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The best home products for senior citizens

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By Michelle Tako

Whether you are a senior yourself, or caring for an aging parent, the following ideas will help keep the tarnish off those golden years. Consider these helpful products and accessories that can be used around the house to make daily life easier and safer for senior citizens.

General

--Good lighting will make the home safer and easier to navigate for senior citizens. Along with providing sufficient overhead light, think of adding nightlights in bathrooms and hallways, reflective tape on light switches, and glow-in-the-dark stair treads, or small LED lights along the stairs.

--Slippery rugs are hazardous, so make them safer with non-slip mats or tape.

--Telephones are available with large buttons and sound amplification, making it much easier for anyone with reduced vision or hearing to stay in touch.

--Seat lifts are an easy and affordable solution for those having a difficult time getting up out of their chair, and remove the embarrassment of having to ask for assistance.

Bedroom

Arthritis and limited mobility can make getting in and out of bed difficult. One solution is to raise the bed, reducing the amount of bending required to get up or lay down.

--Plastic cone-shaped bed risers are available at most bed & bath stores, and slip easily under the bed's legs. Another useful aid is a bed rail or grip that fastens to the bed frame, and gives you a helpful hand in rising from the bed.

--Stiff and aching hands make dressing difficult. There are many products available to help with this daily task, including long shoehorns, hooks for pulling zippers or working buttons, even sock helpers to remove the frustration of pulling on hosiery. You can even find hooks for fastening bracelets and necklaces.

--A bedside clock with oversize, illuminated LED display, and big buttons for setting the alarm or hitting the snooze will be much appreciated, and get you up on time to walk the grandkids to school.

Bathroom

By far the most hazardous room in the house for falls and injury, there are several steps you can take to make the bathroom safer and easier for use by senior citizens.

--Non-slip bath mats are a must both inside and next to the tub. A heavy, foam mat will provide safety when stepping out of the bath, and there are many suction-backed mats available to make the inside of the tub slip-free.

--Rails and grips on the tub increase safety, and also make it easier to step in and out of the bath. Wall-mounted grips are sturdiest, but there are many available rails that clamp onto the tub side, if wall mounting is not an option.

--A shower bench or seat is a great solution for the person who has difficulty standing for long stretches of time, or just wants the extra security of sitting down in the shower.

--Toilet seat risers restore independence, and remove the embarrassment of having to ask for assistance in this personal area.

Kitchen

The kitchen can be tough on stiff or aching hands. Luckily, there are many products designed to make life easier, and return freedom in the kitchen.

--Look for everyday kitchen items with ergonomically designed, easy-hold handles. You can find oversize jar openers, reachers for stove and oven safety, holders to keep pans steady on the stovetop, and peelers, graters, and kitchen knives all specifically designed to be easy on weak or shaky hands.

--There are handy gadgets that will make you wonder how you lived without them, such as handles for heavy 2-liter bottles, finger guards to protect against accidents when using kitchen knives, and holders for tricky pill bottles.

--Eating can be enjoyable again with cutlery having oversize handles, or even clips or straps attaching them directly to the user's hand.

Hobbies/Leisure Time

Getting older doesn't mean hobbies and leisure time have to be a thing of the past. Stiffness or limited range of motion may be challenges, but there are solutions to keep the good times coming.

--Keep active in the garden with easy-grip trowels, garden shears, or garden forks. Wheeled garden caddies make it easier to bring yard tools to where you are working, and offer a handy seat when necessary.

--Hit the golf course with a handy attachment to pick up your golf ball without the need to bend over. A heavy, padded shoulder strap makes carrying the heavy golf bag easier and more comfortable.

--Holders for playing cards, decks with extra-large designs, and oversize dice make gaming easier again, and reduce eyestrain.

Whether you are not feeling quite as young as you used to, have frequent senior visitors to your home or are caring for an aging parent, there are many helpful products available to restore ease and enjoyment to daily life, and provide a helping hand when needed.

This article was originally posted on IdealHomeGarden.com

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