Age in place

Top 20 Products to Help You Age in Place

For You : From Mobile Rehab Physical Therapy

Top 20 Products to Help You Age in Place

Do you think you already know about all the gadgets and tools to help you age in place comfortably? Well, hold onto your socks because I think you’ll find many helpful new products in this list that you didn’t already know about!

  • Mobility aids such as canes, walkers, and wheelchairs

Many seniors complain they are not ready for a mobility aid, but I would argue that their perspective is wrong. A mobility aid keeps you safe so you can stay independent, keep functioning, and get the activity needed to improve or maintain your function. Experiencing a fall will only set you back farther.

I reviewed all of the different types of walkers in this Guide to Choosing the Best Walker.

There are also MANY options available in canes, in case you want something to express your personality more than a cane from the local corner store (which isn’t bad either!)

Here are some options for different styles of canes

Wheelchairs come in two main varieties, transport chairs (with 4 small wheels), and pushchairs (with larger rear wheels for pushing). Transport chairs are designed for a caregiver to push the person in the chair. They can also fold up smaller for easy transport in a car. Push style wheelchairs require more upper body strength to propel. The more expensive models tend to be lighter, which makes propulsion easier. Other things to consider are doorway width, ramps, and thresholds, to make sure it won’t be too difficult to use the wheelchair in the home.

  • Shower and bath benches or chairs

The shower and bath can be very dangerous places for people with poor balance and strength. Shower benches help to make bathing safer by reducing the energy and balance needed to get through bathing. Having a fall in the shower is not only dangerous, but poses additional challenges for the person trying to get help. So it’s best to take extra precautions here.

Here are some options for bath benches.

  • Grab bars and handrails

Grab bars and railings can be VERY helpful in entryways and bathroom areas. Consider putting grab bars in showers, near tubs, and beside toilets. Look for one that is sturdy when attached and easy to clean. Remember, they need to be mounted to studs, so hire a professional if you are not familiar with doing this.

Here are some options for grab bars

  • Raised toilet seats

Toilets can be difficult to transfer on and off of due to their lower height and lack of arms to hold onto. Using a raised toilet seat can alleviate these issues.

Here are some options for raised toilet seats

  • Non-slip bath mats and shower treads

Returning to the bathroom, another way to avoid slips in the shower is with a simple bath mat. Don’t forget to pick them up and give them a cleaning now and then!

Here are some options for non-slip bath mats

  • Stair lifts or chair lifts

Stair lifts aren’t cheap, but they are definitely less expensive than moving to a new house and can add a lot more safety and independence for those who need them. 

Here are some options for chair lifts

  • Motion-sensor lights

Motion sensing lights are important for people of all ages. They are inexpensive, super simple to use and greatly increase your safety when walking around at night. This one is a no-brainer. Buy some now.

Here are some options for motion sensing lights

  • Smart home technology such as voice-activated assistants and home monitoring systems

This is an interesting way to use new technology such as Alexa or Google Assistant. These devices are low priced and can offer a way for seniors to call for help if they can’t reach the phone, or to do other tasks, such as answering the phone if they aren’t close to one, or getting reminders for daily tasks.

Here are some options for Alexa devices

  • Lever door handles

You might not realize how challenging door knobs are until you develop arthritis or have slick hands for any reason. Lever door handles are sooo much easier to use and relatively easy to install.

Here are some options for lever door handles

  • Emergency alert systems

I’m sure you’ve heard of paid subscription emergency alert devices (ie. “help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up…”), but did you know there are many that do not require a subscription? There are MANY options available at all price points, so take a look. Be sure to look at what frequency it uses (long range cellular vs short range wireless) and if there are monthly fees or not.

Here are some options for emergency alert devices

  • Adjustable beds

It used to be that you might rent a hospital bed for home. Now, however, you can order nice beds with adjustable head and feet options online! There are also simple, inexpensive solutions to raise up beds to make them easier to get in and out of.

