Make Your Bathroom Safer Today

The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the home. One out of every five falls causes a serious injury that results in broken bones or a head injury (CDC). Some falls, if severe enough, can even be fatal. Falls were the cause of 80 percent of all bathroom accidents, causing serious injuries like hip fractures. Older Americans had the highest fracture rates and were hospitalized most often.” (AARP)

Bathrooms can become increasingly difficult to navigate as we grow older due to their small size and many hard (and slick!) corners and surfaces. While most people cannot change the layout or size of their bathrooms, there are some steps that we all can take to reduce the risk of falling in the bathrooms that we do have.

Install Grab Bars

Installing grab bars in your bathroom is a simple task that will provide you confidence and stability, should you need it, as you get into and out of your shower. Grab bars can also be placed in the shower, by the toilet, or anywhere else that you see fit.

There are several types of grab bars out there. There are some that screw into the wall and others like this one that have a super suction mechanism that allows for a simple install without needing to drill any screws. You can see from a distance whether or not you have good suction on it with the red/green color indicator. It is not weight bearing but will help give you the confidence and support you need, when you need it most.

Shower Safety Tips

The shower can be a slippery place! We want you to be as safe as possible, so here are a few ideas of things you can do to make your shower safer.

  • Use a shower chair or bench. This is a great idea for anyone who struggles with stability or is unable to stand for long periods of time. Having a shower bench will not only give you a place to rest while you shower, but it will also give you the extra stability that you need to shower safely and confidently.
  • Consider putting a non-slip rubber bath mat down in your shower. As I mentioned above, showers are a slippery place, and this can help you move around with a reduced risk of falling due to the wet shower floor.
  • Have all of your soaps and shampoos within close reach. Shower caddies are available that will keep everything at arm height and off the floor, thus reducing the risk of tripping over shampoo bottles. If you do decide to add a caddie to your shower, it should be mounted to the wall, if possible, because the suction cup caddies don’t always stay suctioned to the wall.

Toilet Safety Arm Support

Unsteady balance in seniors due to changes in blood pressure when moving from a sitting to standing position can be a cause for concern anytime, but especially when they are in the bathroom.

As you notice yourself becoming less stable as you grow older, you may decide that you would like a little extra support when you are lowering and lifting yourself up from the toilet. The Toilet Safety Arm Support could be for you. It will give you the confidence to sit down and will provide the extra support you want and need when you stand.

Other Bathroom Safety Tips

A few other tips to consider:

  • Make sure that you keep a clear path free of debris. Keeping clothes, towels, and extra rugs out of your path can reduce the risk of a fall.
  • Make sure that your bathroom is well lit at all times. Consider picking up a few nightlights that are light-sensored so that you will always have light when you enter your bathroom.  
  • If you choose to have a bath mat in your bathroom, be sure to use the correct type of mat. It should have a rubber non-slip bottom on it.

While we cannot always prevent falls from happening, we can take steps to avoid them as much as possible. ILA provides a variety of living aids that can be added to your bathroom to make it a safer place for you or your loved one to use.

 

ILA has a variety of bathroom safety aids to meet every need. Check out our inventory and find what might work best for you!

 

This blog was written by contributing author Sarah Bowman, a stay-at-home mom turned business owner of Sarah Bowman Assisting.

sources:http://dailycaring.com/bathroom-safety-older-adults-grab-bars/

http://www.upliftingmobility.com/bathroom-safety/

https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

http://blog.aarp.org/2011/08/16/beware-the-most-dangerous-room-in-the-house/

Adapt Your Clothing to Make it Easier to Get Dressed

If you are a person living with limited mobility or low vision, getting dressed can be a real challenge. ILA understands how vexing it can be and we would like to give you a few ideas of ways to make this feat a little bit easier each day.

Let’s Talk Buttons

To begin, let’s talk buttons. While those tiny little things are necessary to many items of clothing, there are a few adjustments or aids that can be used to make them a bit easier to use.

