A happy ending to stairlift setback

Last month, we advised on 7 mistakes to avoid when buying a stairlift. This included the story of a couple who had bought a stairlift online and had experienced several problems with it. 

The cogs on the stairlift had deteriorated, which made a loud noise and was in danger of breaking down. The stairlift was also too short for their staircase, which meant that it was not only unsafe, but the lady who used it had to have a step stool to get off it.

After being advised by Age Concern to contact us, our team of Stairlift Specialists took out the old stairlift and fitted a brand new, made-to-measure stairlift. The couple contacted us before Christmas and within 6 weeks, they had a fully functional stairlift.

We went back to visit them to see how they were getting on with it. They said: “It’s made a huge difference to our lives. It’s brilliant; it’s quieter and it goes all the way to the floor.”

They experienced no problems with the installation and were pleased with how speedy we uninstalled the old one, and installed the new one, particularly as the new one arrived just before Christmas. Our Stairlift Specialists started the installation on the 27th December, just in time for a new stairlift for the New Year.

It has meant that the lady who uses it is able to get on and off the stairlift without the aid of her husband, who before had to lift her on and off when the old stairlift didn’t reach the bottom. They said: “If we’d known before, we would have contacted Clark & Partners in the first place. We’d advise anyone to have an assessment because, as we found, the stairlift we originally bought didn’t fit our staircase.”

If you would like to book an assessment with one of our Stairlift Specialists, call us on 0114 229 33 88 and we will arrange an appointment to suit you.

There is also more information on stairlifts here: http://clarkshop.co.uk/stairlifts

Before:

Curved Stairlift

Curved stairlift before: wires were hanging out of the electrical box and a step stool was needed to get on and off

After:

Curved Stairlift

Curved stairlift after: we installed a fully functional made-to-measure stairlift which the couple are very satisfied with

 

Stars In Our Eyes in New Year’s Honours

WEB00027_Stars-in-our-eyes-Blog-Image

There was a fantastic start to the new year for our friends at Stars In Our Eyes. The charity roadshow raises money for various charities by performing at pubs and clubs, impersonating the likes of Freddie Mercury, Boy George and Dolly Parton. The organiser of the shows, Yvonne Rufus, was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. 

Mrs Rufus, aged 60, has helped to raise nearly £1 million for charities around the South Yorkshire region. She received the special award from the Queen for her dedication to charity work.

She was nominated for the award by Barnsley District Lions Club, which has received thousands of pounds from Stars In Our Eyes.

Mrs Rufus, who lives in Conisbrough, said: “I am amazed to receive this award. But it isn’t just for me, it’s an award for everyone who has been involved with the fundraising.”

This is fantastic news for Mrs Rufus and the roadshow. We have been supporters of them for years as they do a fantastic job for charity. It is great that they have received recognition for their hard work and dedication, and raised awareness of the roadshow.

If you would like a great night out for a good cause, go to Stars In Our Eyes’ next show. It takes place on Saturday 14th February at Woodfield Social & Recreational Club, Woodfield Road, Doncaster, DN4 8HL. It will start around 8pm.

For more information visit their website: http://starsinoureyes.org.uk/ 

Incontinence: maintaining a healthy lifestyle

This is the third in our series of blogs about incontinence, with information from iD, the trusted brand when it comes to incontinence products. Here we tell you how a healthy lifestyle can help with managing incontinence.

Incontinence healthy lifestyleTravelling

Going on holiday or taking a trip abroad can cause problems with the digestive system. A combination of dehydration and eating different foods can contribute to constipation or diarrhoea. Always make sure you have plenty to drink and try to avoid any foods that are too different from your regular diet.

Sleep

The amount of sleep we get can affect our bowel habits and, much like the rest of our body, the digestive system needs some time to rest. Going to bed and getting up at regular hours each day can help the digestive system work more effectively and improve the regularity of bowel movements.

Smoking

Smoking is bad for many aspects of your health and the digestive system is no exception. It can contribute to common disorders such as heartburn and peptic ulcers – so please try to stop smoking if you can.

Exercise

It is important to try to exercise every day; you should aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity at least five times a week.

It helps to vary the type of exercise and you may want to try different activities such as swimming, walking and yoga. Please ask a doctor or physiotherapist for further advice if you have mobility issues. Make sure you drink plenty of water both during and after exercise to replace any fluids lost and to remain hydrated.

Dehydration

The human body needs water to maintain enough blood and other fluids to function properly, so it is essential that you drink enough. Dehydration is a common cause of constipation to ensure you have a healthy fluid intake.

Stress

Stress is something that is quite difficult to avoid in modern society. Health problems can occur when we are subjected to a lot of stress and one of the first parts of the body to react is the digestive system. Ensure you find time to relax and try to ensure that you respond to your incontinence in a positive way.

