Growing old -- oh dear! Comes to everyone, they say - and so it does - if that makes you feel any happier. Believe one thing - you can't stop it. But, even so, you can make the best of it and enjoy life.
Above all, don't vegetate and become a couch potato. Potatoes go to seed and you don't want to copy them!
To avoid that you do need to keep yourself healthy and stimulated. Think young - like that Golden Girl, Betty White, says “I may be a senior but so what? I'm still hot." Great stuff – keep going girl! And Shakespeare agrees … “Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty”.
Okay - it may be a boring truism, but we do age every day.
What to do about it - that's the thing. Remember the potato!
One way is to make yourself a bucket list filled with those things you would love or can afford to do. But that's not an option for everyone. However, there are other things that you can do to keep life sweeter.
Join a club. Read challenging books. Volunteer for some local cause. Take up a hobby. Learn new things like a foreign language or website coding. Get into politics – maybe not!
Find something you would enjoy and do it! You don't need to be the best - be content to enjoy the experience of learning while stimulating your mind.
But remember to exercise your body as well. Join a gym. Go running.
Whew! Too much for you?
Well, there are those regular chores like shopping and housework that can help keep you fit and supple in a modest way.
Leave the car and walk to the grocery store if that's an option. Walk safely every day if you can.
As for housework, those floors won't clean themselves you know!
Cleaning house takes a bit of effort and if you're not as fit as you would like there are ways to make it a wee bit easier on yourself.
How to do that? Choose one of the lightweight vacuum cleaners for the elderly shown here, and you'll breeze through it!
Vacs have come on apace over the years. Remember those old heavyweight machines with bags? They seemed to be made from cast iron and spat out as much dust as they sucked in!
Not so today, there is a bewildering choice of corded and cordless stick cleaners that are light in weight with powerful suction.
I discovered these vacs while I was looking for something to clean my 88 year old mother’s floor coverings. It had to be something easy to use with simple instructions to follow. There should be no bags to empty and an easy to clean dirt bin. Also it had to be able to suck up dirt from carpet, hardwood, tile and vinyl.
Initially, I couldn’t make up my mind whether a corded or cordless machine was better for a senior. The difference in performance and size between the appliances is no longer clear cut. But once I'd gone over the pros and cons I decided that cord free was more suitable for my mother.
I reached that decision after considering the pros and cons of both models - I've listed them below. You might find them helpful in deciding which model is best for your needs. Your choice will be swayed by the size of your home and whether you have bare or carpeted floors.
PROS: No cord or cylinder, very maneuverable, no stooping to plug/unplug, compact, lightweight, quick to deploy, usually quieter.
CONS: Smaller dust bin, weight in hand (for some styles), has to be charged, shorter cleaning times.
PROS: More suction power, handles tougher jobs more easily, solidly built, bigger dust containers, continuous cleaning until switched off.
CONS: Trip hazard from cord, bending to plug and unplug, unwinding/rewinding cord, some are heavy to push, difficult to maneuver, slow to get out and set up for cleaning.
Once I had decided I picked the following five appliances listed that I think perfectly fits my criteria. One thing for sure, they are very popular with buyers and have high user ratings to prove their efficiency.
Lightweight at only 4.7 lbs, it has a Lithium Ion rechargeable battery that gives up to 25 minutes of cleaning power. To recharge use the cord and plug into a socket.
It's easy to attach and detach the tools by push button action. It's versatile and it's light enough to work ceilings and walls, floors, awkward corners or below furniture. LED lights on the brush head illuminate those dark spots under furniture.
The unit is wall mounting and comes with an ac adapter and a full tool set - including a stiff brush to use on car carpets. There are extra tools to help with the less straightforward tasks - one delighted user found that it easily picked up pet hair. Full instructions are also included.
Simply hit a button to switch the power setting to either bare floors or low-pile rugs and carpets.
This stick vac has a HEPA filter and washable sponge to remove fine dust particles and expel clean air. Great boon for allergy and asthma sufferers.
One benefit for seniors is that it has a trigger lock so that arthritic fingers do not have to hold the trigger while cleaning.
Most users love this machine and have rated it well. They also consider the Deik very good value for money.
Dyson are committed to cordless technology and state that, after September 2018, all their future vacs will be cord free.
That technological focus is embodied in this model and they claim it is the most powerful cordless vacuum cleaner on the market. They say that, in maximum mode, the V10 produces between 30% to 50% more power than the earlier models V6/7/8. Keep in mind that running the V10 at max using the carpet tool will reduce the cleaning time to around 6 minutes depending on what tools are fitted. In the lesser power modes (low and medium), the machine's run time can be up to 60 minutes. It's difficult to be precise about this data because there are so many factors involved - carpet thickness, surface or ingrained dirt. All this power weighs in at just under 6 lbs and the vac runs quietly.
It has a Li-Ion no-fade battery that is rechargeable - takes around 3.5 hours to charge a fully-drained battery. The machine is charged on a neat wall-mounted docking station that stores some of the tools as well. The batteries are not easily removed and cannot be swapped. This is not an issue if you accept that Dyson reckon the V10 battery can last up to 15 years or so.
