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Useful Tools for Caregivers





Caring for the elderly comes with its unique share of problems. Having a supply of useful tools on hand means a safer, easier experience in caregiving. 



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What tools do you need? Just like owning strollers and baby gates helps parents care better for young children, having a few pieces of safety gear can relieve a lot of stress and bring peace of mind to you and your elderly loved one. 


Items that help the elderly maintain mobility and independence during their daily activities can improve their emotional well-being. 


Check out these basic tools that could make your caregiving tasks much easier! 




Elevated Toilet Seats


These provide several inches of extra height to a regular toilet seat. Your loved one can sit and stand without having to bend their knees so far. 


Toilet Bars


There are a few different styles that fit to your toilet. They provide a good, sturdy support for both sitting and standing. Excellent choice if the toilet is located too far from a wall to make regular grab bars impractical. 


Shower Chairs


A bath or shower chair allows seniors to sit safely in the shower without tiring. These are affordable, and easy to keep clean. They are also small enough to store out of the way when not in use. 

A good shower chair can also alleviate hygiene issues. When a elder feels safe, they are less likely to cooperate with showering. 


Back Brushes


Many people use these, but forget that they can be incredibly helpful to the elderly. A long-handled scrub brush can allow them to wash their back, feet, and legs without having to twist or bend (reducing the risk of falling.) 


Easy Grip Nail Clippers


These are designed with wider handles that don't slip as easily as standard small clippers. Not only are they easier for the elderly to use themselves, they are easier for caregivers to use too, which can make nail trimming faster and safer (a plus if it agitates your loved one). 


Waterproof Mattress Bags


These are a must when dealing with incontinence. They also protect mattresses from food and drink spills if your loved one eats in bed. 


Not only are you protecting the mattress, you are preventing the build-up of potential bacteria, and putting a barrier between the elderly and dust-mites. 


Safety Latches and Locks


At first it seems mean to lock a grown person out of cabinets or drawers. Sometimes it is a necessity. In cases of advanced dementia for example, these items can become very dangerous: 


  • Medications
  • Cleaners
  • Knives
  • Scissors
  • Poisons
  • Tools
  • Foods that may be a choking hazard


In some cases, if an area wouldn't be safe for an unsupervised baby, then it may not be safe your an elder with dementia. 


This includes bumpers to prevent doors from smashing fingers, and thumb latches to prevent elders who wander from leaving the home without your knowledge. 


Bumper Guards


The same rubber corner guards you put on coffee tables when babies are learning to crawl can be a huge blessing to the elderly. Many older people receive nasty bruises to their hips or ribs from bumping into furniture with sharp corners. 


Video Monitors


If you have a large or multi-level house, a video monitor in your loved one's room can comfort you both. You can check in on them from time to time, and they don't have to worry that you won't hear them should they fall or need help. 


Alarms


Bed and chair alarms are helpful when you have an elder who doesn't need to stand unassisted, but may try just the same. These are non-restrictive, but give caregivers a heads-up so they can prevent an injury. 


Gentle-Reminder Chair Restraint


These may be necessary for an elder who is at serious risk for injuring themselves if they stand without help, and yet who aggressively attempts to stand without help. 


These are not a full restraint. Often, it is something as simple as a soft lap belt, or a strap that clips to the back of their clothing. It probably won't prevent some from leaving their chairs, but it buys a caregiver more time to arrive at their side. 


For others, having that small bit of resistance when they try to stand reminds them that they are supposed to ask for help first. 


Utensils, Tools, Grabbers


There is a huge selection of items designed to help the elderly with tasks such as opening jars and reaching items that have fallen to the floor. 

Specially designed plates, cups and large eating utensils can provide a more stress-free meal time.


There Is an Answer For Every Problem


No matter the issue, there is probably a great solution already available. From wheelchair trays with edges to prevent spills to devices to help seniors put on their own socks. 


Every job needs the right tools, and finding the right ones for you can make caregiving pleasant and safe.