Support an older loved one to live independently with these nifty items

Nov 17, 2020
Sometimes the elderly need a little more support at home to ensure their safety and happiness. Source: Getty

It used to be that when your health began to decline in old age, it was time to move into a residential aged care facility. But technology and design have advanced so much that there is now a plethora of products that can make it easier for elderly Australians to stay in the comfort of their own home for much longer, with the support of informal or formal care systems in place.

These home-help products can be a real relief for not just the user but their loved ones too, particularly while tight coronavirus restrictions meant visiting regularly wasn’t always an option, thanks to the knowledge that the eldest members of the family had everything they needed to ensure their safety and comfort.

That’s why the Starts at 60 Marketplace is so pleased to now be able to offer a wide range of assisted-living items, with items ranging from shower seats for those who aren’t steady on their feet to motion detectors for falls and reaching devices for those with limited mobility. So if you’re a carer for a parent or other older relative or simply want to ensure your loved ones have what they need to remain independent for as long as possible, make sure you take a look at what the Starts at 60 Marketplace has to offer.

Motion sensor

Not knowing for sure that your loved one is safe when you’re not there can be really stressful for carers, particularly if they’ve previously had a fall. But, with the Smart Motion Sensor and Pager you’ll receive updates at your remote location when they’re moving around at home so you know they’re OK.

The motion sensor can be placed near a bed, the front door or other high-traffic areas of the home. If the device senses any kind of movement, it activates the pager, notifying you or another caregiver of the movement (it’s important, of course, to be aware of when your loved one may be asleep, so you can differentiate a normal lack of movement in the home with that caused by a fall). There are no noisy alarms to intrude on your loved one’s sense of peace at home, either.

Shower chair

The bathroom is a high slip risk for any person who’s unsteady on their feet, either because they’re recovering from an illness or surgery or because they have limitations to their mobility. But using a shower chair can ease some of those slip worries.

The Robotec Cannes Shower Chair with Arm Rests has a lightweight aluminium frame that easy to move into position and store away when it’s not needed.

The design allows for discreet access for washing purposes, while the clip-in arm rests ensure the user has a firm place to grip when transferring in and out of the shower. Plus, the rubber tips on the bottom of the legs ensure the seat doesn’t slide around in the shower, and you can easily adjust the height of each leg to suit the user

Blood pressure monitor

A blood pressure monitor is helpful to have on hand for you, or your loved one, to use to do regular checks – something that’s common if they have existing heart condition that must be monitored. And this one is particularly easy to use.

With just a touch of a button, the Omron Blood Pressure Monitor will give you a correct reading of blood pressure and heart rate, as well as issuing an alert if any reading is irregular. It comes with a cuff wrap guide and indicator that confirms if the cuff has been wrapped correctly around the arm, so there’s no chance of mistakes.

Bath safety rail

Having a relaxing bath is great for sore joints or aching muscles but getting out of a bath be difficult for older people who have trouble supporting their own weight. A bathtub safety rail can help with this problem, supporting weight of up to 120 kilograms.

It can simply be clamped down to the edge of the tub and used as needed to support your loved one as they get in and out of the bath. The fact that it’s portable means it can be moved to another bathroom in the home or packed when travelling to ensure there’s no bath-related emergencies no matter where they may be.


Sore joints or a lack of mobility due to surgery or a health condition can also make it difficult to bend down, pull up socks and tie shoe laces – as anyone who’s had a hip or knee replacement knows only too well!

But with a reacher and hook, your loved one can retain some independence because this nifty device is great for picking up objects and reaching for things. The wide jaws are designed for easy grabbing, while the magnetic handle helps with picking up keys and other metallic items.

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