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Tips on Overcoming Mobility Difficulties During the Winter

Tips on Overcoming Mobility Difficulties During the Winter 0

As we begin to get older, our bodies often suffer from mobility issues. These can be brought on by a number of things, including weakening bone structures, illnesses, neurological problems, and joint problems. Unfortunately, not all of these symptoms can be avoided, and it is common that those in the senior population will struggle with unsteadiness and falling as a result of their ailments.

Mobility is a huge factor for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. The ability to move around, travel, and take care of themselves is imperative to having a sense of independence and purpose. Common risk factors for depression in seniors include chronic illnesses, disabilities, and social isolation, all of which may have a connection to issues with mobility.

In the warmer months, it is often much easier for people to get around. Roads and sidewalks are clear; ramps are less slippery; and the weather is more agreeable. For seniors, mobility can become dramatically impaired in the colder months, which makes it that much more important to ensure they’re maintaining their daily mobility during these times.

Here are some helpful tips in combatting mobility difficulties during the winter.

Mobility Assistance

cold snowy dayIt’s important for seniors to get outside even in the colder months for many reasons. Staying indoors can affect mood, eating habits, and, of course, mobility. All of these things are magnified for older adults, who need to stay active if they want to maintain their health, happiness and independence.

The negative effects of staying indoors all day are plenty, but incorporating mobility assistance into a senior’s daily routine may be part of the solution to getting them outdoors more often. High-quality products for mobility assistance for seniors include things that aid in their general movements and make moving around outside more manageable.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a senior being treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds, while one senior dies every 19 minutes from a fall. Props that can help reduce the number of tumbles include fold and go walkers, canes, and seat assistants, which can help to improve mobility in winter weather.  

Other items that are ideal for mobility include props that help seniors get in and out of cars more safely, including the CarCaddie, swivel cushion seats, and extra handlebars. 

Proper Footwear

When the weather is bad, mobility can also be hindered by slippery surfaces. To avoid injuries that are common with this kind of condition, it’s suggested that seniors are fitted with warm, non-slip shoes.

Some of the best winter boots for seniors include styles that are slightly wide to accommodate swelling feet, and easy to tie with elastic laces. They should also be easy to put on and remove, so that seniors are not discouraged and tempted to stay indoors. Try to avoid anything that has a high heel inside, and ensure that the materials are easy to care for so the boots last through the season.

At-Home Exercises

seniors doing exercises

For those elderly individuals who cannot make it outdoors in the wintertime, at-home exercises are another way to overcome mobility issues. If a senior is unable to make it to their gym or fitness classes, instructions can be provided via DVDs and online courses that they can follow in the comfort of their own home.

The ability of an individual to move around freely relies strongly on an individual’s balance; dizziness and falls are more likely to occur when a senior struggles with controlling their movements. Fortunately, there are some mobility exercises that can help to improve that balance, including slow, controlled movements they can perform on any flat surface in their home.

Individuals should practice standing on one foot, and placing props around the room to practice stepping over. Working on walking a straight line can also be helpful, as well as working on visual tracking. There are also all kinds of exercises to improve both balance and strength, and these can be done at the comfortable pace of the individual in their own home.

Conclusion

If you know someone who is struggling with mobility, then it is important that you recognize how much tougher the winter months can be for them. If possible, consider offering your assistance to these individuals, and making visits to ensure that they’re getting outdoors or at least staying active at home.

Becoming stagnant in the winter months can have a huge impact on a senior’s body through the colder months, making it just as difficult to be mobile once it gets warm again. Take the time to consider the suggestions made, so the seniors you know can overcome their mobility difficulties in the winter.

  • Becky McDowell
Our Most Handy Automobile Assist Products

Our Most Handy Automobile Assist Products 0

Individuals who struggle with mobility and balance often have a hard time maneuvering their bodies through daily activities. While these problems can occur at any age, seniors tend to be the most prominent group with movement issues. Lack of mobility is often triggered by falls, arthritis, and cognitive conditions, as well as natural changes that occur in the body with age.

