As we age, simple day-to-day tasks become harder. In this post, we go over some tips that you may not have thought of to help you continue to live with confidence.
Please try these techniques first with someone standing by to help in case you have any problems.
Balance while Pulling up your Pants
Ever feel like you’re going to fall forward while pulling up your pants with one hand
because you need to hang onto a bar to keep from falling?
Try standing 6-8 inches from the wall (with a bar to grab nearby).
Spread your feet 8 to 10 inches apart.
Lean your forehead against a wall to keep you steady.
You now have two hands to use to pull up your pants!
Setting the Breaks on a Walker
Does it sometimes feel like your walker moves a little even though you’ve set the breaks?
Try positioning the front wheels so that they aren’t pointing the same way or in the same direction as the back wheels (pointing forward at a 45-degree angle outward is optional).
(You may have to tip and jiggle the walker to get them to move.) Now, when your breaks are locked, the wheels are less likely to slide.
Using a Cane for More
Canes can be useful for more than walking. Try using a cane to:
Pull things forward on shelves
Close car doors by hooking the cane handle into the door handle and pulling the door towards the car. (Be careful not to pull directly towards yourself as the car door can push the cane into you.)
Pull something closed to you by hooking something that’s just out of reach.
Avoiding Slips in the Bathroom
Falling can lead to serious injury, so it is important to take steps to prevent falls especially on slippery floors.
In the shower and bathroom area, use pool/shower shoes and lay non-slip mats. It's also a good idea to install grab bars, but they must be properly installed to be safe. A bath bench can be used while showering to stay steady while showering.
Getting in/out of Cars
Using a step stool can be very useful for getting into and out of taller cars or pickups.
It is important that the step stool is very sturdy and has a tall handle to grab onto. Don't forget to watch your footing as you step on!
Picking Things Up Off the Floor
A Broom & Dustpan set is great for wheelchair users and those that can't reach down to pick up small things off of the floor.
A dustpan with a long handle can help you scoop up small things off the floor. We recommend that this broom and dustpan be separate than the broom and dustpan you use for cleaning so that you keep your items free from the dirty things that a broom typically picks up.
Grocery Shopping with a Walker
Navigating a grocery cart while using a walker can be tricky. Try this:
line the walker up behind the grocery cart
keep one hand on the walker and one hand on the center of the grocery cart handle
to turn, move the cart hand to the side away from the way you want to turn and push
leave the cart at the end of the aisle, gather things with the walker and bring them back to the cart
Can you think of any other tricks that help you? Let us know!
This blog post was written by Anna B. Good. Anna attended Nursing School and learned how to facilitate Respiratory Training. She enjoys training people in how to breathe and live a good life while aging. She has taken classes in home design and is continually searching the web for information on how people manage in the face of life changing events. She has always been interested in helping others help themselves. Now that she has some problems of her own, she likes to share ways that she’s found to get around some of them. One of her favorite mottos is, "Where there’s a will, there’s a way."
Please note that if you purchase any of the products in this article using the links provided, the Walla Walla Senior Center may earn a small commission. All proceeds go right back into the Senior Center and allow us to provide services, free of charge, to older adults in the Walla Walla Valley. Thank You!