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Want to make life easier on your elderly loved one who lives alone? There are plenty of helpful devices available to improve their lives, even if they don’t live by themselves. Here are 13 helpful things for elderly people, whether they live alone or not:
Sure, you can fuss with button hooks and zipper pulls — or you can skip the hassle altogether with adaptive clothing specially designed for elderly people with mobility limitations. Easy-wear options such as pull-on sweaters and duster house dresses make it easier for elderly people to dress themselves without help, as do magnetic closures and other innovations. (Learn more about what adaptive clothing is.)
Wearing shoes all the time, even inside, is one of the best ways to prevent falls. Your elderly loved one should absolutely have shoes for swollen feet with a non-skid sole that they can wear inside the house. Look for a slip-on style with Velcro closures that your loved one can easily adjust. Laces are hard for people with arthritis in their hands to tie.
Automatic Can and Jar Openers
Speaking of arthritis in the hands, elderly people absolutely love automatic can and jar openers. These battery- powered devices do all the work for you, making it a breeze to open jars and cans. The can openers also cut in such a way that eliminates sharp edges, making it safer for older adults with shaky hands.
Motion-Activated Night Lights
Dimly lit areas greatly increase chances of falls, which is why loved ones often trip when they get up in the middle of the night. Help keep them safe by installing motion sensor night lights in bathrooms and hallways as well as other areas of the house. You can even get battery-powered ones to stick on the sides of the stairs if they have a multi-level home.
Large Button Remote Control
It’s almost impossible to operate the tiny buttons on a TV control even if you have 20/20 vision. Get a large button remote control specifically meant for elderly people and set it up for them so they’ll never hit the wrong button again.
Grab bars are an absolute must for staying safe in the bathroom and should be placed near the toilet, shower and other high-use areas. Make sure that they are installed properly and that your loved one can put their full weight on them so that the bar will not pull out of the wall accidentally.
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Toilet Seat and Rails
Many toilet seats are too low for elderly people to use safely, so get them a raised toilet seat to make it safe for them to use the bathroom on their own. You can also give them a set of toilet rails, which sit on either side of the seat and make it easier for them to raise and lower themselves.
Anti-skid bath mats keep your loved one safe in the shower or bath and help protect against falls. Make sure that they are installed properly, as the mats can bunch up or slide if they are not, which can actually increase the risk of falls.
If your loved one gets too tired standing up for an entire shower, give them a shower chair so they can sit down while they wash themselves. Shower chairs prevent falls and promote personal hygiene for a win-win solution for the elderly.
Pill Organizers and Accessories
Many older people need to take many different pills, sometimes multiple times a day. Make it easier on them with accessories such as a weekly or monthly pill organizer, pill splitters and pill crushers that will do all the work for them.
Reacher grabbers help elderly people reach items that are just a little too far away. They come in a standard model as well as a telescoping, extendable version that can be adjusted as needed to reach objects at different distances.
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Step Stool with Handle
Sometimes a reacher grabber just won’t cut it, and you need an actual step stool. Choose a step stool with a sturdy base that will not tip over, as well as an integrated handle that your loved one can hold onto to keep themselves steady while on top of the stool.
Medical Alert System
If your elderly loved one lives alone, you can rest easy knowing that they can call for help when needed with a medical alert system. These systems allow for them to call for help with the press of a button if they fall or experience another medical emergency.
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