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Tools & Gadgets for Independent Living

Photo of a Dressing StickIn our gadget crazed world, one market is still not saturated: tools designed to ease the challenges of the aging and mobility challenged. Fortunately, businesses and solo inventors have begun introducing an array of clever devices to fill that gap:

Basic Tools

  • Plastic finger loops that help turn keys in doors and car ignitions
  • Long-handled reachers for retrieving items on shelves
  • Implements that help people put on socks or stockings
  • Lever-style adapters that make it easy to turn door knobs 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 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