For those individuals who cannot move around without assistance, it is important that they’re provided with at-home care or assistive devices. These tools can give seniors the confidence they need to maintain their active lifestyles safely, as well as encouraging their independence. It can become extremely unhealthy to stay indoors for long periods of time with no mobility or exercise, so providing these mobility options ensures that they stay healthy and strong.

Traveling from place to place can also prove to be difficult for those with mobility issues; however, some of our most handy automobile assist products serve to make driving a much easier task.

Handybar by Stander

senior couple buying car

People with mobility issues may find it hard to get in and out of cars, especially if the design of the car is too high or too low for their injury or stature. A tool like the Handybar from Stander is a car assist tool, which offers some extra support for getting in and out of a car door.

Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, the Handybar fits into any striker or door latch easily. When you or your passenger is done using it, you simple unlatch it and keep it in the car for future trips. This is an ideal item for those individuals who struggle with balance, and who need to lean against something while orienting their bodies into the car seat.

CarCaddie                                     

Similar to the Handybar, the CarCaddie is designed to assist individuals who are trying to get in and out of their car seat. In comparison, this item is designed to hang from the frame of the car door window, and it is ideal for anyone who struggles with the strength to pull themselves up and out of a low-sitting seat.

To use, individuals just have to roll down their window and wrap the CarCaddie around the frame of the door. This item is best used when there is an individual to hold open the car door, while the individual who needs help pulls themselves up and out. This is also a very handy automobile assist product for those individuals who do not have the strength to physically support their partner.

Upeasy Seat Assist                       

Mobility issues can make it incredibly difficult to stand up from seats and couches; car seats that are too high or low definitely don’t make it any easier. When someone has mobility difficulties, it can be very helpful to have an on-hand mechanism that makes it simple to get off of any kind of seat, whether it’s at home or on-the-go.

The Upeasy seat assist is the perfect tool for these instances. The seat is designed to gently guide individuals from a seated to a standing position in a controlled manner that doesn’t push forward. As the user begins to stand, the seat automatically begins to work, lifting as much as 70% of the user’s weight up to 340 lbs.

The seat is designed with a hydro-pneumatic gas spring, which means it doesn’t require any sort of plug-in or batteries that could become hazardous. LevelLift technology ensures a safe and slow lift, and the item has a carrying handle that makes it easy to travel with. At only 9 lbs., the seat can easily be transferred from couches to chairs to car seats without much strength required.

Grab N’ Pull Seatbelt Reacher

car safety

Even once an individual is able to lower themselves safely into a car seat, the next step can also prove to be tricky: Putting on their seatbelt. For seniors, people who are disabled, and those with shoulder injuries, reaching backwards for the seatbelt can be a very daunting task.

To ensure that individuals still utilize their seatbelts despite mobility issues, the grab n’ pull seatbelt reacher offers some helpful assistance. The convenient handle easily grabs onto the seatbelt without forcing the user to turn or use their shoulder blades too prominently. Simply attach the reacher directly onto seatbelts and users will be able to access the seatbelt more easily and with less painful movements.

Conclusion

Completing simple movements can be frustrating for those with mobility issues, but there are a lot of handy tools to make daily tasks much easier. For individuals who need assistance maneuvering in and around cars, these automobile assist products are available from some of the best brands in the field for easy, accomplishable tasks.

  • Becky McDowell
Durable Medical Equipment Vs. Disposable Medical Supplies

Durable Medical Equipment Vs. Disposable Medical Supplies 0

Both durable medical equipment (DME) and disposable medical supplies play very important roles in our health care systems. Both of these categories house a wide range of tools and equipment that are necessary in the daily aid of those individuals suffering illnesses and ailments. Generally, these items are used in hospitals or for at-home care to manage daily needs of the elderly, the ill, or the disabled. 

While both categories serve the purpose to support, protect, and aid health care professionals and patients, there are some significant differences between the two. Whether you are a part of a company that sells these items, you use them for patients, or you use them for personal needs, it is important to know how these categories differ, especially when it comes to taxes and deductions.

