Getting older is a fact of life, and for many it means losing a little bit of treasured independence. As those aches and pains creep in it can be harder to look after your home. Household appliances in particular can often pose a problem.
Where you once hoisted the vacuum cleaner up the stairs with no problem, you might now not be able to. Or bending to put clothes in the washing machine might make you feel like you are going to fall.
But this needn’t mean you need to give up on housework (although wouldn’t that be lovely). It might just mean you need to swap out some of your household appliances for ones that suit your lifestyle and needs.
Here, we have a look at some of the changes you can make to your household appliances for independent living.
The Vacuum Cleaner
Let’s start with the appliance we hear most queries about. The vacuum. Upright ones save your back but can be very heavy to push and carry upstairs. Cylinder vacuum cleaners are easier to drag along but often require bending down a lot. And handheld cleaners have a bad reputation as being a bit low on suction.
This Hoover HF18GHI Cordless H Free Vacuum Cleaner is a great solution. It is cordless, so you don’t have to bend down to plug it in. It is ultra-light weight and had a run time of 25 minutes before it needs charging.
Or, if you would like a 2-in-1 solution, consider the Morphy Richards 732007 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. It transitions into a handheld cleaner so you can do the stairs without having to carry the whole thing up with you. It also has a head that lights up so you can see the floor you are hoovering. Perfect if your eyesight isn’t what it used to be.
The Washing Machine
It can be hard work bending down to load and unload the washing machine, not to mention stooping to read the dials.
A top loading washing machine can provide relief for sore backs and knees. On this Montpellier MTL6120W Top Load Washing Machine, the dials are on the top so you can easily work it.
If you prefer the usual type of machine, the Candy CVS1492D3B/1-80 Black Freestanding Washing Machine is taller than most, so there is less bending to do. Plus, it has a 9kg load capacity so you don’t need to do as many loads as you would with a smaller machine.
If your kitchen is tight on space, or you want to totally avoid having to transfer wet, heavy clothes from the washer to the dryer, think about a washer dryer combo that dries your clothes automatically after washing them. It will save you having to do more bending and lifting than absolutely necessary.
Everyone loves a brew, but as you get older, lifting a heavy kettle might not be as easy as it was, and the fact it is full of boiling water only adds to the danger if you drop it. It is worth swapping your usual kettle for a travel kettle. They are smaller and lighter, meaning you can’t accidentally overfill them.
A slow cooker is a marvellous thing. Just chuck all your ingredients in when you get up and by the end of the day you will have a delicious meal ready for you. No bending down to lift heavy pots out of the over or standing over a hot stove.
We like the Morphy Richards 460014 Sear and Stew Slow Cooker because it has an auto shut off, so you can set a timer and it will turn itself off automatically. Perfect if you’re out with the grandkids or pottering in the garden.
Adaptations For Independent Living
Many people worry that getting older means having to give up their independence. But that simply isn’t so anymore.
There are a whole host of solutions available that allows people to adapt their current home or seek a new home without having to resort to regular carers or moving into a nursing home.
Your local council will have plenty of advice on how to stay safe in your own home and can come and assess you for living aids and safety features that allow you to stay in your current home for longer.
Or, if that isn’t feasible you might want to consider speaking to relatives about a granny annexe. These are swanky stand-alone garden pods, like these ones, that allow you to live independently but very close to a loved one for that extra bit of support.
Or, if you aren’t there yet and just want to swap out some household appliances to enable you to live more independently and safely, contact us or pop own to our South Yorkshire showroom. We would be more than happy to talk you through some of our accessible products.