Blog

  • Dementia Friends Champion

    Justina Nurse, half of the husband and wife team who own and run Stuart Mobility, has recently trained to become a Dementia Friends Champion.  Here, Justina explains what this role means, why she chose to do it and how it helps those living with dementia in our local communities:

    “Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative aimed at educating people about the condition and giving them the information they need to be able to offer help and support to those with dementia in their local communities.  There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK.  1 in 6 people over 80 have dementia but it’s not exclusively confined to older people: over 40,000 under 65s are also living with the condition.  Many people affected by dementia feel like society fails to understand the condition, so Dementia Friends help by taking actions, big and small, which will make a difference.  This can be anything from visiting someone with dementia in your local community to having a bit more patience in a shop queue!

    Most people are aware of the memory problems associated with dementia but it can affect people in many other ways, too.  It can cause difficulties with concentration, with planning and thinking things through, with carrying out familiar daily tasks such as using a bank card or following a recipe, problems with judging distances or mood changes and difficulties controlling emotions.  These are daily battles faced by those with dementia but there are many simple things that others can do to help and support them, making every day that little bit easier.

    Firstly, it begins with awareness, which is why I trained to become a Dementia Friends Champion!  This is a voluntary role that enables me to run Dementia Friends information sessions, giving others the insight they need to become a Dementia Friend and support people living with the condition.  Sometimes, the smallest of actions – some patience or a few kind words – can make the biggest difference to someone who’s struggling.

    Throughout my career I’ve met many, many people living with dementia and I’ve seen how this affects their daily lives – and impacts their loved ones, too.  Training as a Dementia Friends Champion allows me to do something positive to make a difference by inspiring, encouraging and supporting others to become Dementia Friends – educating them about the condition and showing how easy it is to offer support.  All of this will help people with dementia to feel welcomed and understood by their local communities rather than being isolated by the condition.”

    Justina will be running Dementia Friends information sessions locally (around Derbyshire and Staffordshire) – and anyone is welcome to come along! For more information please contact the Stuart Mobility team on 01283 704071.  If you’re not local, don’t worry – there are Dementia Friends information sessions all over the country!  Find out about Dementia Friends information sessions in other areas.

    Inspired by this?  If you’d like to become a Dementia Friends Champion too, you can find out more about how to train here.

    Sources: dementiafriends.org.uk; alzheimers.org.uk

  • Proud to Be Small Biz 100 Finalists!

    Here at Stuart Mobility we work hard to bring top quality products to our customers coupled with the very best service.  We receive excellent feedback from our customers and gain great job satisfaction from seeing the elation on customers’ faces – and their families’ too – when their new chair is delivered and installed and they realise what a difference it’s going to make to their lives.  While this is all the thanks we need, sometimes it is nice to earn some wider recognition for our work too – and we’ve recently done just that!

    Stuart Mobility has been selected as one of the top 100 small businesses in the UK as part of the Small Biz 100 campaign – a grassroots campaign which aims to highlight small business success and encourage support.

    This year’s Small Business Saturday is on 7th December and each of the 100 selected businesses are promoted, one per day, in the hundred days leading up to that date – Stuart Mobility’s day is 5th October, so look out for us on https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com!

    Justina, one of our owners and founders, explains why she applied for Small Biz 100 and what making the shortlist means: “While we’re based in the Derby/Burton area, our business is nationwide – we’ve delivered from north to south as far as Perth and St Ives, and from Belfast in the west to Norwich in the east – and an award like this really helps to put us on the map! It’s such a privilege to be selected as one of the top 100 small businesses in the UK; we work hard and keep our standards high and, while our customers tell us frequently that they’re pleased with what we do, this confirms from a business perspective that we’re doing things right!  Many retailers are struggling at the moment so it’s great to earn some recognition and have a spotlight put on our business.”

    To celebrate our Small Biz 100 status we’ve created some merchandising packs that we’ll be distributing to care homes, residential and nursing homes in our local region over the coming months – including mugs for carers to keep their tea warm while they work hard looking after others!  If you’d like us to come and visit with a merchandising pack and some information booklets, please get in touch.