Here are some options for adjustable beds

Here are some options for bed risers

  • Recliners with built-in lift mechanisms

A lift chair can make it easy to get up and out, while also providing a comfortable recliner. Many patients have reported sleeping in lift chairs, if they have trouble lying down. Be sure not to buy a lift chair before you need it, though. It’s good exercise to get in and out of chairs on your own as long as you safely can.

Here are some options for lift chairs 

  • Home security systems with video surveillance

In-home video cameras are now much less expensive and easier to use than ever. They can help show who is at the front door so you don’t have to get up. They can also be a way for families to keep an eye on loved ones when they are away. Many offer night-vision, as well as two way speaker phone communication. We are living in the future 🙂

Here are some options for video surveillance systems

  • Medication management systems

A medication management system is a more comprehensive approach to medication management than a pill dispenser. It includes features that help you track your medications, set reminders, and even connect with your doctor.

A medication management system can include features such as:

  • A way to track your medications, including the name, dosage, and frequency of each medication.
  • A way to set reminders for when to take your medications.
  • A way to connect with your doctor to discuss your medication needs.
  • A way to generate reports on your medication use.

Here are some examples of medication management systems designed for home use:

  • Reaching aids to avoid bending and stretching

If you have trouble bending forward due to lack of flexibility or dizziness, a reaching aid can help you pick up objects without risking falling over. They are simple to use and inexpensive.

Here are some options for reaching aids

  • Lightweight and easy-to-grip kitchen utensils

I think everyone could benefit from using easy-to-grip tools and utensils. Don’t wait until you have joint problems to consider these helpful tools. As a matter of fact, designs that used to be only for people with arthritis have trickled down into many popular brands, such as OXO and are now mainstream.

Here are some options for easy-to-grip kitchen utensils

  • Electronic pill dispensers 

Electronic pill dispensers are devices that can dispense medications at pre-programmed times. They can be a valuable tool for people who take multiple medications or who have difficulty remembering to take their medications.

Here are some of the benefits of using an electronic pill dispenser:

  • Improved medication adherence: Studies have shown that electronic pill dispensers can help people to improve their medication adherence. This is because the dispensers provide visual and auditory reminders to take medications, and they prevent people from forgetting to take their medications.
  • Reduced risk of medication errors: Electronic pill dispensers can help to reduce the risk of medication errors. This is because the dispensers dispense the correct medications in the correct doses at the correct times.
  • Increased peace of mind: Electronic pill dispensers can give people peace of mind knowing that their medications are being taken on time and in the correct doses. This can be especially helpful for caregivers who are responsible for managing the medications of loved ones.

Here are some options for pill dispensers 

  • Hearing aids and amplifiers

Lower prices, improved styling, no need for prescriptions… There are so many options available now for people with difficulty hearing! Don’t get stuck asking everyone to repeat themselves. Also, don’t allow a loved one to withdraw just because they have difficulty hearing. Either go to an audiologist or give some of these a try!

Here are some options for hearing aids and amplifiers

  • Adjustable height showerheads

Handheld and adjustable shower heads can make shower time easier by directing the water where and when you need it and getting it out of your eyes, if you are using a shower bench.

Here are some options for adjustable height showerheads

  • Medical alert jewelry (e.g. bracelets, necklaces)

If you have medical needs that emergency responders need to know about, medical alert jewelry is a good way to let them know if you are not able to communicate with them. 

Another way to communicate medical needs in emergencies while at home is the The Vial of Life Lifesaving Kit.

Also consider Knox boxes. They are emergency key holders that mount to your house and are accessible by first responders with keys that only they have. It can save precious time (and avoid breaking your door) in an emergency.

Here are some options for medical alert jewelry

I hope you learned about some new items and found this list as helpful as I did! Mobile Rehab provides home safety evaluations covered by insurance for those with balance and mobility issues. Contact us today to learn how we can help in your situation.

Mobile Rehab provides in-home physical therapy. Our experienced physical therapists create personalized treatment plans, tailored to the specific needs and abilities of the patient.