When you’re scanning the house with an eye to aging in place, you look at the big things like lighting, mobility, bathroom safety, and fall hazards.
But many small things – not being able to function day-to-day – also can send people to assisted living or nursing care.
That’s where hacks come in – those simple, low-tech solutions using common household items — to deal with seemingly minor daily inconveniences and troubles that seniors face.
Here are 6 creative hacks to try:
1. Sugru: Slippery doorknobs can be difficult to operate if you have hand and wrist problems. Wrap Sugru (the product feels like Play-Doh and sticks to glass, wood, metal, and plastic and becomes a durable silicone rubber after 24 hours) around a door knob to create more grip.
2. Rope lights: Place rope lights under cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens to light the way and make it safer to get around at night.
3. Sponge hair rollers: If you have arthritis, slide sponge hair rollers or cylindrical foam around hard-to-grip items like utensils and toothbrushes.
4. Frozen sponge: Put a soaked kitchen sponge into a Ziploc bag and then into the freezer. It turns into an ice pack that won’t leak as it thaws. It’s also reusable.
5. Pizza cutter: Use a pizza roller to cut up lettuce for a salad.
6. String: Use pieces of string or a key ring to create zipper pulls that are easier to reach and operate. Sugru works well too.