As we age, the activities of daily life—from reading a newspaper
to reaching up to grab a coffee cup—can present challenges. Fortunately,
there are oodles of products designed specifically to help older adults
overcome these challenges.
If seniors are on your holiday gift list, ATRIO Health Plans suggests giving
presents with the purpose of maximizing older adults' independence
and increasing their ability to navigate daily life. Consider these suggestions:
No-tie shoelaces–For seniors with arthritis in their hands, fingers and wrists, the simple
act of lacing or tying a shoe can be a painful struggle. Several manufacturers
offer a solution in the form of no-tie lacing systems that provide an
attractive alternative to shoes with velcro straps.
Strain-reducing gardening tools–Many older adults derive great pleasure from gardening, but the pain of
arthritis often steals that joy. However, with the help of gardening tools
ergonomically designed to reduce back, wrist and hand strain, seniors
can continue growing their green-thumb skills.
Motion-sensor lights–Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury among older adults. The risk
of falling rises precipitously at night when all or most of the lights
inside a senior's house are off. Motion-sensor, battery-powered lights
are an excellent solution. These super-bright LED lights can be placed
throughout the house—hallways, bathrooms, stairs, kitchen—and
turn on when motion is detected, thus greatly reducing the risk of falling.
Digital calendar clocks–Many seniors experience memory loss, which can make keeping track of days
of the week and dates difficult. Recognizing this, several manufacturers
offer high-resolution clocks that spell out the day of the week, as well
as give the date and time in large bold letters that can be seen from
across a room.
Grabbers–Capabilities that young people take for granted—such as reaching
up to grab an item in the cupboard or bending down to get an item on the
floor—can prove problematic with age. Fortunately, handy grabbers
can reach where older adults can't.
Key finders–Although misplacing keys is not unique to older adults, repeatedly searching
for rogue keys can prove stressful for seniors. A host of key-finding
devices are available to remedy this frustrating situation. Some devices
use key fobs that sound off loudly as a way of announcing the lost key's
location; others rely on GPS-tracking technology.
31-day pill organizers–Many older adults take multiple pills throughout the day. Keeping track
of myriad medications is no simple task, particularly if your memory isn't
as robust as it once was. Prescription drug misuse among seniors is a
serious concern, one that can result in harmful and potentially fatal
outcomes. A 31-day pill organizer is a solution for many. Not only can
an entire month of pills be prepared ahead of time, but some of these
organizers also feature a talking alarm clock that alerts users when it's
time for their medication.
While these gifts likely lack the "wow" factor, they will improve
the daily lives of older adults who unquestionably will be grateful.