Ergonomics for the Aging

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Since the dip in the economy a few years ago, many, who once thought their retirement fund was booming, saw a drastic drop in their investments.  Consequently, the workforce is populated with older Americans who cannot afford to retire.

They continue to work, and do so in environments that are suited for young, all-around healthy employees. Their offices are on the top floors, their chairs often are as old as their career at the company and their eye sight hinders their ability to utilize growing technology as easy as younger employees.

Employers can be taking the necessary steps to ensure their older workers are comfortable and free from potential injury and stress. For instance, computer screens can now be equipped with magnifying screen filters and accessories (like keyboards and mice) that are designed to accommodate arthritic hands and worsening eye sight. Also, chairs can now be purchased to ensure good posture and comfort for one’s hips and back.

Designing your home accordingly is just as important as your office to prevent injury and heal from surgery.  These design updates are not always drastic overhauls that are time consuming and costly. Often, changes can be simple and relatively inexpensive to improve daily quality of life. For instance, adding a seat to the shower can drastically reduce the chance of slipping and also may make bathing more comfortable. Adding extensions to door handle handles and medication bottles may help those with arthritis or inflamed joints.

Ergonomics for the aging rises above comfort and safety – it’s also about mental health. When someone, no matter their age, is comfortable and feels safe, he/she has a higher probability of feeling happier, more efficient and more secure.  This leads to fewer cases of depression and thus longer life. So keep in mind the possible ergonomic solutions and aids for the daily life of yourself or a loved one.