The dust bin is bigger on this model at 0.2 gallons. The machine has a fully-sealed HEPA-style filtration system that performs at near 100% efficiency. That means the clean air is exhausted from the appliance. Good for people with respiratory problems - the system is certified as asthma & allergy friendly.
The device converts easily to a handheld vac for cleaning in tight areas. It comes with a 6 piece accessory kit - torque drive for carpets, soft roller for bare, dusting brush, mini motor, crevice and combi tools. Simply click fit to change the tools.
The V10 does not have a locking trigger. Dyson say that this feature preserves the battery life. But you need to keep the trigger pressed to vacuum - release it and the machine stops. If you have any grip problem with your hands this is an important point to keep in mind. Also, you use only one hand to control the machine. That makes it very maneuverable but the whole weight is in that one hand. Also, the catch arrangement for emptying the dust container might prove tricky for folks who are not so nimble with their hands.
The Dyson is the most expensive model in my selection. If you need a vac that is lightweight yet very powerful - Dyson claim that it's equal in suction to a corded machine - then that comes at a price.
The IF201 has finger-tips controls that are easy to reach and there is a useful set of basic tools - crevice device, dust brush, an attachment for upholstery and a anti-allergen dusting brush. The Multiflex technology lets you angle the wand to get under furniture without you stooping. One user found this particularly useful for getting behind appliance and fittings like freezers.
The vac features their Duo-Clean technology with a run time of about 30 minutes. This is essentially a system that combines a stiff brush for carpets and a soft brush that helps sweep debris into the cleaner head as well as polishing bare floors. It works well on carpets and hard floors and removes pet hair easily. Users say that the cleaner has powerful suction through the brush head which cleans right up to walls and baseboards. They also say the dust collector is on the small side and needs regular emptying.
The free-standing machine folds down to a convenient size that takes up less storage space.
The Lithium-ion batteries are replaceable and you can buy a spare. Then you can still clean while the other battery is being charged - which take around 2 hours. You can also buy a more expensive model (IF251) that comes with two batteries as standard.
It's a little weighty at just under 9 lbs when compared to other cordless stick vacs but that helps stabilize the machine when it's free-standing - handy when you're needing a quick lean!
The Shark carries a limited 5-year warranty - that's pretty impressive but then the brand has a great reputation.
Users who bought this model give it a high star rating for performance and usefulness. It's a bit on the pricey side but those who bought think it worth the money.
Pet hairs, ingrained dirt and surface debris are forcefully lifted through the vac's WindTunnel technology that concentrates suction at the business end of the machine. It has edge sweeping brushes to clean right up to the baseboards. It's simple to switch from carpet to bare floors.
The handle folds right back to make cleaning under furniture that bit easier.
It runs of Linx fade-free 18V Li-Ion batteries that are interchangeable. Running time seems to be about 20 minutes for carpets and around 40 minutes for hard floors. A low power indicator tells you when the battery should be recharged and the charger warns you when full power has been reached. Folks who have heavier cleaning cycles might prefer the two-battery model although a recharge takes only about 1 hour.
The dust container is not large and needs regular emptying to prevent any build in the system.
This device weighs in at just over 7 lbs - not the lightest of machines but it is a free-standing model for pushing rather than carrying. And users report that they found it lightweight and very manageable.
It has a Hoover 2-year limited warranty.
The Linx Signature does not come with attachments. That has not deterred buyers who have bought this to replace the previous model which they used for many years. One stalwart had theirs for 15 years! As the new vac has many of the parts, including the battery, from the previous model, it's no surprise that it's been so well received by buyers.
It comes as a 2-part stick vac that converts into a handheld for reaching those difficult areas.
This machine has a quiet yet powerful 110 watt motor that can operate at 2 speeds - standard and Max that cleans bare floors and carpets respectively. It has a multi-functional motorized head that has a 10 inch wide cleaning path - makes short work of those dirty surfaces!
It comes with a removable lithium battery that can be charged at any socket. Running time is given as 25 minutes. Spare batteries can are available to buy as an extra allowing you to do those extended cleaning jobs without interruption. The charger is a neat standalone that can be plugged in anywhere. It takes around 3.5 hours to recharge the battery.
The A10 Hero is a light and maneuverable machine weighing only 5.03 pounds. You do not have to keep a tight grip on the switch as there is a lock to keep the motor running. Perfect for those find it difficult to maintain a strong grip for any length of time.
This machine comes with an efficient HEPA filter with a washable sponge that sifts out even the tiniest particles of dust. The dust bin empties at the touch of a button.
The LED power brush picks up on dirt hiding in the shadows or lurking under the furniture! Other tools included are the mini power brush, 2-in-1 dusting brush and crevice tool. The charging adapter and dock are also supplied as standard with this package. The docking station sits on the floor and holds the vac and tools when not in use. The station can be conveniently located anywhere you choose.
This good-looking vac has won an impressive reputation from users in the short time it has been available. No surprise there - Ecovacs, market leader in robot vac technology,owns the brand!
With a 2 year warranty you will have lots of cleaning time with no worries - Dyson beware!