Life-Saving Hacks for Seniors
A senior citizen falls every 13 seconds in this country. And each year, more than one million elderly people go to the ER with injuries. Families want to keep their loved ones safe but often don’t know how. For Older Americans Month, SYNERGY HomeCare has some senior life-saving hacks (tips) that can prevent injuries with simple items such as curlers, pantyhose and soap:
Prevent Bathroom Falls
Eighty percent of senior falls happen in the bathroom. Slippery surfaces are hazardous and usually to blame. Here’s a hack for that:
Place a bar of soap in the leg of pantyhose. Tie the open end to a towel bar in the shower or the shower head. Seniors can still use the soap through the stocking — no dropping the soap, or slipping and falling trying to pick it up.
Safeguard the Stairs
Staircases and stairway accidents are the second leading cause of accidental injuries — second only to motor vehicle accidents. Each year 12,000 people die from stairway accidental deaths — many of them seniors.
Place a strip of colorful duct tape on the edges of stair steps to make it easier for seniors to judge the depth and distance to keep from tripping and falling. Place strips of puffy plastic shelf liner on stair handrails to increase grip and reduce slip risk.
Forty-six percent of persons aged 65 and older are dealing with some form of arthritis. Arthritis is a leading cause of disability in the U.S. Elderly arthritis sufferers are 2.5 times more likely to have two or more falls within a year, and suffer a fall injury, compared with adults without arthritis.
Arthritis and other conditions can impact how well a senior can grip, hold, or open items. A poor grip can lead to injury while using simple items around the house. Here are some suggestions to win that battle:
Slip a foam hair roller over the end of silverware to improve hold — especially with knives.
Wrap rubber bands around a glass to prevent it from slipping out of hands and breaking. This also reduces the risk of cuts.
Use rubber coated gardening gloves to help open jars or bottles. Puffy plastic shelf liner works, too!
Now that we covered the safety side of things, here are some other helpful hacks for seniors.
Zip It – Attach round key rings or bobby pins to zipper pulls to make getting dressed easier.
Canned Do – Use canned goods as weights during exercise. Grab those peas and get pumping!
Recipe Rescue – Attach a cookbook or recipe page to a pants hanger and hang from a kitchen cabinet door knob for hands-free recipe reading.
Ice, Ice Baby – Use an upside-down ice cube tray to hold playing cards.
Have a Ball – Push a writing utensil or paint brush through a tennis ball to get a better handle on things.