Consider the following information, which will help to identify the main differences between durable medical equipment and disposable medical supplies.

Durable Medical Equipment

wheelchair

DME is designed for long-term use, and covers a wide range of equipment, including mobility aids (walkers, wheelchairs); orthotics (therapeutic footwear); personal aids (dressing aids, bath chairs); prostheses (artificial limbs); hospital beds, etc.

These pieces of equipment are not for one-time use, but rather are meant to be used for long periods of time by either a single patient or multiple patients over time. Because these items are often larger and more durable, they tend to be more expensive and made of longer-lasting materials.

Disposable Medical Supplies

Disposable medical supplies, on the other hand, are generally meant for one-time usage by a single patient, and are usually thrown out when finished. The products in this group are not considered by Medicare to be a part of the DME category. Examples of items in this category include, but are not limited to, wipes, pull-ups, bandages, rubber gloves, lotions, etc.

Covered Costs

When it comes time for an individual to require assistive devices, these items will need to be ordered by either the patient themselves, a nurse, or a family member. Not all patients will have the physical or cognitive ability to order their equipment or supplies, which is when medical professionals or family members will need to step in.

Medicare is a federal insurance program that is available to a few specific groups, including individuals 65 and over, disabled individuals, and those with permanent kidney failure. Two types of insurance exist in this program: Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.

Medicare Part A partially covers DME if the patient in question is not able to leave their residence, and they are in need of a high level of nursing care. These individuals are eligible for the Home Health Benefit, and Medicare will cover 80% of the cost of their DME. Every state will have its own set of allowable prices for each required piece of equipment.

Under Medicare Part B, patients do not have to be eligible for the Home Health Benefit. Similar to Part A, they will have to co-pay 20% of the cost of the items and any excess expenses after that.

When it comes to DME, not everything is covered by Medicare, and this list will differ by state. Items such as lifts, ramps, and hearing aids are generally not included in the coverage. When it comes to disposable medical supplies, Medicare covers very little. Exceptions can be made for those with diabetes, feeding tubes, and ostomy patients.

For those patients trying to cover the cost of their medical supplies, it does not hurt to do your research ahead of time. While some insurance companies may cover some of the cost, it can often be more affordable to search for deals and pay out of pocket.

Tax Deductions

tax deductible

Tax deductions vary from state to state, so you’ll need to perform research in your home state to get the full explanation of what can and cannot be written off for tax purposes.

As a general guideline, DME, as well as accessories and supplies, are taxable. They are no longer taxable when they are sold for home use, or when they have been covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Even if the items are not sold for home use, they cannot be taxed if they have been paid for by these two programs.

Home use means that the items have been sold to an individual for use in their home; it does not matter where the individual is located. These individuals can reside in homes, nursing homes, school dormitories, and in assisted living centers.

A nursing home that purchases DME or disposable supplies is not exempt from taxes; for those institutions that are non-profit, they may be exempt from taxes for DME purchases under their Nonprofit Exempt Status. 

When it comes to disposable medical supplies, the purchase of these items by any licensed health care facility or professional is exempt from taxes. However, this is only true if the supplies are used directly on patients as a part of their treatment.

Items that are used for sanitary reasons but not for treatment cannot be written off, including tongue depressors, and rolls of paper for exam tables. These tax guidelines can give you more specific guidelines based on your unique situation.

Conclusion

While there are some general rules when it comes to the differences between DME and disposable medical supplies, it is best to do some research in your specific state. Each area has its own definitions of these items and what can be taxed, so it is important to recognize what items you absolutely need and where you can find some potential savings.

  • Becky McDowell
What Improved Digital Health Technologies Could Mean for the Senior Population

What Improved Digital Health Technologies Could Mean for the Senior Population 0

The senior population has grown dramatically over the years, which isn’t very surprising considering that this age category includes children from the baby boomer period. The youngest of the baby boomers are now well into their 50s, which has had huge implications for the economy and how it will adapt. It has been predicted that by 2030, more than 20% of the American population will be made up of baby boomers aged 65 and up.


