Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Getting too old climb up ladders to ......

(53 Posts)
Kateykrunch Wed 28-Jun-17 14:55:58

Just taken my landing window curtains down and washed them, the window is inaccessible unless Hubby either climbs along bannisters or as of today, uses a ladder. I am one of those people who when watching a hospital programme says "what on earth were they doing up a ladder at that age". We have possibily reached 'that' age. What are you supposed to do when you are physically unable to do things like this for yourself? I cant imagine DS or DD coming to take my curtains down and put them back up. We do have vertical blinds up at that window and the controls are within reach, but the blinds really need curtains as well (although perhaps more heavy weight blinds exist). Perhaps, I have answered my own question, but would still be interested in your solutions to such things.

paddyann Wed 28-Jun-17 15:18:51

I'm only 63 and I still do all that stuff myself ,move furniture change curtains and anything else that needs done,I get quite annoyed when people say I shouldn't be doing this or that "at my age" I will continue for as long as I want.If YOU feel you shouldn't then just ASK your children or grandchildren to help .Its not a big ask to come and change some curtains or move a heavy piece of furniture it?I'm sure your family would happily help especially if they thought you were risking injury by doing it

Grannyknot Wed 28-Jun-17 15:24:25

Do you really need curtains there? I have as few curtains as possible (1 room only) e.g. have opaque glass put in the window.

merlotgran Wed 28-Jun-17 15:38:47

Oh the joys of living in a bungalow. I took all my curtains down on Monday, had them washed, ironed and back up again by tea time.

When we lived in a large farmhouse I don't think the curtains over the stairwell ever got washed. They were dark brown so I don't suppose it mattered. grin

M0nica Wed 28-Jun-17 15:39:03

I HATE opaque glass. I even had the obscured glass in the bathroom removed and replaced with clear glass - and venetian blinds. I love sitting in the bath and watching the trees in the garden. In fact I hate not being able to see out of the window in any room. On the other hand I also do not like people being able to see into the house after dark

We also live in a Listed building so cannot replace our single glazing with double and, although we do have quite a lot of interior double glazing, we also have lined and insulated curtains on every window.

I am 73, recently started a pretty punishing pilates class every week, which I manage without difficulty and have certainly not reached 'that age' where I am no longer safe on ladders.

In our family, sadly, it is DD who reached 'that age', where she cannot get up ladders, at 38. Following a road accident that badly damaged her right arm, she cannot risk climbing ladders because she only has one arm strong enough to hold on to the ladder.

merlotgran Wed 28-Jun-17 15:42:35

DD2 has just had her hall, stairs and landing decorated. There's a large window half way up the stairs which is impossible to reach if wanting to fit a curtain pole so she got the decorator to fit a Roman blind which is fixed with a drop of about 2'.

Looks lovely and needs no attention.

Jalima1108 Wed 28-Jun-17 16:31:08

merlotgran that is very energetic!!

Does a landing window need curtains and a blind? If you are only going up and down stairs I would have thought it wasn't necessary really - unless the neighbours can see in and you wander round in the nude.

Our landing window is quite high up and has a Roman blind which rarely gets let down and is even more rarely washed. I do try to flick a duster across the top of it occasionally but qas I only made it last year it can't be due for a wash yet - surely?

I did ban DH from decorating the hall stairs and landing last time as he wanted to balance on a plank between two ladders; we got someone in to do it but he wasn't that much younger than us!

We both climbed ladders last week to clean the conservatory roof - how old is too old? DH is 78. However, I can trip up on a flat surface so a ladder is no different really.

Marydoll Wed 28-Jun-17 23:42:17

My DH is just about to start painting our hall and stairs tomorrow. I have tried to dissuade from doing it, as it includes a balancing act on very high ladders. He will not hear of asking our sons to help or getting a professional in and sees it as a slight on his DIY Skills.sad I will not be leaving the house over the next few days, as I am terrified he will fall.

varian Thu 29-Jun-17 00:10:32

My work as an architect can sometimes involve climbing ladders on to scaffolding to inspect a roof. I have always been careful about wearing the right kit, making sure ladders are securely tied and safety generally, but as I am an overweight and unfit seventy-something, I am beginning to think about giving it up.

SueDonim Thu 29-Jun-17 01:04:08

My 77yo neighbour was up on his roof replacing ridge tiles last week. If that isn't adventurous enough, my mother's cousin fractured his hip last year, falling off a ladder when he was cleaning out the gutters. He's 91yo!!

As for me, I managed to break my leg in two places on my own driveway so I am more circumspect about physical exertions these days. hmm

Grannyknot Thu 29-Jun-17 07:03:16

monica I would LOVE to sit in the bath and look at trees, but we're not all that fortunate. But I did at one time live in a house where the shower room had a glass roof...