First, without having to make any alterations to your clothing, you can try a zipper pull/button loop, like this one, to button your shirt. You simply place the pull through the buttonhole on your shirt and also around the button you want to have go through the buttonhole. Pull the aid and wa-la; your shirt is buttoned.

Secondly, if you would want to have your shirts altered, you could “sew cuff buttons on with elastic thread; keep them buttoned all the time and simply slide your hand through” according to Northern Arizona University.

Another option would be to remove the buttons from the front of the shirt, sew them onto the side with the button hole and then sew velcro onto the two inside sections of the shirt where the button and buttonhole meet. This will make the shirt super easy to put on and close!  

Finally, if you’re looking to keep your shirt or blouse tucked in, consider either purchasing pants or skirts with rubber strips in the waistband or you can have them sewn in.

What About Pants?

If you’re struggling with getting your pants on, there are options! One idea would be to sew loops or tabs of ribbon, or seam binding into your clothing. This will help give you a little extra leverage to pull them up and take them off.

If sewing is not your thing, an Adjustable Length Telescopic reacher could be just what you need. We have seen them promoted on TV as a great tool to get things from high shelves or to pick items like mail up off of the floor, but why not take this gadget into the bedroom and use it as a dressing aid? The ergonomic handle and grip will allow you to place your pants on the floor and help raise them up your legs with ease.

This item actually makes it safer for you to get dressed because may not need to bend or stretch as much to put your pants on.

Maybe putting your pants on isn’t a problem. Maybe you struggle to see the small zipper on your pants or maybe you have a hard time getting a good grip to pull your zipper up. The zipper pull can help you to pull up your zipper with ease so that you will be dressed in no time.

Footwear

Choosing the right pair of footwear can make any outing more comfortable. Several types of shoes are available for anyone who struggles to get their shoes on.

For the simplest of shoes to wear, check out the different slip-on styles. They are available in both casual and dressy fashions. These are my personal favorites!  

You can /also check out elastic shoelaces. These are pretty cool because they stay tied, and will stretch open when you want to put your shoe on or take it off.

While I am talking about shoes, I want to make sure that I mention the Telescopic shoe horn. This aid is amazing because not only adjustable, but it can also be used to help you wear any type of shoe with ease.

Finally, many shoes today, including dressier styles come with Velcro tab fasteners that make wearing any kind of shoe much easier.

Getting dressed shouldn’t be a vexing experience. There are many dressing aids and workarounds that you can use to make getting dressed easier.

“A Well-designed dressing aid should be lightweight but sturdy and will help you to put on the article without straining your back, shoulders, or arms.” Keep this in mind as you are getting dressed and undressed. If you find that you are really struggling, you may consider checking out some of these aids to make life easier.

ILA has a variety of dressing aids to meet every need. Check out our inventory and find what might work best for you!

 

This blog was written by contributing author Sarah Bowman, a stay-at-home mom turned business owner of Sarah Bowman Assisting.

 

How To Make Your Bedroom Safer

According to the US National Library of Medicine, falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injury among adults age 65 years and older. Things like unsecured rugs, damaged carpet, and loose cords make it easier for individuals to trip and ultimately injure themselves. While we may think that our home is safe, if we take a closer look at it, we may find several red flags just lying around.

Furniture

When we begin to look at making our bedrooms safer, furniture is a great place to start. We can do this by looking at the most important piece in the room, the bed.

To begin with, bedding should be short enough on the bed that it does not lay on the floor, this will help to avoid getting tangled in the extra fabric. Also, make sure that you have the right size bed for your height. “The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund recommends beds should be 20 to 23 inches high from the floor to the top of the mattress.” (easyrest.com)

If you struggle to get in and out of bed, consider purchasing a SafetySure Bed Pull-Up that will help you to slowly rise in your bed. It’s also great for building upper body strength. A Transfer Handle Bed Rail can also help you to sit up and transition smoothly from your bed to walker, wheelchair, or cane.

