It’s incredibly easy when you’re younger to take for granted the minutia of everyday life. As we get older, many of the things that came easy now become more difficult. Everything from walking to just going to the bathroom can become a major task as we age. Even ego and vanity can lead to our older relatives or friends possibly creating a dangerous environment for everyday life.
In order to understand what might be needed to enhance the daily living of our older citizens, we need to understand their needs. As we age our eyesight can be one of the first of our physical abilities to become diminished. Holding the newspaper or a piece of mail further away in order to see can be common. Since making our arms longer is not an option, the use of magnifiers can help us read the newspaper or our favorite book easier and not be reliant on someone else. Making sure that your home is properly lit can make other things simpler. Using a flashlight or some other type of lamp can help you see obstacles and additional hazards better. Hearing loss can also negatively affect us as we age. Being able to hear conversations, television, or even phone calls can become difficult with any level of hearing loss. The use of personal amplifiers can help us figure out the world around us a little better. When watching television, just increasing the volume can become a nuisance to those around you. Those afflicted with hearing loss can opt for systems designed specifically as a TV amplifier. This allows a user to control the volume only for them and not blast others out of the room through the use of a headset. Keeping up with family members that live far away can be difficult. Through the use of social media, communication with siblings or grandchildren is made easier. One way to view your screen better is with a desktop magnifier. You can view pictures and video chat much easier when they are magnified and you can see it!!
Nothing will ruin your day faster than suffering an injury (even a minor one). If you or a loved one suffers an injury, getting around can be a chore. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a program to prevent accidents, injuries, and even deaths. It’s called STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Death, & Injuries). An alarming statistic that the CDC points to is that one out of three people over the age of 65 fall and over 2 million are treated in emergency rooms every year. Not only would the use of a cane (maybe with a mounted light) or a walker help us or loved ones be more stable, but it can help reduce that statistic. Reaching for something that is just beyond our grasp can lead to stretching and overreaching. This is a formula for disaster and can lead to injury. Instead of reaching, a grabber can safely span that distance and grab what you need without risking injury. In the event of an injury in the home, having an emergency response amplified phone or some form of communication device, such as an alarm system, to contact emergency personnel can be a lifesaver. Many of these can be worn either as a pendant around your neck or even strapped to your wrist like a wristwatch and can help our elderly loved ones notify 911 or another first responder to a fall or injury. Safety first (and always)!!
While many of these daily living aids may seem trivial or even an afterthought, they can overcome physical limitations many of our aging population face every day. Restoring just a little bit of the everyday minutia can improve someone’s quality-of-life.
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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