Why Ergonomics for Seniors Matters More Than Ever – Kraydel

Why Ergonomics for Seniors Matters More Than Ever

04 July 2021 | 0 Comment


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We often talk about how Konnect enables older adults to “make video calls on their TV. The biggest and brightest screen in their home, and all from the comfort of their favourite chair or sofa”.

This week, guest blogger Ruth Ann James shares some thoughts about ergonomics for seniors.

Why Ergonomics for Seniors Matters More Than Ever
Ergonomics is a discipline concerned with understanding the interaction between humans and systems, and the main goal is to optimise this system. It’s usually talked about as critical for office workers and students, but it’s equally important for seniors too. Ergonomics lets seniors recover comfortably in their own homes while also avoiding further injuries. Moreover, it can let you learn about the physical abilities and limitations of the body, and it can help alleviate pain that comes from existing chronic physical conditions experienced by people at least 65 years old — from back pain to neuropathic pain. There are three kinds of ergonomics: physical, cognitive, and organisational. Below, we enumerate a few ways these kinds of ergonomics can help you support seniors:

It prevents injury
Physical ergonomics ensures that the body maintains proper posture and isn’t strained when doing particular tasks. This is all the more important now amid the pandemic, since senior citizens are more vulnerable to the coronavirus — meaning, getting injured and going to the hospital might put them at risk from the virus. Of course, you can always turn to home services, but focusing on ergonomics and prevention is definitely the more cost-effective and proactive approach since seniors won’t have to suffer any injuries in the first place.

It creates a safer and more comfortable environment
Organisational ergonomics combines physical and cognitive ergonomics. It involves considering communication, the schedule of the person, and their movement in the house. It makes remote health monitoring easier because it also, even lightly, reduces the strain of constantly having to keep an eye on them. After all, you know they’re moving around in a safe and comfortable environment.

It promotes productivity
Cognitive ergonomics focuses on mental processes, such as perception and memory — and productivity is a result of keeping all these into consideration. Senior citizens like having some independence, as it gives them a sense of purpose and control. For instance, if you’ve kept your toaster in one spot for a long time, try not to suddenly move it and allow your senior to freely use it on their own. This is because they might struggle to remember where it is, and taking it out of that spot can impede them.`

How to improve ergonomics for seniors

Use ergonomic accessories
To improve physical ergonomics, you’ll need to invest in some ergonomic accessories and furniture. These items support your seniors (and even other people in the household) and help maintain good posture. For instance, sofas and chairs should have high backs and good lumbar support to help alleviate back pain. With the Konnect system, you can make a video call via the TV help reduce eye and neck strain. It keeps their hands free as well, lessening fatigue. There are also ergonomic devices made especially for seniors.

Support their cognitive abilities
Cognitive ergonomics deals with mental processes, so try to keep a routine and keep your house in the same accessible layout as much as possible. While it may seem monotonous for you, predictability can make them safe and comfortable. Aside from that, it’s also important to address social isolation as it can affect them negatively both physically and mentally. It can lead to even more harmful implications like obesity from physical inactivity and depression. So, help them lead a healthy lifestyle by doing some light exercises. As a bonus, you can even try to add video calls to your routine to help alleviate their loneliness. In this regard, Konnect easily allows you to make video calls through the TV, so they can reach out to their loved ones, friends, or even for telehealth purposes.

Have a clutter-free and accessible layout
As the name suggests, organisational ergonomics puts emphasis on organisation. Make your place as senior citizen-friendly as possible. For example, keep the floor clear of clutter to prevent any slipping or tripping. Falls are the second leading cause of deaths from unintentional injury worldwide and senior citizens suffer the highest number of fatal falls. Meanwhile, an accessible layout makes everything easy to reach. For instance, place light switches at an accessible height, keeping in mind that elders have a shorter reach than adults. Shelf height should also be designed in a way that they don’t have to kneel, stoop, stretch, or reach for anything.

 

Article written by: Ruth Ann James

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