MAKE LIFE EASIER WITH ADAPTED EQUIPMENT - Tips from Dr. Marion

By Dr. Marion Somers, Ph. D., Dr. Marion Tips

STEP #4: MAKE LIFE EASIER WITH ADAPTED EQUIPMENT

  1. Use silverware that's easier to hold. You can buy silverware that is thicker or lighter or that shaped in a way that makes eating more comfortable. This is especially important if your elder is suffering from decreased manual dexterity.
  2. Look for double-handled glassware like sippy cups to stop spills. Many elderly have difficulty with regular cups and glasses in their later years. Preventing spills with this adapted equipment can avoid embarrassing situations.
  3. Add amplifiers to telephones for better hearing. Many elderly suffer from hearing loss as they age. Today's technologies go a long way to helping those who are hard of hearing. So consider buying a phone with a speakerphone or amplifier attached.
  4. Buy walkers that fold in half or that have an attached seat. Often times, you elder will want to take a short break when he or she is out for a walk. It'll keep your elder more active if he or she has a walker that can facilitate those rest breaks.
  5. Use adapted gardening tools. Gardening is a favorite hobby for many elderly, but there can come a time when it's very difficult to use tools like a rake or hoe. Various adapted gardening tools can be purchased online or in your local home and gardening store.
  6. Writing aides with a special grip can help. This applies especially for those elderly who are struggling with their manual dexterity. Writing helps your elder stay in touch with the rest of the world, so it's vital to provide help here.
  7. Consider a motorized wheelchair if needed. This area of adapted equipment has improved dramatically in the last decade. Though quite costly, motorized wheelchairs make it infinitely easier for your elder to remain mobile and more independent once they require the use of a wheelchair.
  8. Replace shoelaces, buttons, snaps, or zippers with Velcro. Velcro is like magic. It makes many elder care challenges a little easier to deal with.
  9. Stock up on adult diapers and disposable briefs for incontinence. This can be a serious point of embarrassment and shame for your elder, but it can be handled in a delicate manner to avoid most mishaps.
  10. Look for easy-to-use medication dispensers. You want to avoid small dispensers that might allow the medication to get mixed up and/or lost. I suggest the bigger the better so that your fingers can get in each day's box.

©2006 Elder Health Resources of America, Inc.

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