It's your turn to host Christmas this year and it has come to mind that some guests may need a little extra help this year. First of all, you need to think about who you're hosting for. Are they a wheelchair user, walker or cane user, or do they suffer with Arthritis or any other conditions that may affect their daily lives?
Here's a few things you should consider before the day so you can be prepared and make everyone feel welcome.
Is your home accessible?
You need to think about whether your home is accessible. First of all, is there parking outside your home? If your guest is unable to walk far, ideally you should save a parking space for them directly outside your home or make sure there's parking spaces available nearby so they can get to your home easily. Do you have steps leading up to your front door? Steps can be a struggle for those with limited mobility. To make their lives easier, you should consider installing or borrowing a ramp for the day so they don't have to struggle when entering your home. If your guest is a wheelchair user you need to make sure they can get around easily. There's nothing worse than making your guest awkwardly complete an obstacle course to get to the dinner table. It's important to keep the pathways clear so the wheelchair user can get around easily. Decorations and presents can be a trip hazard so make sure they're tucked away to prevent trips and falls. If you're hosting dinner you should make sure they can get to the table easily and that there's a wide enough space for them. You need to make sure they are at a comfortable height. You may need to check if they would like the table raising slightly or lowered if possible. Whilst your guests are here, you should consider opening the internal doors so the wheelchair user can move around independently without any restrictions. Did you know you can rent a stairlift? If your guests will be going up and down the stairs it can be difficult for those with limited mobility. You could rent a stairlift over the festive season so they can get around your home with ease. Fill out the enquiry form on our stairlift page for more information regarding renting a stairlift.
Those who require a rollator or cane to get around will probably need to sit down more often. I would recommend placing a seat in all the entertainment rooms so they can sit down immediately if they need to. It's also important to think about the chairs you will be using. Low chairs can be quite difficult to get into and out of for those who struggle with their legs/ knees. If your chairs are quite low you could offer your guests at cushion to sit on for extra comfort. This will raise the seat and make it easier for them to get up. A seat cushion is also ideal if your chairs aren't very comfortable to sit on. At Bayliss Mobility we offer a huge range of seat cushions that provide extra comfort and help relieve pressure. Browse our full range of cushions here.
The guests have arrived now it's time for Christmas dinner. My favourite part of the day! So, we've covered wheelchair access to the table but have you thought about how you will be serving dinner or the type of cutlery your guests may need? Those who struggle with Arthritis or poor grip might find it difficult to use normal cutlery. If your loved one suffers with these conditions but doesn't have cutlery that would be suitable for them, it would be a nice gesture to provide cutlery designed for those with poor or weakened grip. At Bayliss Mobility we offer a wide range of cutlery such as shine weighted and bendable cutlery for those who have difficulty gripping utensils during meal times. We also offer curved cutlery which is useful for individuals who struggle eating or have difficulty during mealtimes. If the cutlery isn't useful in your household it would be a thoughtful gift for them to take home. Are you serving buffet style food? Make sure you're available to assist those who can't get to the food as easily.
Activities everyone can enjoy.
Everyone's absolutely 'stuffed' after enjoying Christmas dinner but what do you have planned next that includes everyone? How about a Christmas movie marathon? A movie marathon will allow you to relax whilst keeping the guests entertained. Playing games is certainly one of the best ways to bring everyone together. Everyone loves a card game so why not play a card game with the whole family? You can purchase large playing cards for those who are visually impaired so all the family can get involved. These can be purchased in store at Bayliss Mobility. A board game is also a great way of bringing the family together. There's plenty of activities you can do at everyone can get involved in on Christmas day.
Asking if they need help in advance.
Offering help makes it clear you have a good heart but most wheelchair users prefer to be as independent as possible. Before making assumptions you should wait for them to ask for help or ask before the day if they will be needing any assistance throughout the day so you can make yourself available. Those who own a rollator/ walker also value their independence so I would recommend asking them beforehand if they will be needing any help on the day. Some will find it uncomfortable asking for help so I'm sure they will appreciate you occasionally offering help.
Make everyone feel involved.
Christmas is all about having fun and getting together with friends and family so it's important to get everyone involved and make them feel welcome. Following these steps will ensure everyone, including those with limited mobility, will feel more comfortable and relaxed on Christmas day.
If you have any questions feel free to call or drop us an email and we will be more than happy to help.
147A Hilderthorpe Road, Bridlington, YO15 3HA