Getting older

As we get older, our bowels also get older and slow down a little which, in some cases, can lead to bowel emptying difficulties and leakage.

If you experience difficulties emptying your bowels, it is important that you seek help from your doctor or nurse.

It will almost certainly help if you can maintain a healthy digestive system, both through your lifestyle and dietary choices.

Coming up next: protecting your skin.

Incontinence: maintaining a healthy diet

apples

This is the second in our series of blogs about incontinence, with information from iD, the trusted brand when it comes to incontinence products. Here we tell you how a healthy diet can help with managing incontinence.

Fluid intake 

Drinking fluids regularly is key to a healthy bladder. If you don’t drink enough, your bladder will get used to holding smaller amounts of urine and can become over-sensitive. However, if you drink too much, you will need to go to the toilet more often and the risk of accidents will increase. You should aim to drink at least 1.5 – 2 litres of fluid each day, which is 6 – 8 glasses.

Drinks to avoid

Drinks which contain caffeine and fizzy drinks – especially those containing artificial sweeteners – should be avoided, as they can make bladder problems worse. Alcoholic drinks, especially spirits, can also irritate the bladder. Women should drink no more than 2 – 3 units of alcohol a day, and men should drink no more than 3 – 4 units.

Healthy eating 

You should have a balanced diet which is not too high in fat. It should include plenty of fibre and contain at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

Being overweight can make bladder problems worse in the long-term as the extra weight may put pressure on the pelvic floor muscles, weakening them and, in turn, leading to stress incontinence.

crispsFoods to avoid

You should try not to eat excessive amounts of fibre as this can cause problems with loose bowel movements that are difficult to control.

You should also limit the amount of sugary and fatty foods you eat. If you feel hungry and need a snack, swap crisps for nuts or substitute sweets for a piece of fruit. Try to avoid eating large or fatty meals before bedtime.

Top Tip: It may help to keep a diary of what you drink. This can help to monitor which fluids irritate your bladder so you know which drinks to avoid. 

Coming up next: Next time, we advise on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Donations to our chosen charities

Each year at Clark & Partners, we have a fund which goes towards various charities.

This year, we decided to give each department the chance to choose a charity which their funds could go towards.

We work with local charities throughout the year. Choosing charities meant that we could donate to a wider range of charities, and more would benefit from our donations.

We’ve received a thank you letter from Handsworth Grange Community Sports College. Headteacher Ms. Quaile said: “I was just about to finish school on the last day when your cheque arrived. What a fantastic surprise. I can’t thank you and your partners enough. We will use the money to buy clothes for our more needy pupils.”

Here are our chosen charities of 2014:

Rushey Meadows Respite Services
Rushey Meadows is a residential respite home offering short-break care services for carers of children and young people, aged 7-18 years, who have severe learning disabilities.

Macmillan Nurses
Macmillan nurses support people through cancer.

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/

Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity

Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity A charity to raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital, to provide the best care and equipment for children.

http://www.tchc.org.uk/

Cash For Kids (Help a Hallam Child)

Cash For KidsThey raise money for local children and young people who are disadvantaged, who are disabled or have special needs, those who suffer from abuse and neglect, or those who need extra care and guidance.

http://www.cashforkids.uk.com/

Barnardo’s
Barnardo's

Raises money to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children.

http://www.barnardos.org.uk/

Weston Park Cancer Charity
Weston Park Cancer Charity

Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield is one of only four dedicated cancer hospitals in England. The charity raises money to fund pioneering research and helps to improve treatments for cancer patients around the region.

http://www.wphcancercharity.org.uk/

Motor Neurone’s Disease Association
Motor Neurone's Disease Association
The only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which focuses on care, research and campaigning for MND sufferers.

http://www.mndassociation.org/

Amy’s House
Amy's House
They offer out of school clubs and support for children and young people with special needs in Sheffield.

http://www.amyshouse.org.uk/

St. Luke’s Hospice
St. Luke's Hospice Sheffield
They provide care and support for people with incurable illnesses.

http://www.stlukeshospice.org.uk/ 

Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK raises awareness of cancer, funds research and provides information and support to cancer sufferers and their families.