As a result of these population shifts, countries like the United States and Canada are gearing up for the changes. This means investing more in retirement homes, and accessibility and home safety aids to ensure we’re ready to ease this large part of the population into their retirement phase comfortably.

baby boomers infographic

As they age, baby boomers will also begin to face illnesses and ailments that will need more attention; the need for medical aid, nurses, assisted living, and other workers will surely grow as a result of the demand. Another factor which will have a large effect on the transition is digital health technology.

Digital health covers a large scope of topics, but it is essentially the merging of digital and genomic technology with healthcare. The goal is to improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery, and to discover ways to provide more unique, personalized medicines. Improved digital health technologies could mean a much more seamless transition for seniors into their golden years.


The following are some of the implications of this improved sector, and how it will affect the aging population in years to come.

Digital health divider 1

Easier At-Home Care

For many seniors, the idea of going to numerous appointments can be tiresome and tedious. For those who have trouble getting around, the idea is even more cumbersome. With at-home care, also known as home health monitoring (HHM), patients are able to communicate with their doctors without having to travel anywhere.


Home health monitoring has been popularized by companies like Telus, which adopted the idea of remote patient monitoring technology. Patients who use the system have chronic diseases or conditions, but they are able to keep track of factors such as their daily steps and blood pressure to keep their doctors informed about their daily status. By having the ability to track their patients’ basic functions, doctors can recognize if something is wrong and make adjustments.


For seniors, this kind of technology offers a more accessible way of monitoring their illnesses. Home monitoring is done on a tablet or personal computer, and the interface has a simple design to make it easy to manage. Healthcare providers use the daily information to create customized care plans, based on the patient’s conditions.


Patients are referred to the program through their healthcare professional, and a clinical care team takes over for anywhere from 3-6 months until the chronic illness can be controlled by the patient. This kind of digital health technology means less unnecessary hospitalizations, improved patient satisfaction, and increased healthcare productivity.  

Digital health divider 2

More Accessible Information

More Accessible Information

Seniors may have all of their important information stored safely at home, but it’s not ideal to be traveling with that information on trips. When it comes to traveling, seniors who have a safe and accessible place for their health records and personal information can be the difference between getting the help they need and losing valuable time.


Personal health records (PHRs) offer an online solution to the problem of seniors’ paper records. Here, they can upload photos of their records, and input valuable information such as emergency contacts, allergies, diseases, and birth date. This information can be accessed easily online, so seniors can find the information no matter where they are.


This kind of digital health technology means patients can be treated faster and more efficiently, based on their accessible online records; it also means seniors can easily share their previous health issues with new physicians.

Digital health divider 3

Electronic Medical Records

Electronic medical records (EMRs) have become an important technology not only for seniors, but patients of all ages. The accessibility of these records allows doctors to access their patients’ previous health problems, and to update their information in-time. Doctors are able to use this new technology over their tablets, computers, and laptops, making it easy for them to make these changes whether they’re in the office or away.


Updates to this program include MedDialog, which allows physicians to pass information safely between themselves and other physicians. This aspect also makes it easier for patients, especially seniors, to have up-to-date information available during their visits – an even more important feature if patients aren’t utilizing the PHR application.

Electronic Medical Records

Digital health divider 4

Ability to Stay Home

As the baby boomers age, the growing fear of home removal often occurs. Seniors who struggle or who are unable to take care of themselves are sometimes forced to move out of their lifelong homes to places where they are much less comfortable. Unfortunately, this can have an effect on their overall health, since their homes often make them feel safer, more in control, and more familiar with the surroundings.


For their families, this is one of the best reasons to care for aging parents in-home, as well as the fact that it can promote recovery and encourage their independence. However, not all at-home care is covered, and it can become quite expensive to manage these kinds of payments over time. Many families struggle with the decision to remove their aging family members from their homes, but improved digital health technology may help to improve the safety and management of seniors’ illnesses from the place where they are most comfortable. Home aids for seniors are also available, which can help improve their quality of life and their ability to move around their home more freely.


