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Truly modern, independent living
22 January 2010
At eighty-nine, Vera shows us how a few alterations have allowed her to stay at home and prove her critics wrong
Last weekend, when I was visiting my mum in private sheltered accommodation in Inverness, I got chatting to one of her neighbours. At eighty-nine, on oxygen throughout the day and confined to a wheel-chair, Vera lives alone in her one-bedroom apartment. Some have suggested she might be better off in a nursing home – but Vera is having none of it!
Instead, working together with her occupational therapist, Vera has set about redesigning her apartment to allow her to stay in her home for as long as possible. She has installed grab bars, replaced her bath with a shower and set up a perch stool in the kitchen. Her neighbour takes her downstairs to the weekly residents’ gatherings and she a carer visits three times a day to help her with her meals and things she needs doing.
But there’s more. With her computer set up close at hand in her sitting room, Vera orders her groceries online each week and keeps in touch with the outside world. Having taken up painting at 82, she has her business to manage - selling her paintings.
Vera’s always been a thoroughly modern, independent lady – and sees no reason why she should be any different in her eighties. With these carefully thought-through modifications and her indomitable spirit, this clearly isn’t about to change any time soon!
Lisa set up Ruby Slippers when she discovered how little specialist assistance was available to help her family update their homes in their retirement years. Here, she regularly shares her thoughts and experiences.
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