The other day, I was sitting in my assisted living building when I saw one of the residents attempt to get her mail. The resident probably is about 5’2″ tall, and unfortunately for her, she was assigned a top mail box in the cluster of P.O. box style mailboxes of the facility. As a resourceful woman, she was using a long wooden back scratcher to reach up and into the box while on her tip toes and holding onto her walker with one hand. It took her about 4 minutes and considerable effort, but eventually, she removed all her mail. I might add here that I did offer to help her, but was refused, so was staying nearby, just in case.

As you can imagine, this is quite a fall risk. In addition, for someone with arthritis any kind of shoulder injury, or a wheelchair, reaching into a mail box that is about 5’10” above the floor is not a viable option. Under Hallways, I put a picture of the mailbox in question.

I have seen other ideas in different facilities in regards to mailboxes. Some facilities hand out the mail directly to residents through the staff. Others have lower P.O. boxes that run wider so that no one needs to reach too high or too low and potentially fall. One of my favorite set ups was having wooden boxes at the entrance to each room to hold mail until the person is able to check it.

Perhaps this will become less of an issue as the current generation age, given we are taller than the Greatest Generation, but shoulder problems and needing wheelchairs will still prevent the use of high mailboxes.

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