This also means that patients who live in remote locations or long distances from the required specialists can also become manageable. With the ability for doctors to manage and pass along health records to other physicians, patients are able to stay where they live without relocating or making constant trips to see their specialists.


Doctors who are close by can access their up-to-date information, and provide them with the medicine, directions, and updates that their specialists have ordered.

Digital health divider 5

Fitness Management

Maintaining a level of fitness is key to everyone’s health, and seniors should be partaking in daily activity to maintain their health. Seniors who put an importance on fitness can quickly improve their quality of life, improve certain health conditions, lower their risk for certain ailments, and improve their balance.

Senior Fitness Quote

For some seniors, having a trainer or gym membership can help them to build their strength and improve their overall health. However, not all seniors are comfortable with this kind of approach, and require an option more attuned to their level of comfort.


Improved digital health technologies may be a solution for many people in the senior population because of the wide range of personal tools available. This includes smart fitness trackers that are worn on the wrist and inform the wearer of their daily actions.


Individuals can set personal goals for themselves, whether they’re completing them at home or at the gym, including taking a certain number of steps per day and reaching a specific heart rate. The ability to modify this tool to individual preferences makes adopting a healthier lifestyle more attractive for everyone.

Digital health divider 6

Wireless Health Monitoring

Simpler health monitoring solutions make it easier for everyone to gather information in split seconds. For seniors, this means easy-to-use technology that can inform them of vital signs including temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and other functions as soon as they want to know.


With wireless technology options, smart apps are also available, which can read a patient’s daily measurements and store them for later. Patients can take this information to their physicians and provide their previous readings without having to worry about tracking or remembering everything themselves.

Digital health divider 7

Faster Response Times

With the growing rate of seniors, many hospitals have experienced an increase in overnight patients, as well as a lack of workers to sufficiently tend to them. Fortunately, digital health technology improvements have been helpful in assisting these workers, by means of wireless readings and real-time updates. This means that physicians and nurses can easily access vital information about each patient, including their temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.

hospital quick response

As a result of improved technology, nurses can tend to the patients who need help the most, and create a more streamlined system for providing assistance. Instead of going room to room to check on patients, up-to-the-minute updates make it simple to recognize which patients need assistance and in which order they need to be tended to.


Digital technology is also key for shift changes in hospitals, when nurses step in for others or take over for day/night shifts. Digital technology can provide healthcare providers with all of the information they need to know about each patient, including everything from their last temperature read to ailments they experienced years ago. As a result, patients can get the attention they need, without the struggle of informing each new healthcare provider who sees them.

Digital health divider 8

Seniors and Technology

Even with all of the benefits of our technological advances in the healthcare industry, it’s been predicted that the group with the most to gain from them may not even use them. Many of those seniors who truly believe that advanced technology could help them, still do not plan to apply it to their everyday lives.


Not surprisingly, many individuals in their elder years did not grow up with the complex capabilities of technology. Some may find it overwhelming, and prefer to use more archaic, but simpler, methods to communicate, research, and live.


If we want seniors to be able to take advantage of the technology at their fingertips, it’s important that they’re encouraged to try out and practice with the programs available. That means offering free training programs for seniors to utilize, to become more comfortable with their new tools. It’s also important that the instruments being offered are designed with seniors in mind, who are often the trickiest and hardest customer to please. By covering all of their needs and most important requirements, it’s likely that the technology will then easily cater to the rest of the population.


The most important thing that digital health technology needs in order to persuade more seniors to use them is individualized features. That means catering to the unique needs of each patient, whether they’re blind, forgetful, immobilized, etc. Interfaces need to be simple and easy-to-use, while the companies themselves needs to be trustworthy and accessible if we have any hope of increasing the number of seniors using these tools.


senior couple on computer

Conclusion

The senior population may be getting bigger, but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to struggle to assist them and their new needs. As the elderly number grows, so too does digital health technology; however, it is critical that these tools are made accessible and senior-focused.


Regardless of how easy and discreet new technology is, many seniors are unlikely to see a benefit to wearing fitness bracelets or blood sugar trackers. While there are constant improvements to these technologies, the constant struggle that remains is simply encouraging the senior population to give them a chance.


