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Two seniors hiking in the woods using walking poles.

Must-Have Assistive Devices for Elderly

Written by Grace Styron
 about the author
6 minute readLast updated March 2, 2022

Accessibility becomes increasingly important as a person ages. Declining agility and unsteadiness can result in falls with devastating injuries for seniors. Tasks that were previously simple, such as getting out of bed, dressing, or taking care of personal hygiene, may become difficult to accomplish without assistance.

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Assistive devices are fantastic resources to help seniors maintain their independence in daily activities and routines.

Assistive devices for seniors

Assistive devices for seniors are adaptive tools designed to help bridge gaps in an older adult’s mobility and ability to perform activities of daily living, such as getting out of bed or buttoning up a shirt. These devices can restore confidence, increase freedom, and provide family members with peace of mind that their loved one is comfortable and safe.

Check out this list of must-have assistive devices for seniors:

1. ACTIVATOR Rehab Poles

These specialized poles increase balance and mobility and are a terrific alternative to canes and walkers. The dual poles offer lateral stability and are designed for individuals living with conditions such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis (MS)Parkinson’s disease, and strokeThey are also a great option for people who are recovering from hip or knee surgery. Each pole has the capacity to bear up to 200 pounds of weight and features a bell-shaped tip for stability as well as an ergonomically correct handle for core strengthening.

The poles are adjustable to accommodate most body shapes and sizes, and they can be used both indoors and outdoors. Plus, they’re collapsible, so the user can easily travel with them. The developer’s website provides a wealth of information and includes a variety of user guides and video instructions on how to get the most out of the poles.

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2. OXO Good Grips button hook

This assistive device is great for seniors with arthritis, fine motor impairment, or reduced dexterity. The simple tool features a hook and wire design and an ergonomic, non-slip handle. It enables the user to button blouses, jackets, and pants easily by minimizing stress on the user’s fingers and hands. The button hook is 7 inches long with a 4 ¼ inch handle — portable enough to take on the go.

3. Essential Medical hand bed rail

This specialized bed handle makes getting out of bed safe. The handle is easy to install between a mattress and box spring of any size and features adjustable legs that extend to the ground for added support. The handle itself is only about 8 pounds but is designed to support up to 300 pounds. Its securing strap and nonslip sleeves allow for a firm, stable grip. This is a must-have item for individuals with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or vertigo.

4. Fanwer Toilet Aid

This toileting tool is ergonomically designed for people with limited dexterity who have difficulty reaching when they wipe. This assistive device extends to over 15 inches and is equipped with a soft, flexible head that securely grips moistened wipes and toilet paper. The handle is cushioned and soft against the skin for added comfort. The quick-release function makes for easy disposal of wipes after use. This is a great device for someone who needs assistance but still wishes to use the toilet independently.

5. Lively Wearable2

This wearable medical alert device has an urgent response button that can call for help whenever it is pushed. It is fashion forward and can be clipped to clothing or worn around the neck or wrist. This device can also be worn in the shower, where a significant number of falls occur. Its built in fall detection technology will alert a Certified Response Agent if a fall is detected. Family members can also be registered for notification if the button is pressed.

Purchase of the device and a monthly service fee are necessary, but discounts for AARP members are available. A smartphone with the Lively app is required. The app is easy to set up and lets seniors track their daily steps, connect with other Lively users, and contact the customer service team.

6. Rosie reminder alarm clock

This unique voice-controlled alarm clock is a great device for seniors struggling with memory loss. Without fussy buttons, frustrations associated with Wi-Fi, or difficult programming features, it is incredibly user-friendly. The device can also be personalized with the voice of the user or their loved ones. Record up to 25 personalized reminders and messages and set daily time-specific reminders for appointments or every-day tasks. Rosie’s large display and battery backup make this a practical device to help seniors maintain independence and ease caregiver stress.

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7. AudioRange ITE-1000 Wireless TV Listening System

This audible device can be connected to a television and worn like a headset to hear dialog clearly. The television can even be muted and listened to through the headset alone. It also features a microphone button to pick up surrounding voices, so the user can turn it into a hearing aid. While this device is designed as ear buds you put inside your ears, a traditional headphones design where the ear cushions fit over the ears is also available.

8. Carex chair lift

This stand-assist device can be used with a chair, love seat, or sofa to manually lift the user into a standing position without pain, overexertion, or strain. This wonderfully adaptive tool for the elderly can help those with arthritis, coccyx pain, or other joint ailments. The comfortable memory foam cushion is lightweight and easy to clean, and it comes with a waterproof cover. This device also folds flat for easy mobility and storage.

Invest in future comfort

Investing in devices like these means investing in the continued independence, comfort, and safety of yourself or your loved one in the years to come.

Assistive technology can greatly improve a senior’s lifestyle by making daily tasks easier. But, as increased assistance is needed, it may be time to think about assisted living or in-home care. If you think your loved one needs more care or assistance than you can provide, consider reaching out to an A Place for Mom Senior Living Advisor to learn more about future options.

Meet the Author
Grace Styron

Grace Styron is a writer at A Place for Mom specializing in assistive technology and memory care. Before writing about healthy aging, she worked for an online women’s lifestyle magazine and as a grant writer for a nonprofit regenerative permaculture farm in Virginia. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University.

Edited by

Jordan Kimbrell

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal or financial advice or create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom and the reader.  Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site.  Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.