How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 2

How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 2

 

 Read Part 1 Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Use Cash

 

If your hired caregiver is responsible for running errands or buying groceries, don’t give them cash. Instead, use prepaid debit cards or gift cards along with asking for receipts for all purchases.

 

That way, all purchases can be tracked and verified. Plus, if the hired caregiver steals those cards, they’re only getting a limited amount.

 

Though the vast majority of senior caregivers are reputable and honest, occasionally someone comes along who takes advantage of an elderly client.

 

According to Sally Hurme, coordinator of AARP’s Financial Protection Outreach & Service, there are at least 5 million financial abuse victims each year in the U.S., and only one in 25 of them are reported to authorities.

 

Hurme cites many reasons why elder financial abuse is a “particularly pernicious crime.”

 

“Studies point to specific cracks in victims’ defenses against exploitation: trust, financial niavete, cognitive impairments, social isolation, dependency, fear, and embarrassment.”

 

Hurme goes on to explain that elder financial abuse is unique because “there is a very real chance that the victim has no idea that she has been … victimized. The victim may have no awareness that anything is amiss with his finances.”

 

There are many ways of combating and preventing financial abuse of elders, one of which is using a reputable caregiving agency. Many of these agencies not only screen their employees, but also do background checks to ensure the safety and security of their elderly clients.

 

Some such agencies have also begun a gift card program. Gift cards are a convenient and easily accessible solution to preventing certain financial abuses. Agencies issue the gift card to the caregiver, who can then buy groceries and other essentials for their clients. Since the gift card is purchased through a bank, the agency can track purchases online and know when transactions take place. All risk, which is limited to the amount of money put into the gift card, is borne entirely by the agency. The caregiver never needs to use the senior’s cash or credit cards as all purchases must be made using the gift card. Receipts are kept and purchases are then billed to the client with their regular invoice.

 

Though financial abuse of elders is a reality, measures can be taken to minimize the damages and the possibility of elderly clients being victimized.

 

As Hurme points out, “Even though there are no broken bones, the effect is devastating financially and emotionally.”

 

Being aware, taking steps to prevent theft, and utilizing reputable In-Home Care Agencies are the first defenses against elder financial abuse.

 

 

 

Watch for Over Attachment

 

Hired caregivers who are planning to steal might start out by creating an unusually close relationship with your senior. Through this tight bond, they may be able to get your older adult to voluntarily give them money, valuables, or extravagant gifts like cars!

 

That’s not to say that you should be suspicious a little suspicious and look into things, especially if you see any of the signs outlined below.

 

An heirloom bracelet goes missing, electronic gadgets can’t be found, a wallet or bank account seems to be bleeding cash. Talk to anyone who’s hired someone to help care for an older loved one, and theft is almost always a major worry. Bringing a paid caregiver into the home — whether through an agency or privately — can come as welcome relief to all, but it can also feel like a risky decision. Stories abound about vulnerable people who’ve been taken advantage of.

 

The solution? Be careful, proactive, and alert. Here, some of the key warning signs that a caregiver is on the take.

 

Receipts that don’t add up

If grocery shopping and other errands are among a caregiver’s responsibilities, it’s pretty easy for “mix-ups” to occur. You might notice items listed on a receipt that seem out of character for your loved one, or certain supplies that seem to run out — and be replaced — with surprising frequency. If the caregiver takes your loved one out to shop or dine, you may notice purchases from stores that he or she doesn’t typically frequent or restaurant meals that are out of your family’s typical price range.

Why it’s worth worrying about:

A few dollars here, five dollars there may not seem worth making a fuss over. After all, caregivers aren’t usually well paid, so is it worth rocking the boat over a little bit of paycheck padding?

Yes, says Carolyn Rosenblatt, author of The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parents. “You may see $6.50 for a lipstick, knowing Grandma doesn’t wear lipstick, but if you let it slide you’re sending a signal that no one’s minding the store.” Typically, these first purchases are tests, Rosenblatt says. “The caregiver is saying, ‘Let’s see if I can get away with it.’ If you don’t respond by confronting her, you’re saying, ‘Yes, you can.'”

 

What to do:

For starters, avoid cash. Supply the caregiver with debit gift cards preloaded with a limited balance. This way, if fraud is occurring, you can limit the amount of liability your family is exposed to. Also, use online banking to monitor card transactions, so you can see how much is being spent at each store. Ask the caregiver to supply receipts for each shopping trip, and keep an eye out for any purchase that seems unnecessary or for quantities that seem overlarge.

If you find yourself hesitating over a questionable purchase in case it’s an honest mistake, bring it up in that spirit, keeping it light and nonconfrontational. Explain that you noticed a purchase that didn’t seem to be something intended for your family member, and you’d like to keep those kinds of purchases separate in the future so it’s easy for you to keep track.

 

Phone Use and Friendships

 

Frequent cell phone use on the job

Texting or taking calls on the job is discourteous and distracting — but it could also be a sign of something more serious.

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

While there are legitimate reasons a caregiver may need to make an occasional call, if someone’s on the phone all the time, it’s a signal that some outside relationship or network of relationships is more important than caregiving. It may even be that some outsider is calling the shots, says Rosenblatt.

 

What to do:

If you — or the agency you’re working with — haven’t already done so, run a thorough background check on the person you’ve hired. While some agencies do an in-depth background check on all employees, including requiring drug testing, others are much less thorough. It’s important to make sure good research was done, says Rosenblatt, because all too often records of crimes committed in other states or counties may not come up during a simple records search in your area.

Next, make sure you’ve securely protected your family member’s finances from potential fraud. The best way to do this is by having your family member sign a durable power of attorney for finances, which authorizes you or another trusted person to oversee financial transactions. A power of attorney is just a piece of paper, though, unless it’s recognized by the financial institutions that handle your loved one’s money. The safest strategy is to inform the banks and other financial institutions that you’re the proper legal agent for your loved one’s finances and that no one else is authorized to act. To do this, you’ll probably be asked to show a copy of the power of attorney document and may need to fill out additional forms.

 

 

Cultivating a Personal Connection

 

For many older adults, a caregiver quickly becomes a trusted friend, often the only person they see from day to day. With such consistent and intimate contact, close bonds are common. But keep your eyes open for anything that seems to step over the boundaries of professionalism. Watch and listen for signs that your loved one is becoming emotionally involved with or dependent on his or her caregiver, such as talking about the caregiver all the time or seeming to consider that relationship more important than friendships or family ties.

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

Typically, thieves planning a scam will gradually “prime the pump,” seducing an elderly target with greater and greater shows of affection until he or she becomes emotionally dependent on the caregiver. “It can start very subtly: touches on the arm, little gifts, shows of affection,” says caregiving author Carolyn Rosenblatt. Hugs, compliments, and attention become stepping stones to building a connection that’s overly intimate. Some concerned family members have found themselves in situations in which their loved ones bought their caregivers cars or gave other expensive gifts, paid their rent, or “loaned” them money that was never repaid.

 

What to do:

Prevention is worth a pound of cure, experts say. Loneliness and isolation leave many older adults susceptible to all manner of exploitation, from relatively small expenditures to outright fraud and identity theft. To protect your loved one, you’ll want to act on two fronts.

First, the psychological: Think about your loved one’s day-to-day interactions. Does he have opportunities for companionship other than his caregiver’s visits? Can you find a day program or other activity for him to attend, or are there others who might visit from time to time to liven up his routine?

Next, the practical: Focus on safeguarding against his caregiver gaining access to his finances. Experts recommend setting up online banking for checking, credit cards, and any other accounts, so you can monitor all activity in real time. (Most transactions post within a few days.)

If you check credit card records and discover charges that you or your loved one didn’t authorize, act quickly to protect yourselves from identity theft, says Caring.com legal expert Barbara Kate Repa. Close the account and immediately alert the company holding the account that you believe it’s been used without your authorization. Then alert one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies and request a fraud alert. If your loved one hasn’t already signed a durable power of attorney for finances so someone trusted has authorization to access financial accounts, encourage him or her to do it now.

 

Manipulation and Missing Work

 

Bids for sympathy

Personal tales of woe are a common danger sign. If your loved one begins expressing worry and concern for a situation his caregiver has told him about, that’s your cue to get involved — and quickly. “A sister with cancer who can’t afford medical care, a child who needs dental work, a family member in another country who’s being persecuted and desperately needs to come to the U.S. — these are the kinds of scenarios we hear all the time,” says caregiving author Carolyn Rosenblatt. “The next thing you know, your loved one’s writing checks and that money’s gone.”

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

The caregiver relationship is a professional service. If it becomes personal enough for your loved one to become involved in the caregiver’s private life, the caregiver has clearly crossed a line. Best-case scenario: The caregiver is manipulating your family member. Worst-case scenario: An outright fraud is in progress.

 

What to do:

Act quickly. You may hesitate to question your loved one’s judgment, but the caregiver, if he or she is a practiced scammer, will be counting on that. Call a family meeting and discuss the situation with all family members, including siblings who don’t live nearby. Make sure everyone is on the same page, so you don’t end up in the all-too-common situation in which family members are divided against one another or undermine one another. As many of you as possible should talk to your parent or other loved one together, explaining how concerned you are and why you need to take steps to protect him or her.

If the caregiver was hired through an agency, it’s a good idea to alert the agency to your concerns and ask them to double-check the records of the searches performed and make certain this caregiver hasn’t been accused or convicted of exploitation or fraud in the past. If the caregiver was hired independently and a thorough background check was not performed at the time, now would be the time to do some digging.

