A Reaching Aid Can Assist Daily Senior Independence

By The WellNest Company

Reaching aids are simple tools that are designed to provide an assistive device as an aid for the elderly and those with a disability. This allows the ability to enjoy independent living in their own home

Many times the smallest items, which can be the hardest to pick up, are made of metal. So some manufacturers wisely added a magnetic tip at the end the claws to make picking up small metal objects like coins, keys, and jewelry incredibly easy. Rather than attempting to pinch the object with the grabber claw, users only need to hover the built-in magnet over the item to pick it up. A magnetic tip is a very useful feature that should be considered when shopping for a reaching aid.

How heavy a reaching tool is plays a large part in its functionality. Steel and other heavy-duty materials may bolster durability, but they detract from its usability. Most seniors need a well-made, but lightweight, grabber tool that doesn’t require substantial arm strength to hold and operate. Aluminum and plastic are the ideal materials because they can be both durable and lightweight.

Most reaching tools have a two-finger pull trigger at the handle that operates the claw. The problem with a two-finger pull trigger is that it effectively splits the user’s hand in a way that reduces grip strength. It is very important that the grabber tool have a larger pull trigger that seniors can squeeze with their full hands. A full-hand pull trigger maximizes the hand strength, making the grabber tool more effective and ergonomic.

How this can help seniors:

As range of motion, balance, dexterity, vision, and muscle tone decline with age, maintaining a neat and tidy house is overwhelming to accomplish without some help. Too many tasks are simply outside of the abilities of those trying to age in place: lugging around a heavy vacuum, stretching arms to reach a light bulb, reaching under a table, etc.

Reaching aids can improve the quality of life for people with arthritis, hip, joint, or bone pain, or simply those people who find using a reaching device is easier, safer, and less strenuous, than bending over to pick something up.

Seniors may have difficulty reaching items in cabinets or that have fallen to the floor without the increased risk of injury. A reaching aid provides them with a tool to retrieve items at a greatly reduced risk of injury. Things that may not have been be unavailable to them previously.

Quick tips for ensuring a safer home for seniors:

Tip #1 – Eat healthy food regularly. A good diet is critical to long-term health. This includes having an emphasis on fruit and vegetables, along with whole grains.

Tip #2 – Stay active. Exercise is an important aspect of being healthy. Not only can it keep your weight in check, but it also helps to improve flexibility, reduce disease risk and help prevent falls.

Tip #3 – Have a lockbox. A lockbox is a way to store a spare key outside of your house. These use a combination lock, which you can give to people that you trust. 

Tip #4 – Keep lists of personal information and medications handy. The best place to do this is in your wallet or purse. The information is critical in any medical crisis, especially if you can’t communicate.

Check out the next article to find out about the importance of senior hydration.

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