At Beck & Lenox Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC, we love helping our senior clients with their legal needs and with resources to help them stay independent as much as possible. In dependence is a life-affirming must for many seniors. However, it isn’t without some challenges. There are now a host of products to keep Seniors safer, relied upon by many to make life at home safer and more convenient. A recent article from senior safety reviews titled “12 ‘Must-Have’ Products For Elderly Living Alone 2022” takes a look at the most important ones.
Medical alert system. There are many different types available, with different features. Some are active only while you are in your home, while others work wherever your travels take you. Do your homework to be sure to get the one that best suits your needs.
Grab bars. Accidents in the bathroom are a top reason for falls and injuries, often leading to a loss of independence. Grab bars are needed in the bath and shower. However, they are also needed to get up and/or down to the toilet. Grab bars need to be installed properly, anchored into the wall and able to support people of all sizes. There are suction cup versions available, but they are vulnerable to drying out and losing their grip. This leads to a hazardous situation, instead of a safe solution.
Bathmats with suction cups. Falling in the shower sends more seniors to the hospital than anything else. When there’s no one else in the house and the medical alert is on the counter, a non-slip bathmat can be a lifesaver.
Electric cordless tea kettle. Who hasn’t forgotten a tea kettle on the stove—unless you only purchase whistling tea kettles, which are great—unless someone leaves the whistling spout open. A cordless electric kettle eliminates the risk, since they typically come with an auto-shut off.
Electric can opener. Here’s one of the simpler products to keep Seniors safer. Arthritis is just one reason canned goods become challenging later in life. Hand strength and coordination may not be as good as they once were, and lids are razor-sharp—a bad combination and an unnecessary risk. Instead, add an electric can opener to the kitchen countertop.
Built-in doorbell camera. These have become so commonplace, the home without one is more the exception than the rule. Not only can the resident see and speak with anyone at the door, family and caregivers can receive a notification anytime someone comes to the door.
Extended reach grabber. Stepstools might be fine earlier in life, but at a certain point, a stepstool is an invitation to a fall. A sturdy, extended reach grabber can do everything from change a lightbulb to retrieving items from top shelves.
Telephones with super large buttons. For those who still have a landline, telephones with supersized buttons and controls make it easier for old eyes to stay in touch with friends and family. An added feature to look for: one-touch speed dial buttons with a place for photos so you can reach loved ones easier.
Smart phones designed for seniors. Most smart phones present challenges for elderly users. They’re more complicated and difficult for older adults with poor vision, arthritic fingers, or compromised hearing. Several companies make a very simple cell phone with oversized buttons, long lasting battery and senior safety apps.
Jar opener. Those jar tops get harder to open every year, don’t they? Opening a jar with reduced strength or arthritis can be frustrating, and the old trick of whacking the jar lid with a heavy-handled knife is downright dangerous. Try out a few different jar openers to find the best one for you, from a simple rubber grip matt to an under-counter mounted jar opener.
Adding these products to keep Seniors safer in your home, to minimize risks of falling or cutting yourself, is a good example of the adage “An ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure.” Beck & Lenox likes families to be proactive in overseeing their elderly loved ones and helping provide resources like the above to keep them independent.
Reference: seniors safety reviews (Aug. 1, 2022) “12 ‘Must-Have’ Products For Elderly Living Alone 2022”