Appliance Features that Promote Senior Safety and Accessibility
Household appliances with tiny buttons, displays, and knobs can be difficult for seniors to use — especially if they have health and mobility limitations that affect strength, grip, reach, and fine motor skills.
Some aging adults may need to use appliances with senior-friendly features that can improve their ability to remain safe and independent at home. Although it may not be practical or cost-effective to replace current appliances, here are a few things to consider when shopping for replacements after one breaks down.
Energy-Efficient Features Cut Utility Costs
Everyone can benefit from saving money on utility bills, but this can be crucial to seniors living on a fixed income. When shopping for appliances, look for energy-efficient models that benefit the environment and provide cost savings.
Senior-Friendly Kitchen Appliances
The kitchen is a common place for senior household accidents. While it is impossible to remove all risks associated with working in the kitchen, some appliances promote safety and convenience, including:
- “Smart” stoves with large clocks/displays/knobs, timers, automatic shut-off functions, and warning lights indicating that the stovetop is hot.
- Countertop dishwashers that eliminate the need to bend over when loading and unloading and reduce tripping hazards caused by an open dishwasher door.
- Compact countertop microwaves that are small enough to sit on the counter. Unlike over-the-range models, they don’t require an older adult to reach over their head to handle hot food. Some models even have large buttons, simple controls, and loud buzzers to signal when heating is complete.
- Large-display refrigerator/freezers with easy-open doors as well as improved lighting and large buttons inside and out so seniors who have poor eyesight can read food labels, control temperature, and access ice and water dispensers.
- Single-serve or auto-shut-off coffeemakers that can prevent accidents, fires, and burned coffee caused by leaving the coffee pot on.
Other Household Appliance Features that Promote Convenience and Safety
The kitchen isn’t the only place seniors can benefit from senior-friendly appliances. Here are a few other household items that can help seniors care for their homes with increased safety and ease:
- Lightweight cordless and robot vacuums
- Risers for front-loading washers and dryers
- Auto-shut-off irons
- Large-display clocks
- Cordless landline phones with large numbers
- Electric tea kettles with auto-shut-off
- “Clap on” lights
Whether or not your loved one’s appliances have the latest senior-friendly features, hiring a Visiting Angels’ caregiver can provide your loved one with assistance around the house — and give you peace of mind. Visiting Angels’ senior care workers will encourage your loved one to remain as independent as possible while watching over them to reduce the chances of a household appliance-related mishap.
To learn more about how Visiting Angels can assist your loved one, contact your local home care agency for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.