Tools and Gadgets for Independent Living

Tools and gadgets that help people carry out daily activities more easily are called assistive devices. They are designed to help with:

• Getting dressed,

• Taking a shower,

• Reaching out-of-the-way places,

• Opening doors, and

• Hearing the voice on the other end of the telephone line.

The AARP Long-Term Care/Independent Living Program offers information about these tools and gadgets and where to buy them. Here are examples of gadgets that could help you or someone you love:

For help with seeing

• Tactile knobs for stoves with raised dots to indicate settings

• Magnifiers for televisions and computer screens

• Voice-activated automatic telephone dialers

For help with hearing

• Telephone amplifiers with adjustable tone, pitch, and volume

• Flashing-light phones, doorbells, and smoke alarm adapters

• Cordless headphones for televisions and audio devices

For help with remembering

• Electronic pill boxes with an alarm that signals when to take medication

• Telephones with memory dialing and spaces for photos of people frequently called

• Timed faucets that automatically turn off water

For help with getting around

• Long-handled “reachers” for retrieving items on low or high shelves

• Lever-style adapters that make it easy to turn door handles and faucets

• Widened tub edges and grab bars to make getting in and out of the bath easier

Credit: American Association for Retired People