Fortunately, for seniors who do give these tools a chance, it could mean a much more manageable lifestyle that keeps them at home longer. With the ability to communicate with physicians and specialists from their current locations, as well as the ability to provide up-to-date information at the push of a button, our elderly populations have a much greater chance of getting the help they need, as soon as they need it.


These updates may also mean fewer individuals going into retirement homes, based on their likelihood of being better equipped with the trackers and communication tools they need. This means a longer time spent at home, an easier time managing their ailments, and an overall improved quality of life.  

  • Becky McDowell
Difficulty Breathing This Winter? Try These Tips!

Difficulty Breathing This Winter? Try These Tips! 0

There are many people who understand the difficulties of breathing in the winter. Approximately 1 in 12 people suffers from asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the numbers continue to climb every year. However, during the colder winter season, it isn’t just those with asthma who are struggling to breathe. Many of us will notice the effects of the colder temperatures on our breathing, as some temperatures can cause our airway passages to constrict.

For those who do have ailments that are prone to respiratory problems–asthma, COPD, anxiety, panic attacks–the issue is magnified. When the air is so cold, it holds onto pollution particles and heavier matter that makes it incredibly hard to inhale sufficient air. This kind of problem can be very scary and makes it incredibly hard to stay active outdoors.

While some would rather stay inside then risk the rough temperatures, spending time outdoors is important for things like a healthy immune system, an improved mood, stress relief, and improved mental health. If you’re struggling to catch a good breath, consider the following tips to improve your outdoor experience.

Increase Vitamin D

oranges

If you’re not getting enough vitamin D in your diet, you may be noticing that you struggle to breathe more frequently in the wintertime. Vitamin D can help to improve immune functions, and also reduces inflammation that builds up in our airways.

To improve your intake of vitamin D, consider increasing your daily exposure to natural sunlight. This could mean taking a simple walk, going for a hike, or participating in outdoor sports. You can also increase your intake by eating foods fortified with Vitamin D – orange juice, eggs, salmon, rice–or taking dietary supplements. 

Exercise

Exercise is a common solution to all kinds of issues related to the colder months, including depression, mobility problems, and concentration issues. For those individuals who have a harder time breathing in the colder months, exercising 2-3 times a week can help to reduce shortness of breath, improve stamina, and lower the number of hospitalizations due to respiratory problems.

Stamina becomes significantly lower when we spend too much time being stagnant indoors, so getting outside even for 30-minute walks each day can be beneficial to breathing and overall health.

For those individuals who struggle to get outdoors due to illness or mobility issues, in-home exercises are still a great way to stay healthy and strong. Consider installing home safety aids for seniors and those who need help getting around their home.

Avoid Wood-Burning Appliances

The colder months force a lot of us to stay indoors more often, so it’s important that the air inside is clean enough to breathe freely. With that being said, houses that have wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can make for a harder breathing environment. It’s best if you can install natural gas heat and electric stoves in your home, which won’t cause quite as much harm to your respiratory system. It has been said that these kinds of appliances can be as harmful as smoking, so it’s a good idea to check for these kinds of items before buying a home or staying over in one.

fire place

Clean Air Ducts

Dirty air ducts hold all kinds of debris that can make it back into the air and into your respiratory system. Things like hair, animal dander, and dust are common items that inflame our throats and stifle breathing, but a dirty filtration system or old air duct won’t be able to keep all of these things out of the air.

It is recommended that air duct inspections occur every 7-10 years, while replacing air filtration systems depends on the type of home you have and who lives in it. Homes without pets will need to replace them every 90 days, while homes with more than one pet and tenants with allergies should be replacing them every 20-45 days.   

Keep Your Home Dry and Cool

Some of the other causes for difficulty breathing in the winter include mold and mites. A home that is warm with a lot of moisture is prone to these issues, so it’s important to get rid of them as soon as you can.

To do this, you’ll need to keep your home dry, and also as cool as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to turn off the heat, but it does mean turning on the fan during showers and letting some fresh air in every once in a while.

