Seniors frequently experience body aches and pains, causing physical limitations as they age. This limits what they can do daily and reduces their capability to be independent at home. In many of my house visits, I noticed the seniors having difficulty walking from one room to another, or being unable to stand for long periods of time when doing house chores. Sometimes, seniors would also confide in me on feeling lousy about themselves as they are discouraged by their physical limitations.
To help seniors to gain more independence in their homes, many user-friendly products have been developed in the market to cater to their physical needs.
1. Bath Seats
For seniors who are unable to stand for long periods to take a bath, bath seats can be placed in the bathroom to bathe at their own comfort. Other useful areas include arm bars for support, chair legs with rubber grips for stability on the wet ground and an adjustable backrest height.
2. Grab Bars
Grab bars are useful and essential for any senior at home. They can be placed anywhere from the bedroom, to toilets and the kitchen, providing seniors a secure support to hold on to when walking around the home. In terms of material, I would prefer the plastic kind with patterned grips for a better hold, compared to metal bars which may be slippery if wet hands are holding it.
Additionally, these bars can also be placed outside the home near the gate, so that seniors who are entering into their homes can hold onto it while taking off their shoes.
3. Anti-slip floor mats
Many of the floor mats used at home are usually made of cloth and placed outside the main home door or toilet door to wipe the feet. To make things safer at home for seniors, anti-slip floor mats are recommended to be placed on the toilet floor, or around areas where seniors usually sit and stand up often. This helps them to stabilize their feet on the ground and prevent falls.
4. Mobility Walking Aids
5. Pill Organizer
For seniors who have the strength to walk around the house but unable to do so for long periods, mobility walking aids can help to alleviate some of the pressure. They can hold onto the handles to lift themselves up when sitting and walking, with the front wheels helping to push them forward and legs equipped with rubber grips. It is useful to note that some walking aids have wheels that only allow the user to lift and go back and forth, so it may be beneficial to find walking aids with wheels that allow 360 degrees rotation as well depending on the user.
In my visits, I have encountered seniors who have brought home large packs of medication from polyclinics or hospitals and leave them in the plastic bags. This can be risky for seniors who tend to be forgetful in taking medication and may overtake the required dose, or relying on family members at home frequently to monitor their medication intake. For seniors living alone especially, they would tend to rely on their memory.
A simple healthcare product such as a weekly pill organizer has separate compartments for each day of the week which will help to remind the senior which medication needs to be taken. Other more expensive versions can include an alarm reminder as well or for more specific needs. I recommend it to be placed at areas of the home which is usually accessed and seen by the senior.
Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF)
For seniors who may not be able to afford products such as the above, the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) by AIC provides holistic support for seniors to age in place within the community by extending subsidies to Singaporean seniors:
- Requiring mobility and assistive devices for daily independent living and to remain ambulant in the community
- Receiving government funded home care and care within the community, needing home healthcare items for their care
SMF subsidies are available to apply under assistive devices and home healthcare items and you may refer to this link for more information: Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund | Agency for Integrated Care (aic.sg)
Helping Other Seniors In Need
While some seniors have these products installed in their homes due to receiving assistance from social service organizations or volunteers, there are also many seniors out there who require such products but may go unnoticed or are unable to afford them.
If you know of any senior who may require such products, do feel free to approach us for recommendations or referral for assistance.
Credit to InHealth Solutions: https://www.inhealth.com.sg/post/user-friendly-products-to-aid-seniors-independence-at-home