Grandma Clea has always been a strong and independent woman. For over 25 years she has lived alone in her home. Grandma Clea, now 90 years old, has had exceptional health that has allowed her to maintain her lifestyle and independence much longer than most seniors. Up until this year she has continued to help out at her son’s business, maintain her beautiful garden, and even drive her precious 4x4 jeep wrangler to church on Sundays.
It all begins with a fall. Late last year, Grandma Clea experienced a slip and fall in her bathroom. Since that day nothing has been the same for her. Her knees, hips, and joints are in a constant state of pain. She can no longer do all the things she once loved.
According to Clea’s son David, the most challenging part of the whole ordeal after returning home from rehab, may have been getting Grandma to begin using mobility products in her home.
No one likes to think of themselves as needing a cane, walker, wheelchair or anything. “We quickly realized that Grandma was now in serious need of products that would help her move around the house safely and with confidence”, said her son.
“One particular area of struggle was getting in and out of her favorite chair. Because she spent so much time in that chair, it was imperative that we found something that could ease that transition for her, without making her feel like she was in a hospital.”
Does this story sound familiar? That’s because the same thing happens to millions of seniors across the country. Sadly, losing mobility and independence is inevitable for many. For some it happens gradually over time and for others, like Grandma Clea, it happens in an instant.
There are preventative steps you can take as a caregiver like finding a product solution that provides the safety and confidence for continued mobility without making a persons home look like they’re living in a nursing home.
“While there are many in-home assists and tools, I want to focus on one I used with my mother when she was in an assisted living center.” said Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership.
It's called Assist-a-Tray
The Assist-A-Tray is manufactured by a Stander, a UTAH based company which is also woman owned (by Jan). Stander is a couch side standing aid that can be placed next to almost any couch, chair, recliner or even a lift chair. Its handle can be used to help your loved one out of their sitting position, or help them balance as they sit down.
The Assist-A-Tray also has a bamboo tray that can be pivoted 360 degrees and used for a dinner table, laptop tray, or book table. The product was designed with neutral brown and black colors to blend in with your furniture and décor. Watch this video (scroll down page when it loads).
Grandma Clea started using the Assist-A-Tray right after her fall. She uses it to get out of her favorite chair, eats her meals, and reads her much loved books. When she is not using the tray she simply swings it out of the way and uses the handle to boost herself out of her chair. It has become an essential part of her day to day life. Its been a real hit with her - allowing her to regain the independence she had for the previous 25 years.
Says Lynn Wilson, “I can tell you first hand, Assist-A -Tray was a god send with my mother.” Useful and helpful products like the Assist-A-Tray from Stander have made all the difference in Grandma Clea’s recovery from her fall.” While she may not be able to do all of the things she once loved, she can now live comfortably, safely - with confidence and independently in her own home.
Stander offers a complete line of mobility aids to assist a person getting in and out of cars, a chair, bed, toilet, shower and more. These products can be found at local medical supply outlets or at online retailers such as HME Medical Shop (hmemedicalshop.com)
(This article originally appeared on the CareGiver Partnership blog.)
About R.O.S Therapy Systems: R.O.S. Therapy Systems began as a backyard project in 2010. Scott Silknitter was searching for tools to help his mother care for his father, Roger Owen Silknitter, during a 25-year fight with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That project became a personal mission to help all family caregivers. From family caregiver training and activity books to mobile apps to activity systems, R.O.S. has grown to become a single-source provider of informational “how to’s” and a growing provider of adaptive tools for the millions of husbands, wives, children, and family members that become caregivers.
Common sense advice and instruction based on proven principles of communication, engagement, and daily living are the heart of everything R.O.S. offers for family caregivers. Improving quality of life for caregivers is our mission, and designing everything for a family caregiver struggling with a loved one is the starting point. Whether it is dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, visual impairment, developmental disabilities, or any other issue that forces someone to care for a loved one, R.O.S. and its Caregiving 101 program are here to help.