It’s the little details that can make independent living more accessible for our loved ones. For instance, a traditional bathroom faucet can make the simple task of washing ones’ hands or brushing one’s teeth a near-impossible or painful task.
Today’s plumbing centers offer a variety of lever-action or motion-sensor faucets. There are several adaptive devices for seniors who have trouble turning a faucet handle or those who struggle to remember to turn off the water. If you are caring for a loved one who may need additional help, you may want to consider installing one of the devices below:
- An automatic faucet control. This device screws right onto the end of your kitchen or bathroom faucet (replacing the existing aerator). A small, white wand of durable, easy-to-clean plastic projects down 2.5 inches. Any contact with the wand will turn the water on. Just moving your hand away releases the pressure from the wand and the water instantly stops. This item is available from The Alzheimer’s Store.
- Wrist blades. Separate hot and cold water knobs can be replaced with wrist blades. These wing type handles, which operate easily with little pressure or fine motor skill, are available in plumbing departments. If your bathroom faucet has a single knob or short lever handle, replace it with a longer, kitchen-type lever.
- An electric eye. A faucet with an electric eye that senses hands in front of it and turns the water on and off automatically is a a wonderful aid for people who due to dementia forget to turn the water off or who find it difficult to grasp or turn knobs. Some models can be preset to a specific temperature to avoid scalding. Automatic faucets are available from plumbing contractors, home improvement stores, or at www.Smarthome.com. Note that this device may require professional installation.
And, if you are a member of a multigenerational household, your youngsters may benefit from the extra help at the sink, too!