Seniors and older adults may face mobility issues due to aging, falls, illness or injuries. At the same time we also have those who become disabled due to illness or as the result of falls. As a caregiver for my mom who have mobility issues, I perfectly understand the challenges and predicament of this group of population as well as their caregivers.
I believe most seniors or disabled persons would want to be independent instead of troubling others for their needs. Seniors with pain in their legs due to arthritis or falls may start to limit their movement for fear of falls as well as pain during movement.
The best way we can help them is to be able to invest in installation of railings, handbars/ handrails and other aids that will help ease their movement and encourage them to move more. I am very blessed that at the place where I am staying, there are stainless steel rails located next to my mother’s bed, as well as stainless steel handrails that leads all the way to the toilet and railings located next to the toilet seat.
By installing these railings, my mom was more willing and braver when she wanted to go to the attached bathroom in our room. As the result, she was willing to get down from the bed and walked more…. on days where her legs felt stiff, she would hold on stronger to the railings. This has gotten her to be more independent and she no longer wakes me up few times each night because she needed to go to the toilet.
It really makes a difference in their quality of life and your stress levels.
For us, we got a company who came in to take the measurements of the room and did the custom installation which is very costly. Whereas if you are able to buy the supplies such as handrails, you can save a lot of money by just hiring a worker to install or you do the installation yourself.
When I visited HomePro (large supply store in Thailand), I am amazed that they have a huge variety of supplies for the mobility challenged folks. DoHome also sells handrails but I find HomePro have a larger selection.
You can click on the image to enlarge it to view the pricing of the items as well as the picture where some ideas on where to install these handrails are being shown:
They have one side of an aisle that is dedicated to display handrails and bathroom chairs.
You can see that the handrails come in various length, design and shapes- the straight or L shaped.
For those who do not like pure stainless steel rails, the plastic and the coated options are available.
The pricing of the rails are also reasonable as they purchased the items in bulk hence is able to offer a more competitive pricing.
Portable toilets for seniors, disabled and those with mobility issues:
I am amazed to see that HomePro sells portable toilets. These are not your normal bedside commode, even though they can be used as one. If you look at the picture above, there are 3 versions of portable toilets being sold. At the most right is the most expensive, priced at 3990 baht.
If you have someone who is driving a pickup truck or a 4 wheel drive, it is easy to pack the portable toilet at the back of the truck. This enabled the person to use it during travelling.
If I were to choose, I would buy the 3990 baht as it has both armrest and a backrest. It makes a difference because sometimes the older folk may lean back or lose their balance while sitting down. The arm rest would help to maintain the balance.
Only thing is that the seat is low and non adjustable.
You can view the picture above on how to use the portable toilet.
There are also bedside railings and bathing chairs. This is helpful to an older person with weaker legs, a disabled person or someone with injuries where he/she is able to sit down to bathe.
Above is a support aid which looks like a walker and is sold for 990 baht. The size of this is larger than a normal walker. This is useful for those who need support while at the sink or kitchen.
Installing handrails and mobility aids really help to make a difference. The idea is to get the older person to move around more to strengthen the muscles and to improve circulation within the body. However many with mobility challenges have the fear of falling down and hence tend to limit their movement. Investing in mobility aids such handrails to help them to get from their bed to the bathroom would help tremendously.