Depending on how your loved one reacts, you may wish to terminate the caregiver’s employment or set up a more careful monitoring situation in which you limit access to funds. If possible, consult a family lawyer to make sure all possible legal protections are in place, says Caring.com legal expert Barbara Kate Repa. If your loved one’s judgment appears to be seriously impaired and you’re not able to convince him or her to grant you power of attorney, you may need to consider trying to obtain legal guardianship, also called conservatorship.

 

Missing Work on Mondays

 

Some days your loved one’s caregiver seems responsible and reliable; other days — particularly Mondays or the first day back after time off — he or she goes AWOL.

 

Why it’s worth worrying about:

“This is a classic sign of alcoholism or substance abuse; people go on a bender over the weekend and then can’t make it into work on Mondays,” says caregiving author Carolyn Rosenblatt. “Unfortunately, alcoholism and chemical dependency often go hand in hand, and they frequently lead people to steal to meet their need for drugs.”

 

What to do:

Be on the alert for other signs of alcohol and substance abuse. Check the liquor cabinet and make a note of liquid levels in each bottle; you might even taste the contents to see if they’ve been watered down. Go through bathroom and kitchen cabinets and empty them of any prescription and over-the-counter medicines that might tempt an abuser. For prescriptions in current use, count the pills so you can check if doses go missing. Hide medications in a safe place or — if your loved one doesn’t need them right now — take them home with you. Keep prescription receipts and labels in a safe place, so the caregiver can’t call in refills without your knowledge.

If your caregiver was hired through an agency, report all unexplained absences and discuss the situation with the agency. If the caregiver has a history of this type of behavior with previous clients, the agency should be proactive about assigning you a new caregiver. If the caregiver was hired independently, have a frank discussion and set boundaries. Explain that you require 24 hours advance notice if he or she has to miss work, and another unplanned absence is going to be grounds for dismissal. Then stand firm. The caregiver will almost certainly use illness as the excuse and protest that illnesses come on suddenly, but don’t get sucked into that debate.

While this is happening, take all necessary precautions to protect your loved one’s cash and financial records, since a caregiver with a drinking or drug problem is a risk and a disgruntled former caregiver can be a threat.

 

By using common sense and due diligence, you can both reduce the risk of caregiver theft and minimize it’s scope.  Always pay attention and trust your feelings.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

Suggested Security Camera System:

Arlo Security System – 4 Wire-Free HD Cameras, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Reading: 

How to Care for Aging Parents (3rd Edition);  A One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing, and Emotional Issues

by Virginia Morris

 

 

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How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers

How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 1

 

 

 

 

One of the most common worries about hiring in-home help is that the caregiver could take advantage of your older adult. Even though the relationship between a hired caregiver and the family should be based on trust, it’s smart to take steps to prevent theft or fraud.

 

 

 

Prepare Your House First

 

Protect your senior from theft or fraud by removing or taking inventory of valuables, not keeping cash around, and watching bank and credit card statements carefully.

 

Keep an inventory of valuables in the home. Compile a list and take pictures to document your parent’s valuables, put them under lock and key, or remove them from the home.

 

Don’t forget about hidden jewelry or valuables, and think about removing any valuable memorabilia displayed in the house. There’s no need to put temptation in front of anyone.

 

 

 

Don’t invite petty theft. Your parent should keep only a small amount of cash at home. Don’t leave money in obvious places, such as the nightstand next to the bed. Make sure your loved one keeps any checkbook, ATM and credit cards, and computer passwords in a secure place.

 

 

 

Pay Attention

 

After spending some time with the hired caregiver, pay attention to how you feel about them in your gut. Most people work hard to make a great impression at the start of a new job. But later, you might start to see a different personality show through.

 

Arlo Security System – 4 Wire-Free HD Cameras, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision

If you start to feel uneasy, trust your gut and talk with their agency. If it’s a private hire, you might want to investigate for theft and (secretly) observe them carefully for a while.

 

If they continue to make you feel suspicious or uneasy, look for a new caregiver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Your Homework

 

 

Whether using a home care agency or hiring an independent caregiver, it’s important to do your research to make sure that you’re getting a reliable person.

 

Of course, no one knows better than me that this isn’t a foolproof method — but due diligence is still required on your part.

 

Home care agencies are responsible for fingerprinting and screening to make sure potential aides don’t have criminal records or other complaints against them.

 

When selecting a home care agency, ask how they screen potential caregivers, how many theft accusations they’ve had in the past and how they’ve handled them. Will they replace stolen items?

 

Amy Nelson, founder and CEO of Accurate Home Care in Otsego, Minn., says that her agency reports theft accusations to the authorities and cooperates however possible. The caregiver is suspended until the investigation is over. If found guilty of theft, the caregiver is fired and reported to the Department of Human Services.

 

After you’ve picked an agency, it’s still wise to interview caregivers they assign to the job. If you don’t feel comfortable — at any time that the person is working for you — tell the agency that this person is not the right match for you.

 

When hiring an aide without going through an agency, spend the time and money to check them out, advises Lisa A. Lieberman, a licensed clinical social worker, family counselor and author of A ‘Stranger’ Among Us: Hiring In-Home Support for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Other Neurological Differences.

 

She stresses checking references, especially ones from previous employers, and scheduling a face-to-face interview before making a decision.

 

A criminal background check is one way to make sure that applicants are who they say they are. For example, SentryLink will conduct a background check on an individual and send the results via email for around $20.

 

Unfortunately, these precautions aren’t enough to guarantee you won’t get ripped off. Detective Mike Cruce of the Oro Valley, Ariz., police department, who solved the case of my missing laptop, warned that just because the prospective caregiver doesn’t have a criminal record doesn’t mean that you still can’t be victimized by them.

Just ask my caregiver, who had no criminal record when she stole my laptop.

 

 

 

 

Trust Your Instincts

 

 

Most people try to make a good first impression, so keep in mind that caregivers need to earn your trust and maintain it by being reliable over time. If you develop an uneasy feeling about a caregiver and aren’t quite sure they can be trusted, you could be right.

 

 

 

Everyone in the household should be comfortable with the caregiver. If you live alone, ask visiting family members and friends for their opinions of the caregiver and how she/he interacts with you.

 

In my case, my caregiver the laptop thief was shy but likable at the beginning — but after a few weekends with her, I began to wonder if I could trust her. It wasn’t one particular thing she did but a strange feeling that entered the room along with her. I began to secretly look after my wallet. She started showing up late, or not coming at all, and her excuses were hard to believe.

 

At that time, I should have called the agency and requested another caregiver. But I figured I was stuck with her, because the agency had been having trouble finding a caregiver to work in my part of town. This is a very real issue for people with disabilities nationwide; many people accept personal care attendants who are abusive because there is no one else to fill the gap.

 

Next time, I will make any uneasy feelings known to the agency.

 

 

 

Don’t Be So Darn Nice

 

The trick is to be comfortable with the caregiver, but not too comfortable, says Nelson. The same goes for caregivers: They need to feel comfortable in your home, but not so comfortable that personal boundaries are crossed. For instance, most agencies have rules against caregivers accepting loaned money, whether it’s solicited or not. Even if you don’t use an agency, it’s always wise not to let caregivers borrow money or important items.  

 

When James Kelley, who has facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), loaned one of his caregivers his very expensive leather-bound King James Master Study Bible, he never imagined he’d have a problem getting it back, because “who’s going to steal a Bible?”

 

The caregiver in this case asked to borrow his Bible for a couple of days, but after weeks went by and she still hadn’t returned it, Kelley, 44, confronted her. She assured him that she would bring it back. After a month passed and still no Bible, he called the home health agency, which contacted the caregiver — but she still didn’t bring it back.

 

That’s when Kelley, who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, contacted his case manager, who advised him to call the police and file a report. He felt strange about filing a report over a Bible, but the detective assured him that, “If you don’t get some of these people when they’re taking small amounts, then they continue to push the envelope and see what else they can get away with.”

 

Kelley eventually got his Bible back after the detective told his caregiver that Kelley would press charges against her if she didn’t return it. The detective warned that she didn’t want it on her record, especially since she’s a health care worker.

 

Kelley ended up asking the caregiver not to come back.

 

Even trustworthy caregivers can forget they borrowed something. Consider this scenario: You lend your paid caregiver a book and, for practical reasons, keys to your house, but then due to everyday circumstances — a move, a career change, etc. — the caregiver stops working with you before the items are returned.

 

 

 

Caregivers and House Keys

 

In the case of the house keys, the best way to prevent that scenario is to never give the caregiver a permanent set. Instead, buy a key lockbox, like those used by real estate agents, and hang it on your front door handle with a key or keys inside.

 

 

Master Lock 5400D Select Access Key Storage Box with Set-Your-Own Combination Lock, 13/32-Diameter Shackle, 1-Pack

 

When a caregiver arrives at your home for work, he or she just punches in the code to the lockbox (like this Master Lock Select Access Key Storage Box pictured above) and retrieves the key — and then returns it to the lockbox after opening the door. The lockbox code is easily changed, meaning you don’t need to change your locks every time you change caregivers.

 

 

 

Protect Your Stuff

 

Detective Cruce says it’s especially important for those with multiple caregivers, or with a “revolving door” of caregivers who are new each time, to secure their valuables. Having multiple caregivers definitely complicates theft investigations, making it difficult to pinpoint who’s responsible for missing items.

