiming to give really practical help provided by people who really get it, rather than simply regurgitating what’s been written many times before.

It might be the joys of finance, such as applying for Attendance Allowance, or understanding medical issues, such as what really happens in a cataract operation. It could be adding more fun to life, with anything from dementia days out to living well with hearing loss.

It’s our intention that When They Get Older is a first port of call in a crisis and a great place to browse just to be ready for any eventuality. As just as importantly, we want it to be a source of ideas to maintain and even improve the quality of life of our loved ones.

As we’ve become more knowledgeable we’ve become more aware of the gaps in elder care. How people are going to pay for their care if they need it is a major issue, and one that needs a national strategy to address. But there are smaller challenges too, and one of those is something we feel we can help to fix.

We believe that ageing is not just about getting by. It’s about having a full and enjoyable life. And eating well with pleasure becomes increasingly important. Yet not everyone is in a position to cook for themselves or eat out regularly. There are meal delivery services available, but not everyone sees these as adding pleasure to their lives.

So we’ve filled what we see as a gap by creating the Joseph Pip range of handmade, home-delivered frozen meals. They’re everything you need for a meal, in one tasty and nutritious dish. It’s currently a local service in Bucks and Berks but we aim to take it nationwide in time.

For the most part we aren’t a provider of products or services ourselves, though we do review some. We are a place that people can come to gather ideas, learn about other people’s experiences, and find the way to other services that can help them help their relatives. And we don’t forget that our readers need support too. So we have our own Agony Aunt who can advise on the emotional aspects of trying to balance life with care.

You can find out more about When They Get Older’s story on our web site, download our free guides, and browse hundreds of articles about health, finance, legal issues, life changes and more on the site. You can sign up for our regular newsletter there too. And we are always happy to hear from readers who can offer their own experiences for the benefit of those who follow after them. Just mail us at editor@whentheygetolder.co.uk

Design Museum – Life On Foot & Sabi Canes

Camper store

Camper Store, 5th Avenue NYC

If you are passionate about shoes, the Life on Foot exhibition at the Design Museum which runs from 13th May – 1st of November could be right up your street!

Life On Foot is the first exhibition for the much-loved family run Spanish shoe brand Camper. The exhibition explores the journey of traditional shoe making and the influences of contemporary design and technology.

Learn about Camper’s extensive archives, their design studios in Mallorca through to their extensive high-tech manufacturing facilities in the Far East. Camper is now a global brand that occupies contemporary design led retail spaces and has a playful approach to advertising.

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Camper advertising

The exhibition also delves into the pedestrian’s relationship to the built in environment where you can also discover how wearable technologies and surveillance systems impact on our experience of walking.

colourful, trendy walking sticks

Sabi ROAM Sport Cane

To complement the Camper exhibition, the Design Museum invited us to exhibit our eye-catching, and colourful Sabi Roam Canes  which are strategically placed around the exhibition. Walking canes are an intrinsic part of pedestrian life and the fun loving design of Sabi Canes marries beautifully with the Camper brand.

stylish funky walking sticks

 

Life On Foot runs until the 1st November 2015.  Catch it while you can!

 

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

If you are looking for a thoughtful gift for your Dad for Father’s Day, look no further! We have put together some stylish gift ideas that your Dad is bound to love.

Bosign Black mini laptray anti-slip

Bosign Black Mini Laptray

Bosign’s black mini anti-slip laptray is the perfect tray for your Dad to use to snack in front of the TV, a light breakfast in bed or for a drink, crossword and nibbles in the garden. The mini laptray’s handy size makes it easy to carry and store or to pack for a trip. The combination of the ergonomic grip handles, soft, adjustable cushion and well proportioned tray makes it suitable for any age. Read more HERE     Price £29.95

 

Blue Folding cork handle

Flexyfoot Folding Walking Stick

Available in two height adjustable size options, Flexyfoot  is funky and has an incredibly comfortable cork handle for the folding walking stick. The smooth and breathable cork handle has been designed to feel more like a sporty hiking pole, whilst retaining the robust, weight bearing capability of a walking stick or walking cane. Perfect for a Father’s Day afternoon stroll! Read more HERE  Price £36.00

 

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Merino Wool Lifesocks

Treat your Dad to a pair of cosy merino wool Lifesocks. These beautifully designed merino wool socks from New Zealand are developed through years of research into podiatry health, using natural and bio-active fibers. LifeSocks promote healthy circulation and are ideal for diabetics. Read more HERE    Price £16.50

 

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Radius Garden Hand Tool Set

Radius Hand Tools are beautifully built and ergonomically designed. If your Dad is a keen gardener, he will love these tools which are strong, lightweight and kind to the hands and wrists. These hand tools have easy grip handles which are designed to follow the curve of the palm to minimise stress on hands and wrists whilst creating more leverage. The gardening hand tools are suitable for any keen gardener and are ideal for those with arthritis or weak hands and wrists. Read more HERE  Price £34.95

Individual Radius tools are also available from £11.95. Read more HERE

Further information on all our products and to visit our website please click HERE

Happy Fathers Day!

