Adventures of Designing a Universal Toenail Clipper

Cutting toenails

Recent Ithaca College Occupational Therapy Student Rebecca Helbraun discovers the challenge that toenail cutting poses for older adults; does some research; and invents, designs and prototypes a new solution. She shares her journey here.

Getting In and Out of Cars: Gadgets that Help

swivel car seat exploration

  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”. The swivel car seat is designed … Read more

Alzheimer’s Thermostat Design: Jeeves vs. Nurse Ratched

Dementia thermostat

Thoughts about thermostats and people with dementia. Remember Jeeves, and Nurse Ratched? Imagine they were in charge of designing products for older adults. I wish we had the sort of products I imagine Jeeves would have designed for Bertie Wooster. Unfortunately, we seem to get the products Nurse Ratched might have dreamed up for the unfortunate inmates of “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

Best Jar Opener for Older Adults

Jar openers for seniors, and for arthritis

  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. Our Explorer circles have had a number of discussions, and show and tell interactions, about jar openers. This is a summary of what we learned. … Read more

Joe Maxwell’s Universal Design Kitchen

miracle 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

Cane with light: Older adult explorers testing lighted canes

  Our circles of older adults have had a number of discussions in which a walking cane with a light surfaced as a good idea. Our Explorers thought a highly visible cane, with a light to help avoid hazards, could help make getting out at night safer. Together, we found some interesting looking lighted canes online, purchased a … Read more

Toenail Clippers for Elderly People

toenail clippers for elderly

  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 … Read more