Planning to grow old in your family home? Or perhaps you’re wanting to make your parents more comfortable? There’s more to think about when making your home functional for aging in place than just the big-ticket items like walk-in tubs, stair lifts, and ramps. Take a look at the small things that are becoming a bother, too. Those little irritating issues can often be dealt with by using household items or inexpensive additions.
From slippery door handles to inexpensive nightlights, these home hacks that help seniors can help you or your parents age in place more comfortably without a big price tag!
Home Hacks That Help Seniors
When you’re scanning the house with an eye to aging in place, you look at the big things like lighting, mobility, bathroom safety, and fall hazards.
But many small things – not being able to function day-to-day – also can send people to assisted living or nursing care.
That’s where hacks come in – those simple, low-tech solutions using common household items — to deal with seemingly minor daily inconveniences and troubles that seniors face.
Here are 6 creative hacks to try:
- Sugru (https://sugru.com): Slippery doorknobs can be difficult to operate if you have hand and wrist problems. Wrap Sugru (the product feels like Play-Doh and sticks to glass, wood, metal, and plastic and becomes a durable silicone rubber after 24 hours) around a door knob to create more grip. http://www.instructables.com/id/CHILD-FRIENDLY/step4/4-Door-knob-hack
- Rope lights: Place rope lights under cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens to light the way and make it safer to get around at night. http://www.dumpaday.com/genius-ideas-2/simple-ideas-that-are-borderline-genius-24-pics-6/attachment/night-light-for-kids/
- Sponge hair rollers: If you have arthritis, slide sponge hair rollers or cylindrical foam around hard-to-grip items like utensils and toothbrushes.
- Frozen sponge: Put a soaked kitchen sponge into a Ziploc bag and then into the freezer. It turns into an icepack that won’t leak as it thaws. It’s also reusable.
- Pizza cutter: Use a pizza roller to cut up lettuce for a salad.
- String: Use pieces of string or a key ring to create zipper pulls that are easier to reach and operate. (http://www.guidancehc.com/1325-2). Sugru works well too.