Living your best life as an older adult can mean facing and overcoming challenges big and small. Our aging bodies may lose a bit of mobility and flexibility, but that doesn't mean seniors can't enjoy social activities and many other events. It also doesn't mean you have to stop living independently or give up on things you enjoy doing.
What it does mean is that you might have to put new tips and tricks to work throughout your life to make things easier. Start with the tips below, and look for ways you can add convenience and ease to your life in other areas.
Reaching into cabinets and refrigerators can be difficult for older adults who may have mobility issues. And even if you still have plenty of reach left, digging through the clutter at the back of a shelf can just be time-consuming and tedious. Lazy Susans let you organize your items and quickly rotate through them to find what you want.
Speaking of clutter, it can add up over time, and older adults may have had plenty of years to rack up the stuff. If you're planning to downsize to an assisted living community soon, you may know you need to declutter. But even if you're not, decluttering can be a way to refresh your space and make it more enjoyable to live in.
It can be hard to know what items you don't need or use anymore. Making these decisions based on emotions can be confusing and cause you to keep things you feel like you might want but that you don't ever use.
Instead, use a simple sticker system to identify what you really use. Put small sticks (like the dots you might use to price things at a yard sale) on things. When you use an item, take the sticker off. After a few months, you can easily see what you don't use because it still has a sticker on it.
You can use this tip to declutter your closet, bathroom, home office and kitchen.
If you have trouble gripping items that might be slick or smooth, quickly add a bit of texture by wrapping them with rubber bands. Wrap a couple of rubber bands around a toothbrush or hairbrush handle or a pen, for example, to make a quick, soft rubber grip. You can also use rubber bands to add grip to glasses, cups, mugs and eating utensils.
Cut off a leg from a pair of pantyhose and slip your favorite bar soap inside. Tie the other end to the bar in your shower. This keeps slippery soap from falling to the floor of the shower where it can be a tripping hazard and hard to find (especially if you have trouble bending down to reach things on the floor).
Invest in an oversize remote with large buttons and numbers if you have trouble seeing the numbers on smaller models. You can get a universal remote of this type that can be programmed to control your television, cable box and DVD player for added simplicity.
Grip strength can wane as we age, and that can make stubborn jars especially frustrating to deal with. Part of the problem can be that your skin slips on the jar lid, making it hard to apply a lot of good pressure. Slipping on a pair of rubber gloves can be a good way to get better grip and open jars you might otherwise struggle with.
If you have keys to various parts of your house, your car and other doors, color code them with a tiny dot of paint. Match the color to the actual color of doors if you can. If you have a red car, put a red dot on the key. If you have a blue door, put a blue dot. If that doesn't work, simply pick colors for each door that you can memorize. When you're trying to open a door, you won't have to try half your key ring before you get in. This also minimizes the chances that you break a key off in a lock because it's not the right one.
This simple tip makes getting dressed a lot easier, especially if you struggle with balance or mobility in your arms and hands. Put your belt through the loops of your pants when you're not wearing the pants. Don't buckle it, though. Put your pants on as normal and buckle the belt.
Avoid having to sift through couch cushions or reach for things that have fallen to the floor by using Velcro-style strips. Put one on the wall or table and another on the item in question, such as the remote. When you're not using the remote, you can attach it securely in place so you'll know exactly where it is later.
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