Archive | January, 2012

Caregiver Tip # 2

“The edge of the bed sagged,  so she literally slid off the bed and broke her wrist.” Marge Howard, Doolittle Home’s Physical Therapist shares.

Most are unaware of the fact that beds need to be at a proper height. If someone is sitting on the edge of the bed, their feet should be firmly planted on the floor with their knees at or close to 90 degrees. Also the mattress edge should be firm enough so when they are sitting on the edge, the mattress is not sagging and acting as a slide, ensuring they don’t slide off the edge of the bed onto the floor.

An additional caregiver tip is to mindful of bed clothes, for example, satin and silk pajamas or sheets because of their slippery nature. “This is a frequent issue, especially with the women who have silky bathrobes and nightgowns.”

A family member is encouraged to install a bed transfer handle to help a person come to a sitting position or steady themselves on the edge of the bed. A bed transfer also can prevent falls without being too obtrusive. A bed transfer is described as a U shaped handle stuck between the bed board.

A full bed rail can prove to be hazardous than the transfer handle because a mildly confused or sleepy person is more apt to climb over the bed rail, while the transfer handle they are more apt to use it for an assist.

Marge Howard is the physical therapist consultant for Doolittle Home for 18 years. Watch Marge’s Video Here

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Sixteen Everyday Challenges Elderly Deal With

Those who have parents still living on their own may be interested in the following information. It is a list of the main problems confronting people over 55 years of age, according to a Gallup poll of 1,500 people in that category.


Below are the top 16 challenges the elderly can face on any given day.
1. Opening medicine packages
2. Reading product labels
3. Reaching high things
4. Fastening buttons, snaps and zippers
5. Vacuuming and dusting
6. Going up and down stairs
7. Cleaning bathtubs and sinks
8. Washing and waxing floors
9. Putting clothes over one’s head
10. Putting on socks, shoes, or stockings
11. Carrying purchases home
12. Using tools
13. Being helpless if something happens while at home alone
14. Using the shower or bathtub (where many falls occur)
15. Tying shoelaces, neckties and bows
16. Moving around the house without slipping or falling.

And for those living in colder climates, shoveling snow and dealing with winter conditions can create a challenge as well.

Although it is certainly not true that all elderly people have these problems, caregivers might want to keep this information in mind…especially when you consider that one common characteristic associated with aging is denial. Those that took care of us all of our lives may not want to admit it when they need help. Helping to reduce the difficulties associated with aging can assist in minimizing its most common negative emotions of fear, loneliness, depression and feelings of helplessness – and increase the feeling of vitality. Exercise and staying active can help keep these problems from occurring.

Many times one of the most difficult challenge for caregivers is to find ways to assist that don’t highlight the elderly loved one’s need for help.

Would you like more information about Doolittle Home? Click here for a 360 degree virtual tour or Call 508-543-2694 for a complimentary tour.

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