With the average lifespan increasing more and more every decade and people living for much longer, there has been an increase in the number of aids that are available for the elderly.
As we age, our health declines. Despite modern-day medicine advancing and providing new medications and therapies, we aren’t yet at the stage where we can completely prevent the common symptoms of aging.
Most people experience physical or cognitive decline at some point in their elderly life. They begin to lose their hearing or vision, they find it harder to climb the stairs, and they require help with their day-to-day activities.
No older person wants to feel dependent on others. Being able to do the things that you’ve always done without needing additional help can be empowering to older adults.
Sometimes support from others is necessary for older individuals to keep them safe and free of injuries. But alongside care from family members or professional carers, there are lots of amazing aids that are now available to make life easier for older adults.
Using these aids can give them as much independence as possible by enabling them to do more things for themselves. They can rely less on the help of others and, instead, can live independently, regardless of their age.
Here are four of the best aids for the elderly.
1. Hearing Aids
Loss of hearing is a common problem in old age. Over time, the ability to hear properly decreases, and this results in partial or complete hearing loss.
In age-related hearing loss, the first thing to happen is the loss of the ability to perceive high-frequency sounds. Older adults might notice that they can’t hear the birds chirping, or they struggle to hear whistles or bells.
There isn’t much that can be done to prevent age-related hearing loss, but there are aids that can be provided for older adults to improve their hearing. The best hearing aids can be used to increase the ear’s ability to perceive sound waves of all frequencies.
Hearing aids are becoming more sophisticated over the years, and there is doubt that the next few decades will see huge advancements in this technology. In severe cases, a cochlear impact can be used, which is a small electronic device that stimulates the cochlear nerve. It implants externally and internally.
2. Handrails and Ramps
Osteoporosis refers to the decrease in bone mineral density, and it causes the bones to become brittle. When the bones lose density, they break more easily.
The incidence of osteoporosis increased with age due to changes in bone metabolism and hormone levels. When an older adult with osteoporosis falls over, they are at an increased risk of fractures.
Falls are one of the most common causes of mortalities in older adults, with millions of people losing their lives due to fall-related injuries. Most of these fatalities are due to the fractures that occurred during the fall.
So, taking every step possible to reduce the risk of falls is vital to reducing fatalities and improving the independence of the elderly. Handrails are a great option to help older adults feel more comfortable and confident moving around their homes.
Handrails are easy and cost-effective to install. The older adult can grip onto the rail to keep them upright and stable, reducing the risk of falls and helping them to retain as much independence as possible.
Ramps are another great way to reduce the risk of falls in the home. Older adults can often trip over steps in and around their properties, and this can lead to falls and injuries.
Installing ramps over every step can make moving around the home much easier. Both indoor and outdoor ramps can be used to increase safety for older adults, whether they’re moving from room to room or going outdoors.
For elderly adults who have very limited mobility and must use either a walking frame or a wheelchair, ramps are essential. When they feel safe around their home, they will gain confidence in their abilities to remain independent.
3. Fall Alarms
As mentioned above, falls are a common concern for the elderly. Many older adults are fearful of falling and, as a result, they are less willing to go outside or walk around their homes.
Fall alarms, sometimes called medical alarms or fall detectors, are medical devices that can be attached to clothing. They sense tension and emit a loud noise if stretched. So, when an older adult falls to the ground, the alarm will get pulled down, activating the alarm and alerting anybody nearby.
When an older adult has a fall alarm, they might feel more confident in moving around and doing activities that they once loved. The fall alarm gives them a safety net and peace of mind knowing that they can quickly get help if they fall to the ground.
Some sophisticated fall alarms have a two-way communication system built into the device. The alarm connects to emergency services when it gets activated, and the older adult can communicate directly with medical professionals to get immediate help.
Commode chairs are portable toilets. They are used to help those with limited mobility, disabilities, or injuries that make it difficult for them to use a normal toilet.
Commodes contain a concealed bucket-like area that captures any urine or feces and can be removed and cleaned. They are wheeled chairs that can be quickly transported around to make toilet trips easier for older adults.
Most commodes can be adjusted in height to make getting in and out of the chair as easy as possible for the elderly individual. They reduce the risk of falls when mobility is limited or when the person is too weak to sit on a lower toilet seat.