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Make Everyday Living Easier

Sounds simple, right? But we don’t always know how accomplish this. Start by making a list of the activities that are difficult—and potentially dangerous—like reaching for items on a high shelf, dialing a phone number when it’s hard to see the numbers and, especially crucial, remembering to take medication. Now investigate the tools that make those tasks easier. To reach occasional items that just can’t be made more accessible, a reacher that grabs is one option; a more secure foot stool with a handle for better balance is another. Telephones with oversized numbers and amplified ringers help in both making and getting calls. Taking medicine is more complicated. Start with a better mousetrap—make that pillbox. There are so many choices available for under $10 that allow you to divide each day’s pills in four separate doses. When a pillbox isn’t enough of a reminder, consider various intervention options. Though hard for time-challenged family members, designating a different family member to call at a set time each day is a low-tech, no cost option. Telecare system services that monitor loved ones can include daily reminders—and the telecare representative will actually watch to make sure the pills are taken each time the video call is made. Home health aides, often under the direction of a geriatric care manager, may be hired to stop in as often as necessary.