Senior citizens often face challenges that younger folks don't, and they may need a little help to make their lives easier. Whether it's tools to navigate the world or activities to keep the mind sharp, there are plenty of products and services that can help older folks go about their days more easily and safely.
GROCERY PICKUP OR DELIVERY
Many grocery stores offer online ordering. Store staffers assemble and pack the order, and it can be picked up or delivered. This service can be a boon for seniors who are comfortable online or have a family member who can help. Costs vary, but retailers including Walmart offer free pickup at some locations. Costco is also moving to expand its delivery options.
Dishes with a non-skid base (as little as $10 each) can make eating easier for someone who has limited muscle control or the use of only one hand.
These universal handles (about $17 for a pack of four) attach to utensils, pens, pencils, toothbrushes, and such to make them easier for arthritic hands to hold.
ZIPPER PULL/BUTTON HOOK
For seniors who need a little help with zippers and buttons, this combination tool (less than $8) can make it easier to get dressed.
Bending over and putting on a sock may not be a big deal for younger people, but it can be extremely difficult for older folks. Sock aids ($11 on Amazon) help seniors put on socks without bending over.
Seniors can often have difficulty seeing the numbers on an ordinary TV remote, and pressing the buttons with arthritic hands can be hard too. A big-button remote (about $10) can make a big difference, with an added bonus: It's harder to lose.
Mounted into a wall stud, a $13 grab bar can bear up to 500 pounds and be a big assist to folks who need help getting in and out of a bathtub.
Helpful for people who have lost most or all of their vision, a liquid-level indicator (starting at less than $10) sounds an alert when a cup or bowl is nearly full.
TOILET SAFETY RAIL
The simple routine of sitting on a toilet and getting up again can be difficult for some seniors. A sturdy toilet safety rail ($30 on Amazon) can help ensure safety.
RAISED TOILET SEAT
Another option to help seniors in the bathroom is a raised toilet seat (about $26). Portable and lockable, with handles for balance and support, it reduces the distance between sitting and standing.
Grabbers, or reachers, help folks who have mobility issues. These gadgets ($15 on Amazon) can be used to retrieve things from shelves or pick up things from the floor.
Older folks who love to garden may find kneeling down -- and getting up again -- a literal pain. There are many contraptions that improve comfort while working in the garden. A padded kneeler (about $40) can be flipped over and used as a low bench.
Not everyone can pony up the cash to install a walk-in bathtub, but safety is paramount for those in danger of slipping. A simple, high-quality shower mat (about $13.50) can help reduce the risk of a fall.
For those who need a little more stability, a shower seat may be necessary. One available on Amazon comes in several different styles (about $22). They can be adjusted to different heights and hold about 250 pounds.
Many seniors may not be interested in a smartphone but could use a simple, no-nonsense cellphone. The Jitterbug was designed with seniors in mind, and its relatively low cost (starting at $95 and about $15 monthly) can fit a tight budget. It comes equipped with a one-step emergency contact service.
Since younger folks spend a lot of time using social media and electronic devices, it makes sense for seniors to get in on the act, in order to keep in touch. A senior-specific tablet, like the GrandPad, can be far easier to use than a conventional tablet. The price is steep for a subscription ($75 a month) but reasonable for a one-time purchase as a gift for a parent or grandparent.
BED ASSIST RAIL
Getting in and out of bed can be difficult for people with mobility issues. This combo product ($30 at Walmart) can help with that and also help keep folks from rolling out of bed.
It can be hard to keep medical paperwork in order. Although many people are comfortable using online portals for medical records, some senior citizens might not be, or simply may feel better having hard copies at the ready in a dedicated organizer ($30 on Amazon).
Rubber jar openers (about $6.50 for a set of four) can really help those with arthritis or similar issues twist off stubborn tops.
A key turner ($5 for two on Amazon) provides a little extra leverage for those who can't easily turn a key in a lock.
A lightweight cane seat (about $25) provides support and stability while walking and opens into an instant seat for resting almost anywhere. This double-duty cane can hold up to 250 pounds.
For aging bookworms whose eyes aren't quite what they used to be, a rechargeable book light costs about $17.
PLAYING CARD HOLDERS
Arthritic card players can avoid cramped and painful hands with a set of playing card holders ($16 for four).
LARGE-PRINT WORD SEARCHES
A book of large-print word-search puzzles, with spiral binding that allows it to lie flat, costs about $8 on Amazon.
Therapeutic puzzles ($20 on Amazon) have only 12 pieces but can be ideal for those struggling with memory loss, Alzheimer's disease or dementia. They come with a built-in shelf, which allows them to be enjoyed anywhere.
SENIOR COLORING BOOK
Adult coloring books are all the rage, but many include designs with narrow lines or tight spaces that are difficult for aging eyes to see. Look for coloring books made with seniors and novices in mind (about $8).