Best Gadgets To Help Seniors to Age in Place and Stay Home Longer


“Aging in place,” when senior citizens make their apartments and homes easier to live in as they age, is increasingly popular. Successfully adapting your home to your specialized physical and social needs as you age requires smart planning and shopping.

There are large and expensive structural changes you can make to adapt your home, like adding ramps and walk-in bathtubs. However, there are also many inexpensive tools you can buy that can make your house a great “age in place” option.

Grab Bars

Safety concerns will prompt some of the best changes you can make to your house. As we age and lose strength and conditioning, it can be important to provide grab bars and railings wherever they might be needed.

Grab bars in the bathroom, placed near the toilet and the shower, can provide much-needed stability. Although they are not expensive to purchase, you may need assistance from a friend or contractor who can safely place the bars on the most sturdy parts of your walls. Make sure to work with the installer personally to show them how you use the bathroom and where the bar would be the most useful.

Railings on front stairs, garage steps, existing ramps, and even along inside hallways and stairs can also provide help for people as they move about their homes.

Door Lever Handles

It can often be a challenge to grab and turn round doorknobs for those who suffer from arthritis and other joint weakness. Switching out your doorway hardware from knobs to simple lever handles can make all the difference.

Although also not an expensive fix, this is another item that can stymy individuals who are not natural do-it-yourselfers. Watch YouTube videos to learn about the process of removing old doorknobs and installing levers, or enlist the help of handy relatives or friends.

Pull-out Drawers

Although not a major fix, this is another list item for which you might need to hire construction help. If it is becoming difficult to reach higher cupboards or to bend and see to the back of lower cupboards, contractors can work with you to install pull-out drawers. These sliding trays will allow you to see and handle all the items in your cupboards.

Low-vision issues can make it very difficult to cook and move around your kitchen. Often it becomes necessary to choose (and then memorize) standard locations for your most-used spice and ingredient options. Pull-out drawers allow you to access and memorize more of your cupboard, beyond the very front row of items.

Hand-held Shower Nozzles

Although converting your tub to a walk-in one, or installing a shower instead of a tub, are major jobs, one immediate fix you can enact is to install a hand-held shower nozzle.

As we lose flexibility and balance it can become more difficult just to perform regular daily hygiene tasks. A hand-held shower nozzle brings the shower to you and can be used along with a sturdy shower chair for maximum safety. It can also be a help to caregivers and home-care nurses when helping individuals before and after using the bathroom.

Adjustable Beds and Lift Chairs

The elderly are no strangers to aches and pains and reduced mobility. Two tools to bring into your home that can help you find comfortable positions as you rest, and can help you more easily stand up, are adjustable beds and lift chairs.

These items can be pricey, but don’t skimp on them. Make sure you like every aspect of how they work. Test the positions available, the ease of use of the control buttons or remote control, and the speed at which they can be adjusted. Although you should research these purchases carefully, make sure only to buy items that you can try before you commit to buying them. We spend a large proportion of our time sleeping, and it only becomes more important as we age to find a bed that works with our bodies.

Magnifiers and Magnifying Lamps

A large proportion of aging individuals suffer from macular degeneration and other medical conditions that cause low vision. Before it becomes too difficult to see and make your selections, look for magnifying glasses and lamps that work best for you. They come in a multitude of different sizes, strengths of magnification, and ease of use.

Particularly look for lamps with large and easy-to-use buttons, flexible necks so they can be positioned exactly where you want them, and a high-quality magnifying glass or plastic that won’t distort what you’re trying to read. Aim to have a mix of handheld magnifying glasses and lights, as well as floor lamps and magnifiers that can be used by tables and other furniture.

Necessary Technology…

If you are a person who is comfortable with technology or have caregivers who can help you set it up, sooner is better than later when setting up technological help in your home.

The Internet of things is popular for a reason, and tools sold by companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple can help you see and hear who is outside your door, allow you to turn on lights and appliances and music or media with voice commands, and also help you re-order supplies to be delivered to your door.

…Or Individual Adaptive Tools

If you are not comfortable with Wi-fi-enabled technology or services, you will also want to determine what tools can help you use television, the radio, and other media. Many helpful gadgets like simple and big-button TV remotes or single-button radios exist and can make a world of difference in your daily life.

Similarly, a large-button, programmable, or voice-activated phone can make all the difference when you are trying to keep in contact with friends and relatives. Tools exist to help you even when it becomes difficult to see a phone keypad; make sure to install and practice with them even before they become necessary.

Preparing to age in place and shopping for the tools necessary to help you adapt to aging and health challenges can be very empowering.


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