    We’ve also made a film of our ‘customer journey’, which you can see in our social media profiles  and .  Speaking of our wonderful customers … we’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one for their support over the years.  Without you, accolades like this wouldn’t be possible!

  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s

    One in six people over the age of 80 in the UK have dementia, a condition that describes different brain disorders which trigger a loss of brain function; Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting 62% of those diagnosed. Over 850,000 people in the UK have dementia and this figure is set to rise to 1 million by 2025.

    Physical effects

    Dementia is usually progressive and eventually severe; typical symptoms include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.  In addition, especially in the later stages, sufferers can often have physical symptoms such as muscle weakness which can lead to problems with movement and posture.  Symptoms can include:

    • Unsteady gait
    • Poor balance
    • Decrease in physical strength and coordination
    • Sight deterioration
    • Anxiety
    • Changes in sleep pattern and appetite, which can exacerbate weakness

    How can chairs help?

    These symptoms can all affect a person’s ability to get into, and out of, a chair safely and comfortably.  A rise and recline chair can help the user by aiding them in gently lowering themselves into a seated position rather than suddenly dropping.  It can provide a comfortable, supported position whilst seated – while less supportive furniture may allow slumping and slouching, and the possibility of slipping out of the chair, especially if the user falls asleep which is common due to the disturbed sleep patterns associated with dementia.  A rise and recline chair can also help the user to safely return to standing in a steady and supported manner, reducing the risk of falls.

    Clear buttons on a remote control can allow users in the earlier stages of dementia to safely operate the chair on their own, whilst in the later stages a fully mechanised process means that carers can easily operate a chair on the user’s behalf.

    As the condition progresses, patients may suffer further loss of physical abilities such as holding up their head; the correct seating can reduce the risk of associated health complications that can arise from poor posture such as breathing difficulties, problems with swallowing or pressure sores caused by sitting in one position for too long. 

    Finding the right chair

    The progressive nature of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease means that the patient’s needs change over time.  It’s recommended that a seating assessment is carried out so that their needs now, and in the future, can be correctly identified and addressed.  This can be done by an occupational therapist or by seating experts at Stuart Mobility.  There are many adaptations available that can make a chair suitable – such as tilt-in-space to provide pressure relieving support, lateral and head support, lumbar support, elevating foot and leg rests, remote controlled motors… there are many, many options and, if there’s nothing in our standard stock that exactly meets requirements then bespoke chairs can be designed to the user’s exact specification at no extra cost.  There’s no reason not to sit comfortably and safely!

    For information and advice on how a chair could help or to arrange a seating assessment, speak to a member of our expert team: https://www.stuartmobility.co.uk/contacts/

    Sources: alzheimers.org.uk; dlf.org.uk

  • Staying Active and Independent

    As we get older our bodies change – the things we used to do with ease become more difficult.  Everyday tasks such as climbing stairs, getting in and out of the bath or shower, popping to the shops or even sitting down and getting back up from a chair are harder than they used to be.  And yet, most people want to continue to live an active life in their own homes for as long as possible… so, what can we do to make this a reality?

    The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy suggests that “keeping active helps to ward off depression and anxiety, while staying happier can mean living longer.  And simple, regular exercise is a key factor in keeping healthy, happy and independent into older age.”

    Helping yourself

    One of the best ways to ensure you stay fit and active is to lead a healthy lifestyle.  Eat well – plenty of water, fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and vitamins – and try to exercise as much as possible.  That’s not to say you have to suddenly attempt a marathon (the majority of 20-year-olds would struggle with that!) but exercise such as walking, swimming, yoga or pilates are hugely beneficial to both physical and mental health.  Many local leisure centres or community groups offer exercise classes for older adults which are great social events as well as providing a good workout at an appropriate level to your age and ability.  Even doing things around the house such as gardening or cleaning is a good way to keep yourself moving, raising your heart rate a little, working muscles and keeping joints flexible.  The NHS offer activity guidelines for adults aged 65 and over.

