Top 10 Elderly Independent Living Aids
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
January 24, 2011
Filed Under Health
Contributed by Cindi Pearce, Catalogs.com Info Guru
Elderly people, particularly those living by themselves, benefit greatly from independent living aids.
If your parent or grandparent is struggling because of health infirmities that make it difficult for him to get around give the greatest gift that you can give them by seeing that they have the assistance they need. These products can help them regain some independence.
The top 10 elderly independent living aides include:
10. Audio books
For many seniors, declining eyesight makes reading almost anything a chore. Or maybe hand and arm strength issues make holding a book difficult. For a book lover, that can be a fate worse than, well, worse than almost anything.
Enter the audiobook. Suddenly the books they love are ready to hear. And with today’s huge selection of Mp3s, they can choose from current or classic fiction, history, science, self-help, spirituality and almost anything else that’s typically available in print.
9. A dumbwaiter
A dumbwaiter is an asset for the elderly because it carries heavy loads (laundry, groceries) from one floor to the next in a multi-floor home. Installing a household dumbwaiter can often mean the difference between staying in a home where the person has been for many years, and moving to a ranch-style home or assisted living. A dumbwaiter can also be used to deliver food upstairs to a patient. Installing a dumbwaiter is much less costly than moving.
8. Pick-up tool
An extended reach claw pick-up tool – or reach extender – is a wonderful item for someone who is in a wheelchair or bed-ridden. It allows them to reach and pick items that otherwise would be out of reach. Using a reach extender is much safer than standing on a chair or climbing a small ladder.
7. Accessible bathing
Handicap accessible bathtubs and showers allow the elderly person to bathe regularly, which they can’t do if they don’t have a tub or shower, they can access. The shower and walk-in tub should be equipped with handrails and a shower stool if one is not built in.
There are also bath lifts available that lift the person into a conventional tub. An emergency alarm can be installed next to the tub or shower, within reachable distance. If the individual slips and falls, he can call for help. Alternatively, you can put a regular phone in the bathroom for this purpose.
Interior and exterior ramps make it possible for a wheelchair bound person to leave the house and move easily from one room to another.
Lifts make it possible for the individual to sleep upstairs in his bedroom rather than being confined downstairs in a make-shift bedroom. Chair lifts remove stair obstacles. Vertical platform lifts allow total access to a multi-level home, so that an elderly person gets a change of scenery and isn’t always stuck in the same room. It also makes it possible for the person to get to the bathroom if the only one is upstairs.
4. Mobility Aids
Wheelchairs, mobility scooters, canes and walkers are all vitally important so that the elderly person can remain ambulatory, move about safely, and continue to live independently.
3. Special telephone
Amplified telephones are made with high volume. Some come with captions. When an individual is hearing impaired this makes it impossible for him to converse over the phone. With a caption telephone, he can read (on a display screen) what the other person is saying. This is a tremendous help. When a person can’t hear this cuts him off from virtually everything, and it is isolating. The elderly person should be encouraged to wear a hearing aid, although many won’t cooperate.
2. Medical emergency pendant
An elderly person should have a medical alarm system and wear an emergency pendant at all times. If he falls or gets sick and cannot make it to the phone all he has to do is press on the pendant. Family members or 911 will be called. Often the elderly person can communicate with the person on the other end of the line even without the telephone being picked up. An intercom system is used and the call for help activates it. The call recipient can assure the elderly person that help is on the way, which is comforting and reassuring.
The number one elderly independent living aid is an “aide” – a living, breathing human being that stops in daily to check in on the senior. Nothing can compare to the human presence, touch and voice. We underestimate how much it means to a person who is old and isolated to have someone to sit and talk to or just watch TV with. Physical contact is also very important so a care aide should give the elderly person physical contact, including hugs and kisses.