Solution Name: Fundamentals of Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the science of refining the design of products to optimize them for human use. Computers and related products, such as computer desks and chairs, are frequently the focus of ergonomic design.
Ergonomic seating is one of the smartest senior care investments that a family can make. Sofas and chairs should have high backs with lumbar support. Cushioning should be comfortable, but firm enough to support healthy posture. Avoid low seating and chairs without armrests.
Make everything the senior needs easily accessible, within arm’s reach when standing. Avoid placing objects or fixtures anywhere that requires kneeling, stooping, stretching, or reaching.
Avoid purchasing items, tools, and utensils that require significant levels of strength. Pay attention to objects that require a strong grip and/or hand strength, which is a challenge for many seniors, particularly those with Alzheimer’s/Dementia.
Handheld items should be comfortable to hold and easy to grip. Hand tools should have a rounded and cushioned grip that is contoured to your loved one’s hands.
Explore the market for specialized products designed for senior home ergonomics. Several companies offer furniture and equipment that is specially tailored to senior living, including equipment that can be used to modify the seniors living space at a far lower cost than a full-scale redesign would require.
At least one entrance without a step
A bathroom on the entry level
Accessible electrical outlets and light controls
An interior door at least 32 inches wide
Ergonomics for the aging work force:
Work in neutral postures. Working with the body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on musculoskeletal system.
Allow for posture changes. Working in the same posture or sitting for prolonged periods of time is bad for the body. The body’s musculoskeletal (or movement) system is designed to move. Arrange workstations and tasks to allow for changing postures.
Work from the “power zone”. The power zone is also referred to as the “handshake zone” this is an easy way to remember the optimal location to perform work.
Provide good lighting. A common issue with older workers is lighting. Visual acuity deteriorates with age, so make sure work areas are properly lit.
Have a good grip. Providing “power grips” instead of pinch grips for jobs and tasks.