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/

Bluebell Wood Hospice
Bluebell Wood Hospice provides care and support for children with life-limiting illnesses outside a hospital environment.

http://www.bluebellwood.org/

Salvation Army
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a worldwide Christian church and registered charity which offers practical help and support to people of all backgrounds, ages and needs.

http://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/ 

CAP Debt Support
Christians Against Poverty
Christians Against Poverty provide support and advice to those in debt or poverty.

https://capuk.org

Smile Train UK
Smile Train UK
Smile Train provides free cleft lip and palate surgery for children in 87 countries.

http://www.smiletrain.org.uk/

We also donated to some of our local schools:

Handsworth Grange Community Sports College

Aston All Saints School

Aston Academy

Introduction to understanding incontinence

iD incontinence products

Incontinence can deeply affect anybody at any point in their life. It can have a psychological effect as well as a physical one. It can follow pregnancy, surgery or can be linked to ageing, but these are just a few factors which can affect the bladder. It can affect your confidence and prevent you from performing certain activities and living life to the fullest.

It is often considered an embarrassing subject to talk about, but with over 3 million people in the UK suffering from it, we feel it’s important to help people understand more about it. This is the first in our series of blogs about incontinence, with information from iD, the trusted brand when it comes to incontinence products. Here we introduce the different types of incontinence and help you to better understand it.

What is incontinence?

Incontinence is defined as “the unintentional passing of urine” and is also referred to as bladder weakness. It affects between 3 million and 6 million people in the UK and is twice as common in women than in men. The likelihood of suffering from incontinence increases with age but the problem doesn’t just affect the elderly.

How does my bladder work?

Bladder

After eating or drinking, your kidneys filter the blood to remove waste and water from the body. This filtration process produces urine. The urine travels down tubes called ureters into the bladder.

You would normally feel the need to pass urine once the bladder holds 150-250ml of urine. Once you are ready to urinate, your brain gives the message to your bladder to contract and push urine out. Sphincters and pelvic floor muscles relax to allow the bladder to be emptied through the urethra.

What are the most common types of incontinence?

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence is where small amounts of leakage may occur when you cough, laugh or sneeze. This is caused by a weakness in the pelvic floor. It is more common in women, as these muscles can be weakened by pregnancy, childbirth and menopause.

Urge incontinence

You may find that the desire to pass urine comes on so quickly that you often leak urine on the way to the toilet or soon after you are first aware that you need the toilet.

Overflow incontinence

Conditions such as constipation, prostate enlargement or urethral stricture can cause obstructions which prevent the bladder from emptying completely. This means there is little space for new urine to be stored. It can result in frequent trips to the toilet, where only small amounts of urine are passed each time.

Mixed incontinence

Mixed incontinence is when you suffer with symptoms of different types of incontinence. For example, you may find you leak when you cough, sneeze or laugh, but also have to dash to the toilet, often leaking urine before you get there.

Functional incontinence

This may occur due to the inability to access appropriate toileting facilities.

Faecal incontinence

This can be caused by a number of factors, some of which include diarrhoea and stomach upsets. Once these settle, it can often resolve itself. Patients with neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis or strokes may experience faecal incontinence due to impaired nerve impulses.

Did you know?

More people suffer with bladder problems than with asthma, diabetes and epilepsy put together. 

Coming up next: Dietary & Lifestyle Advice which can help incontinence.

Remaining Independent at Home 6: In the Bedroom

Remaining independent in the bedroom

This is the final in our series of tips to help your friend or relative remain independent and safe in their own home.

Here we suggest mobility aids which can help in the bedroom. 

Commode

Hadley Commode High Seat

If your loved one has difficulty making it to the toilet in time, a commode or bed pan may be the solution.

The Hadley high seat commode pictured above is discreet and with its stylish design, it looks just like a regular chair.

Bed Grab Rail

Double Loop Bed Grab Rail

A bed grab rail can fit securely underneath the mattress to assist your loved one when getting in and out of bed.

This double loop rail is a cost effective version and can adjust in width to fit both single and double beds.

Bed Rail Protectors

Bed Rail Protectors

Bed rail protectors can provide extra comfort and protection against the hard rails on a care bed. They are filled with foam and simply wipe clean.

Side Wedges

Side Wedges

Add peace of mind that your friend or relative will stay safely in their bed with these side wedges.

The wedges prevent the user from rolling out of bed. They are soft and comfortable so if they are rolled into, the user will not bruise or feel discomfort.

Cot Sides

Adjustable Cot Sides

If your loved one is prone to falls or you’re worried that they may roll out of bed and injure themselves, cot sides could be an option.

Available for single or double beds, the cot sides are adjustable in length, width and height. The sides can be easily lowered with a push button release to get in and out of bed.

Mattresses & Cushions

Essential Comfort Mattress

We have a range of mattresses and cushions to suit different needs. They are sorted into risk ratings – low, medium or high. This is a rating of how likely the user is to develop pressure sores – high risk cushions and mattresses provide more support to reduce risk of pressure sores.

The image above is the Invacare Essential Comfort Mattress, which is a low risk mattress.

