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Living Aids Help The Elderly Stay In Their Own Homes

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By Author: Derry Hall
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Modern technology is making it more viable for people to retain their independence well into old age. With the huge cost of living in sheltered housing, there is a drive to enable pensioners to remain in their own home for as long as possible.

This also meets the needs of the people in that situation. Surveys in the UK tell us that living in one’s home is the first choice for elderly people.

Caring for the elderly is also a major and growing cost for the government. As people live longer and require more medical care, the NHS bill grows and taxes rise.
They too, then, are looking for ways to cut this cost.

The problem is this: advances in medical care means people are simply living longer. The net result of this is an ever-older population. Members of this sector of society may be unfit and may struggle living alone without help.

In the past, many would need costly part-time or live-in nursing care. To delay this, disability aids can introduced around the home. Indeed, introducing simple daily living aids around can improve an elderly person’s mobility and quality of life. This can lead to years of life without the need of a carer.

Support Rails Around the Home

Fitting support rails is a simple first step. If a person is unsteady on their feet, or whose disability makes it difficult to move around the home, carefully placed rails can help. A hand-rail for example next to the doorstep or washing basin can make all the difference.

A qualified tradesmen should fit the rails. Fitting one poorly can lead to accidents or serious injury. Note the type of wall in order to select the correct screws and wall-plugs.

Other Daily Living Aids

Fixed hand rails are one type of disability equipment for elderly people, but there are many more. Zimmer frames for example can be of great help moving from room to room. Similarly, wheeled kitchen trolleys can do a similar job. These have the added benefit of shelves or trays for carrying plates, cups or other items.

Sitting down and standing up can become stressful in old age. Arthritis in particular is one disease which has a great impact. Raised cushions, toilet seats and various other items can make it easier to sit down and stand up, reducing the distance of travel.

Many elderly people find it hard to climb stairs even with the help of a rail. In some cases this can mean half of their house because out of reach. For these people, a stairlift may be a good option. While expensive, they can be crucial pieces of equipment for elderly people.

In addition to disability aids which require fitting, there are thousands of other small devices available. These range from cooking and feeding aids, to those made to assist with personal hygiene for the bathroom.

Many elderly people suffer with conditions which leave them with a tremor. This makes it difficult to control knives and forks, tin openers and other hand held items around the home. Even turning door handles can become difficult.

Adapted cutlery and other gripping devices assist with this problem. Often these have larger, slightly heavier handles than normal cutlery, or which clip the hand. Door handle turners provide more leverage and enable easier use.

Similarly, dressing aids are important disability equipment for elderly people. The regular flexibility and strength needed to put on and take off clothing diminishes in later life. Shoehorns, button hooks, sock aids and various other tools make it viable to dress without help.

Wheelchair Access

For disabled people of all ages who are unable to walk, wheelchairs are a basic necessity. Adapting the home to enable wheelchair access is a common solution. Special modifications to kitchens and bathrooms make them easy to use from chair-height.

Fitting light switches and plug sockets at a suitable height also makes a big difference. Installing ramps can transform wheelchair access. With them, small obstacles like door thresholds present great difficulty to the wheelchair user.

More About the Author

Essential Aids provides disability aids, mobility equipment and rehabilitation products to people in the UK.

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