 

When she started using a home care agency in 2006 due to her amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Fern Cohen, of Rego Park, N.Y., was sent different caregivers every day. When her brand-new digital camera was stolen, the agency wouldn’t do anything because she couldn’t prove who stole it, even though Cohen knew who was working the day she found it missing.

 

“[The revolving door] was my main reason for switching from agency care to self-directed care,” says Cohen, 58. She now has a handpicked staff of four trustworthy caregivers.

 

(Self-directed care means that people with disabilities have decision-making authority over certain services, and take direct responsibility in managing their services, including personal care aides. Self-directed services may not be available in every state and may vary from state to state. Check with your state’s Medicaid program or your personal insurance for more details.)

 

After the digital camera incident, Cohen also realized she could take measures herself to avoid enabling theft in her home. So to safeguard her valuables — from otherwise trusted eyes as well as the hands of strangers — she bought a safe.

 

But theft is not limited to physical possessions. Be sure to monitor bank accounts and credit card charges and look for anything unusual. Staying aware of your financial situation and transactions may help detect a theft. Also, hide important documents and consider storing duplicate copies in a safe place with family members or friends.

 

For example, Kelley learned the hard way that it’s wise to always request a receipt when the caregiver returns from shopping for you. He gave one of his caregivers his food stamp card to go to the store for him one afternoon, and she didn’t bring back a receipt.

 

“It was a red flag when she didn’t bring back a receipt, so I waited until she left and went back over to the store with my food stamp card, and I told them that I needed them to run an audit on the card,” Kelley says.

 

Within a few days, the store provided an itemized computer printout that showed his caregiver had purchased $10 worth of items for herself.

 

Even if people take the precautions mentioned here, some may find it comforting to also monitor caregivers with nanny cams or webcams. This option can be very expensive and time-consuming, so research this technology and its associated costs before deciding if it’s right for you. (Also, consult an attorney, or familiarize yourself with state laws governing video surveillance and speech before recording anything.)

 

 

 

 

Break the Cycle

 

As for my stolen work laptop, I didn’t even know it was missing until I received a phone call from the support coordinator at the agency where my caregiver worked asking: “Are you missing a laptop computer?”

 

I went to check under my bed (not a good hiding spot), all the while thinking, “If it’s missing, she stole it.”

 

My support coordinator said that the whereabouts of my laptop were still unknown but that my caregiver’s ride had called the agency and reported that she had bragged about stealing it from beneath my bed. My support coordinator also told me that my caregiver had quit the day before.

 

I decided to press charges against my caregiver thief because I didn’t want this happening to anyone else. Later, I heard from the prosecutor that she had similar charges before, which were dropped by the client. The fact that she already had a second chance and blew it made me feel a little better about pressing charges.

 

A few days later, Detective Cruce returned my work laptop after convincing my now former caregiver that the judge would go much easier on her if she relinquished it.

 

“Theft is not uncommon for people who are vulnerable,” says Cruce, adding that every state has laws to help protect people who are vulnerable to abuse due to their age or disability. “Theft from a vulnerable adult is a crime by itself,” he continues. “So not only do you get charged with theft, but you also get charged with theft from a vulnerable adult; therefore, the consequences could be doubled.”

 

As of this writing, my former caregiver had received a $25 fine and was sentenced to 36 months of probation, during which she’s not allowed to have any contact with me. Theft from a vulnerable adult will appear on her record.

 

 

 

Be Prepared — Just in Case

 

It’s impossible to avoid getting ripped off. It happens to everyone, but it’s even more upsetting when you have a disability and you’re paying and relying on the culprit to help you live more independently. People with disabilities face the additional difficulty of having to get rid of a vital caregiver often without having another qualified person to instantly replace him or her.  

 

We love our caregivers. They are, literally, the reason we can get out of bed every morning. Most of them are dedicated to their caregiving jobs and are totally trustworthy.

 

But it’s smart to be prepared in case one of them decides to pull a fast one.   

 

 

 

Minimizing Stranger Danger

 

Allowing a “stranger,” even a professional caregiver with good references, into your home can be a scary proposition. But deciding when and how to work with outside caregivers is far less daunting if you assess your options and perform due diligence to evaluate candidates for the position.

Lisa A. Lieberman’s A ‘Stranger’ Among Us: Hiring In-Home Support for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Other Neurological Differences offers readers, especially parents, tips on how to do just that.

Lieberman, of Oswego, Ore., is a licensed clinical social worker and family counselor as well as an author and speaker.

 

 

 

Read:  How to Prevent Theft by Caregivers Part 2

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

Recommended Reading: 

How to Care for Aging Parents (3rd Edition)A One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing, and Emotional Issues

by Virginia Morris

 

 

 

 

 

Please help others by sharing this post. Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInDigg thisPin on Pinterest

Install A Power Lift Toilet Seat For A Safer Bathroom

Install A Power Lift Toilet Seat For A Safer Bathroom

 

 

The toilet seat should not be overlooked as a way to help a loved one stay independent as long as possible. It also can be a location of great concern for those prone to falling or for caregivers who must help transfer their loved ones in order for them to use the toilet.

 

It may not be the household item that catches a person’s eye or thoughts while looking for hazards, but toilet seats have options available today that many caregivers are unaware of.

 

From extra padding to extra height, these specialized seats make it easier for elderly loved ones to get on and off the toilet. The industry, however, is bringing innovation one step forward with power-lift toilet seats.

 

 

Types of Power-Lift Toilet Seats

 

Spring-Powered Option Lift Toilet Seat

 

There are two main types of power-lift seats on the market. The first is a spring-powered option. It is already in an upright position when a loved one approaches it, not like the usual toilet seat. It hinges on the front and meets a person’s rear while they are standing. When a loved begins to sit back, the spring and hydraulic piston slowly lowers them to a seated position.

 

With this option, the device takes about 80 percent of the weight off the person using it. When a loved one is finished, he or she stands up independently, with the weight again being minimized by the hydraulics in the system.

 

Motorized Lift Toilet Seat

 

The second option is completely motorized, assuming 100 percent of a person’s weight. This is a great option for someone who needs full assistance.

 

It installs on the toilet and includes a hand controller for raising and lowering the seat. The controls help the seat meet a loved one in their standing position; then, with a small lean back, lowers them directly onto the toilet. When the person is finished, the controller again is available to lift a loved one to a complete standing position. For larger people, a dual-motor option can be bought for additional support.

 

A power-lift toilet seat is available in either a free-standing or wall-mounted product. The free-standing seats are able to be used bedside, which some people may prefer for flexibility.

 

Check With Your Medical Insurance Company Regarding a Lift Toilet Seat

 

The good news, if you are considering a purchase, is that if a physical deems this kind of support medically necessary, many insurance companies will help cover the cost. A caregiver can do some easy research to find out their loved ones’ benefits.

 

 

 

Would a Power-Lift Toilet Seat Be A Good Option For You?

 

Time in a bathroom is typically a very personal thing. Many loved ones may feel embarrassment needing assistance, especially if they still are very mentally aware and simply experiencing the standard bending/reaching issues that often come with age. With more progressive needs, an aide still must assist the person in getting on and off a toilet.

 

From another point of view, a power-lift toilet seat is an ideal option for someone in recovery from a surgery or illness. It helps people return home and stay home longer. From knee issues to back concerns, a long list can be made of times when a power-lift seat is beneficial. Toileting is one thing that no person can ignore, and a little help can go a long way for someone who just needs a boost.

 

Safety is of utmost importance to all those involved in caregiving. All power-lift toilet seats come with weight recommendations, but most are between 250 to 500 pounds. There are also bariatric versions available. The power-lift toilet seats help caregivers and loved ones alike, by promoting independence and dignity, while preventing injuries.

 

Falls are a big safety risk for people with uneven gait, or wobbly knees. Elderly people are especially at risk, as any caregiver will attest. A power-lift toilet seat tremendously minimizes that danger.

 

While these products were designed originally for hospitals and other care facilities, they are now available for the consumer. Caregivers are thankful for fewer falls and trips to the emergency room, and loved ones are grateful for regaining a sense of self-worth and respect.

 

 

The TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift (once known as the Tush Push from Phillips Lift Systems)

 

 

 

EZ-ACCESS Tilt Toilet Lift

I recommend the TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift (once known as the Tush Push from Phillips Lift Systems) as the best solution to help prevent falls in the bathroom while using the toilet.

This device lowers users to and from the commode.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift provides comfort and safety along with the functionality of a heavy duty commode lift chair. This lift is compatible with both standard and elongated toilet seats.This toilet lift accommodates users 5’2” to 6’4” and bowl heights from 14” to 21”, and has a weight capacity of 325 lbs.

 

 

 

Tilt Down Seat Up

 

 

 

 

The TILT™ is equipped with Companion Control to allow the user or caregiver to easily operate the seat with the push of a button.The TILT™ is designed for easy installation and comes with a 2-year warranty.  The TILT™ is made in the USA.

 

 

 

 

Features of the TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift (once known as the Tush Push from Phillips Lift Systems) :

 

  • The unit is lightweight, yet strong and durable.
  • Easy installation – typically less than 15minutes.  The TILT™ Toilet Incline Lift is compatible with both standard and elongated toilet seats.
  • The TILT™ offers great stability, as the TILT attaches directly to the bowl, rather than pushing the unit over the commode.
  • The TILT™ moves the user 7-1/2” forward, which is ideal for clearing obstructions and rising from the bowl. This also positions the user’s shoulders over their feet for optimal balance and positioning.
  • Arms remain at a constant positioning angle, which keeps the elbow of the user slightly bent to maximize their ideal strength position in order to exit the seat. The low angle of the unit allows for easier lateral transfers from mobile devices, chairs, transport chairs, and bath seats.
  • In the down position, the arms are lower than the seat for a slideboard transfer. The hand grips feature non-slip covers.
  • The assembly is protected by a plastic shield, which can easily be removed for cleaning.
  • Unit accommodates users 5’2” to 6’4” and bowl heights from 14” to 21”.

