Everyday Appliances, Tools, & Devices:  Older Adult Perspectives

The Impact Theme series: Longevity Explorers Discuss.

There are lots of things that fall into the category of "everyday objects". They are not sexy, and don't get the attention of pundits or fashionable startup companies, but can make a huge difference to the quality of everyday life.

A prefect example is the humble "jar opener".

Our Longevity Explorers like to find such everyday objects and share them with each other and with you. Listen to their discussions and "show and tell" sessions below.



Hear what Older Adults Think: Everyday Appliances, Tools, & Devices

Passavant explorers evaluate "TV Ears"

The Test Pilots/Passavant Community Longevity Explorers Circle evaluated the product "TV Ears" at their October 2019 meeting. Here are the results.



Explorers Conceptualize a Better Grabber

In this fun brainstorming session, explorers conceptualize in detail a more versatile 'reacher-grabber' tool than those which are currently available.



Explorers' Field Report on Use of Toenail Clippers

Eskaton Village explorers took home an array of toenail clippers and returned with a report of their findings.



Comparing Jar Openers @ EVC

The Eskaton Village Carmichael Longevity Explorer circle tried out a wide variety of jar openers, and then discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each.



Best Toenail Clippers for Older Adults

Finding the right toenail clippers to work for an older adult has been a recurring discussion topic among circle members. We have narrowed down the array of possible nail clippers and tools to a short list that seem promising for hands-on evaluation. Please check them out and comment.



What Time Is It? Dementia Confusion

My Dad is now in a nursing home, and he can't tell the difference between 4 AM and 4 PM when looking at a clock. When he asks his Voice Assistant, and it says, "It's 4 AM", he thinks it said "4 PM," and he better get dressed for dinner!



"Senior" Finds TV Hard to Use

As older adults develop physical and mental frailties, they sometimes have difficulty using products they want to be able to continue to use: such as the TV.

For example, physical impairments, like arthritis or tremor, may make it hard to press buttons. And cognitive impairments may make...



Lost the TV Remote?

Who is not familar with this experience?

It's time to watch TV. Where did you put the remote control for the TV?



Forgets to Put Toilet Seat Down

My brother-in-law forgets to put the toilet seat down causing my sister to almost fall in once during the night



TV Always On in Background: Mind Numbing

If you have visited residents' rooms in a nursing home, you will notice that the resident's TV is always on, although the resident is not paying attention. It's mind numbing.



Medicine Containers Challenge Older Hands

Explorer Diana tells the group about the difficulty she has opening a bottle of commercial pain relief pills.



Serene Innovations TV Soundbox @ Passavant

The Test Pilots/Passavant Community Longevity Explorers Circle evaluated the product "TV Soundbox" at their January 2020 meeting. Here are the results.



Shirley Cites Packaging Conundrums

Explorer Shirley points out that the instructions to use a set of hangers are printed on the back of the package, which must be torn off to open and remove the hangers.



Open X

Explorer Jim introduces the group to a package opener that he finds very helpful for opening plastic or 'clamshell' packaging.



I Want More Public Seating Suitable for Older Adults

SF Explorer Shirley decries the paucity of public seating designed to accommodate the special needs of older adults.



Touchscreen Gloves

Explorer Lynn tells the group about gloves that need not be removed to operate the touchscreen of many electronic devices.



Explorers Evaluate Jar Opener Prototype

Saratoga Retirement Village Explorers evaluate a newly invented model jar open



I Love My Raised Garden for Ease of Access

Explorer Marty tells the group that having plants in easy reach makes it possible for her to continue gardening.



Package Openers @ Avenidas

The Longevity Explorers @ Avenidas discuss package openers.




Gadget Exploration, SF Q3 2018

Longevity Explorers in San Francisco discuss gadgets which they have brought to the meeting to share. Explorer AnnieScott seems agnostic at first about a lighted cane that she bought, and passes it around, also sharing a new white noise machine.

As the group explores the lighted cane,...



Explorers Examine A New Jar Opener

Longevity Explorers discuss and explore a newly invented type of jar opener.



Jar Openers Demo @ Pleasanton

A favorite jar opener was demonstrated with a spaghetti sauce jar and a pickle jar. Also a method for opening plastic water bottles (teeth, not recommended) was discussed. It is helpful to first break the seal with a church key. What’s a church key?



Elders Want Gadgets that are Fun and not Just Useful

An engineer in the group who enjoys making things bewailed the fact that many tools may be helpful but not many are fun. This prompted a lively discussion about gadgets that are fun to use.

Virtual Reality technology was a favorite. You can use it to take trips to exotic or interesting...



Jar openers @ Pleasanton

Opening jars requires strength. Other than a husband, or smashing it on the front sidewalk, is there a recommendation for a good jar opener?

There are multiple causes to difficulty opening jars, and there are different openers which work best for each cause.

On the Longevity...



Explorers Call Out Bad Packaging and Product Design

Explorer Shirley asks why manufacturers package their products in vessels that are not designed to be friendly to older hands.



About the Impact Theme Series

Our Longevity Explorers (hundreds of older adults with ages ranging from 60-95 years old) meet regularly to discuss topics at the intersection of aging and technology.

Among the many topics we discuss in these meetings, we have been exploring some specific themes which we think are going to be very important for older adults in the future, and which in our opinion are ripe for innovation. These make up our Impact Themes, and Everyday Appliances, Tools, & Devices is one of these themes.

In these discussions:

  • We share how we do things today;
  • We explore and critique existing products;
  • We talk about challenges we have that we wish products could solve; and
  • We dream up product concepts we wish someone like you would develop.

If you are developing products or services for older adults in the category of Everyday Appliances, Tools, & Devices, listen to the Longevity Explorer discussions on this page to get insights about how to develop better products and services for older adults.

More Explorer Discussions


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