Conclusion

It’s nice to be able to enjoy the winter season, both when we’re out in the chilly weather or warm and cozy indoors. To get the most out of this time of the year, be sure to take proper precautions when it comes to your breathing difficulties.

Lots of exercise and vitamin D will help improve your immune system, and keeping your home clean can also have a big impact. Staying in someone else’s home? Try to avoid pets, and bring your own sheets to avoid fur and mites.

  • Becky McDowell
2018 Senior New Year’s Resolution: A Safer Life

2018 Senior New Year’s Resolution: A Safer Life 0

For many seniors, staying safe isn’t always easy. As we age, our bodies tend to become weaker and less agile, our cognitive functioning may slow, and our bone structures can start to deteriorate. As these things happen, our mobility can often be compromised, as well as our balance and strength. Daily tasks that used to be easy can become much more difficult, and assistance may be required from assistive devices, at-home care, or family members.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle for as long as possible, there are quite a few ways for seniors to maintain their strength and mobility. Staying active and social are key components of a flourishing life in our senior years, since maintaining our relationships, our strength, and our independence can help us to maintain a higher quality of life.

Unfortunately for many seniors, injuries, and illnesses are unavoidable. One of the most common injuries in seniors are falls – with almost one-third of the senior population in the U.S. experiencing a fall each year. Those who have already experienced a fall are 2-3 times more likely to experience another one, and they are the leading cause of death due to injury among seniors. 

Bathroom Safety

disability access bathtub

The bathroom is a very common location for injuries in seniors, especially for those who struggle with balance and mobility. It can be extremely difficult to bend down to go to the washroom, and even more problematic to safely shower or take a bath. Bathroom floors are commonly quite slippery, and the hard surface of bathtubs, sinks, and toilets can intensify injuries.

There are many bathroom safety products available that are easy to install and simple for seniors to manage. Adjustable shower seats and bathtub benches are ideal for those individuals who have a hard time getting in and out of the tub, as well as those who cannot stand for long periods of time. Bathtub and shower assist bars are also beneficial, since they deter slips and falls when seniors are maneuvering in and around the tub. These are handy tools for absolutely anyone regardless of their abilities, since showers are notorious for being slippery and anyone can sustain an injury.

Other simple installations that can improve bathroom safety include non-slip material rolls, safety bath mats, and security poles. These poles are tension mounted, so you can place them anywhere in the home without having to permanently install them. Use them to rise from seats, toilets, or bathtubs to ensure mobile assistance at any time.

Home Safety

Seniors should always feel safe in their home, whether they have at-home care or live on their own. It is ideal if they feel as though they can move freely about the floor plan, with the ability to maneuver themselves in case anything goes wrong.

To make sure of this, a wide range of home safety tools can be installed and used on a daily basis for ease and mobility. Within the bedroom, cushioned mats can help to soften the fall if a senior should ever roll out of bed, while safety bed rails/bed caddies make it easier for individuals to get in and out safely.

Dressing can be made easier with extendable shoe horns and sock aids, while extendable reachers are ideal for seniors who require assistance reaching items in their kitchen or bathroom cabinets.

In the living room, furniture risers can be attached to the legs of couches and chairs to lessen the bend required to sit and stand. Great grips make turning handles easier, and seat assistants help to carefully raise individuals out of their seats in a slow, controlled motion.

Auto Assist

car interior

When it comes time to travel, there are all kinds of automobile assistant products to improve the mobility of seniors. Items in this category ensure that individuals are able to get themselves in and out of their car seat safely, while also having the ability to maneuver within their seat. Auto assist items include swivel cushions for easy turning, handy bars for assistance lowering into a car seat, and seatbelt reachers.

Conclusion

The more we understand about our bodies and how they function, the more we’re able to provide them with the tools they need to continue functioning properly. For a safer life in senior years, assistive tools are a key part of helping the elderly maintain their mobility and independence. If you or someone you know is in need of some extra help, consider investing in safety equipment to ensure a secure environment for the seniors in your life.

  • Becky McDowell

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