My Mother in Law Can't Open Jars. Please critique my Solution

By: Inna Zatulovsky. Updated: September 17, 2021.

Problem description

Every time my Mother in law (90 years old) tries to open a jar she goes to her neighbor. She does not have any strength in her arms to do it. She goes to her neighbor asking to help with many other things as well. It makes her very uncomfortable to bother a person all the time. It would be nice if she can perform some of the tasks herself.

I have a specific idea of how to create a new product to solve this. It includes something that punches a small hole in the lid of the jar, and then makes the lid easy to turn.

Hear me present this idea, and get feedback from the participants below.

Hear this problem discussed below

from Aging in Place technologies: Co-creating the future of aging Meetup, April 16, 2014.


Suggested Solutions

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from Ducha (member) at September 28, 2014

As mentioned in the discussion, tools used to remove oil filters from cars are solving the same problem.  This type of product would be infinitely adjustable for size.  Two in the package could mean one holds the lid while the other one is used to hold the jar, but because of the handles, far less strength would be needed to break the seal of the lid. This would leave the lid intact, and reusable, unlike the idea of poking a hole in the lid to break the vacuum.


from Ducha (member) at September 28, 2014

You can get the Ghilhoolie product mentioned above at the Vermont Country Store:


from John Milford (member) at October 16, 2014

After the container's top is off, the real fun begins - for decades, the 'consumer protection' foil seal has been as vexing to open as the container lid.

Any ideas about how better to assure pure food without the hassle?


from Marie Mika (member) at March 26, 2015

Hello All,

Here’s another gadget that looks to be quite helpful for opening jar lids:

The Hamilton Beach Open Ease Automatic Jar Opener

If you should give it a try at home, please let us know what you think!

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