Real life experiences
By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON
I have a few issues with The National Trust, but every now and then they do something right. In this instance it is the wheelchairs they make available, free-of-charge, to elderly people who visit Studland beach in Dorset.
These wheelchairs have huge ‘balloon’ tyres and can, with a little effort from family members who take it in turns, be pushed along the beach near the water’s edge where the sand is a little firmer. In this way, elderly people can enjoy all the stimulation of the actual seaside, which no ‘virtual’ experience can ever hope to emulate – the crash of the waves, the grating of the shingle, the abandoned racing around of dogs, and impromptu showers as said dogs shake themselves dry, the scents of the sea, the astringency of seaweed and, of course, the smell of wet dogs.
It’s great that frail elderly people can still experience all this, in wheelchairs with balloon tyres, pushed by a relay of helpers. It would be a logistical challenge for an activities co-ordinator in a care home but I wonder if they were to engage with local service clubs; Lions and the like who could provide volunteer support, more such real-life experiences could be provided.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.