I was walking home from the swimming pool today when I came across an
elderly gentleman having problems with his wife. He had parked in an
awkward spot and she lost her footing trying to get out of the car. He
was trying to help her up, but she couldn't straighten her legs - she
walked with a cane/walker and had virtually no leg strength.
I went over and assisted, trying to lift her up. However, her woollen
coat was lined with slippery material and I could not get a good grip.
Due to the position of the car door - blocked as it was by something on
the sidewalk frozen in the snow/ice - I could barely get a hold. The
three of us were crowded in the space afforded by a half-opened car
door. She was too frail to just grab by the arm and lift, so I had to
make sure I had her securely under the armpit - I was afraid I'd break
her arm if I held her any other way and leveraged her weight (she was
Two other gents came and between the four of us, we were able to move
her to a clear spot on the sidewalk - I had so much trouble with her
coat that I had quickly pulled the sleeve off her arm so I could hold
her without it slipping around. She then collapsed and we had to get
medical help. I stayed and supported her head as we waited for
assistance and wrapped her coat over her.
Now my mother is similar, though a bit stronger than this woman. She
also uses a walker and needs assistance in/out of cars. However, she
doesn't wear such a coat. My brother is often around to help her and he
could lift her singlehandedly. But it did get me thinking - for someone
with frequent need for support, a coat with such a slippery liner seems
like a bad idea. It makes it easier to put the coat on or take it off,
but I think that support is more critical.
Would you, as sewists, take something like this in consideration if you
were making a coat for such a person? Do you think I'm out of line
suggesting that clothing that allows better grip for a caregiver should
be considered more important than some arbitrary fashion?
- posted 13 years ago