Improving the design of everyday objects like jar openers, nail clippers, and other household appliances and gadgets can greatly improve the quality of life of older adults as they develop conditions like arthritis, tremors, or other physical and mental limitations that come with age.
Together with our Longevity Explorers, we are evaluating products in this “everyday object” category, and sharing what we learn.
Active Aging: Rethinking the Use of Everyday Objects
As our bodies change with age, we are often advised by well-meaning health providers, family and friends to relinquish the activities we value and that give our lives meaning. We prefer the process of rethinking and repurposing everyday, affordable objects — so we can keep doing the “things we love“.
We discuss and provide examples of how to rethink outdoor activities such as gardening, animal care, and even simple farming. The principles can be adapted to many other hobbies and interests you may have!
Getting In and Out of Cars: Gadgets that Help
Our explorers have been trying out various gadgets that let them get in and out of cars more easily. So far we have focused on two types of products. The first is a swivel car seat, and the second is a sort of extra “car handle for the elderly”.
Best Jar Opener for Older Adults
Our explorer circles of older adults evaluated a range of jar openers, and found big differences between them. If you need a jar opener to help open jars for whatever reason, this synthesis will tell you which ones our Longevity Explorers liked and why they liked them.
Joe Maxwell’s Universal Design Kitchen
This article describes a piece of universal design (a kitchen) from 83 yr old designer Joe Maxwell. When you read about Joe’s kitchen design below from the 1950’s you can’t help wondering why we don’t see more Universal Design in mainstream products.
Best Lighted Cane
Our Explorer circles of older adults wanted a walking cane with a light that would help make getting out at night safer. The Explorers found some promising lighted canes online, purchased a few that looked especially good, tried them out, and decided on one which was “the best”.
Toenail Clippers for Elderly People
Our circles of older adults have been exploring toenail clippers for elderly people. They explain that older adults often have nails that are hard to cut or hard to reach. The explorers are especially interested in toenail clippers for thick toenails, and toenail clippers that will work when a person has arthritis, and thus can not exert a strong grip on the nail clipper.