When it comes to other furniture in your room, your nightstand should be a solid piece that will be able to withstand your weight if you need to use it to stand or gain your balance. If you have a sturdy chair, consider putting it in your bedroom so that you can use it to sit on or hold on to while getting dressed.

Lighting

To avoid falling in any room, you will want to make sure that the room is well lit. Place lamps strategically around the bedroom to avoid having to walk through the room in the dark. Adding nightlights to your walk path will provide you with just enough light to the bathroom for any of those middle of the night visits.

Other Red Flags

Other items to consider when looking for potential red flags around your bedroom are electronic cords, piles of clothes, laundry baskets, pets, and loose rugs. Electronic cords are very easy to trip over, so you will want to make sure that they are safely tucked behind the machine that they belong to. Consider using zip ties to gather the cords up, and place them behind their specific device or lamp. This will make them look more tidy and organized, and the risk of tripping over them will be greatly reduced.

Try to avoid having a lot of excess stuff in your bedroom if you can. Keeping laundry and bags picked up off the floor will not only make your room feel better, but it will also become safer for you.

Next, you will want to make sure that if you have any pets that sleep in your room with you, that they sleep off to the side, away from your walking path. As a secondary measure, turn on a light when getting up during the night to make sure they are easier to spot and out of your way.

Finally, Loose rugs can easily be tripped over, especially if they get bunched up. A good way to remedy this problem is to “Remove carpet or use carpet tape to secure the edges of carpet and area rugs to prevent rugs from slipping, buckling, or turning up in the corners.” (easyrest.com)

While we may make every effort possible to make our homes safer, we are human, and cannot avoid some injury. However, by taking a look around your bedroom with these tips in mind, you may be able to mitigate some of the risks in your home now to avoid the fall later.

 

ILA has a variety of mobility supports to meet every need. Check out our inventory and find what might work best for you!

 

This blog was written by contributing author Sarah Bowman; a stay-at-home mom turned business owner of Sarah Bowman Assisting.

 

https://www.easyrest.com/bedroom-safety-tips-for-seniors/

 

How To Use Digital Voice Recorders To Simplify Your Life

While digital voice recorders have been around for ages and we are aware of their uses, we wanted to give you a few additional ideas of how you can use them to simplify your everyday life.

Doctors Appointments and Other Meetings

Do you ever go to the doctor and feel like your head is spinning when you leave? This has happened to me several times when leaving my daughter’s pediatrician’s office. I want to remember every piece of information that was given to me about how she has been growing, what we need to work on and things we need to watch out for. It has gotten better as she has gotten older, but looking back to those early days, a digital voice recorder would have been SUPER helpful and a lifesaver for me!

Not only would a digital voice recorder be helpful for your doctor’s appointments, but they are also great to take to other meetings you may have. This will help you to recap the meeting at a later time if need be and will offer you reminders of items you said you would do or follow up on.

Create Daily To-Do List

Digital voice recorders are great for creating your daily to-do list. I have used them several times when I am feeling overwhelmed with things to do and I don’t know where to start. Sometimes this is easier than a written note because you can say everything on your mind and expand as needed. Many times when we write notes, in an effort to save time we don’t expand enough, and then forget what the initial note was about. (Maybe this is just me…)

Make Up Your Weekly Grocery List

Instead of carrying your notepad and pen around your house, you can carry your digital voice recorder with you to each room and make your grocery list. This will help you to never forget your face wash again. Once you’ve made your list, you have a couple of options, you can take your recorder with you to the store and replay as you shop, or you can playback your recording and write your list on a sheet of paper at your kitchen table.

Capture Those Moments of Creativity

Do you ever come up with ideas of activities that you would like to do or projects you would like to complete? If you’re like me, these ideas strike me at the oddest times. Having a digital voice recorder on hand to notate these ideas helps me to dictate them in detail so I know exactly what I need to look up and how I will need to complete the project.

Learn More

Have you thought about taking a class? What about learning a new language? Digital voice recorders are great for taking to classes, lectures, readings, tutoring sessions or even to record yourself speaking to learn a new language or critique your current one. Listening to the playback, you are able to catch anything that the professor or lecturer may have said that you missed initially, or it can confirm what you have already heard.