    Whatever you choose to do, try to exercise regularly but stay within your limits and never exercise to the point where you feel light-headed, dizzy or your vision becomes blurred.

    Accepting help from others

    There is care and support available to help you to stay active and independent in your own home – this could be carers who visit you at home or it may be in the form of equipment or adaptations, such as rails, stair lifts, bath seats or kitchen aids, which can make day-to-day tasks easier and, crucially, reduce the risk of accidents.  Find out what’s available and accept help from others when it’s offered – while you may think accepting help means you’re not independent, having some support will actually help you to remain so! A little assistance and the right adaptations could make a huge difference to your daily life and staying active, independent and in control in your own home.

    A chair from Stuart Mobility is just one of these adaptations that could help to make your life easier and more comfortable.  A rise and recline chair offers physical support while you’re sitting to prevent slouching or slumping, which can in turn lead to health problems.  It can also provide motorised assistance to help you when getting into and out of your chair – and when the task of getting up is less difficult you’ll be encouraged to move around more frequently rather than sitting still for prolonged periods because the very prospect of getting out of the chair is daunting in itself.

    Equipment and adaptations such as this have been designed specifically for purpose, to help older people to remain active, independent, healthy and happy.  Hours of research, design and testing goes into creating innovative products that have a genuine impact and improve lives, so utilise these products to your advantage!

    Speak to your GP, health and social care team, physiotherapist or occupational therapist for advice on keeping active and information about care services or home adaptations or equipment that are available to help you.

    For information and advice on how a chair could help and which type will best meet your needs, speak to a member of our expert team: https://www.stuartmobility.co.uk/contacts/

  • Decisions, Decisions… Choosing The Right Chair

    Why consider a chair for yourself or a relative?

    As we age, our mobility decreases and muscles weaken and fatigue more easily. When you, or your elderly relative, are sitting for long periods of time it’s more difficult to maintain a good, upright posture.  This can lead to slouching, slumping or, in the worst case scenario, sliding out of the chair. 

    Poor posture can cause or exacerbate many problems including aches and pains in joints, recurring chest or lung infections, urinary tract infections, and pressure sores caused by being unable to adjust position.  In turn, these health problems can lead to difficulty eating, breathing and sleeping – and can have detrimental psychological effects too.

    Finding it difficult to get into or out of a chair, or finding sitting uncomfortable, can also lead to spending more time in bed, affecting quality of life.

    The good news is that a chair which provides the appropriate support and comfort can very quickly help to improve symptoms caused by incorrect seating positions.  Features such as motorised rise and recline can also help users to regain or retain independence, thus improving mood and self-esteem.

    One Size Doesn’t Fit All:

    So, you’re saying no to discomfort and you’ve made a decision to buy a chair…but where do you start?  It’s a lot different from buying a regular sofa or armchair – specialist requirements demand specialist products, each offering something slightly different. 

    For example, some chairs are designed to help those suffering from back pain, while others are more appropriate for users with minimal independent movement.  Some offer lateral support, others additional head and neck support. Pressure management is important for those who are likely to be sitting for prolonged periods of time and are at risk of developing pressure sores – ‘tilt in space’ is particularly good for these users. 

    If you’ve browsed our website, you’ll have seen that there’s a vast range of chairs to choose from, each offering a choice of features.  These aren’t there just to confuse you!  They are designed specifically to address needs; many of our collections come in a range of sizes, seat movements and back cushions to cater for a wide range of customer requirements.  Height and weight of the user have to be considered to ensure good support in all the right places, and practical needs such as wipeable fabrics or wheels for portering can be met if necessary.  Of course there are also many colour and fabric options too.  It’s not all about functional needs; we don’t neglect style!

    With the additional option of ‘Made to Measure’, anything is possible (well, almost!).

    The choice may feel overwhelming but our experienced staff are happy to help and advise you; their aim is to help you find the perfect chair to cater for your needs. 

