9 Great Life Hacks for Seniors

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Imagine the things that you do every day as a part of your normal routine. Getting dressed, showering, fixing meals, and running errands.

For a senior, simple acts like taking the lid off a jar can be daunting tasks that cause frustration and sometimes pain. As we get older, some everyday activities can become more challenging. This might be due to reduced mobility, health problems, or memory decline.

That’s why we have compiled 9 simple, but useful, tips and tricks for seniors to make it easier to accomplish daily activities and reduce the risk of accidents or injury.

Why Life Hacks and Useful Tips for Seniors?

According to a 2014 report, 29 percent of people over the age of 65 reported receiving help with taking care of themselves or getting around in the previous month. Another 20 percent reported that they had difficulty carrying out these activities on their own.

Read on for some creative “hacks” using inexpensive household objects that may work better than high-tech gadgets.

1. Susan to the rescue

It can be tough for older adults to reach items in the back of the refrigerator or cupboard.

Make items more accessible by adding a Lazy Susan (turntable) to shelves so that you can rotate it to bring what you need to the front. Vitamins, beauty products, and condiments will be at your fingertips!

@doitonadimeofficialFix your life from the Dollar Tree #dollartree #organizedhome #organizedkitchen #organizehacks #fyp #doitonadime♬ original sound – Do It On A Dime

2. Feeling is better than seeing

Raised stickers work great for older adults who may have vision problems or have trouble feeling the small buttons on a remote-control device or phone, etc.

In addition – if it makes sense, you can paint these stickers with a bright colored nail polish.

3. Get A Better Grip

If holding smaller objects like pens or toothbrushes or cutlery is difficult – wrapping foam grips around the handle can help your get a better grip. Another great option?  Good old fashioned foam curlers.

There are many jar openers on the market, depending on your challenge.  For those who have trouble gripping a tight lid, head to the dollar or hardware store for a roll of non-slip shelf liner. Cut a square large enough to wrap over a typical jar to prevent your fingers sliding on the jar or the lid.

Have trouble holding your cup? Simple rubber bands can be wrapped around cups and mugs to make them easier to grip.

Foam rollers used as a holder on fork and toothbrush

4. A Little Shower Safety

Soap is notoriously slippery when wet and could easily slip out of your older adult’s hands and fall to the tub or shower floor. This is a dangerous falling hazard as well as inconvenient.

Here are some was stop this from happening:

  • Cut the top off one leg of a pair of pantyhose. Put the bar of soap into the foot and tie the top end of the leg to the shower head or a handy grab bar.
  • Use a liquid soap instead placed in a wall mounted dispenser. This is a great way to keep your shower organized and eliminate the need for a bar of soap.
  • Soap on a Rope has gone mainstream and is now available from a wide variety of retailers.

If you aren’t already living in an ASC retirement home, make sure that you have grab bars in the bathroom for safety.

5. Clothing Hacks for Seniors

For button wearers. If arthritis, stroke, or other injury is making it difficult to manipulate buttons, a button hook will make your life easier.

Making zippers senior friendly. Put a key ring on your zipper – this should make it easier for you to pull your zipper up and down.

Plan ahead with pants. Put your belt in your trousers before you put them on. It’s far less fiddly when you don’t have to thread it through the belt loops behind your back.

6. Help Finding Your Remote

Remote on a rope? Remotes are one of the most commonly misplaces items with some research supporting the notion that you will spend two weeks of your life looking for your remotes. For a fool-proof way to never lose a remote, glue one end of a string to the end of the remote and fasten the other end to your sofa or chair. It may look odd, but this remote leash will ensure it never goes missing again.

You can also try using Velcro strips to stick it somewhere memorable, like the coffee table or the side of an armchair.

Apps can help you remember important appointments

7.  Making Games Easier for Older Adults

If holding on to cards is making it difficult to keep up your leisure interest, make your own card holder. Simply flip an ice cube tray upside down and prop the cards between the cubes.

8. Stop Fumbling with Keys

Get colored covers for the tops of your keys so you can easily identify which key goes to which door. For example, blue for the front door, green for the inside garage door and so forth.

Alternatively, paint a dot on your keys with nail polish to help you remember which one is which. Instead of trying 10 different keys to get into the house, you will know exactly which one to use.

9. Reduce home hazards.

Rugs are a falls risk for older people. If you don’t want to get rid of them entirely, alternatively, secure them to the floor with double-sided carpet tape. And don’t forget to securely tape down any extension cords and trailing wires, or use cable ties to keep them all together. This will reduce trip risks and any electrical hazards. It also looks neater than leaving cables to trail across the floor.

Round out sharp furniture corners to prevent injury. Counters, coffee tables, or nightstands with sharp corners could be an injury waiting to happen. Soften those corners by adding stick-on corner guards or mouldable putty that dries into rubber.

Making Life Easier in Retirement

Retirement residence garden with seniors sitting under a gazebo and big blue sky
Summerwood Retirement Residence, Sherwood Park, AB

You’re never too old, or young, to learn new tricks! Share these simple tips for living your best life in retirement with your loved ones – they perfect for anyone who wants help optimizing their activities of daily living.

If your aging parent needs additional help, we have independent and assisted living communities where your loved ones needs will always be supported.  To help ensure the well being of all residents, we have trained staff on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Whether you are looking for an exclusive retirement community in Calgary, like our Sage Hill residence, or retirement homes in Ottawa, our senior housing encourage an active and vibrant lifestyle, with each new state-of-the-art facility being built to the highest standards of quality in design, features and services.  Contact us today to find out more.

Writer – Julianna McLeod

Julianna is a health and wellness expert at All Seniors Care. Her mission is to create content that empowers older adults to form sustainable solutions for lasting health and happiness. She is an experienced writer, editor, and Recreational Therapist living in Toronto.

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