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

Your Guide to Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Guide to Bathroom Grab Bars and Hand Rails

Help Your Older Adult Move From the Wheelchair to the Toilet

How to Buy a Power Lift Recliner Chair

Minimize Your Senior’s Falling Risk Now!  Here’s How …

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

Best Hemorrhoid Treatment Product Reviews

Modifying Your Bathroom For Safety

How to Reduce the Risks of Heavy Lifting for Caregivers

Choosing the Best Transport Chair

Choosing a Medical Walker

Choosing a Walking Cane

Find the Right Power Wheelchair

Preparing For Your Hip Replacement Surgery

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

Preparing For Your Elderly Parent to Move In

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

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An OverBed Table System Improves Quality of Life

 

An OverBed Table System Improves Quality of Life

 

NEW atHand Overbed Table System, All Your Needs Within Reach. LED Lighting, USB and Power Outlets, Adjustable Height and Storage (Brown - Left Hand Orientation) FREE ACCESSORY KIT THROUGH 8/31/2017

So many times after our loved ones return home from the hospital, it becomes obvious how inconvenient and dangerous our homes can be when we care for them. 

An overbed table is a terrific convenience both for people who must or who simply like to spend long amounts of time in bed.

 

 

   

 

An overbed table provides more support, stability and surface room than a bed tray and can be adjusted to accommodate the height of your bed’s mattress with a base that slides under your bed along the floor for a close fit.

 

 

 

A hospital overbed table is made specifically for use with a hospital style bed, but it’s important to measure the model you’re considering and your bed, checking clearance under the frame—many overbed table styles may fit even a hospital bed.

The features most important to you depend on the types of activities you want to accomplish in bed. An overbed desk tray table with a flat surface is great for writing, eating or playing cards, to name just a few activities. Reading is often easier with a tilt table—the tilt top overbed table surface enables you to angle your newspaper or book at the best level for your comfort. Some overbed tables offer part fixed and part tilting surfaces.

The finishes, colors and textures now available in overbed table designs means your choice of overbed table can have more of the look of a piece of furniture than a medical accessory.

 

 

Choosing an Overbed Table

 

These are some of the most popular features available to help you narrow down your selection:

 

  • An easy to clean top that’s roomy enough for the activities you’d like to engage in.
  • Adjustable table height to accommodate the height of your mattress. Some overbed tables can be adjusted for use while you’re sitting in a chair, including a wheelchair, as well as in bed.
  • The adjustment mechanism should be easily to use and lock into place.
  • An adjustable pivot and tilt arm allows you to position the work surface to the height, angle and tilt best for your task, providing you with more versatility.
  • With overbed tables that offer tilt positions, you might want to look for a style with a lip along the lower edge for holding your book, newspaper or a pad and pen.
  • Take note of the weight limit that the tabletop surface can handle—usually between 40 and 50 pounds. Standard overbed tables are not meant to provide support when getting up and down.
  • Standard C-shaped or U-shaped bases have about 24″ of space between the legs to slide under chairs as well as your bed. Wheel casters offer for easy maneuverability over all floor surfaces. Locking casters on the base of the overbed table mean that the table will stay put once you position it.

 

 

Recommended Overbed Table

 

There are many choices of overbed tables, and I found one in particular that I really like:

 

 

 

 

The atHand Overbed Table System is a very modern and feature-rich version of an overbed table.

Usually in a hospital or a nursing home you’ll see these, but they’re very basic. They’re meant just as a place for the food tray or maybe some personal items. But they very easily get cluttered and you’re still left needing other things that the table doesn’t help with.

So the atHand Overbed Table System was designed to incorporate all of the things that people feel they need and would like close-by if they have limited mobility.

 

 

 

 

 

They did a lot of focus groups to find out what those items were, and that is why the table includes power and USB ports.

 

 

 

 

It also has integrated lighting that is adjustable in brightness as well as where you place it on the table.

 

 

 

 

The  atHand Table is height-adjustable, but it also angles in toward the user, so you can really get it up close to you if you’re writing or working on a laptop.

 

 

http://ww1.prweb.com/prfiles/2017/05/25/14371101/hospital-over-bed-table.jpg

 

 

 

 

In addition to all of those features, there are storage compartments, because that way you can still have all of your things, but they’re neatly organized and they’re not on the tray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also some great optional accessories for the atHand Table, like a special cup holder that keeps the drink close by, but off the table. There is also a bin for tissues, which is something everybody has near their bedside, but the box takes up a lot of room on the tray table. You can also purchase  a trashcan because it helps with infection control to have the trash in a separate place, but, close by.

 

 

 

 

The other thing is it’s a very nice looking overbed table system. I have to tell you, it’s a lovely piece of work. I wouldn’t mind having this in my bedroom.

According to the company’s focus groups, something that came out loud and clear was, if I’m out of the hospital, I don’t want to be reminded of when I was in the hospital

That’s why they chose darker, richer colors because those are something that you’re not going to see in a facility. It does have a homier look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For caregivers, the atHand Overbed Table System makes their life a lot easier; the power outlets in particular because older homes have fewer outlets and most of the time they’re going to be lower to the floor or behind furniture. There is one power cord that attaches to the wall, which then powers the table with four, 120-volt outlets, and four USB ports. 

 

 

I’ve heard stories of caregivers that have kind of pieced things like this together. They have a power strip looped over the headboard and a TV tray table next to the bed.

 Peace of mind is everything for family caregivers. I think that the biggest challenge, when you’re at work or away from your loved one, is they could fall out of bed reaching for something, or just have to make moves that aren’t appropriate for them.

Caregivers often feel bad that they can’t always be there for their loved one because they’re probably managing a career and children of their own, and don’t have as much time as they would like to be with their loved one.

So, if this product can help give the caregiver peace of mind, knowing that their loved one has everything they need to last them through the day, then that goes directly to the purpose that an overbed system should have.

And of course, for those in bed, it’s a terrific aid to independence, allowing them to do simple things without having to rely on a caregiver.

 

You can see this manufacturer really researched to try to come up with a way to fit everything within reach.

And you don’t have to actually be in a bed to use it, because the tray table angles toward the user.

You can use it next to a recliner, even if it’s one of the larger ones where the tray table may not fit underneath the chair.

 

 

 

 

If you have it alongside the chair and the tray table angled in, it still fits nice and close so you can use the tray table as a desk or for whatever you need.

 

 

 

Video: Demonstrating the AtHand Overbed System

 

 

 

The atHand Table is manufactured in the Cleveland area, but sells nationally on Amazon.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Should You Consider a Hospital Bed for Home Use?

Adjustable Beds – Benefits and Reviews

Should You Install Bed Rails?

Prevent and Treat Bed Sores

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

How to Buy Adult Diapers

For Caregivers: Coping With Incontinence

How to Give a Sponge Bath in Bed

How to Wash Your Senior’s Hair in Bed – Step by Step Instructions

Shower Chair and Bath Bench Guide

All About Grab Bars and Hand Rails for Safety

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

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Best Treadmills For Seniors Home Fitness

Best Treadmills For Seniors Home Fitness

 

 

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults complete at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Walking is one of the safest ways to fulfill this requirement because it’s a functional activity that is gentle on the muscles and joints.

Treadmills allow you to fulfill your daily activity goal year round, but how do you select the right treadmill for your needs? You can start by considering the size of the treadmill because you must make sure that it fits comfortably into your living space. The width of the walking belt is also important because you need room to hit your natural walking stride comfortably.

If you want to enjoy interval training and other walking exercises for seniors, the range of speed available on your treadmill is also important. While most seniors aren’t up for a treadmill run, it is reasonable to assume that you will want to pick up speed as you become more physically fit. Many seniors are surprised at how fast they can walk once they get accustomed to their treadmill.

Finally, look at the advanced features offered on some treadmills. You may want a built-in heart rate monitor to ensure that you’re working within your target heart rate zone, or you may prefer a console with pre-programmed workouts to ensure that you don’t get bored during your workout sessions. You may also look for a machine with a well-lit console to ensure that you can easily see the feedback delivered throughout your workout.

 

 

How to Choose the Right Treadmill For Your Needs

 

When used frequently, an electric treadmill is a wise investment that will help you fight against disease and illness while managing your mood and increasing your ability to continue daily activities without depending on your loved ones. While you may start shopping with your maximum budget in mind, it’s more important to find a machine that safely accommodates daily exercise and rehab for the elderly.

The treadmills recommended below are all suitable for older users because they have extra cushioning on the walking belts and safety features like the red key that locks the belt between workout sessions.

In addition to those basic features, you may want to consider the location of the speed controls and the start/stop button for added safety.

You should also think about the number of pre-programmed workouts that you will use and what type of programs will best fit your needs.

Some advanced treadmills now offer pre-programmed heart rate workouts that require you to walk with your hands covering the pulse sensors in order to create workouts based on your pulse. You may not need this type of advanced programming if you just want a basic treadmill to increase your daily activity level, but those interested in improving their cardiovascular endurance may consider investing in a treadmill with this capability.

