We all want our aging relatives to be able to stay as independent as possible as they get older.
A loss of independence is one of the things that many seniors fear as they get older. Relying on others may make them feel like a burden and leave them feeling unhappy. However, the truth is that as people age, they often have trouble with household chores that can be difficult or dangerous because of age-related changes. Although older adults may tell their family members that everything is fine, and they don’t need help, depending on their physical and cognitive condition, some household chores can pose dangers for the elderly. Below are five household tasks that could cause injuries to aging adults.
Most vacuums are pretty heavy. And, if your aging relative is like many others, they are probably holding on to an older model that is even heavier than today’s lighter models. While vacuums are on wheels, there’s still sometimes a need to lift them around a piece of furniture or up a step. This could cause the senior to strain their back during lifting.
#2 Washing Floors
Although your aging relative may primarily clean kitchen and bathroom floors by mopping, it is still sometimes necessary to get on their hands and knees to thoroughly scrub floors and clean the corners. For someone with arthritic knees, hips, and hands, scrubbing floors can be painful and they may have difficulty getting up or down.
#3 Changing Lightbulbs
Changing a lightbulb usually requires standing on a chair or climbing a stepladder. For older adults with balance or mobility problems, this could lead to a dangerous fall, which may result in a serious injury.
If your aging relative is lucky, their laundry room is on the main floor. But, even if it is, lifting and carrying heavy laundry baskets might cause muscle strains.
Cooking involves using sharp knives and hot stoves. This can lead to cuts and burns even in younger adults. But, for seniors, the risk may be even greater since their hands are not as strong or agile. Dropping a heavy pot or slipping with a knife could cause serious burns and cuts.
The good news is that home care can help with all of these tasks. Home care providers can allow older adults to continue doing as much as they can for themselves but assist to ensure they don’t hurt themselves. A home care provider can clean with your aging relative, letting them help with tasks they are still capable of, like dusting or putting items away, so that they feel useful. But, a home care provider can do the tough stuff, like lugging a heavy vacuum, a laundry basket, or climbing up on a step-stool to change a lightbulb.