What Medical Appliances do Seniors Need in a New Home?

May 22, 2017

In this day and age, there are many different aids seniors have access to. These appliances help people stay comfortable in their own home, their assisted living facility, or their residential facility. Most importantly, they give people the ability to stay independent, which is sometimes the most important thing. As we grow older, being able to stay mobile and on your own can be a challenge, but these aids can give you a leg up.


Dressing Aids

Not uncommonly, as we grow older, our bones and joints are less inclined to allow us to bend over as far as we once could. Additionally, sometimes our hands rebel against the fine motor skills needed to navigate tiny buttons through their designated holes. Sometimes people might find their across the body reach is falling short, too taut to pull a sleeve over each arm, or a pant waistline from the floor to the hips. Luckily, there are several dressing aids that can help with this.

Sock Aid – These come in a few different designs. Some are terry cloth covered to prevent the sock from slipping off. Some have foam applications that fulfill similar purposes. In general, all are attached to long straps to allow users to easily slide their sock over their foot after placing the sock on the device.

Extended Length Shoe Horn – We’ve all seen a shoe horn, this is just a much longer version of that mechanism. It makes it so people do not have to bend over as far to slip their feet into their shoes. Hanging attachments make them easy to place within reach in any closet.

Button and Zipper Aid – This is a neat little contraption that can be a huge help for some fine motor functions. The hook on one end is used to snag a zipper and pull it into place. The other side is an eye shaped loop used to grab a button, then feed it through its corresponding hole. The stick they are attached to gives users a bigger surface area to grab onto and navigate. 

Dressing Stick – This product is sometimes overlooked. Its typical design has a hook on one end and two “L” shaped prongs on the other. Either end can be used to pull pants, jackets, or shirts into place. 


Bathroom Aids

Often, products for bathroom use are disregarded as non-critical, but really it is one of the places that should receive special attention for mobile-limited people. There are several products that are inexpensive, but can make a world of difference in the areas of convenience and support in a bathroom.

Elevated Toilet Seat – These items can save a lot of people a lot of trouble. Some toilet models are so low to the ground, seniors have a difficult time getting up and down from the seat. Elevated toilet seats rectify this issue. They are also available in several variations depending on the stability of the user (some that lock onto the toilet, some that have arms attached, etc.).

Safety Rails – These are a more common product. They can essentially be installed anywhere there is a stud. Customarily, they are seen next to toilets or in showers to provide a grabbing, stability, or leverage point. There are also more minor versions of this that do not attach to walls. For example, toilet safety frames attach to toilets and require less install work, but still provide grabbing points. 

Wiping Aids – This product may seem strange, but many will find it a surprisingly useful addition to their appliances. The product attaches toilet paper to a baton and allows people to achieve bathroom cleanliness without straining their backs.


Eating Aids
Seniors often experience a loss of grip strength, or are sometimes prone to shaking in the extremities. This can make eating meals difficult and frustrating. Fortunately, there are a few products available to make meals less trying and more enjoyable (as they should be).

Adapted Silverware – There are many brands that make variations of spoons, knives, and forks. In one version, one end is its typical utensil shape, but the handle end is larger which makes it easier to grip. There is also weighted silverware. These are more for people who experience shaky hands. The extra weight helps stabilize the utensils. There are also products available that utilize straps to secure silverware to users’ hands, but some may find these uncomfortable or difficult to clean.

Plate Guards – This product serves a dual purpose. One is to prevent food from spilling onto the table from the plate. The other is to provide a surface to scoop food up against. 


Reaching Aids
These are perhaps the most common types of household aids. They are seen in many homes, even outside of the elderly. Reaching aids come in a few different designs. Some have magnetized tips to allow people to pick of small metal items. Some have rotating ends which make them adaptable for multiple purposes. Others have suction cup ends to allow secure retention of whatever is being picked up. Reachers are also nice because they come in many different lengths to make sure people have whatever is most ideal for their needs.


Online Backups

Be sure you also have a security backup in case of a fall or slip. You should be prepared with an emergency button if you live at home as well. This way if something happens you’ll be able to get in contact with healthcare or a family member. You might also want to update your internet plan or connection to be sure you have access at all times. (business.frontier.com)


Great resources for all these items are medical supply companies like medline.com, indemed.com, or drivemedical.com (which will direct people to local vendors). With so many different products available, people need not be in want of something that can make their day to day easier and more comfortable. Any number of these items can give seniors the self-reliance they need to give them the best quality of life possible.


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