Every senior will select a different treadmill based on their unique needs, so start by identifying what you want to accomplish with your machine. You can then match the available features to your needs and budget to select the best treadmill for your healthy lifestyle.

 

 

Treadmills I Recommend for a Senior

 

 

 

The ProGear HCXL 4000 Electric Treadmill

 

 

The ProGear HCXL 4000 Electric Treadmill is a good pick for heavier users or any senior searching for a wider belt to ensure comfort while exercising at higher speeds.

The ProGear HCXL 4000 is approved for users up to 400 pounds, and the extra-wide walking belt measures 20 inches. It’s also equipped with a 1.5 HP motor that is designed to operate quietly.

The maximum speed for this treadmill is 4 mph, and that is adequate for most seniors walking at moderate to fast speeds. For an added challenge, you can manually incline the walking belt.

The 18-inch safety handles contain speed controls, and a key lock system secures the belt until you’re ready to begin your workout.

 

 

 

 

The Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill

 

 

Whether your goal is to get your heart rate up for weight loss or to just add more physical activity into your daily life, the Exerpeutic TF1000 delivers adequate speed and walking space to meet your needs.

With a maximum speed of 4 mph, pulse grips to monitor your heart rate and a 20-inch wide walking belt, this is a treadmill that you aren’t likely to outgrow as your fitness abilities increase over time.

 

 

This is also a wise choice if you’re concerned about safety during your walks. The extra-long safety handles extend along each side of the machine, and a bright red button on the console allows you to stop the belt at any moment. A safety key is also offered to secure the belt between workouts.

 

 

 

 

Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill

 

While this is one of the most affordable treadmills available to seniors today, the Weslo Cadence R 5.2 treadmill is far from lacking in advanced features. This includes a large console loaded with six workouts designed by personal trainers.

 

 

The walking belt is 16 inches wide and 50 inches long, and the belt is cushioned for added protection of your joints and muscles. That cushioning is important if you plan on speed walking or going for a light jog, and with a maximum speed of 10 mph, the machine is suitable for high-intensity workouts.

If you’re concerned about the amount of space a treadmill may consume in your home, note that this is a folding model. Some seniors may need help raising and lowering the walking platform, but you can fold it up against a wall or roll it between rooms as necessary.

 

 

 

 

Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill

 

The Sole F80 is a mid to high range item. It comes with a powerful 3.5 CHP motor and a two-ply walking belt designed to reduce the impact on your muscles and joints for a safer walking experience.

The large console is equipped with an advanced sound system that allows you to connect an MP3 player for entertainment. You can walk at your own pace or select from eight pre-programmed workouts, two of which are based on your heart rate.

 

 

The belt on this treadmill is a generous 22 inches wide, but it is a larger treadmill that will consume more space in your home. The manufacturer warranty is also quite impressive with lifetime coverage for the frame.

 

 

 

LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill

 

 

The LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill is a mid-market electric treadmill. It’s suitable for users up to 300 pounds and features a 20-inch walking belt, well-lit color console and speed controls conveniently located on the handlebars.

 

 

If you’re concerned that you’ll get bored walking on a treadmill, you’ll appreciate the 17 pre-programmed workouts and your complimentary membership to the online LifeSpan Fitness Club.

 

You can walk or jog up to 11 mph, and there are 15 incline levels to ensure that your body is continuously challenged over time.

With a 2.5 CHP motor, this is a high-quality treadmill that will keep up with most seniors.

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Finding the Best Bathroom Scale for You

Healthiest Supplement Drinks for Seniors and Diabetics

Important Seniors’ Nutritional Supplements Reviewed

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs Reviewed

Studies Show Blackcurrant Seed Oil Helps Arthritis

Practical Shoes For The Elderly

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

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Planning Ahead for Parkinson’s Needs

 

 

 

Planning Ahead for Parkinson’s Needs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease at home can be like sailing a ship through uncharted waters. Currents, wind shifts and changing weather patterns all influence the ship’s course on a daily basis.

The effects of Parkinson’s disease also present an unpredictable course and caregivers must continually seek solutions and a positive direction for the care they provide.

 

 

 

Barbara has been caring for her husband for over 10 years.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and she has remained steadfast with his care at home.

Through the years, she has been creative in developing practical ideas that save time, require less energy and reduce stress.

 

 

Most importantly, employment of these concepts has enabled her to maintain the dignity and independence of her husband.

 

 

 

Start Planning in the Early Stages

 

In the early stages of her husband’s disease, Barbara made an appointment for occupational and physical therapy consultations along with a home environment assessment.

This decision helped her to begin planning for the physical care and necessary home modifications to support her husband’s needs.

She offers these additional ideas for caregivers to customize their caregiving procedures as needs arise:

 

 

Mobility Aids/Furniture:

 

Wheelchairs — consider two separate chairs; one to use for indoor mobility and at the kitchen table (can be locked in place), and one to use for outings to the mall or family gatherings.

 

 

 

 

Walker — the best investment has been a four-wheeled walker with balloon tires, hand brakes and a padded seat. It glides over the ground and uneven surfaces and was paid for by Medicare and a co-insurance policy.

 

 

 

Recliner — add a wooden base to the chair to raise the height six to 10 inches. This makes it easier for the care receiver to get in and out of the chair alone.

 

 

Electric or Power lift chairs are another option and may be partially paid for by Medicare.

 

http://amzn.to/1LvAcH8

 

 

 

Bathroom Safety:

 

Install grab bars in several wall locations and a safety handle on the edge of the bathtub. Be sure to drill the bars into a wall stud for maximum hold and safety.

 

 

 

 

 

Remove the toilet seat and place a commode frame with arm rests over the toilet or purchase an elevated toilet seat with raised arms.

 

 

For sanitary purposes, keep flushable wet wipes available for use after toileting. Wipes can also be used to clean bathroom fixtures.

 

 

 

Add a non-skid bath mat, a bath bench and a handheld shower head to allow the care receiver to assist with their own shower.

 

 

 

For grooming, use an electric razor and an electric toothbrush to encourage self-care.

 

 

 

 

 

Incontinence Products:

 

Use incontinent pads and adult briefs in layers as needed for full protection against wetting through.

 

See:

 

 

 

 

Clothes or furniture:

 

Washable sheet protectors and chair pads can be used to save on constant laundering. For full protection, layer several pads on the bed or chair.

 

 

 

 

 

Floor Safety:

 

Use a Swiffer-type dry and wet mop on the floors for easier cleaning.

Do not use throw rugs, but if the floor surface is slippery, use a short-napped rug with a rubber backing.

 

 

Personal Safety:

 

 

Purchase a whistle and place it around the care receiver’s neck. This can be used to call for help, especially if the caregiver has a hearing deficit.

Place another whistle near the bed or toilet if needed.

 

 

 

Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) like GreatCall can be rented monthly to summon help when the caregiver is out of the home.

 

 

Alarm systems can be installed at exit doors and on wheelchairs to prevent wandering or falling.

 

 

Transfer or gait belts can be used to keep the care receiver secure in the chair when the caregiver has to leave the room.

It can also be used to assist in safely helping the care receiver out of bed or a chair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mealtime Options:

 

Canvas aprons can be purchased at craft stores. Cut the ties off and replace with elastic on the top to enable the care receiver to put it on without help. Vinyl or quilted bibs/aprons can also be purchased from medical supply companies. Place the bottom half of the apron underneath the plate for neater mealtimes.

Use cups or glasses with lids and straw holes to prevent spilling. A two-handled cup with a spouted lid can also be kept by the bedside.

If the care receiver has tremors, buy shallow soup bowls and edge guards for plates to keep the food contained.

Purchase utensils with weighted, built-up or angled handles to help hands remain steady.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car Ideas:

 

Car seats made of leather are easier to access and to clean.

Consider purchasing a swivel seat cushion to ease car transfers.

Purchase a handicapped vehicle parking permit  through the driver’s license bureau and have it authorized by the physician. Use the permit at any handicapped parking zone or at any meter in the city.

Pack a car tote bag. Include a package of wet wipes, bibs, a change of clothing, incontinent pads, plastic garbage bags, and water.

Eat in the car and park near a scenic area to enjoy the meal and the view if dining in a restaurant becomes too difficult.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedroom Solutions:

 

Consider the need for an electric hospital bed with a trapeze for movement and increased independence. This can be rented monthly through Medicare and a co-insurance policy.

Try nylon or silk pajamas for ease in turning in bed.  Use a bed guardrail for safety and support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dressing for Success:

 

Velcro Hush Puppy shoes are easier for the care receiver to put on and take off. Turn a lace-up shoe into a slip-on shoe with elastic shoelaces.

Purchase pull on boots with zippers for winter.

Use a long-handled shoe horn with a spring hinge.

The care receiver will have warmer feet and avoid falling by wearing slipper socks with rubber treads over regular socks. Thin stockings vs. cushioned sole socks are better on carpeted surfaces.

Sport pants and elastic waistbands ease dressing woes for the caregiver and care receiver.

 

 

 

 

 

Visual Cues:

 

Magnifying sheets, magnifying glasses, large wall clocks, talking watches and natural spectrum lamps help those with impaired vision and encourage independence.

Enriching Activities:

Review photo albums and old greeting cards.

Read the comics.

Listen to music and books on tape.

Enjoy walks in the park when able.

Create a memory box filled with past treasures or items that encourage reminiscence.