    Where to start…

    The best starting point is to draw up a list of what you, or your relative, want from a chair – or, sometimes, what you don’t want! Bear in mind that a chair is an investment purchase so as well as meeting current needs it is also worth considering how requirements may change over time.

    Also think about physiological and practical requirements or restrictions – for example, the user’s height, weight and the available space in the room.  Some manufacturers offer a wider range of size options which may affect suitability of certain makes and models and, if space is limited, ‘wallhuggers’ are available, which can recline fully at just 4” from a wall.

    When you’re clear on what you want and need, then speak to us and we will match your wishes with our product range to find you the perfect chair.  If your needs are complex or if you think your requirements may be difficult to fulfil, still ask!  You’d be amazed at what we have available – and remember, there’s always the option of ‘Made to Measure’, a service we provide at no extra cost. 

    If budget is tight, we also have a limited number of second hand chairs which may be suitable for your needs.  Again, please ask – we will always endeavour to help.

    Once we’ve helped you to identify some options, you’re welcome to visit the showroom to see and try them for yourself. 

    Then, when the decision’s made, the price you pay always includes delivery and set up as standard, so there are no nasty surprises or last minute additions to the bill.  All that’s left for you to do is sit back, and relax.

    No one should have to put up with a chair that’s causing them pain, discomfort, health problems, or hindering their independence and joie de vivre!  Please, get in touch; let us help you to find your new favourite chair and sit more comfortably.

  • Charitable Chairs

    We’re proud to be supporting Treetops Hospice Care as our main charity for 2019, which means that for every chair we sell throughout the year – whether that’s a rise and recline, a fireside chair, or healthcare chair from any of our ranges – we’ll make a donation of £3 to Treetops.

    What is Treetops Hospice Care and what do they do?

    Treetops Hospice Care provides nursing care and emotional support for adults and their families throughout Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.  This ranges from information and support for anyone who’s recently been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, and for their families and loved ones, to hospice care at home from qualified nurses, to a new in-patient care unit that is currently being developed at their Risley site, aiming to provide better choices for end of life care.

    They also offer therapeutic services including complementary therapies, counselling and emotional support for adults and children dealing with bereavement and for those dealing with life-limiting illnesses as well as training, information and support services for professionals, too.

    As you can see, Treetops provide a wide range of vital services which make a huge difference to thousands of people each year – whether that’s patients, professionals or the friends and family of those diagnosed with a serious illness. 

    How will our donations make a difference?

    All of the services Treetops offers are free of charge to those who need them but, in order to make this possible, they have to raise over £3 million per year – around £7,500 per day.  70% of this comes from charitable donations.

    The new in-patient care unit at Risley will cost around £5 million and they hope to have it up and running by spring 2020.

    Their wonderful work is priceless to those who need it, but is costly to provide.  Treetops work tirelessly each year to raise funds which enable them to offer their much-needed services.  It means a great deal to us to be able to support their work, helping them to make a difference in the local community.

    How can I support Treetops Hospice Care?

    If you buy a chair from us, a £3 donation will automatically be made to Treetops Hospice Care from Stuart Mobility; our customers do not have to opt in or action this. 

    If you’d like to further support the charity, they run many fundraising events throughout the year that you can take part in or go along to.  These range from ‘Tea for Treetops’ tea parties or regular car boot sales to the ‘Starlight Strut’ walk or ‘Colour Rush’ run if you fancy something more energetic!  Have a look at their planned activities and events here:  https://www.treetopshospice.org.uk/support-us/events/

    They also run a regular lottery or you can make a donation via their website: www.treetopshospice.org.uk.

    We look forward to updating you at the end of 2019 with the grand total that we have raised for this fabulous local charity.  Thank you for your support.

  • The Benefits Of Sleep

    If you have read any of our blog posts over the last few weeks, we have been trying to not only keep you mobile and active, but also look after your rest and recovery. We spend our waking hours worrying about keeping our customers comfortable, and that quite often leads to a little snooze (or a long nap!). This will aid your body in more ways than you might think, when so much of the population doesn’t get enough sleep - what benefits are they really missing out on?

