We lift the lid on a unique online service EIWELL home to a hub of information helping the sandwich generation care for their parents as they get older. Offering tips and advice to help adults with ageing parents and loved ones, ranging from staying fit and healthy at home, products to help in every corner of the house, and how to be a great virtual grandparent, including online courses and bespoke support tailored to the individual.

EIWell co-founders Jessica Silver and Nancy Farmer

EIWell co-founders Jessica Silver and Nancy Farmer

EIWell - co-founded by Jessica Silver and Nancy Farmer, here’s what they have to say: “We are focused on providing people in the sandwich generation with the answers they’re looking for to improve their parents’ wellbeing. We’re passionate about providing straight talking advice to help people look after their parents as they get older. We help older clients in Oxfordshire directly with their overall wellbeing, helping them remain independent with tailored physiotherapy, occupational therapy and admin support. We also run a website answering the questions that their adult children have about caring for their parents as they get older.”

ElWell Advice and Tips

Jessica and Nancy’s wealth of experience has enabled them to share guides and top tips on looking after elderly parents, ranging from taking care of mental health, how to stay fit and active, and tackling communication issues which is becoming even more important in the current lockdown climate.

Among the most popular are the following:

Tips For Keen Gardeners Who Are Getting Older

Whatever the season, there’s something very therapeutic and welcoming about being out in the garden. As we get older, gardening can become harder physically but that doesn’t mean you need to put down the gardening tools. 

  • There’s a Positive Link Between Gardening and Mental Wellbeing

Being in the garden helps you connect with nature, and there’s a positive link between gardening and mental wellbeing. Studies have show that gardeners have reduced levels of the hormone cortisol, which leads to better sleep and lower stress.

  • Raised Gardening Beds

Elevated garden beds or raised pots are a great solution for older gardeners as there is no need to bend down. You can control the height of the raised bed making them good for gardeners in wheelchairs and allowing others to either stand or sit when gardening.

To avoid over-stretching, reduce reaching distance in your raised bed, and keep them near the house so you don’t have far to walk or carry watering cans.

How To Be a Great Virtual Grandparent

As quarantine continues, ElWell has compiled tips on generation bridging activities and how to be a great virtual grandparent. This includes: 

  • Virtual Gardening

Teaching grandchildren how to garden can be done remotely – and you don’t even need to get their hands dirty. Choose some colourful and easy to grow plants (such as sunflowers and snap dragons) and plant them in portable pots while the kids watch on FaceTime. Then you can have weekly video calls to check how the plants are progressing and the grandparent can water the plant in front of them. 

Asking questions about ‘their plant’ (such as how much water should it have, counting the number of leaves, talking about the colours of the petals or making plant labels) is a great way to keep their interest up and educate them. Use small pots – they are a good gift for the grandchildren when you see them next. 

  • Reading a Bedtime Story

While there’s nothing quite like grandparents and grandchildren reading together, technology can really help. For reading with younger children, we like the Toniebox. It’s a child friendly portable speaker that doesn’t require screen time and lets kids listen to music and stories. You can record a story for them which they can listen to again and again.

Over 70? Our Guide To Staying Fit At Home During Self Isolation

Nancy shares the best strength and balance exercises that the over 70s can do at home to stay fit and active. ElWell also provide tailored one-to-one physiotherapy sessions over video call, including an assessment of identified area, an exercise diary, equipment recommendation and delivery, and check-in the following week.  

 Bedroom exercises

These exercises can all be done on the bed or lying on the floor and concentrate on your core stability. When doing these exercises, think about the quality and control of movement as you are doing them

o   Bent knee fall out

o   Core stability with alternate leg elevated

o   Active range of motion

 Kitchen exercises

These exercises work primarily on your strength and balance and can be done standing, holding on to a rail or kitchen unit

o   Mini squats

o   Heel raises

o   Hip extensions

Products To Make Life Easier For Older Adults

Especially at the moment with over 70’s more isolated than any other age group, ElWell have rounded up the best gadgets and assistive devices that are easy to install and use, are inexpensive and available to buy online. As well as helping seniors to stay safe at home, these independent living products for older adults also give peace of mind to their family.

Helping seniors stay safe in the bedroom

o   Motion sensor lights can reduce falls at night

o   Clip on eye care reading light

o   Using a sock aid

  • Promoting independence in the kitchen

o   Take the weight off feet with a perching stool

o   Hands free can opening

o   Medication reminder

  • Making life easier in the living room

o   Wireless TV speaker for the hearing impaired

o   Robot Vacuum

o   Anti-slip rug gripper

About the EIWELL Founders

Jessica Silver, Co-creator of ElWell

Jessica has a background in psychology after studying it at University, and this passion was furthered by being an active volunteer for The Samaritans charity. Having seen her mother look after her 94 year old grandfather, and stuggle for questions around caring for the elderly, Jessica teamed up with Nancy Farmer to create ElWell, to help others in this generation looking for answers to best support their parents. 

Nancy Farmer, Co-creator of ElWell

Nancy is a physiotherapist with 15 years’ experience, specialising in elderly rehabilitation. She worked for the NHS in the community, helping elderly people rehabilitate at home after leaving hospital, such as those recovering after hip operations and strokes. When she visited her patients, they always asked questions on caring, rather than physiotherapy related.  After experiencing this, Nancy saw an opportunity with Jessica to help people through the stresses of getting older. 

For more information, visiting el-well.com

or find out more on Instagram: @elwellwellbeing