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 loved ones 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. 

Also, there's a new service called Pharmacy2U which means repeat NHS prescriptions can be delivered to your door - find out more here
 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. 
Visit Wiltshire Farm Foods to check out the meals 
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 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?  They include organisations such as Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, Canine Partners, Dog A.I.D., Dogs for Good, Medical Detection Dogs and Support Dogs, 
Assistance Dogs UK 
  Help for older people at home
The Royal Voluntary Service  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.
Pet Care in the Home
There's nothing like the bond between an elderly person and their pet.  The pet may be the only person they talk to all day.   They may be the last link with a loved partner.  So if an elderly person is finding pet care difficult, contact the Cinnamon Trust.  They have a nationwide network of volunteers who will go into private and care homes ot help with pet care activities such as dog walking.  It offers these services only to the elderly and terminally ill.  It also 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
 Visit Unforgettable to view their products

Unforgettable
This is an amazing website for anyone caring for someone with dementia.  The founder started it after his experience with his Mum, so he really has an idea of what it's like to care for someone with the condition.   There are all sorts of brilliant gadgets for people from calendars which remind them which day of the week it is to activities which keep them amused and help reminisce.  You can also get a good idea for what stage of the dementia a product would be helpful for e.g. early, middle, late or end.   Do take a look.  I wish we'd have found it when my own wonderful Dad was so ill.  Visit Unforgettable here