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8 Smart Living Room Upgrades for People With Chronic Illness

Is your living room set up for your chronic condition? So much time is spent in this area, whether it’s catching up with a close friend, watching TV, or putting in some work hours, that you might overlook some basic additions that could make life much easier.

 

Don’t miss this helpful list:


1) Power Recliner

If you’re looking for a go-to chair that offers comfort and functionality, check out mechanical power recliners. Remote-operated power recliners (also known as lift chairs) allow you to recline, reposition, and even help you stand up with minimal physical effort on your part. They are great for people with conditions that affect strength, energy levels, and mobility.


2) Virtual Assistant

A large chunk of managing a chronic illness often comes down to finding ways to make life a little easier. Freestanding virtual assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home are widening the horizon of easy, hands-free functionality that is definitely well-suited to those with chronic conditions. Want to hear some music? Ask Alexa to play some! Want to check the weather before you head outside? Ask Google for the forecast! The list of capabilities of virtual assistants goes on – making shopping lists, checking email, placing calls, and setting reminders, among others.

 

 

3) Wall Shelving

For people with a chronic condition that affects their mobility, navigating around sofas, coffee tables, and other furniture in the living room can be exhausting and dangerous. If your space is in need of an upgrade to allow for more “living” and less “navigating”, try taking advantage of the real estate your walls have to offer.

Can a hanging key/bill rack replace the side table where you typically toss your keys and mail? Can floating shelves house your books and eliminate the need for a wide, space-consuming bookshelf? Even a basic wall mount for your TV can help you get rid of clunky entertainment units. Get creative and look in local re-stores or low-cost home stores (like Ikea) for wall storage solutions.


 

 

4) Fall Mats

If your condition affects your balance, leg strength, or mobility, a fall mat could make a smart addition to your living room (by places where you sit down and stand up, like the couch). Fall mats lay discreetly on the floor but offer extra cushioning in the event of a fall and can potentially prevent injury. Some fall mats are also engineered with alarms that alert caregivers if you take a spill.

 


5) Laptop Desk

 

 

If you work from home or simply like to hop on your computer at the end of the day to read your favorite blog or skim social media, an adjustable laptop desk can prevent you from making common posture mistakes that lead to back pain. Instead of slumping or slouching on the couch with your computer in your lap, you can use a portable laptop desk on your coffee table or over your legs on the couch to elevate your laptop to eye level and avoid poor posture. Less back pain, fewer headaches, and even better sleep can result from simple posture adjustments like this.

 

6) Large Button Remote

 

 

For chronic conditions that affect dexterity and grip strength, i.e. rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis, even a seemingly simple task of changing TV channels with a remote can be challenging. One solution? Specially-designed universal “large button” remotes that can be found online and offer wider surface areas for gripping and pressing buttons. Even better, remotes for streaming devices like Roku, often come with “search” buttons that use voice recognition technology to let you ask for a movie or show title instead of having to tediously type each letter into a search box.

 


7) Aromatherapy Diffuser

 

Aromatherapy can play an effective role in addressing many symptoms that overlap various chronic conditions including anxiety, depression, and poor sleep. A 2016 study in the medical journal, Pain Research and Treatment, found positive effects in treating pain with aromatherapy (when combined with an existing pain management protocol). Aromatherapy may come in the form of a diffuser or simply spritzing your recliner before you sit.

 

8) Self Massager

 

While professional massages can be great for your health and well-being, they can be expensive. What if you could get a massage at home that helped you cope with pain, stress, and muscle tension at a fraction of the cost? Good news! There are tons of low-cost, quality massage devices on the market, including shiatsu massage pillows, foot massagers, and handheld back and neck massagers. Alleviating stiff muscles can be done during your nightly Netflix catch-up or while you read a book, easy!

 

 

Want more upgrade articles? Click on the links below and learn how to make your entire house more chronic illness friendly!

 

7 Helpful Bedroom Upgrades for People With Chronic Illness

7 Thoughtful Bathroom Upgrades for People With Disabilities

 

Want to know more about how to relieve chronic pain naturally? Click on the link below for tons of ideas and helpful links!

 

Alternative Chronic Pain Relief in the Wave of the Opioid Crackdown

 

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