Invent Me a Bathroom Scale

Every time I weigh an elderly person at home I wonder why bathroom scale manufacturers don’t make a scale my patients can navigate safely. If it is a digital scale they can’t get on it quick enough. By the time they steady themself on the scale and let go of their walker, the scale gives an error message. A regular bathroom scale is somewhat easier for a senior to get on but isn’t always as accurate as the digital. I measured my home scale. It is one inch off the ground. Most scales seem to be one or two inches high. That is high for someone that is very unsteady on their feet.

So why bother with weighing these frail elderly people? Many of my patients have congestive heart failure. Gaining one or two pounds in a day or five pounds in a week can signal a build-up of fluid that can trigger an acute episode of congestive heart failure. I want to catch a problem before it gets worse. I need a good scale to do that.

I have some patients that just aren’t eating right. They don’t have much of an appetite. They’ve lost interest in eating. Their clothes look loose on them. I want to know if they are losing weight. Loss of weight in the elderly can be a bad predictor of longetivity.  Once again….I need a good scale.

So here is my wish list. I want a bathroom scale that:

  1. is preferably digital
  2. has a built-in delay that allows someone to take their time getting on the scale
  3. has a retractable handle (like suitcases have) that a pt can use to steady themselves
  4. big numbers
  5. lighted backround
  6. 1/2 inch off the ground
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