posted by Carer Min at 12/09/2012 13:32:46
Some years ago I broke my ankle, and thus embarked on six weeks of undiluted misery. Never having been strong in the arms, I found that I was completely immobilised because I couldn’t manage the crutches. Any attempt at movement resulted in the crutches going one way and my body the other.
During my six weeks in plaster I encountered many frustrations. Showering was impossible when I couldn't even make it into the bathroom. Moving around the house involved clutching at items of furniture, which were suddenly very unstable. Standing on one leg, hanging onto kitchen cupboard doors was the only way to prepare a meal. Climbing stairs could only be done on my backside, hauling myself up one by one (the family gave me a 10 minute start).
I mention this incident because I realised recently how it helped me understand what it must be like to be older and have mobility problems. After years of caring for older people experiencing loss of independence and personal discomfort, I finally got an insight into what it must be like. Those few weeks being immobilised, made me really feel for older people who lose their independence.
Being able to put yourself in someone’s shoes, even if only briefly, can only help when it comes to understanding the needs, frustrations and fears of others.