"It was February last year when I fell over. I've got arthritis, you see, and it's difficult to bend down. I dropped a tin of beans and fell trying to pick it up. Ofcourse, then I couldn't get up. It was just me and the beans, stuck there on the floor."
In Britain,189,000 old people can't get in and out of bed without help. 695,000 can't cope with stairs. 1,056,000 can't walk without help. One household in seven is inhabited by an old person living alone.
The consequences of frailty can be devastating to the old. A five inch kerbstone; turning a key; a patch of uneven ground; the ability to manage everyday obstacles like these can easily make the difference between living at home, or not.
Help the Aged funds Day Hospitals where people like Eric can receive the individual therapy to give them the ability and the confidence to retain their precious independence.
After treatment to improve balance and co-ordination, including practice in bending down and picking the ball from one bucket to another, he was confident enough to go home.
Except that they were able to help further. By tightly wrapping string round it to thicken
ALTHOUGH THIS IS A CAST HtsiOity. IHE NAMHAS BUN CHANCAD IO PROIR: PRJVACY
the handle, Eric can now hold a saucepan so he can eat hot food again.
The entire quality of life for millions of old people depends upon simple, practical measures like those the Day Hospital provides.
In addition Help the Aged supports Day Centres, helps fund minibuses, provides emergency alarm systems and supports hundreds of other projects to combat the loneliness, frailty and isolation that so many people suffer, just because they're old.
To find out more about our work, or to send a donation, please write to: Help the Aged, Freepost 62644, I St. James's Walk, London ECIB IBD.
Help the Aged
THE TIME TO CARE IS NOW