By Thair Phillips, President, RetireSafe
A small and relatively new product is making life easier for older Americans. It’s a simple thing, but unit dose laundry detergent packs (or pods) are helping seniors perform necessary laundry chores that they might not otherwise be able to do without help. The laundry packs’ small size and pre-measured, consistent content is perfect for aging hands and eyes. With ten thousand of our fellow Americans reaching the age of 65 each day, it’s a really big deal!
While younger Americans can choose from many options, the pods are a huge help to the frail and the disabled. Consider those who suffer from arthritis, for example. According to 2007-2009 data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), an estimated 50 million adults have self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis. That number is expected to grow to 67 million by the year 2030, per NHIS data. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, negatively impacting function and mobility for millions of senior citizens. The laundry pods meet the need created by those who can no longer heft a jug of detergent and pour it into a measuring cup. The small (but not too small to handle) size detergent pod fits the bill for aging-in-place seniors who wish to remain self-reliant.
And then there are those who must struggle each and every day with impaired vision. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals over the age of 65 accounts for roughly 30 percent of the U.S. population considered to be visually impaired. Dimming eyesight can reduce physical, functional, emotional, and social well-being. Doing the laundry can be a chore for all of us, but trying to measure the exact amount of liquid or powder for the person who is vision impaired can be a laundry room disaster resulting in ruined clothes and dangerous messes. For age-in-place seniors with cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and/or diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that causes visual impairment, anything that can help simplify the laundry measuring process is truly a godsend.
Keep in mind that many older Americans in single family homes and apartments may well have to take their laundry and laundry supplies to a communal laundry room or a Laundromat. Having the convenience of smaller, self-contained detergent pods to carry instead jugs of liquids and large boxes of powder is a big advantage for the elderly. This is especially true for those navigating with canes or walkers, or those needing to keep one hand free for stability.
In short, pre-measured laundry detergent packs or pods are critical innovations for seniors. This is one small-sized product with a huge functional impact for seniors. In an aging America, we need every one of these impactful products, and many, many more.
RetireSafe is a nationwide organization of 4000,000 supporters that advocates on behalf of seniors on issues regarding Social Security, Medicare, health and financial well-being.
Contact Thair Phillips, (202) 628-5095