Bed Rope Ladder

Bed Rope Ladder

It can sometimes be difficult to sit up in bed. If your friend or relative struggles with this, consider a bed rope ladder. It is attached by cords which are tied to the bed legs.

Bed Mate

Bed Mate

The Bed Mate makes a great gift. It is a portable table ideal for reading, writing or eating whilst in bed. It can be adjusted to different angles and folded away when not in use.

Shampoo Cap

No Mess Shampoo Cap

If your loved one is bedridden, it can be difficult to wash. Help them to feel clean and fresh with the No Mess Shampoo Cap. It can be heated in the microwave or placed directly on the head and massaged in. There’s no need for shampoo or water.

Take advantage of our 5 for the price of 4 offer by entering coupon code SHAMPOO at the Checkout.

That concludes our series of tips for independence. We hope you’ve found them useful and don’t forget, we have much more available at www.clarkshop.co.uk and you can also find your nearest Clark & Partners showroom here: http://clarkshop.co.uk/clark-and-partners-showrooms/ 

Children decorate Wellington Street’s Christmas window display

Window display at Wellington Street

Our Wellington Street window display looks lovely and festive thanks to the children at Sheffield Early Years Language Centre. 

Our Wellington Street Team Leader, Debbie, contacted the centre to ask if they’d like to make decorations for our Christmas window display.

The centre offers one-to-one speech therapy for children with specific speech and language impairments. The therapists and teachers encourage development in order to help them become confident communicators. The centre has taken on eight pre-school children per term since it opened in 2003.

Clark & Partners provided the children with the craft materials to make our decorations. They made some beautiful snowmen and snowflakes for our window, as you can see above.

Call into our Wellington Street shop to look at the festive display and check out our great deals. We have scooters and wheelchairs on offer for a limited time only. The Leo scooter is £795 (a saving of £55); the Orion scooter is now £1495 (a saving of £500); and the Alu Lite wheelchair is £199 (a saving of £56).

We also have the great value Colibri scooter on offer for £595 – a saving of £200! This also features in our window display below.

Colibri scooter in Wellington Street window

Colibri scooter in Wellington Street display

Disabled access in Britain needs to improve

Modular Ramp

A recent government audit has found that disabled access on the high streets of Britain is “shocking”. The audit included more than 30,000 shops and restaurants. 

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 aims to promote equality for disabled people and challenge discrimination. This includes removing barriers – which means appropriate measures should be taken to provide access.

Yet the audit found that a fifth of shops excluded wheelchair users. Only 15% of restaurants and shops had hearing loops and three quarters of restaurants did not cater for people with visual impairments.

In Britain, there are 12 million people with disabilities, with an estimated spending power of £200 billion. Not only does this exclude disabled people from accessing thousands of businesses, but retailers are losing custom because of it.

As Barry Stevenson, chairman of DisabledGo, says: “It doesn’t need to cost a fortune to do the right thing and it could be the deciding factor for disabled customers between you and a competitor.”

The audit also found that 40% of restaurants and a third of department stores do not have an accessible toilet. Hopefully, in the light of this information, the government will do more to ensure tougher laws for those who don’t comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

At Clark & Partners, we provide wheelchair access at all of our shops. Not only because we are a mobility company, but because we firmly believe that no one should face barriers or be excluded from entering a shop. 7 of our 8 shops also include accessible toilets.

We hope that this is the start of a more accessible Britain for all.

 

Free sample of iD Fit & Feel Pants

iD Fit&Feel Pants

Bladder weakness can be an embarrassing or taboo subject for many people. But a new product from iD can make life easier and carefree.

iD – formerly known as Euron – is the trusted name when it comes to incontinence. iD provides discreet, absorbent products to ensure that you don’t let bladder weakness get in the way of your daily activities.

Now you can feel protected and supported with iD’s fantastic new product. The brand new Fit & Feel Pants have been specifically designed to fit in with your lifestyle.

iD Fit&Feel Pants

They feature:

  • A super soft waistband for comfort
  • Ultra fit technology for a snug fit, meaning no leaks
  • Cotton feel
  • Dry zone technology which locks in moisture
  • Odour control, helping you to feel confident

Fit & Feel Pants offer great performance, comfort, softness, confidence and discretion.

iD Fit&Feel Sample Pack

Now we’re offering a FREE SAMPLE PACK of iD’s Fit & Feel Pants. The pack includes:

  • 1 x pair of Fit & Feel Pants
  • Pen
  • Leaflet including information on the product
  • Stylish discreet carry case for taking the Fit & Feel out and about
  • Reusable shopping bag

To get your free sample pack, click here. Please give your name and address and send to the email address supplied. Use the subject line ‘iD sample pack’.

For more information on other iD products we stock, see our guide.