Personal care aids for the bath can be a boon
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By Julie Ann Anderson  December 13, 2013 12:00 am

Personal care aids can be a tremendous boon. Once individuals reach a certain age, it often becomes more difficult to do things that were easy to do before.

That's part of life, but the problem is that people often decide to stop doing things that are hard to do. 

If clipping toenails is challenging, then a person is likely to stop, or at least cut down on his or her nail clipping. The result can be ingrown toenails or other foot issues.

Fortunately, there are devices that one can employ to make some tasks easier to accomplish. 

Following are a few suggestions for making time in the bath or shower a bit more productive and less stressful.

• Take care of the toes: The toenail clipping example mentioned above is a good place to start. If you have a difficult time bending over to reach your toes, even when seated or if holding onto traditional toenail clippers is an issue, there are solutions. 

Some companies make special toenail clippers that are on the end of a short metal rod. These can enable a person to reach the toenails without having to bend so far over. If gripping is a problem, some clippers are made with a special base that can help. The clippers are put on the floor, where the base supports them, and the toenail can then be inserted into a more secure piece of equipment for clipping.

• Wash under the toes, too: That's not all that needs to be done with the toes. Washing under the feet is important, but difficulty in reaching them can again be a problem. Fortunately, sponges that are attached to the end of plastic poles can make this task easier. 

You can use these to reach under the foot (and on top, too). For safety, this is something that is best performed while seated.

• Watch the soap: Slippery soap can be a problem; it may fall out of your hands, forcing you to try to bend over and making the tub floor slippery as well. 

Consider using liquid soap on a sponge instead. For further ease, use a sponge attached to a plastic pole; this can help you get to those hard-to-reach places. 

If you continue with bar soap, you may want to investigate purchasing a soap mitt; this will have a handy pocket where you can keep the soap.

 • The eyes have it: Putting in eye drops can be a pain. Make things easier by keeping an eye drop guide in your bathroom. Look for one that not only holds the dropper bottle in place but that also helps to position the lower eyelid to help eliminate blinking.

 Do you need mobility aids? Personal care can be easier with them, so it may be an option worth exploring. 

As we get older, maintaining our appearance may become challenging, but gadgets such as these can help you and your loved ones to meet those challenges.


Julie Ann Anderson is the owner of Home Instead Senior care office in Rohnert Park; mother of two and passionate about healthy living at all ages. Having cared for her parents, she understands your struggles and aims, through her website, to educate and encourage seniors and caregivers. Have a caregiving or aging concern? She’d love to hear from you at 586-1516 anytime.

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