Pain can sometimes force you to rely on other people. While there’s nothing wrong with needing assistance, doing things on your own can feel incredibly empowering, especially when your lowered physical strength makes you feel less capable. Fortunately, with the right kind of home equipment, you may be able to prevent the pain that comes with difficult everyday tasks and find your way toward independent living.
Power Lift Recliners
For individuals with reduced strength, the mere act of rising from a seated position can put strain on the lower body. Power lift recliners use an electric motor to power a lifting mechanism that gently stands the user up to a vertical position. Very Well Health reveals that this can reduce the burden on leg muscles, thus lowering the risk of injury or fatigue. However, leg muscles can weaken from lack of use, so it’s important to not let reliance on these devices evolve to the point of overdependence.
They can also function as regular recliners, whose comfort features minimize the risk of sore joints and back pain. Wheelchair-bound seniors can also use power lift recliners to easily transfer themselves to their wheelchairs.
Repetitive motions of everyday activities can build up damage to nerves, tendons, and muscles. When the damage causes intense and sustained pain, it can be classified as repetitive strain injury (RSI). RSIs often affect wrists, hands, and forearms.
Pain Free Working explains that ergonomic accessories can help reduce the risk of RSIs. They are specifically designed around human limitations and aim to minimize stress, pressure, and tension on the body. Seniors who actively use their computers can benefit from ergonomic keyboards, which provide wrist cushioning to prevent injuries like carpal tunnel. The Fellowes Memory Foam Wrist Rest can be a good multipurpose wrist support option, as it is not tied to a specific device. It curves according to the natural shape of the wrist to provide quality cushioning, which then promotes blood circulation to reduce strain.
Smart homes, for example, can be convenient for people with limited mobility, as they allow users to control various home appliances through their smartphones, smartwatches, or voice command. Examples of appliances that smart devices can be connected to include lights, thermostats, and security systems.
Forbes also reports that smart devices can help monitor health data, such as oxygen saturation, blood pressure, body temperature, and respiratory biometrics. For example, digital glucose meters that record health data in real-time can help manage Type 2 diabetes by tracking risks and sending reminders. Motion sensors can also help with fall prevention by notifying caregivers when an at-risk senior vacates a bed, a chair, or goes out of a designated safe area. There are also gadgets, such as the Apple Watch, with fall detection systems which alerts the family and contacts emergency services when it detects an abnormal and abrupt change in escalation.
Cleaning is a physically demanding activity. Standing for long periods of time, or bending your body to reach certain areas, can place stress on joints and muscles. And yet an unclean house is worse — Eating Well reports that dirty floors, mats, and carpets can cause skin infections. Unmaintained carpets can trap various allergens, including mites, dust, and bacteria.
A robot vacuum can help reduce the risk of sickness while mitigating the need for demanding physical labor. The most famous example of robot vacuum technology is iRobot’s Roomba, whose product name is practically synonymous with robot vacuum cleaners. Roomba models optimize their cleaning strategies according to surface type, which they detect through their built-in floor sensors. Roombas can scan the layout of a room, which lets them remember which obstacles to avoid in order to map out the most efficient cleaning route. They can also be connected to smart assistants, such as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant.
Pain 101 explains that pain can affect all aspects of a person’s life. The health expenses required to treat and manage pain can impact finances, while the sustained discomfort can aggravate depression, anxiety, and lowered self-worth. Fortunately, new innovations can help mitigate the pain caused by day-to-day activities, allowing individuals the freedom to function independently without putting themselves at risk.
Article exclusively submitted to paincommunity.org
Written by Riley June
AUTHOR BIO: As someone who has always been interested in all thing’s tech, Riley June often wonders how these endless innovations can be best used to improve the lives of those dealing with incurable diseases, such as some of her family members. This interest fuels Riley June’s passion for telemedicine. In her free time, you can see Riley June hunched over her laptop sifting through articles that combine the things that interest her the most: tech and chronic diseases.