Aging in place doesn’t necessarily mean making major renovations to your home. While design elements can play a role, there are a variety of simple and affordable gadgets that can make your life safer and easier. At Modern Senior, we are always on the lookout for great ideas and innovations. Here is just a short list of interesting gadgets we have come across. If you would like to suggest an addition, please send us a message and we will be sure to take a look.
Door Knob Replacements
The Door Knob Gripper is a simple solution that can almost instantly turn a hard to grip door knob into a lever handle. The clear plastic, flexible devices can be stretched to fit various sizes of knobs. Of course, the other option is to actually replace old door knobs with lever handles that can simply be operated with a single finger or spare elbow. For anyone with Arthritis or other ailments that can decrease your grip strength, a simple door knob can present a real challenge, but is easily overcome.
Here is another low-tech solution that can help seniors age in place. One major challenge facing seniors who are looking to age in place is keeping up with daily household chores. Just keeping their house clean and tidy can pose certain dangers. Something as simple as a grabber with rubber grips can help you avoid having to repeatedly reach or bend over to pick up objects, thus preventing injury and unnecessary strain. Prices start as low as $9.99, but you might consider investing in heavy duty that is built using high quality, durable components that are capable of carrying heavier loads.
If you or your loved one doesn’t have the strength or dexterity to lift and pour a coffee, tea, or other kettle, a inexpensive kettle tipper can help you safely pour drinks. This may be an especially useful tool if you are dealing with hot liquids that can cause severe burns if they are spilled.\
Replacing traditional light switches with paddle style or “rocker” devices can help those who suffer from arthritis and other muscle and joint problems. Paddle switches are easy to install and operate and cost less than $5.00.
The number one concern of anyone who is interested in aging in place is how to prevent falls. While the bathroom is usually the most hazardous place, it is also important to pay attention to other obstacles throughout your home. Raised thresholds can pose serious dangers that can be easily overcome with simple and inexpensive rubber threshold ramps. Whether you are still ambulatory or you need a wheelchair to get around, a ramp will allow you to easily travel over obstacles and through doorways.
Robotic vacuum cleaners and dustpans can take a lot of the effort out of cleaning so that you can maintain your home without having to bend over and push cleaning equipment around the house. For a few hundred dollars, the same cost as a few visits from a cleaning crew, you can own a self-propelled vacuum that will detect dirt and avoid obstacles. The Roomba was the first device of this kind, but over the past few years, more companies have come out with competing products, which has driven down prices, making these devices more affordable and accessible. You might also be interested in purchasing an electronic dustpan that will suck up piles of dirt as you sweep – no bending over necessary!
Front loading appliances that are raised off the floor are easier to reach and operate as opposed to top loading models. You can reduce strain and make keeping up with your laundry all that much easier. Some models even utilize the under appliance space as a storage drawer for extra convenience.
Granted, a bed rail may not be the most attractive addition to your bedroom decor, but it can be a vital tool that will help you get in and out of bed. If a full night’s sleep leaves you feeling stiff, an inexpensive assist bar can be easily attached to your bed frame, giving you the extra support you need. Depending on your needs, you may also want to consider purchasing bed rails that that be attached to both sides of your bed and will run the length the entire length of your bed for an extra measure of safety and security.