"Opaque" is probably the wrong word for the glass we had put in the bathroom, it lets lots of light in, but you can't see through it, it's "newfangled". grin

NannyMcPhU Thu 29-Jun-17 07:14:03

What kind of society do we live in when we can't ask our children to fix something for us? If my mother or MiL (both live alone) need a job doing then I'll either help or ask one of their grandchildren to lend a hand. Failing that we'd get someone in.

It would be far more 'bother' if either fell and broke something.

travelsafar Thu 29-Jun-17 08:30:50

We have an archway in our garden covered with a climbing plant that needs cutting back every year. Sadly this year we are thinking of having it pulled down as my DH cannot manage the ladder any longer and he doesnt trust me to do it, especially as it involves using an electric hedge cutter!!!

I will miss it when it goes and so will the birds who use it for resting in before they fly down to feed or use our bird baths.

BlueBelle Thu 29-Jun-17 08:31:20

Well at 72 I still go up ladders or if it's really inaccessable I have a strong grandson who ll always help me especially for a cheese wrap and cup of tea Otherwise it s an outside workman I try to be as independant as possible without being stupid and cart furniture around, I m just mending an outside wall at the moment and intend to carry on until I truely can't so I m not expecting to get to 'that age' for a long time
Find a handyman if you feel the children won't help but have they actually refused or are you just not wanting to ask them

Marydoll Thu 29-Jun-17 08:35:08

My DH won't ask for help from our boys and daughter's partner' despite the fact that they are willing to help. He is so independent and it has to be done to his timetable. The boys travel a lot on business, so are not always available. So I am resigned to a stressful few days.

TriciaF Thu 29-Jun-17 09:21:28

My balance isn't so good so we bought a "strong and stable" 3 step ladder with a bar at the top to hold onto. For things like cleaning windows and reaching top shelves.
It's a good idea but be careful not to clonk your shins going up a step.And I even managed to fall off that once - backwards shock
I used to climb on a chair for those things but knees prevent that now.
I'm 81 btw.
Husband does most of the climbing, but he's finding it difficult now.

merlotgran Thu 29-Jun-17 09:33:50

I can't manage more than three steps up a ladder which is thankfully all that's needed to decorate our bungalow. Two years ago I did the whole lot - the plaster was new so it was primer, two coats of paint etc. At least I can now do one room at a time whenever we need to redecorate.

Getting too old for all that malarkey now though.

AlieOxon Thu 29-Jun-17 10:02:45

At the moment I have two sets of steps, both with platform steps not rungs. Ladders are very difficult but these safe steps, the big one with a bar to hold on to, are helping me in the house a lot. I don't carry the big one, I walk it!

MissAdventure Thu 29-Jun-17 10:06:17

I finally got back my aluminium ladder, as its been borrowed for years, and have found I no longer fit on it, somehow.
The steps seem to be too narrow now.

Jalima1108 Thu 29-Jun-17 10:10:49

As I have no head for heights I thought it was very brave of me to climb up four rungs and clean the conservatory roof.

Don't look down!

Jalima1108 Thu 29-Jun-17 10:12:28

If I need to climb on to a chair I get a small stool (used for DGD to reach to wash their hands when they were smaller), climb on to the stool then on to the chair. It's easier when dusting the tops of furniture than getting a step-ladder.

shysal Thu 29-Jun-17 10:42:38

Dusting the tops of furniture? I haven't done that for years, although I have a cat who rolls on the top of the wardrobe instead!
I suffer from vertigo so daren't use ladders without a hand rail. I am sure family members would help when necessary but I just wouldn't ask.
I would like a friendly odd job person, but they are difficult to find for small tasks. I have looked at adverts in the village newsletter magazine, but they are just not interested, not even having the good manners to reply to my enquiries.sad

Jalima1108 Thu 29-Jun-17 10:46:49

I don't know how old you are shysal (too young I think) but Age Concern keep lists of approved people who will do work including odd jobs and will not over-charge.

My friend has a male cleaner who is willing to tackle all kinds of jobs including moving the furniture to clean behind etc. I think she found him privately though, not through Age Concern.

annodomini Thu 29-Jun-17 10:47:15

I have a very sturdy step stool which is necessary for reaching the tops of kitchen cabinets. A previous step stool collapsed under me (luckily no harm done), though it had lasted seven years, so I was careful in my choice of a new one! Light bulbs are another matter as I'm not so capable of raising and keeping my arms up as I once was, although I also have a good step ladder, special buy in Lidl, several years ago.

Jalima1108 Thu 29-Jun-17 10:48:51

kitchen cabinets are another matter altogether. I have put lining paper on top of mine because dirt and grease together are impossible to clean off and there is not much room between the top of the cupboards and the ceiling which is a bit knobbly. After getting scraped knuckles I decided on the paper which gets changed rarely occasionally.