Display things around the home that bring joy such as family photos, children’s art work, and holiday decorations. This display also helps with time or seasonal orientation.

Consider attending a Parkinson’s disease support group together.

 

 

 

 

As one can see, revising care procedures and modifying your home can promote successful caregiving. In addition, these ideas will uphold the dignity and independence of the care receiver. Learn from others who have walked in your shoes and set your sails for a new direction in providing care for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease.

Based on an article by Kristine Dwyer and Barbara Churchill

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Finding the Right Power Wheelchair

Choosing the Right Transport Chair

Choosing the Right Medical Walker

Detailed Guide for Finding the Right Power Lift Chair

Guide to Bathroom Grab Bars and Hand Rails

Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat – A Detailed Guide

Detailed Guide to Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Minimize Your Senior’s Falling Risk Now!  Here’s How …

How to Choose Adaptive Clothing

Dental Care For the Elderly

Incontinence Protection Products for Home, Car and Bed

Caregivers Can Reduce Risks of Heavy Lifting

New Spoon for Hand Tremors Makes Mealtimes Easier

Should You Install Bed Rails?

Should You Have A Hospital Bed for Home Use?

Shoes and Slippers for Swollen Feet

10 Simple Products to Help with Getting Dressed

Hands-Free Shoes Make Dressing Easier!

Ideas for Keeping Your Dementia Patient Happy and Busy

Caregiving for Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease Myths

Parkinson’s Swallowing and Dental Problems

Parkinson’s Disease and Low Blood Pressure

Getting the Right Testing for Dementia

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

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How to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

 

 

How to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

 

 

 

If you or a loved one use a wheelchair, you may need to make some changes to your home to make it easy to move around.

 

While the obvious option is renovating areas such as the entrance to your home and installing equipment such as wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, and patient lifts, there are other, simple and cost-effective steps you can take to help you access all areas of your house.

Read on for the simple steps to take for a wheelchair accessible home that you can take BEFORE you consider installing costly equipment and making big home accessibility renovations.

 

 

Modify Your Entrance for Wheelchair Accessibility

 

wheelchair accessible home

 

Entering the house is not normally challenging, but standard house entrances pose a lot of challenges for wheelchair users, including multiple doors, a threshold, and narrow door frames. However, there are a few simple changes you can make to your front door/entrance to make your home more wheelchair accessible.

Firstly, consider removing your storm door. It can be extremely difficult to hold open one door while you reach into the doorway to open the interior door (all from a seated position), and at the same time propel yourself over a threshold. Removing your storm/weather door will remove one more obstacle out of your path.

Secondly, install threshold hinges on your interior door to give you more room to enter the house with your chair. Regular door hinges allow the door to swing open while it remains inside the doorway, giving you less room to move, especially if you are using a manual chair and need to propel forward by placing your hands on the OUTSIDE of the wheels of your chair.

Offset hinges, on the other hand, allow the door to swing completely OUT of the doorway, widening it by up to 2” without the need of remodeling your entire door frame. While this may not seem like alot, the difference is definitely noticeable when trying to enter the house in a wheelchair or other mobility aid.

Thirdly, consider investing in a threshold ramp to tackle the weather strip at the front door. Rubber threshold ramps by Pride Mobility meet ADA slope requirements, and come with 0.5” increments. They can easily be installed in any standard doorway, and provide a total of 36” of usable space.

 

LEADER 110V 220V Electric handicap door operator, low energy ada automatic swing door for disabled

LEADER 110V 220V SW100 Electric handicap door operator, low energy

 

 

Finally, also consider investing in an automatic door opener. While these can range in price up to $2500, they are a great investment when preparing a wheelchair accessible home.

 

Units such as the Leader SW100 are a good choice.  The Leader SW100 can easily be installed on all types of doors, and can be activated by a remote that can be handheld and attached to a wheelchair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorating for a Wheelchair Accessible Home

 

 

4 steps to a wheelchair accessible home: decorating

 

 

While we all like our homes to be beautifully and stylishly decorated, some of the ways we do this are not always practical for a wheelchair user.

When creating a wheelchair accessible home, firstly consider the type of flooring you currently have in your house. Hard surfaces (such as laminated wood or asphalt tiles) are the easiest for manual wheelchair users to propel over and also generally require less power from power chairs.

Carpeted floors, however, are notoriously difficult for wheelchair users, and should be avoided wherever possible. Hence, avoid placing rugs and carpets in areas that receive a lot of traffic, such as hallways, walkways, and entrances into rooms.

Also make sure you leave a clear path through your living, dining, and bathrooms that are free of mats that may make it unnecessarily hard for you to move around in your chair. Remove them from any areas where you need to turn your chair (such as corners) to avoid the extra difficulty, and if you DO want to place a rug somewhere, make sure you use something with a thin pile.

Secondly, make sure you place your furniture in such a way that gives you enough space to freely and comfortably move around the house in your chair. While you may have a large, open plan living format, you may be causing yourself unnecessary difficulties by cluttering certain spaces with furniture.

Start with the hallways and entrances to individual rooms and make sure they are clear of any furniture. Also, consider areas where you generally find yourself turning your chair, and make sure you leave those spaces open to give you enough space when doing so.

 

Try these Home-it Heavy Duty Adjustable Bed/Furniture Risers for an of 8, 5 or 3″ lift, Set of 4

 

 

 

Finally, consider raising some of your flat surfaces such as tables, desks, and dressing tables using bed risers.

This will boost the height of the surface, making it more comfortable to perform daily tasks such as eating dinner, or working from your desk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lighting for a Wheelchair Accessible Home

 

 

4 steps to a wheelchair accessible home: lighting

 

 

Proper lighting is super important when planning a wheelchair accessible home and when preparing to age in place. 

Many people live with significant vision loss, and with our increasing use of technology such as smartphones and laptops, it is becoming increasingly common for people to lose their sight as they get older.

Luckily, there are many simple and cost-effective lighting solutions you can install in and around your home today that will make it easier, safer, and more comfortable to age in your own home.

Motion sensor lighting fixtures are probably the most suitable for wheelchair users. They can be installed both indoors and outdoors, and are automatically turned on when someone steps within the light’s radius.

 

 

These Stick Anywhere LED lights are really handy:

 

 

 

Make sure any entrances to your home are well-lit, and consider equipping them with fixtures that use two bulbs, just in case one of them goes out.

 

 

 

 

 

Consider installing nightlights in the bedroom, bathroom, hallways, and any other areas that might get some traffic at night.

I like these Sycees 0.5W Plug-In LED Night Lights.  They have a dusk to dawn sensor, and come in a convenient 6-pack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also make sure any driveways or walkways leading to your house from the street or your backyard are also set up with proper lighting.

And finally, install some task lighting fixtures in cupboards, shelves, dressers, or any other storage areas to help you find things easily. 

 

 

 

For task lighting, I like these OXYled Stick Anywhere Touch Tap Push Lights. The unit contains 4 bright white LED lights, which provides enough brightness for task lighting.

The light panel can be rotated 180 degrees to provide you with the best angle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To switch the device on/off, simply touch the two metal pins located on the front of the LED panel.

With 2 self-adhesive sticky tapes found at the back of the panel, no installation is required. Simply stick the light on any flat surface and save yourself the electrician costs of wiring a light bulb.

Simply stick the OXYled light on any flat surface and save yourself the electrician costs of wiring a light bulb.

With each use of 3 x AAA batteries (not included), this 4 bright white LED has a life of up to 100 hours, before it needs to be changed.

 

 

 

Portable Wheelchair Ramps for a Wheelchair Accessible Home

 

Roll-A-Ramp Wide Ramp, 8' Long x 30"

Last but definitely not least, my final tip for a wheelchair accessible home is investing in a portable wheelchair ramp such as the Roll-A-Ramp.

These ramps are a great alternative to expensive chair lifts or permanent wooden ramps, and can be used in a variety of situations. Roll-A-Ramps come in four different widths and can be built to the length you need:

  • 26″ – Suitable for mini-van use and narrower chairs or walkers
  • 30″ – Standard size suitable for most applications
  • 36″ – For public applications or larger wheelchairs

These ramps also feature patented link construction, meaning you’ll never get stuck with the wrong size ramp; simply add additional links to change the length of your ramp with the simple tools provided.

Standard Roll-A-Ramps are made from aircraft-grade aluminum tracks that support up to 1000 pounds, and can also be fitted with 12” twin tracks to support up to 2000 pounds.

They also feature quick release pins that allow the user to quickly split the ramp into different sections, and come with a 10-year warranty.

Roll-A-Ramps can be used to access your apartment/home, enter vans or other vehicles, and enter restaurants, shopping malls, schools, and hotels.

One final benefit of the Roll-A-Ramp is that you won’t need a building permit to install it in your home like you would when installing permanent ramps.

 

 

Roll-A-Ramp Wide Ramp, 8' Long x 30"

  • This 8 ft long by 30 in wide Roll-A-Ramp creates entry ramps to homes, vehicles or offices.
  • For convenience, you can roll it up and put it away.
  • It’s perfect for use on 2-3 steps.
  • The versatile ramp design uses two bolts to connect each section, allowing you to add or subtract length as needed.
  • The Roll-A-Ramp has a cambered section for easy on and off at the top of the ramp.
  • Its constructed out of lightweight extruded aluminum construction with anodized surface and built-in safety rails.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

Preparing For Your Elderly Parent to Move In With You

Choosing the Right Transport Wheelchair

Getting Your Wheelchair Into the Car

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

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Electric Blanket Buying Guide

 

 

Electric Blanket Buying Guide

 

 

 

 

Features to Look For in Your New Electric Blanket

 

 

 

Heated bedding of all types should meet current Underwriters Laboratories electric bedding safety standards.

