Tools & Gadgets (Assistive Devices) For Independent Living


January 29, 2021

There are a wide variety of assistive devices on the market to help older adults and others with physical challenges. Here are a few to consider:  

  • Plastic finger loops that help turn keys in doors and car ignitions

  • Long-handled “reachers” for retrieving items on low or high shelves

  • Implements that help people put on socks or stockings

  • Lever-style adapters that make it easy to turn door handles and faucets

  • Widened tub edges and grab bars to make getting in and out of the bath easier

  • Clothing with Velcro fasteners

  • Specially designed cooking tools, such as cutting boards with finger guards and can openers that don’t leave sharp edges

  • Rails, straps, and platforms that make it easier to get in and out of bed, up and down from chairs, or in and out of cars, and that generally make moving safer and less tiring

  • Exercise machines and equipment that work well and safely for people with limited mobility and flexibility

  • Writing aids, such as large “grips” for pens and pen designs that help reduce the “shake” and muscle pain of writing

Tools and gadgets that can help with seeing and hearing

  • Talking watches, clocks, timers, calculators, scales, and indoor/outdoor thermometers

  • Talking heart and blood pressure monitors

  • Tactile knobs for stoves with raised dots to indicate settings

  • Battery-lighted magnifiers for reading

  • Large-print labelers that print raised, half-inch-high letters and numbers onto sticky-backed tape

  • Magnifiers for televisions and computer screens

  • Voice-activated automatic telephone dialers

  • Remote controls with large buttons and numbers for televisions, cable boxes, VCRs, and auxiliary components

  • Computers with voice-recognition and speech software and large-letter keyboards

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