From tiny window cleaning robots to tap turners - how to make tasks easier for ageing parents at home
For an older parent, there are going to be various tasks around the home that become much more difficult to do, or even dangerous. When these tasks are everyday ones, it can become quite distressing for them, and could impact their feelings of independence and well-being. There are various life hacks and gadgets that can make their life a lot easier. Try these tips on how to make things easier for ageing parents at home.
Cooking and preparing meals
The kitchen can become a fairly dangerous place if your parent has become more frail. Lifting things and reaching for things may present a risk.
Being able to do things for yourself like open a jar; arthritis for example can make this extremely difficult. There are simple hacks your parent can do to open a stubborn jar lid.
There are various gadgets that can make life easier and safer in the kitchen. Chopping machines can be useful for someone with arthritis or with one hand out of action. You can get a pan handle holder so that a pan will stay steady on the hob while stirring.
Taps can become harder to use so a simple tap turner device can be added to make it much easier.
Eating and drinking
Arthritis or being more frail can impede your ageing parent’s ability to grip and lift items. A glass of water for example, can be heavy and slippy if it is cold. Your parent can try simply putting elastic bands around the glass so that there is better grip.
Many older parents enjoy several cups of tea a day, but if the kettle is too heavy or awkward to handle, they might benefit from a kettle cradle. This is a device that enables you to simply tip the kettle to the cup, rather that having to lift it and pour. This can prevent injury from burning or scalding.
If your parent is losing their sight, you can buy level indicators that make a sound when you have filled up your cup.
Gardening is a healthy activity and it would be a shame to have to stop when a few good gadget can help. Getting a garden kneeler that has arms for assisting with getting up and down, ensures your parent can still potter about in the garden. Easy grip and long handled gardening tools can also be acquired.
Shopping can be assisted by using the internet and online grocery store shopping, however it’s often nice and healthier to get out of the home and go to the shops. Carrying shopping can be difficult, if not impossible when you are older so shopping bags with wheels can assist greatly.
Online shopping can help to get in any items that are heavier or more bulky to handle. Often, you are able to ask the delivery person to put the bags in a specific place for you and this enables to choose to have them placed near to where the items will be stored.
Household chores can be made incredibly easy these days with household robotic devices and remote controlled ones that clean your windows, or vacuum the floors. It’s worth checking the latest technology for these types of things.
Something your parent may not wish to discuss openly is how they are coping with washing and personal care. It may be that you ask how they are coping with these things. Read our guide on talking to ageing parents about help for advice on how to have these conversations.
Their limbs may not be as flexible or strong, pain caused by arthritis, or general frailty can reduce their ability to complete some personal care routines.
Brushing hair for example can become harder. You can get easy grip brushes, and brush extension handles to help with this.
There are various dressing aids to help with buttons, zips and putting on shoes. There are also gadgets that can help while using the toilet such as a bottom wiper, and things to help with washing, like a sponge on a stick for easy reach or a bath lift. Having a non-slip shower stool can help your ageing parent relax in the shower without getting tired too quickly, as well as reducing the risk of a fall.
Your parent’s needs will more than likely change as they age. An ageing parent may not wish to admit it when things are getting more difficult for them. You can approach this encouragingly by letting them know that you can help if they are having trouble.
Finding ways of retaining as much independence as possible will help your ageing parents to feel more in control of their lives.