It’s also important to read and follow manufacturer guidelines. Special care should be taken — or use avoided altogether — when selecting heated bedding for infants, the elderly, and those that are otherwise less sensitive to heat.

Pet owners are advised to consider low-voltage heated bedding, or a mattress pad that’s under the rest of the bedding so that it can’t be chewed on by a four-footed companion.

 

 

 

Durable, Machine-Washable Electric Blanket Materials

 

Some electric blanket manufacturers specify hand-washing only; however, trying to wrangle a large, wet blanket can be difficult — and it can be hard to rinse it thoroughly as well.

Machine-washable blankets are much easier to clean. When you do wash it, it shouldn’t pill, shed or bleed color. Always be sure to detach the power cords before cleaning.

 

 

 

Easy-to-Use Electric Blanket Temperature Controls

 

Because you might want to adjust the temperature in the middle of the night, you want the controls to be intuitive and within reach.

Many electric blankets and other heated bedding use digital controls, but others use analog dials. User ratings don’t seem to be influenced by the style of the controller, but we see some comments that in some instances, the dial can be easy to jostle. A few electric bedding products offer wireless controls.

 

 

 

 

Range of Electric Blanket Heat Settings, Including Preheating

 

To get the most use out of your electric blanket, throw, or mattress pad, you’ll want to be able to choose settings appropriate for everything from a cool summer evening to a winter blizzard.

Many electric bedding models offer 10 settings, though some, including our top-rated heated throw blanket, offer fewer without receiving very much negative user feedback over that.

 

 

 

Electric Blanket Automatic Shut-Off

 

An automatic shut off allows you to fall asleep safely with the blanket still on.

 

 

 

Electric Blanket Dual Control Options

 

Many couples sleep “differently” with one partner preferring a hotter or colder environment. Dual controls, which are usually found on queen-sized and larger blankets, allow each person to adjust the heat on his or her side of the bed. Some heated bedding take things a bit further by allowing adjustment of individual zones (such as the feet) for either user.

 

 

 

Things to Know Before You Choose an Electric Blanket

 

How often will you use your electric blanket?

If you live in a cold climate or often are cold in the evenings, you may want to outfit your bed with a reliable heated mattress pad. On the other hand, if you will only use the product a few weeks or months per year, a blanket may be more practical.

 

 

Measure your bed and electrical outlet.

Electric blankets and mattress pads are sold in normal bed sizes, such as twin, full, queen and king, but it’s best to be sure.

Most electric blankets have power cords that attach at the foot of the bed, with controls that stretch up to the head of the bed. If the cords aren’t long enough to reach a power outlet, you may need to rearrange your furniture. Most manufactures recommend that, for safety, extension cords not be used.

 

 

Do you have pets that sleep in bed with you?

Heated bedding can pose a hazard to pets if a claw or tooth exposes one of the heating elements. If you do sleep with a pet, experts suggest a low-voltage bedding option to minimize the risk of electric shock. In addition, a heated mattress pad is less likely to become a chew toy than a blanket that sits atop the bed.

 

 

Heated bedding won’t last a lifetime.

Judging from user reviews, all types and brands of heated bedding suffer from so-so durability — with the controls and heated wiring both being trouble spots.

While it’s never a bad idea to buy a model with a good warranty and then keep all packaging, receipts and other documentation of your purchase, user feedback indicates that warranty limitations and the hassle of returning the bedding to the maker lead most to just toss a blanket or mattress pad that has failed and buy a new one.

If durability is a top concern, electric mattress pads seem to enjoy a somewhat better track record according to experts and in user reviews.

 

 

 

What’s in a name?

Most heated bedding sold in the U.S. is made by one of three companies. Perfect Fit industries makes bedding under its own name as well as the Soft Heat, Select Comfort and Chattam & Wells brands. Sunbeam also manufactures the Slumber Rest, Therapedic and Imperial lines. Biddeford Mills makes Cannon, Sealy and Delightful Nights electric bedding.

While color choices, and materials and features (including the style of controller) may vary between brands and models, all heated bedding made by the same manufacturer will use the same core technology and should perform similarly.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

Electric Blankets – Comfort and Energy Savings

Space Heaters Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

Adjustable Beds – Benefits and Reviews

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

Top 10 Massage Chairs Reviews

 

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Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

 

 

Easy Home Improvements for Mobility Issues

 

 

 

Assessment

 

Begin by asking the person with a mobility issue where they’re experiencing the most difficulty in the home. Aside from mobility and safety issues, you can also help them think about other areas where they may be experiencing some difficulty, such as how and where things should be stored, how to clean certain things around the home, and how to make food and meal preparation easier for them.

 

After you both have written some key issues and concerns down, go into every room of the house and really study each area, going through the person’s daily routine in your mind, and think about what they do in each of these rooms and what problems they may encounter. Every little thing, from the alarm clock in the bedroom to how the food is placed inside the kitchen cupboards, needs to be taken into consideration in order to achieve a good level of comfort, ease and safety.

 

Dissect the home room-by-room, including corridors and stairways, with special concentration on the most crucial areas for safety concerns, like the bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen:

 

 

Bedroom

 

 

 

 

    • Alarm Clock  -purchase and alarm clock that has large enough controls to make it easier to use than one with small buttons and dials. See Help for Low Vision  for more convenient product ideas.

 

 

 

    • Nightstand – use a non-slip or non-skid material on the bottom or base of items that are needed on the table.

 

    • Rugs – to prevent falling, tripping, or slipping, avoid using area rugs. If these types of rugs are needed or desired, be sure to attach the rug to the floor so it won’t slip when under foot, and avoid using rugs which are thick.

 

    • Closet – place storage items at eye level. Install concertina-style closet doors which slide and fold, making opening and closing easier. Fit door(s) with handles that are comfortable and easy to grip. Arrange clothes according to how often they are worn.

 

 

Bathroom

 

 

 

 

    • Personal care corner – if you have room to do so, create an area in the bathroom that’s specifically for your loved one where they can sit down for personal activities. If the bathroom isn’t big enough for this, try to place a comfortable chair that will fit at the bathroom counter just long enough for them to get ready with a bit more ease and remove when no longer needed.

 

 

    • Hairbrush – use brushes and combs with long handles.
      Hairdryer and other electronic devices used for personal care – leave these permanently plugged in to avoid problems with taking the plugs in and out of a socket. Whenever possible, try and use cordless products.

 

    • Medicine Cabinet – if there’s room, try and place it at eye level; otherwise, make arrangements to store medications and other toiletries that are needed with regularity in an easy-to-reach container.

 

    • Nail care – always use nail clippers instead of nail scissors.

 

 

    • Sink/tub/shower – Install an individual tap for hot and cold; consider getting a thermostatic mixer tap for all water fixtures.

 

 

    • Toilet paper dispenser – use one that stays firmly attached to the wall and is in easy reach.

 

    • Door privacy; make sure that it can be easily unlocked from outside if needed, as well as using a lock that’s easy for the person on the inside.

 

 

 

Kitchen

 

 

 

 

    • Chairs – when preparing meals, it’s a good idea to have an office chair or studio chair to sit in while doing so.

 

    • Coffee maker – choose a simple model with a handle that’s easy and comfortable to grip, and has an accurate spout. Consider getting an electric coffee maker; leave it plugged in permanently to make shutting it on and off easier.

 

    • Electrical sockets – place appliances to give easy access to electrical sockets when needed.

 

    • Cupboards and drawers – arrange food items on sliding trays and carousels. Place heavy items such as soup or vegetable cans at eye level. Select the most frequently used plates, cups, and cookware and place them within easy reach; avoid putting these things on high shelves. Put utensils in an easily accessible drawer. Carefully consider the needs of the person using the kitchen when selecting handles and knobs for cabinets and drawers.

 

    • Food cart – utilize a food cart with wheels and at least two levels to serve meals. Food and dishes can be wheeled where needed and easily taken off and placed back on to cart.

 

    • Kitchen knives – get knives that are right-angled or have a knob handle. Select chopping boards that are non-skid and easy to clean. For cutting food, get special utensils that have a cutting guide to keep the food and utensils safely in place.

 

    • Kitchen sink place a shock-absorbing rubber mat on the bottom. Install a mixer-tap with thermostat control instead of individual hot and cold handles.
      Microwave – choose a model that has touch-sensitive controls or soft-notched buttons.

 

 

 

 

Living Room

 

 

 

 

    • Bookcases keep the items which are least-used on the higher shelves and light the inside of the shelves.

 

 

    • Lamps be sure to use sturdy table or floor lamps that won’t easily tip over and will give off the amount of light desired; some lamps are touch-sensitive, and are easier to use for someone who may have problems manipulating a small switch.  See The Right Lighting Prevents Falls.

 

    • Telephone it’s best to use a large button cordless, allowing for use anywhere in the room; keep cords, base, and telephone connection out of the way of general passage areas.  See Help for Low Vision for more product suggestions.

 

 

 

 

Garage

 

 

 

 

    • Floor/area keeping as clutter-free as possible. Use shelves to store items, and place things which are used most on the bottom for easy-access. If parking the car inside, be sure that there is plenty of clearance on all sides to ensure safety when getting in and out of it, as well as when walking around it to get to something. Work benches should be kept clean, with any sharp or flammable items stored in their proper place, inside a safe container.