    Productivity, Concentration And Emotions

    This is the most obvious benefit from getting enough sleep, we’ve all felt the headaches and cloudy thoughts from a sleepless night. Every part of thinking is affected due to the body not having enough time to repair itself and process all the input from the previous day. Research suggests that one night of reduced sleep can cause up to 36% more errors in tasks, and affect you as much as alcohol intoxication.

    Mental health issues are also strongly associated with reduced sleep. There are numerous opinions over the correlation or causation between the two factors, however people that suffer with serious sleep disruption report far higher levels of depression. Couple this with the fact lack of sleep impacts on your motivation to interact socially and even recognise expressions on other people, and you have serious issues that are plaguing society.

    Eating A Better Diet

    If you don’t get enough sleep, it is far more likely that the scales will feel it as well as your brain. In short people that shave even a few hours off the recommended levels of sleep are far more likely to weigh more. With adults 55% more likely to become obese due to sleep being essential for maintenance of hormones and its effect on motivation.

    So you’re much less likely to get the exercise you require, be it seated or otherwise, and you’re much more likely to eat more than you should be. Not getting your head down for long enough interrupts hormones that deal with appetite suppression, making it far more likely for you to over indulge. Even if you do manage to keep a lid on the snacking, your insulin response and metabolism can be hugely affected, leading to an increased likelihood of diabetes for regular light sleepers.

    Keeping Healthy

    Not only is your brain going to suffer, along with your friends, and also your diet - your body is going to go through a pretty rough time too. If your systems don’t have enough time to repair themselves, issues with mobility and muscles are going to appear.

    There are also strong links to inflammation throughout the body, so joints are going to feel much stiffer and you simply won’t be able to do as much as you can when well rested. Inflammation in the body also affects digestive issues such as bowel diseases and even Crohn’s. Many studies have compared the rates of strokes and heart diseases, finding huge increases for people not getting 7-8 hours regularly.

    For a truly relaxing experience you can speak to us about any of your seating requirementsand we will make it our duty to find you the best seating solution.

  • Single Vs Dual Motor Riser Recline Chairs

    When you are shopping for your first riser recline chairs it can feel like a mine field. Shop assistants may as for all sorts of information about you, and it might seem like they bombard you with questions. These all come with good reasons attached and you should worry if these types of questions are not asked. Find out your usage and requirements will mean you receive better recommendations, and find a chair which is both comfy and does what you need it to.

    When browsing through your options, you may come across a few differences, colour and fabric options included, but these will include options for different motor configurations - so what exactly is the difference between a single and a dual motor chair?

    Single Motor Chairs

    Unlike many things in the mobility industry, a single motor riser chair has exactly what it says it does - one single motor that powers all parts of the chairs movement. This single unit controls the backrest, foot rest and also rises the chair to standing.

    Single motor chairs are often less expensive than dual motor ones, but in a good quality chair this is a motor that is large enough to cope, so there are no issues here. The only difference you will have as a user is the fact there are only one set of buttons on your handset, and this may restrict your comfort slightly. For example when reclining the backrest, your feet will have to also be raised into a preset position.

    Due to having only a single motor there is much less adjustability. For example they have not ability for you to only raise your feet.

    Dual Motor Chairs

    In contrast dual motor riser chairs have two motors powering different parts of the movement. Due to the increased complexity these, chairs are often more expensive, but by less than you may think. One thing to remember is that dual motor chairs are no more reliable or trust worthy than single motor options, this is often miss understood in shops that do not specialise in seating.

    One motor will control the backrest while the other will take charge of the footrest, shown by two separate sets of buttons on your handset. Users are able to recline the back of their chair, or raise their feet independently of each other. Meaning there are more options available for seating positions, often leading to better comfort levels.

    We will quite often have a chair to fit into your budget and also your seating requirements, so if you are debating on a single or dual motor chair then get in touch and we will talk you through your options.

  • An Introduction To Riser Chair Fabric

    Each and every manufacturer claims to select the very best materials for their chairs. When they use marketing terms to make them feel unique and better than all the rest, it can be difficult to know what to choose. Unfortunately this is made worse by the advantages and benefits of each material. All on top of deciding the best colours to match in with your decor.

