5 tips that can make senior citizens everyday tasks easy
The recent advancements in medical technology have made it possible to live longer. In the next forty years, the number of people aged 65 years or older is expected to double. So, it’s very likely that we already care for, or will be soon caring for our aging parents and grandparents.
A lot of senior citizens don’t have complex needs and can continue staying with us. They like to be stubborn about being able to care for themselves, sometimes even with activities that can drain them physically. In such cases, it’s ideal that we take on a low-key approach and help them without them realizing it so that they can still feel independent.
The best way to go about this is to make their everyday tasks easier. Below are five tips to make life easier for seniors as well as their caregivers:
- Ensure movability
One of the first modifications and adjustments that are necessary for a home with older people should be to ensure their easy movement around the house. This is so that those with joint pains and muscle strains aren’t holed up alone in one part of the house, unable to interact with neighbors and family members.
One way to fix this is to get a wheelchair or an electric scooter. To accommodate this, you might need to make doorways and rooms wider as well as change the flooring to ceramic tile or laminate flooring to make sure the floor is smooth all over. Fitting a wheelchair lift can also be a good idea for added ease.
Additionally, to prevent tripping or to slip while walking, stick carpet pads or rug tape to the corners of carpets, so they stay in place. Installing corner guards can help prevent injuries like cuts and bruises from the sharp edges of hard furniture.
- Manage medication
Your loved ones are likely to be on medications for some condition or other. It’s essential to store, organize, and take the medicines correctly. A meticulous organization can significantly reduce the chances of drug interaction as well as the wrong dosage or overdosage. A seven-day pillbox is probably the easiest way to keep all medication organized. Get one that is easy to open, and has large printed text.
Another way to track or remember their medicine routine is by using a mobile app or by marking it on a physical calendar. Make sure you note not just how much and how often they need to take medicine, but also other apposite factors like if it needs to be taken on an empty stomach or after a meal. Stick the note in plain sight where it can be easily seen by both you as well as your elderly loved one.
Associating daily activities with taking medicine is another way to make sure they remember to take their medication. For example, a pill that needs to be taken immediately after brushing teeth. Also, make sure that the tablets are placed in an easily detectable location to trigger the memory. Avoid cabinets, drawers, and other discreet areas. If this isn’t working out well, investing in an automatic pill dispenser is a good idea.
- Make bathrooms senior-friendly
Over 80 percent of slips and falls by senior citizens occur in the bathroom. A little remodeling might be necessary to make these slippery floors safe. A grab bar that can support weight, a shower chair, non-slip mats, raised toilet seats, and better lighting are all modifications you can consider. Also, make sure all toiletries are within reach.
An additional DIY tip is to get an old nylon stocking or one half of a pantyhose and put a bar of soap into it. Tie the other open end to a towel bar or the showerhead. This one, if the soap does slip out of the senior’s hands, they can just pull it back up and not have to bend down to pick it up.
- Make handheld controllers easy to use
For our elderly loved ones with low vision or eye diseases, reading the buttons on the remote control or their mobile phones can be pretty tasking. Using tactile indicators like raised stickers help them locate a button and press it. You can do this to just the buttons that are required the most.
In the case of a cell phone, this could be the button to hang up or accept a call. In TV remotes, you can make it easy to discern the buttons to change the channel and control the volume. If they use a computer, you can also gift them a large print keyboard that has high contrast keys.
- Make utensils easier to grip
Many people over the age of 60 have some form of arthritis, making it hard for them to grasp and use utensils. To help with this, you can fix foam curlers or rollers around spoons, forks, pens, toothbrushes, and more. Rubber bands can be used on the outside of mugs and glasses to prevent it from slipping to the floor and breaking.
Having to convince your aging loved ones to accept the help they seem to need can be challenging. Even though their bodies aren’t resilient like they once were, they still like to feel in control of their lives. So, first, take up these delicate topics with them in a gentle way to keep their value and dignity intact. Also, incorporate the five tips mentioned above to provide them with the support they need to go on staying in their own homes. This is the best way to preserve their dignity, happiness, safety, and health.