 

    • Door use an electric garage door opener with remote control and wall switch.

 

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

 

 

    • Hallways/corridors be sure that light switches are large and easy to reach and at the appropriate height. Install support bars, if needed, throughout the length of the corridor.

 

 

 

 

 

    • For a home alarm system, select a very simple model that connects to a telephone assistance service and uses a remote control or a swipe card to activate and deactivate.

 

    • Windows install windows which slide open and shut, or use windows that pivot and have lever-type handles for easy use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • Vacuum cleaner get a model that’s lightweight and easy-to-manage, and has an automatic cord-rewind. Be sure it has a three-pin electric plug with a ring handle for easy plugging and unplugging.

 

    • Washing machine/dryer select top loading machines. Get models that have touch-sensitive control panels, or controls with large knobs.

 

 

Recommended Reading:

Caregiver’s Handbook – A Practical, Visual Guide for the Home Caregiver

 

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

How to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

Help for Low Vision

The Medical Benefits of Adjustable Beds

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

The Right Lighting Prevents Falls

Should You Install Bed Rails? Know The Risks!

All About Grab Bars and Hand Rails for Safety

Detailed Guide to Shower Chairs and Bath Benches

Do Prescription Discount Cards Actually Save You Money?

10 Simply Fabulous Arthritis Aids

New Hands-Free Shoes Make Dressing Easier!

Dental Care Tips for the Elderly

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat – Important Details

Detailed Guided to Finding the Right Power Lift Chair

Smoke Detectors and CO Alarms Guide

 

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Minimize Your Senior’s Falling Risk Now!

Minimize Your Senior’s Falling Risk Now!

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.cprcertified.com/uploads/archive/man-falling.jpg

 

 

Falls are the leading cause of death, injury and hospital admissions among the elderly population. In fact, one out of every three seniors falls every year.

 

 

http://www.medclient.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/emergency_room_591.jpg

 

Last year alone, more than 1.6 million seniors were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries, but you can drastically reduce the chances of this happening to your loved one.

 

 

Why are Seniors at a High Risk of Falling?

 

Several factors contribute to the fact that seniors fall so much more frequently than younger people:

 

 

Lack of Physical Activity
Failure to exercise regularly results in poor muscle tone, decreased bone mass, loss of balance, and reduced flexibility.

 

 

Impaired Vision


This includes age-related vision diseases, as well as not wearing glasses that have been prescribed. 

Further reading: Help For Low Vision

 

 

Medications


Sedatives, anti-depressants, and anti-psychotic drugs, plus taking multiple medications are all implicated in increasing risk of falling.

 

 

Diseases


Health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis cause weakness in the extremities, poor grip strength, balance disorders and cognitive impairment.

 

 

Surgeries


Hip replacements and other surgeries leave an elderly person weak, in pain and discomfort and less mobile than they were before the surgery.

 

 

Environmental Hazards


One third of all falls in the elderly population involve hazards at home. Factors include: poor lighting, loose carpets and lack of safety equipment.

However, falls are not an inevitable part of growing older. Many falls can be prevented, by making the home safer and using products that help keep seniors more stable and less likely to fall.

 

 

http://www.h2h4seniors.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/senior-fall-prevention.png

 

Preventing Falls in an Elderly Person’s Home

 

(Don’t Procrastinate – Follow These Tips Today!)

 

 

 

 

Caregivers can do several things to make the home safer for their senior mom or dad, and avoid those emergency room visits.

 

  • Install safety bars, grab bars or handrails in the shower or bath.

 

 

 

  • Install at least one stairway handrail that extends beyond the first and last steps.

 

  • Make sure stairs are sturdy with strong hand railings.

 

 

  • Make sure rugs, including those on stairs, are tacked to the floor.

 

  • Remove loose throw rugs.

 

  • Avoid clutter. Remove any furniture that is not needed. All remaining furniture should be stable and without sharp corners, to minimize the effects of a fall.

 

  • Change the location of furniture, so that your elderly parent can hold on to something as they move around the house.

 

  • Do not have electrical cords trailing across the floor. Have additional base plugs installed so long cords are not necessary.

 

  • Have your parent wear non-slip shoes or slippers, rather than walking around in stocking feet.

 

I like these slip resistant self adhesive shoe sole pads, which work on men or women’s shoes or slippers.

 

 

 

  • Keep frequently used items in easy-to-reach cabinets.

 

  • Keep the water heater thermostat set at 120 degrees F, or lower, to avoid scalding and burns.

 

  • Wipe up spills and remove broken glass immediately.

 

  • Use a grasping tool to get at out-of-reach items, rather than a chair or stepladder.

 

 

 

 

 

Tools and Equipment to Increase Safety

 

 

Monitors and Sensor Pads

 

 

Sensors work well for the bed, chair, or toilet. The pads electronically detect the absence of pressure, which in turn sends an electronic signal to the monitor setting off an alarm.

Used on a bed, the pressure pads can be under or on top of the mattress. They are very thin, so they do not disturb sleeping and are plugged into the monitor via a telephone type line. Chair and toilet sensors work in the same way.

 

 

 

 

There are also pad monitors, like this Floor Pressure Sensor Mat, that detect and sound an alarm if a person steps on the pad (detects pressure).

This type of pad can be used beside the bed, in a hallway or in front of a chair while the person is seated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Mats

 

 

 

Fall mats are used in areas where a person could be injured from a fall on a hard floor such as the side of a bed, by a toilet or in front of a chair.

They are cushioned floor mats of various sizes 1-inch or 2-inches thick with beveled edges. They cushion the fall and prevent injuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grab Bars

 

Grab bars provide extra stability and assistance during transfers. They are typically installed in areas where a senior may need something to hold on to for added balance. Bathrooms are a common location for grab bars, since they can help seniors sit down and get up from the toilet and enter and exit the bathtub or shower safely.

 

Further reading and examples:

All About Grab Bars and Hand Rails for Safety

 

 

 

Use a Shower Chair and/or Transfer Bench

 

 

 

When getting in and out of the tub, transfer benches provide stability and help the caregiver get the elderly seniors in and out of the tub safely, without injuring the elderly person or the caregiver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When getting in and out of the tub, transfer benches provide stability and help the caregiver get the elderly seniors in and out of the tub safely, without injuring the elderly person or the caregiver.

 

Further reading:

Shower Chair and Bath Bench Buying Guide

 

 

 

 

Anti-Slip Mats

 

Install anti-slip mats on the bath tub or shower floor. The hard rubber material prevents the elderly person from slipping and provides stability.

 

 This Gorilla Grip Bath and Shower Mat features excellent gripping and fits any size bathtub.

 

You can also throw in your washing machine!  Wash on cold with gentle detergent (no bleach), and air dry.

 

 

Note that while the Gorilla Grip mat features hundreds of suction cups, textured and tiled floors do not allow for the suction cup to properly adhere to your surface, so this mat is recommend for smooth surfaces only. 

 

 

 

 

 

For showers, I recommend this Jobar Fast-Drying Bath/Shower Rug. 

It adheres really well to tile and textured shower flooring, and customers have washed it successfully in the washing machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canes and Walkers

 

 

 

Canes and walkers help seniors feel steady on their feet. Make sure the mobility device you choose is the correct height for your elderly parent, and has rubber tip or other traction on the bottom, for safety.

Further reading:

How to Choose the Right Walking Cane

Choosing the Right Medical Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Socks, Shoes and Slippers

 

 

 

Wearing properly fitted, low-heeled, non-slip footwear for walking and transferring provides traction and is much safer than going barefoot or wearing normal socks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81SslQsJyGL._SL1500_.jpg

 

Many socks and shoes are available with non-skid treads on the bottom to reduce slipping accidents. These Unisex Hospital and Homecare Socks pictured above are a good choice.  You also can find a wide variety of non-slip socks on Amazon.

 

For more safe shoe and slipper tips, read:  

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Shoes and Slippers for Swollen Feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lift Slings and Patient Body Lifts

 

 

 

 

Lift slings are used in conjunction with several caregivers or a body lift to move an elderly person who is unable to move themselves from bed to a wheelchair or chair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are 3 common reasons that caregivers may need a lift: if the elderly parent is too heavy to be transferred without assistance; to prevent injury to the caregiver; and to prevent the elderly person from injury or falling. 

 

Further Reading:

Patient Lifts and Slings for Safety and Comfort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Reading:

How to Care for Aging Parents by Virginia Morris, 3rd Edition

 

 

How to Care for Aging Parents, a One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial Housing, and Emotional Issues, is considered “the bible of eldercare”.  It is a clear, comforting source of advice for those who care for an elderly parent, relative, or friend.

This book is in it’s third edition, and fully updated with the most recent medical findings and recommendations. 

Read reviews.

 

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

The Right Lighting Prevents Falls

Shoes and Slippers for Swollen Feet

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

All About Grab Bars and Hand Rails for Safety

Install a Power Lift Toilet Seat for a Safer Bathroom

Shower Chair and Bath Bench Buying Guide

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

Should You Install Bed Rails?

Patient Lifts and Slings for Safety and Comfort

Caregivers Can Reduce the Risks from Heavy Lifting

Choosing the Right Medical Walker

How to Choose the Right Walking Cane

Help For Low Vision

Stop Alzheimer’s Wandering

Preparing For Your Hip Replacement Surgery

Studies Prove Blackcurrant Seed Oil Helps Arthritis

10 Simply Fabulous Arthritis Aids

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

 

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