 

 

 

Guest Blog by Gemma Flanagan, model and disability campaigner

Gemma Flanagan

Image by Paul Cummings Photography

In 2011, I was loving life in my dream job, travelling the world as Cabin Crew, when I became ill with Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) & Miller Fisher Syndrome. I was left at my worst, completely paralysed, in intensive care and then remained in hospital and an intensive rehabilitation unit for a total of 9 months. I had to learn to do all basic tasks again and try to rebuild my body. I am now left with muscle / nerve damage and weakness in my core, hips, legs and back as a result of my GBS. It has left me reliant on a wheelchair and crutches to get around and has given me a whole new outlook on myself and life. I could no longer carry on my dream job or carry on with things how I used to, I had to come to terms with a totally new me and body.

After leaving hospital, I discovered an organisation called Models of Diversity, who are a not for profit organisation that campaign to get a greater representation of diversity within fashion and media. I had done modelling in the past, and always enjoyed it, I never imagined that I would be now pursuing a career as a disabled model. I had to come to terms with a totally new body image of myself, which has been hard, and Models of Diversity helped me to realise that I was still me, just in a slightly different body, with some new accessories!! Still a glamorous girl, who loves everything fashionable and fabulous.

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Image – Models of Diversity

I now campaign alongside Models of Diversity, to try to make change come about within fashion and media, as currently there is no permanent representation of people with disabilities, like myself, in fashion or media. There is such a strong population in the UK living with disabilities, that it is crazy that we are not represented. We still want to wear the clothes and use the products so why are we not included on a regular basis within adverts, marketing and media?!

I am so passionate about individuals and models with disabilities being represented within society. Change will happen, once people realise that as disabled models we are more than capable of holding our own within the fashion world and that we can produce just as high quality, captivating and sale-able images than any other models!!!

Future-Proof Housing For The Elderly

Grandmother and little girl making salad

As people get older, many think of downsizing.  With the ageing population, are builders really taking on board the needs of the ageing market? Is the construction industry fully aware of the need for accessible housing and does it have the knowledge to build properties that are accessible?

Regulations now require that all new-build properties have level access to the front door and a downstairs accessible toilet.  A friend recently purchased a new build house, which does comply with the regulations but once you get past the downstairs toilet there are a set of steps to negotiate, which really negates the planning of the toilet and front access!

Access for all should be a key consideration for new-build houses.  Properties that are adapted for wheelchairs can fetch a premium as they are few and far between.  We recently experienced two major leaks in our house and it was suggested that we move out and rent for a couple of months to allow the builders to repair the property.  I am a wheelchair user and the nearest adapted rental property that we could find was 25 miles away which was an impossible option with family commitments.

The issue is highlighted by the recent problems with ‘bed blocking’ in hospitals; partly attributed to some elderly patients being unable to return to their homes, which have become unsuitable for their needs.  This can result in elderly patients being placed in nursing homes, miles away from the support of family and friends.

Many elderly people lose their mobility and need to rely on wheelchairs or walkers to move around. To move house can be an extremely stressful event in the life of an older person; therefore if new build properties are designed for all, to include the needs of the less mobile, this will enable them to stay independent for longer, which will in turn lessen the pressures on the looming housing crisis.

There are several basic factors that should be considered when building a new property to allow someone to stay independent in their property for longer.

Ramped, level access and level thresholds for all doors and widened doorways, to accommodate wheelchairs, should be incorporated where possible.  The installation of a wet room ensures that a bathroom is easy to adapt with the addition of a shower seat and grab rails. Installing toilets to a reasonable height, not too low, can make it easier and safer to get on and off the loo as you get older.  Staircases should have a deep steps and hand rails for maximum support and safety.

Stair lifts or through floor lifts can make the difference to someone remaining independent but these can be added as the need arises  Grab rails, alarms, door chains and locks to keep residents safe, can all be added as they are required. Your local GP should be able to refer you to an Occupational Therapist who can assess your needs to ensure that you can remain as independent as possible in your own home.

If you do need to move or downsize as you get older, there are a number of possible housing options to consider:

Retirement Apartments:

Buying a property within a retirement development gives you the security and peace of mind of a house manager who oversees the running, maintenance and security of the development.  Different levels of care can be organised, depending on the property that has been purchased. Retirement developments offer the option of an active social life but if you prefer your own company, you have the privacy of your own home.

Sheltered housing:

There are many different types of sheltered housing schemes available. Each scheme usually has between 20 and 40 self contained flats or bungalows which are available to buy or rent. Many schemes have community areas and run social events for the residents. Some schemes will have a warden and all schemes should operate a 24 hour emergency help through an alarm system. Extra-care schemes are available which provide meals and personal care to allow you to stay in your own home for longer.

Cohousing developments:

Cohousing is a community which is founded and run by residents. It is a way of combating the loneliness and isolation that many people experience today and can be created using empty homes or by building new. Each resident has a self-contained and private home within a household but residents come together to share meals, activities and to manage their community. Households can usually sign up on a social housing, leasehold or freehold basis. Accessible housing within a cohousing community would however depend upon the individual development.

Further information and advice on housing needs for the elderly can be found at the following websites:

Housing Care  http://www.housingcare.org/housing-advice.aspx

Age UK  http://www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/housing-choices/

First Stop  www.firststopcareadvice.org.uk.

UK Cohousing Network  http://www.cohousing.org.uk/

 

Author: Katherine Pyne, designed2enable.co.uk