    Some manufactures will have a wide range of different finishes, colours and also textures, and may even differentiate this further with options for home and also healthcare chairs. However in simple terms there are three basic options to consider - with a few variants underneath. We will always guide you through the process and potentially the best options for your situation - but please speak to us before ordering your chair.

    Leather

    Leather is often the most expensive option, and is often the default option for those looking for wipe clean. Often this is linked to issues with incontinence, however in many situations it may not be the best choice. Leather will become slippery when wet, and therefore more difficult to stay seated. Vinyl would be a much better choice, in this situation so have a look at all of your options. Ultra leather is also a possibility, and often a better alternative as it is much harder wearing and very soft.

    Fabric

    Regular fabric is much more breathable and stretchy than either leather or vinyl and is the most popular choice for home and healthcare chairs. Fabric is also extremely breathable which makes temperature control much easier, and sitting for lengthy periods much more comfortable.

    Unfortunately it is not as simple as they name suggests, there is a huge range of fabric variations to chose from. If pressure relief is one of the requirements, VP fabrics are worth considering as they offer 4 ways stretch, and are extremely flexible - making it a perfect match with mouldable cushioning.

    Vinyl

    Vinyl is a good choice for those looking to stop fluid ingress, but using it for the seat itself should be avoided in some situations. Although some types of vinyl are stretchier than others, they still shouldn’t be used for pressure relief as they are much thicker and can feel had when sat on.

    Fabric Protection

    Another mine field can be protecting your chair, there are loads of different products, policies and companies around that will all try and sell you extra add ons. The most important thing to consider is what you are trying to protect from, if you have chosen the correct fabric then things like staining and wear will be avoided as much as possible.

    So a spray on fabric protector or other solutions may not be needed. If the worry is rips and tears then an insurance based policy is the best solution. We offer a range of policy options, so get in touch for more information.

  • A Guide To Seated Meditation

    There is nothing quite like sitting down in your favourite chair and relaxing. Perhaps you’ve been running around after kids all day, perhaps you’ve been walking mountains, or perhaps you’re just enjoying some down time. Whatever the reason, our mission at Stuart Mobility is to make you as comfortable as possible.

    Our chairs are brilliant, and will help to relax your body but they can only go so far. Here is a practice that goes hand in hand with our comfy chairs that will help quieten the mind - our guide to seated meditation.

    To begin with select your nice comfy chair and try and use this spot each time. Your mind will begin to relate this space with relaxation, aiding your body each and every time you sit down. Make sure the chair allows you to sit upright but relaxed, many mediation teachers call this sitting with the posture of royalty. Place your hands comfortably in your lap, trying to relax as many muscles as possible.

    After a few minutes of calm sitting, close your eyes slowly and begin to feel the contact you have with the chair. Feel where your body meets the chair and the different levels of pressure in different areas. Concentrate on the internal feelings of your body and mind for a few minutes and feel the messages it is giving you. Start at the top of your body and ‘scan’ down to your toes, bring your attention to each area in turn and take note of any discomfort or tension you feel.

    Once you complete this step, calmly and slowly bring your attention to your breath and focus on the rising and falling of your chest. Make this the sole thought in your mind. It is natural for your attention to drift onto other things. However as soon as you realise, simply bring your attention back to your breath again. Letting all other thoughts fade away.

    It is very normal to have to do this many times, and perfectly natural for thoughts to come and go in your mind. As soon as you realise this, simply let the thought go and return to the rising and falling of your chest. If it helps you can count the breaths in and out up to 10, and then start again at zero. You can sit like this for as long as you wish, but just 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference to your mental health and also your motivation.

    With a little practice you will find your mind much quieter and you can focus on tasks much better. As with everything, you will need the best tools available to you. If you feel uncomfortable or are concerned with the pressures you feel while sitting - get in contact with us and see if we can help get you more comfortable.

Items 1 to 10 of 14 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2