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Thursday, July 27, 2017

5 Challenges Your Loved One Might Face and How to Overcome Them

Whether your loved one is elderly or has disabilities that limit her daily life, it's important to face the challenges that greet her head on. Falls are one of the worst things that can happen to your loved one and a little bit of attention and preparation can help to forestall them. Consider some of these challenges that your loved one might encounter and brainstorm some ways you can solve those difficulties quickly.

Trouble with Stairs

Stairs can be particularly dangerous for your loved one to manage. Having extra sturdy hand rails can help, but if your loved one doesn't feel that those are reliable enough, other alternatives are worth looking into. Something like an EasyClimber makes stairs effortless for your loved one. What helps even more is that you don't have to worry at all. Keep stairways clear of clutter and anything that could impede your loved one's progress and make sure that the entire stairway is well lit.

Difficulty with Knobs

If your loved one has arthritis or trouble with grip strength, then operating door knobs or even faucet knobs can be painful and sometimes even impossible. Switching out those knobs for levers is a fast and easy way to make a difference for your loved one. Your loved one can operate a lever with her wrist or elbow with far less effort. This works best for interior doors, of course. For exterior doors that still need knobs for security purposes, consider adding a door knob helper which squeezes down easily and allows the knob to turn more readily.

Trouble with Entrance Areas

Entrance areas can pose a special set of problems for your loved one. Assess the area thoroughly and look for anything that might give your loved one particular trouble, such as stairs or wobbly hand rails. Fix what you can correct, or consider adding additional assistance in the form of a ramp or an extra hand rail. Try to look at the area from your loved one's unique perspective. Something that is easy for you to navigate won't necessarily be simple for your loved one.

Making Room for Assistive Devices

One big problem that your loved one might run into is lack of room for the devices that she now needs to use regularly. Wheelchairs, walkers, and even canes need a little more leeway around them than you might think at first. If your loved one doesn't have enough room to maneuver safely in a doorway or hallway, you might need to consider modifications that give your loved one the room that she needs. Look for space in living areas, too. Rearranging furniture, even a little, can open up way more space than you realize.

Instability in the Shower

When your loved one is in the shower, she's at her most vulnerable. The first thing to do is to ensure that the floor of the shower stall or tub isn't slippery. You can do this with a non-slip shower mat inexpensively. You may also want to install grab bars. If your loved one has difficulty standing in the shower, a shower chair can help quite a bit. Consider also a shower head with a longer hose and handle to help your loved one to wash and rinse with greater ease.

Keeping your loved one safe at home might mean exploring different tools or methods to help correct existing issues. Revisit these solutions regularly to make sure they're still working for your loved one.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

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