Tuesday 11 October 2016

Helping Our Babies AND The Elderly by #BreakingBarriers

She's standing up in the bath! My little* 8 month old Lottie. Oh my goodness. And she's been doing it for a week or two now. We've got one of those hand rails down the side of our bath. Are they intended for the elderly? I don't know but they always assist me ha ha! I'm only 43! Well really we have a pair as there is one rail each side. She'll just literally out of the blue, with no warning, grab the handrail and position her feet to stand and there she goes, pulled right up to standing. She's a bit of a magpie so I think it was the shining silver surface that first caught her attention before she realised it was a mobility aid!! 

    *not so little, she's 98 percentiles in her lil red book!!!

Scares the life out of me as she is not yet cruising or walking. Actually not even crawling. She can work her strong upper body but can't seem to lift her torso up and come onto her knees. I blame the slippery wooden floors. When I do lift her torso up, as she is often on her tummy, I have to bring her knees together as she is so not ready yet. Not even coming up onto all fours.

Anyway, back to the bath. We've always had her in an Angelcare bath support seat (pictured below). As it is not something we had with Aaron, it is actually pink and not a hand-me-down. We bought it in Mothercare: Angelcare bath support, but I can't remember if it was just before or just after she was born. Lately I have been letting her sit in the bath with the bath support next to her full of her toys, (it helps make the bath seem smaller too and confines her) BUT when she tries to do that standing thing she slips and slides as she gets ready to stand, so now I have Aaron's old bath mat (they still sell it all these years later OMG: Tommee Tippee non slip bath matunder her to make it more safe and less slippy. She loves it as it is covered in sea life and bright colours. But all of this trying to stand business means I literally can't look away from her for a second. 
Only trouble is Aaron likes to come into the room and play with her Nuby bath toys as he discovered you can fill them with water and spray them like a water pistol. I hadn't even realised and it would be a long time before Lottie would be old enough to make that discovery so siblings certainly have their uses. It would also help if I read the packaging LOL. Given there are 8 of those bath toys in different shapes and sizes this means lots of fun. On the one hand when they're playing she is less likely to hurt herself, but I have to be careful that looking at him doesn't distract me from looking at her. Last night Aaron got in at the end of her bath and it made my heart melt to see them have a bath together. I was actually able to run and get something a couple of times whilst he stayed with her.

All of this (the bath handrails) set me to thinking that babies are really like small old people aren't they? They need help walking and standing. They often get wheeled around. And thanks to Facebook memories I discovered that as much as Aaron has a full head of healthy hair and amazing curls now, when he was a tot it looked like it was receding, no doubt how it will look again when he is an old man. Look. Long time readers will remember him looking like this bless:
I don't like the way society often views old people, writing them off as silly old fools. I love cultures that revere the elderly as a font of all wisdom, which is why I was keen to collaborate with Bathing Solutions on their  #breakingbarriers campaign. When our babies and toddlers need mobility aids we assist them. When someone's been in an accident they get rehabilitation and again they are assisted with Physio etc... I think the elderly should be given the same assistance without judgement and this change of mindset needs to become mainstream as we are living in an aging society.

How does watching this video make you feel?

He may not have the speed, flexibility, mobility or ability to run or jump up to that basketball hoop but the benefit of knowledge and wisdom means he simply does not need to. Like with many things older people can go A-Z while we are working our way through the alphabet. We don't even have technology over them as there are plenty of silver surfers who are just as up to speed as you and I dear reader. My Mum had a phone that she could text on (SMS) before I did!

But back to my analogy of tots being like the eldery... next time you look at your VTech Walker, think of it like a zimmer frame. 
For one of the first times in history we are about to see the number of our senior generation surpass that of the youth, with those 65 and up making up 15.6% of the global population by 2050! 
Advances in healthcare and standards of living have improved quality and length of life for older generations, but it has us asking, 'Why does society often cast off its seniors as 'incapable' or 'unable' to learn new skills?' 
Times are changing and it's time for us to change too, breaking the stigma and encouraging each other to take action and get inspired to learn new skills or tricks of the trade. Source: www.bathingsolutions.co.uk/breakingbarriers/
So if the elderlyare going to represent that large a percent of the population isn't it time we started aiding and respecting them. After all, one day all too soon won't we be one of them? We're always saying "it seems like yesterday s/he was a newborn" or "where did those 8 months go?" so we could realise that the same too will be true of our lives. Old age is coming and we want to enjoy it in a society that allows us to grow old gracefully without fear or prejudice. Making us work longer to get a pension, when those retiring now built this country, just made me angry but let's not get all political in this blog post ;-)

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