Out of Reach

Out of Reach

Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast. Sounds simple enough – but for many, it isn’t simple at all.

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Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast.

This simple routine is something we do every day, without even thinking about it.

That is, most of us don’t think about it. For some of us, this routine isn’t simple at all.

Take the case of Mr. Jones*.

Mr. Jones is getting on in his years, and at 89 years old, he’s grateful for every day he can still perform this routine on his own. Although it’s hard, he is proudly independent, and he has worked with his needs to facilitate a routine that is smooth, even if it isn’t as easy as it is for most of us.

It’s Monday morning, and Mr. Jones wakes up, excited about his plans to visit his son and grandchildren who live in the neighborhood. As usual, he’s woken up far too early to do any visiting just yet, but Jones knows from experience that there’s no use in staying in bed any longer – he won’t fall back asleep, in any case.

So he decides to get up. Thanks to his limited mobility, however, he can’t just ‘get up’ the way youngsters do.

Instead, he carefully reaches over to the side of his bed, where his trusty bed rail is attached, holds on and slowly pulls himself into a sitting position. Still holding onto the rail, he edges to the side of the bed and drops his legs over the side of the bed, one leg at a time.

While Jones is still sitting, he reaches out to his rollator walker, which is right near his bed where he left it last night. Inside the basket of the rollator are his glasses, which he now removes from the basket.

His glasses on, Mr. Jones rests his full weight on the bed rail and pushes up into a standing position. Jones is a big man,weighing in at approximately 300 lbs, so he was careful to get a bed rail that can fully support his weight.

Finally, after seven long minutes of effort, Mr. Jones has accomplished the first part of his routine: getting up.

Now that he’s up, Mr. Jones holds onto his bariatric rollator (also chosen for its higher weight capacity) and heads to his closet: it’s time to get dressed.

He picks out his favorite outfit, a plaid button-down shirt and a pair of loose-fitting jeans. Since Jones has lost much of his flexibility and dexterity, he used to avoid wearing button-down shirts, which were nearly impossible for him to close on his own. Now, however, he has a button aid which doubles up as a zipper helper and allows him to don his favorite clothes almost as easily as anyone else.

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Now, Mr. Jones reaches down and locks the wheels of his rollator in place. He then sits down on its padded seat and finishes getting dressed, using a sock assist to put on his socks. Finally, he slips on a pair of shoes, and he has now overcome the second hurdle of his morning: getting dressed.

Ready to tackle breakfast, he makes his way to the kitchen.

Jones spends several minutes maneuvering around the kitchen with his rollator, setting the table, mixing up a bowl of instant oatmeal and pouring himself a tall glass of cold juice, often using the seat of his rollator as a tray, so that he can keep both hands on the rollator while moving from the counter to the table and back.

Having slept far too few hours the night before, Mr. Jones decides to make himself a coffee. Unfortunately, since he has limited cabinet space, his coffee mugs are situated on a high shelf in his pantry.

Although he is still able to bend down and lift light things, Mr. Jones has a hard time reaching things that are so high up, and climbing on a chair would be too risky for a man his age, as he knows he is at risk of falling. But of course, Mr. Jones doesn’t let that stop him.

Using a grabber, he carefully reaches out to retrieve a coffee mug from the top shelf and makes himself a coffee.

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Before sitting down to breakfast, Jones gets his pill crusher, where his morning pills are already stored, and mixes the powdered pills into his glass of orange juice.

At last, Mr. Jones is ready for enjoy the fruits of his labor and complete the final part of his morning routine: breakfast.

…So no, the morning routine isn’t easy for everyone – but thanks to the many adaptive products available on today’s market, it has become a routine that can be done independently by so many more people.

 

Are there any products that have made your life or the life of your loved one a lot easier? Tell us about it in the comments below!

* All names and events are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

By | 2019-03-04T13:47:02+00:00 September 16th, 2016|Senior Living|Comments Off on Out of Reach