Nearly 90 percent of people 65 and older want to remain in their own home for as long as possible …
… and 80 percent believe their current residence is where they will always live. Here are a variety things you and they can do — as well as assistive products and services — to help them accomplish their goal despite changing physical needs.
Modifying their home to make it more comfortable, safer, and easier to carry out daily activitiwhen their physical capabilities change. With these modifications, they may never have to move. (Here’s a room-by-room guide.) Many of these modifications can be made simply and inexpensively.
Here are just few practical and affordable solutions to help overcome limitations caused by arthritis and other challenges of aging.
- For arthritic hands, replace door knobs with lever door handles< and traditional wall switches with rocker switches.
- For difficulty getting into or out of a car, use a swivel seat cushion.
- For better balance, add grab bars in the bathroom toilet and tub (and shower, if separate).
- Move things on shelves to lower shelves and/or use a reacher/grabber to reach things on higher shelves.
- For limited range of motion, use a long-handle shoe horn and/or a long-handle bathing brush or sponge.
- For acid reflux, use a bed wedge to elevate your loved one’s head.
- For difficulty getting into or out of a tub, use a tub transfer bench.
- For greater safety in a shower, use a shower chair and/ora handheld shower head.
- With regard to clothing:
- It should fasten in the front
- Velcro should be used for difficult closures instead of buttons or zippers
- Pull-over clothing should be avoided and all clothing should be loose-fitting and non-binding
- Velcro fasteners can be substituted for laces on shoes; shoes that “stick” to the floor should be avoided
Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) — In case of a fall or other medical emergency, this electronic device enables the user to contact help 24-hours-a-day simply by pressing a button. A number of private companies offer these systems.
Home Safety Checklist — According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, more than 600,000 older Americans are treated each year in hospital emergency rooms for injuries at home. Many of these injuries result from hazards that are easy to overlook, but easy to fix. By taking some simple steps to correct them, many injuries could be prevented. This Home Safety Checklist can help you spot possible safety problems in your parent’s home.
Warning Signs — While your parent may strongly desire to continue living in their own home, you may wonder if they can continue living on their own. Here’s our mini-checklist to keep in mind the next time you visit your parent: Does Your Elderly Loved One Need Help?
We welcome your comments. And, if this post was helpful,