Digital voice recorders have so many functions and uses today that can make our lives easier. They help us to remember and capture those special moments that we don’t want to forget. Consider ordering a digital voice recorder today to begin making your life more simple.

ILA has a variety of digital voice recorders to meet every need. Check out our inventory and find what might work best for you!

 

This blog was written by contributing author Sarah Bowman, a stay-at-home mom turned business owner of Sarah Bowman Assisting.

 

Sources:

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/uses-voice-recorders-58199.html

https://idictate.com.au/2012/10/18-alternate-uses-for-digital-voice-recorders-dictaphone/

 

Be Inspired by Nature: Get Outside This Summer

With summertime in full swing, it’s a great time to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. There are so many wonderful outdoor activities for you to participate in.  We have compiled a list of activities that will refresh your mind, your body and your soul. We want you to enjoy your time outside and become inspired by mother nature’s beauty.

Try Some Gardening

Gardening is one of those activities that can take some skill, but if you have been blessed with a green thumb, it could be for you. You don’t need a large space to garden; you can use a small area of your yard, or for those who don’t want a full garden or don’t have a yard, you can always use planters to plant your flowers or smaller veggie plants in. This will keep everything together and manageable.

Have a Picnic

Why not have a picnic? It doesn’t need to be extravagant. You can pack a blanket, sandwiches, snacks and drinks and head to your local park. To make things even simpler, you can save gas and have a picnic out in your backyard. It will still be a change of scenery from your kitchen table, and you will be able to catch some fresh air and some of the sun’s beautiful rays.

Throw a Bar-b-que

Continuing with our backyard/outside eating theme, why not have a bar-b-que? Invite your family and friends over, have everyone bring a dish, sit back and enjoy. You can listen to music (on this portable CD player), play soccer with this soccer ball, or catch-up and tell old stories.

Go For a Walk

Going for a walk is something that you can at any time. All you need is a comfortable pair of well-fitting shoes, and you’ll be set! According to the Harvard Medical School “walking is simple, yet powerful. It can help you stay trim, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keep blood pressure in check, lift your mood, and lower your risk for a number of diseases (diabetes and heart disease, for example).”

Check Out Your Local Entertainment Scene

Many cities and towns around the country offer summer concert series, movies in the park, different types of festivals or outdoor plays. Most of these events are free to the public, or if they are paid, they are usually for a small fee. We recommend checking out your town’s website or facebook page to find out about upcoming events.  

Outdoor Craft Shows and Flea Markets

If you enjoy shopping and crafts, this idea is just for you. Throughout the summer months and holiday season, many charities, churches, and local crafting guilds hold their annual craft fairs. This is also when a lot of the flea markets are held as well. These markets are fun to go to because there are always so many hidden gems that you’re able to find. Plus it’s always fun to check out how creative everyone is, and all of the fantastic items that they have made.

Game Day Outside

Why not have a game day outside? You can construct game day any way you wish. It can be as simple as a board game or a deck of cards. If you decide you would like it to be a bit more strenuous, you can include walking races, pickleball, wiffle ball, lawn darts, horseshoe or beach ball volleyball in your line-up.

Getting out of the house will be great for your mind, body, and soul. It will help you to relax a bit while having fun. So get outside, enjoy the fresh breeze in your hair, fresh air in your lungs, and sun on your face.

 

ILA has a variety of mobility aids to meet every need. Check out our inventory and find what might work best for you!

 

This blog was written by contributing author Sarah Bowman, a stay-at-home mom turned business owner of Sarah Bowman Assisting.

 

Sources:

http://www.elder-one-stop.com/outdoor-elderly-activities.html

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-of-the-best-exercises-you-can-ever-do

http://www.insideeldercare.com/health/outdoor-activities-for-senior-citizens/

https://seniorcarehomes.com/senior-living-articles/fun-fourth-july-activities-seniors/