Too often elderly folks, persons with arthritis, and others who have physical difficulties resort to impromptu and often unsafe means of dealing with everyday tasks around the house. Simply put, most houses and apartments were designed for people with a greater range of mobility. If you have any type of mobility difficulty, you will find that you can bridge this gap with a wide assortment of assistive devices to help you get around with ease.
Following are some common household scenarios that may be unsafe, difficult, or just plain hard–along with quick fixes for each one:
Raymond, who suffers from arthritis, finds it impossible to switch off his lamps every night. Since he often forgets to ask his son to do this before he leaves for the evening, Raymond leaves the lamp burning all night–or, worse, “switches it off” by yanking out the cord.
Switch enlargers and grippers are available to help with the painful task of turning difficult lamp switches.
Mary loves to write notes and letters by hand to her grandchildren. Yet she finds it increasingly difficult to hold pens, and she will not resort to a typewriter or computer–she likes the personal touch of the hand-written note. As a result, she must ask her caregiver to write the occasional note for her.
Mary should first try soft, ergonomically correct pens that ease the pain in her fingers. Should that prove to be too difficult, writing clips and supports are available which take all of the pressure off of the fingers, allowing the hand to do most of the work.
John is a wheelchair user who has difficulty lifting his arms. He finds that he can no longer reach his wall-mounted light switches. The building superintendent was supposed to move the switches months ago, but John is still waiting for this to be done. Instead, he uses a yardstick to flip the switches. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Wall switch extensions provide an extra twelve inches of reach–easy for John to flip on and off. Now he can use the yardstick for measuring!
Leigh enjoys scrapbooking. But lately she can no longer operate a pair of scissors. Since it is practically impossible to scrapbook without some type of cutting device, she has resorted to using a box-cutter. While this is easy to grip, she is nervous that one day she will cut herself.
Leigh should toss the box-cutter away and take advantage of adapted scissors made especially for people who have limited hand strength. These scissors have extra-large grips, are self-opening, and there is even a brand of scissors that is table-mounted!