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  • Writer's picturejdjamerson

It's the simple things

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Some of the easiest fixes, for what may seem to be complicated issues, are devices and ideas that are simple and they don’t have to cost a lot of money. When my lovely senior came to live with us, we noted immediately that a nightly trip to the bathroom was going to be a regular occurrence. Wanting to make this trip as safe as possible, we gave her a simple device, a “light switch”. Literally, a light switch. It is a device that looks and functions exactly like a regular light switch toggle on the wall except for this light switch she holds in her hand.

This simple on and off device puts out 200 lumens of light. This is a device that someone of advanced years will know how to easily operate because expecting someone in their 80’s and up to learn how to function a high-tech device that we might love, is unrealistic. You will end up frustrated because you “get it” and they will end up feeling bad because “they don’t”.

Other simple devices that can help with the activities of daily life are:

  • A quad or regular cane or rollators will give them stability and confidence while walking.

  • Toilet safety handles help them rise-up from the toilet and keeping this personal hygiene function personal.

  • Elevated Toilet Seat or raised toilet seat can easily be installed on top of your toilet bowl. The advantage of a raised toilet seat is that it provides the additional height of 5", decreasing the distance you have to sit down or stand up.

  • Extend Reacher’s allows them to reach items that have fallen to the floor or reach things that are up high.

  • Easy Grip Utensils are great for those with limited dexterity, arthritis, hand tremors, Parkinson’s and weak grip strength.

  • Foam Grip Tubing for use with utensils, tools, pens, pencils, toothbrushes, razors, crochet hooks and other objects with small handles.

  • ADA Grab Bars help everyone regardless if they need them or not. When installed correctly, the ADA Grab Bars provide a feeling of security and steadiness in the bathroom, in the bath, shower, or toilet.

  • Showers Stools & Benches are ideal for those with limited mobility & at risk for falls. The user can sit down inside the tub or shower and feel secure while enjoying a shower.

  • Brick Pavers: A lot of seniors have a hard time lifting their legs to navigate the height of steps. To solve this problem, coming in the house from the garage, we decreased the height of a step by putting brick pavers at the step. This has made a big difference for my mother-in-law going in and out of the garage or other outside entrances.

  • Proper height beds and chairs. This is often overlooked but makes a huge difference in comfort and safety. If your feet are flat against the floor and your knees are in a straight line with the hips, your chair or bed is the right height. If your knees are above the hips, the chair or bed is too low and if your feet can’t reach the floor comfortably, the chair or bed is too high.

  • Power Lift Recliners: If you or a loved one find yourselves with limited mobility, purchasing a power lift recliner can be a great benefit. These chairs are not only helpful for seniors or elderly relatives, but they're also for anyone who experiences difficulty sitting down and getting back up again.

  • Light sensor night lights and wall lights to improve safety for individuals with visual issues. If you have a loved one who has visual issues, night lights will work well for your bathroom, bedroom, hallway, stairway, kitchen, living room, or anywhere you need some extra light during the night and for safely navigating around the house.

These items promote independence and most of these you can get at Golden Valley Medical Supply.

Don’t allow adjustment issues to overwhelm you or spoil the time that you have with your senior loved one. Our time with them is precious and fleeting, so the “K.I.S.S.S method” is what should be used first and foremost, Keep It Super Simple and Safe!

What simple solutions have you used to help yourself or a loved one to remain independent?

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