Suddenly I knew! I was struggling with a heavy, older model vacuum cleaner when the light dawned! Convenience is truly critical to my comfort level and to my success with projects on my daily list. Whether putting away holiday decorations, worrying about running out of gas or replacing some home items and services, reorganizing my home and my lifestyle must happen…now! With that not-so-profound realization, let’s think about ways we can change, improve, and maximize joy – and senior safety — every day.
Home Equipment: Keeping our home or apartment clean, tidy, and most functional is important. Doing so just isn’t as easy as it used to be! A lightweight, perhaps even cordless, vacuum cleaner is a great way to begin change. Too, we need to think about the extension type dusters that enable us to get to places we earlier may have cleaned easily while standing on a ladder. Ladders are definitely “no-no’s” for seniors! Various tools are available to help with clean-up, including long handled dust pans! Think of the projects that are difficult for you, and learn more about solutions!
Another “steps and energy saver” idea is to have your land line phones in several locations, or switch to and use a cellphone to have with you at all times. Putting pens, paper and scissors in various rooms enables us to make notes or accomplish a task without going from room to room when they are needed. Check your lighting in each room as well. Can you turn on a light immediately when entering? Do you need more lamps? Reminder: Do not exceed the recommended wattage in any lamp or lighting fixture or you may have a dangerous electrical situation. Smoke alarms are a must! Do you have one or several in your home? Do they have good batteries?
And in the kitchen, the simple addition of jar openers is amazing when we no longer have good hand strength. In fact, one of my favorites is a simple designed metal one that fits several sized lids, and works like a charm! A definite safety item for our list is a coffee maker with automatic shut off! I try to unplug after my second cup, but sometimes I forget. Remember to check the bathroom! Getting in and out of the slippery tub/shower can be dangerous! I learned the hard way when I injured my leg in the process. Investigate installing hand rails to give extra security when maneuvering. Be sure to have a skid free mat in your tub and shower as well as a skid free bath mat on the floor.
Helpful home equipment is a safety factor as well as a convenience factor! Falls, breaks, bruises, cuts and scrapes can be avoided if we change and simplify our daily used home equipment. Think about various ways to improve your surroundings for better function for you! These become great wish list items! Watch for more ideas in Parts 2 and 3 of the Convenience is Critical series.