Have you ever felt dizzy after bending over to pick something up off the floor? Have you lost your balance for just a moment while standing on a chair to get an object from a high shelf? Or have you felt a twinge in your back while stretching to retrieve an item that’s fallen under the dresser—just out of your reach? Believe it or not, you’ve been lucky. Most of us have had these experiences – they can happen at any age – but they become more frequent as we get older. And each time, you’re putting yourself at risk for falls and other accidental injuries. The difference between a slight loss of balance and an actual fall is miniscule, so why take unnecessary chances when an inexpensive tool called a reacher can help you avoid them?
What is a reacher?
A reacher is a simple, yet useful tool that works like an extension of your own arm, allowing you to grab and pick up items that are too low, too high, or in a difficult spot to get to because of furniture or other obstacles. Reachers range in length from 26.5 inches to 32 inches, including models which fold flat for convenient storage. Some reachers have an easy-to-operate trigger, so most people with arthritis or weakness in their hands can still use it without difficulty. The trigger on the hand-held reacher needs only 7 ounces of pressure to close the reacher jaws.
Why use a reacher?
Using a reacher can help you cut down on bending for low items and stretching to reach high items, eliminating a daily source of hassle and potential injury. Having a reacher can also take some of the burden off family and caregivers. Genevieve, whose husband has arthritis, says, “Charlie has a hard time getting out of bed once he’s settled in for the night. When he used to drop his reading glasses, I would go over and get them for him, because it was just easier for me. Now he uses his reacher instead, and we both get a break.”
As we get older, we are faced with many physical challenges, often with complex solutions that require a lot of emotional adjustment and don’t always bring the results we are hoping for. So when you can solve a daily problem with a solution as simple as using a reacher, why wouldn’t you grab at that chance?