The arthritis industry has some simple aids to help seniors with everyday tasks that can benefit residents in your assisted living home.
One of the most frightening nightmares people have is being unable to move. Some have reported being stuck without any strength or ability to mobilize themselves.
Fear and terror grips the immobile because they are seriously vulnerable, seriously helpless, and seriously dependent upon the mercy of caregivers.
Imagine this nightmare creeping upon you insidiously over a decade or two – this nightmare is called arthritis.
HOW ARTHRITIS AFFECTS SENIOR LIVING
Arthritis can make activities of daily living unbearable, if not impossible. Arthritis is diagnosed in two major forms: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Regardless of the version, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis affects nearly 50% of adults over the age of 65.
As a result, seniors in residential assisted living are frequently diagnosed with some form of arthritis.
Over 3 million new cases of osteoarthritis are diagnosed in America annually.
Osteoarthritis deteriorates flexible tissue at the ends of bones, called cartilage, and worsens over time.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a different beast from the same jungle.
This variant is an autoimmune condition where inflammation in one of more of the joints occurs causing extreme pain and stiffness. This inflammation triggers an immune response that attacks the joints causing deterioration of cartilage.
The nightmare seems to manifest in frequency and intensity with age.
The insidious process can take away one’s ability to button a shirt, write a thank you note, rise quickly from a chair, stand long enough to prepare a simple meal, make holding a carton of orange juice impossible, and in extreme cases completely immobile.
However, seniors in residential assisted living homes still want their independence.
They recognize that independence may not look or feel the same as it did during their younger years, but they want some version, regardless of this debilitating diagnosis.
Seniors want to live a meaningful life, not just exist. The ability to do simple basic activities of daily living raises self-esteem and has shown most effective in enhancing mood.
How can independence be preserved in the wake of such a painfully debilitating diagnosis?
To this end, the following are useful and inexpensive arthritis products have been found to be very effective in aiding residents with their independence in the wake of an arthritis diagnosis.
TEN EASY-TO-USE ARTHRITIS AIDS ON AMAZON
1. $7 Zipper pull and button hook: This nifty device aids residents in their ability to button shirts and close zippers without assistance.
2. $10 Sock aid: This tool aids seniors in simply putting socks on their feet. How? It eliminates the needs to bend over and do the task. “Kinda cool, huh?”
3. $8 Lamp switch turner: This product enlarges the switch making the toggle switch for a lamp easy to work.
4. $12 Foam tubing: Foam tubing makes nearly any utensil or tool easier to grip. Reviews from Amazon overwhelmingly state how helpful foam tubing is with eating utensils, toothbrushes, hair brushes, pens, pencils, tools, etc.
5. $9 Writing grips: These egg-shaped grips help one grip pencils and pens making letter writing, signing checks or writing thank-you notes more comfortable.
6. $6 Universal knob turner: This creative device makes using small knobs on stovetops, microwaves, dishwashers, or washing machines possible.
7. $20 Automatic jar opener: Can’t get the Strawberry Jam open? What about the pickle jar? This handy automatic jar opener takes the typical hand and muscle strength necessary to open jars out of the equation.
8. $9 Key holder: Keys can be tricky for those without arthritis. Imagine having restricted movement in your hands and attempting to grasp and operate keys. This trinket makes keys easier to grip and operate. Unlocking doors will not be so difficult with this device.
8. $9 EZ Doorknob grips: These door grips magically transform slippery, hard-to-turn knobs into something you can easily grip or even open with just a finger or elbow. So, the next time it’s raining outside and your hands are swollen, opening doors will still be possible.
Independence is a reality for many seniors living with arthritis in residential assisted living homes.
Caregivers should be made aware of easy-to-use aids that assist seniors to perform basic activities of daily living with limited pain and discomfort.
Being able to do basic activities of daily living can be achieved with a few accommodations and a positive outlook.
Living is more than breathing, eating and drinking. It is active engagement with friends, especially new ones found in a safe, reliable setting. That’s why residential assisted living is such an important part of our communities; safe homes that care for aging seniors.
THE BEST TIPS FOR SENIORS AND RESIDENTIAL ASSISTED LIVING HOMES
The Residential Assisted Living National Association (RALNA) provides information, resources and support for RAL home owners, operators and staff.
RALNA provides the kind of support that empowers owners and operators to administer quality senior care that enables residents to live engaged, independent and healthy lifestyles.
Visit: www.RALNA.org to learn more.
RALNA advocates for residential assisted living business owners and operators supporting them with legal expertise, continued education, national marketing, group purchasing power and a continual positive voice for the industry.