Unique Caregiving Challenges – And The Technology to Overcome Them!

Posted on: February 29th, 2016 by Rob Baumhover

Today’s guest blog comes to us from Comfortek , one of VGM Retail’s newest vendor partners! 

As our population continues to age and more and more seniors want to stay in their own homes, the challenges faced by caregivers continue to change and multiply. However, what’s more important is that caregiving technology is continually evolving, and with the right products, you can provide practical solutions to your caregiver customers to make their daily lives easier, happier and safer while they care for their loved ones.

ComforTek Caregiver

Here are the facts:

1. 10,000 new older adults every day
Demographically, seniors will become the largest population segment, as upwards of 10,000 people turn 65 every day.

2. Most older adults want to age at home
A recent AARP survey indicates that over 90% of senior’s desire to age in their own homes, so furniture accommodating people with limited mobility or physical capability is no longer just an acute care issue: it has a direct impact on how they live in their homes.

3. Caregivers lack strength to give care
More of today’s seniors are full-sized, yet family members providing care are not. In fact, obesity is more prevalent among those 60 years old and over than in any other age group. Even the most routine task associated with giving care is virtually impossible when family members lack the physical strength required to provide assistance.

4. Caregivers need resources to reduce injury
When outside agencies are contracted to provide care in the home, agencies demand that resources must be in the home to reduce caregiver injury.

These four factors create a unique situation where conventional solutions aren’t meeting the needs of older adults to maintain their independence and dignity. Two daily challenges experienced by all family members in charge of providing care can complicate the situation further:

How does a seated person move to and from the table?
How does a person using a walker or rollator sit at a table?

Unfortunately, the response most commonly expressed to both of these challenges remains: with great difficulty! Not everyone can get to the table. What most of us take for granted is a major obstacle for others. For some, age has diminished their ability to scoot a chair forward; for others, an illness has deprived them of the coordination to perform this task. What’s needed is not more effort on behalf of a family member or caregiver, but the use of technology that enables this to occur.

The obvious solution is the wheelchair. It moves, it rolls, it locks, it’s used by people of all sizes, and, as it’s mass produced, it’s not all that expensive. The problem is that most people resist the use of the wheelchair, as its use simply confirms that the user is another step closer to their final day. According to hospice care providers, anything that gets them away from the wheelchair provides patients with a sense of well-being and self-worth.

ComforTek provides innovative products designed to mitigate injury risk among caregivers and to maintain dignity and independence among older adults. No matter your level of independence, we have an innovative product for you. Furniture manufactured by ComforTek enhances the ability of a family to enjoy a meal together or for seniors to enjoy the company of a longtime friend. As with most families, this is best done when everyone is seated around a common table.

The Royal EZ is a lever that attaches to most dining chairs. A family member simply steps onto the lever, activating the front casters. With the lever depressed, the family member can then easily move a seated person to and from the table. This product is ideal for DIY lovers, as it attaches in less than that 30 minutes using standard household tools.

The Titan Swivel armed chair further enhances a person’s ability to sit at the table, as the seat of this chair rotates separately from the base of the chair. With the seat rotated 90° from the table, a person using a walker can come alongside the chair, hold onto the arms of the chair to gain stability, and gently lower themselves onto the chair. Once seated, the seat can be rotated back into alignment with the table, at which time a caregiver can move them forward to the table. The chair arrives fully assembled and ready for use!
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Butterfly tables go a long way towards eliminating the isolation often experienced by wheelchair bound persons. In dining situations, table tops are typically raised to height to accommodate the wheelchair arms (making it awkward for guests seated in regular chairs) or table tops are lowered to accommodate guests seated in regular chairs (making it impossible for wheel chair persons to slide up to the table). As each leaf of the Butterfly table adjusts individually, the height of each top can now be positioned at the appropriate height for each seated guest – In a very real sense bringing families back together!

Contact Comfortek today to see how we can help you provide care to your loved ones.

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