Useful resources to help people lead independent, fulfilling lives

There comes a time to us all - and some sooner rather than later - when it becomes harder to move around and do the things we want to do.  When this happens to those we love, it can be difficult to watch them struggle on, and it doesn't help that those we care about may have difficulty admitting to themselves that they need more help than they used to. 

Fortunately, there are an increasing number of tools & organisations which mean that your Mum can continue to be independent for as long as possible; and, crucially, enjoy those things she loves which are so vital to her wellbeing, emotional and phsyical.

And for carers, Boots have lots of help and tips, both on taking care of someone and on ensuring that you stay on top form to look after them.
Thrive Logo Thrive
Thrive is a small national charity which enlists gardening & horticultural activities to help change the lives of people with disabilities or to help those who have suffered from an illness or coping with a difficult time in their lives. It can also help slow down the deterioration when someone has a degenerative illness, people who are recovering from strokes & heart disease.  Thrive also works with those who are blind or partially sighted, whether they are already into the hobby or just starting off.  Thrive has 2 garden projects in Berkshire & London but it also supports 900 garden projects in the UK so contact Thrive to find one close to you.
Wiltshire Farm Foods
If your loved one is recovering from surgery or just out of hospital, if they are living on her own and finding cooking & shopping more difficult, then WIltshire Farm Foods could help ensure that your loved one gets quality meals and give you peace of mind.  From hearty, traditional favourites such as roasts & stews, to more exotic dishes such as Coq au Vin and Fillet of Trout with Prawns, from yummy desserts such as cheesecakes & trifles, plus soups, they will have plenty to choose from.  Lots of special diets are catered for.  You can discuss their menu choices on the phone & order on-line - knowing that a friendly driver (who has been CRB checked) will deliver straight to their door.  Click here to go to Wiltshire Farm Foods.
Thrive Logo Pets as Therapy
Pets as Therapy are well known for their work visiting care homes, hospitals, hospices and so on. What is not so well known about Pets as Theapy is that they also work with stroke victims as part of a team with physios and medical staff. (They also help children with phobias of dogs, usually going into schools.) For more info on Pets as Therapy (including the opportunties to volunteer), click here.
Assistance Dogs UK Assistance Dogs UK
Assistance dogs are trained to help people with disabilities (visual, hearing, mobility and medical).  The support, confidence, love and practical help these dogs give their partners is truly fantastic, helping them fulfil far more independent lives.  The dogs also give their partners' families greater peace of mind, as they know that there is someone special on hand to help their loved ones.  Why not see how you can help get involved with Assistance Dogs?
WRVS logo Help for older people at home
WRVS  runs a number of different schemes to help older people live independent lives. Videos, audio tapes & books are available through home library services.  The transport schemes help older folk go shopping, visit friends or attend appointments. Volunteer run community clubs which give older people fun & friendship. There are Home from Hospital services & support for those affectedby floods, fires, sieges & more.
Cinnamon Trust Pet Friendly Find a Care Home which takes pets
The Cinnamon Trust has a database of care homes which will take elderly relatives and their pet in. They have a huge number on their list throughout the UK and it's growing.  So if the time has come for your parents to move into a home, and of course they don't want to be parted with their beloved pet, contact the Cinnamon Trust

The Trust also has around 12,000 volunteers who will go into private and care homes to help with pet care activities such as dog walking.  It offers these services for the elderly and terminally ill