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8 Must-Have Assistive Devices for the Elderly

16 minute readLast updated March 14, 2024
fact checkedon March 14, 2024
Written by Kayla Van Erdewyk, senior living writer

If you’re concerned about your senior loved one’s independence in daily activities and routines, assistive devices may help. As seniors age, personal care tasks such as getting out of bed and getting dressed can become more difficult. Your loved one may also be at a higher risk for falls and injuries. Assistive devices include both simple and high-tech tools — rehab poles, wearable alert devices, wireless headphones, and more — for seniors who need a bit of extra support. These products not only can help your loved one safely accomplish tasks on their own, but they can also bring you some extra peace of mind.

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1. Rehabilitation poles

The ACTIVATOR 2 Rehab 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 stroke.[01]

These rehabilitation poles are also a great option for people who are recovering from hip or knee surgery. Each pole has the capacity to bear up to 225 pounds of weight and features a bell-shaped tip for stability, as well as an ergonomically correct handle for core strengthening.[01]

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.[01]

Price: $149.99 (price may fluctuate)

Find it here:ACTIVATOR 2 Rehab Poles

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2. Button hook

This type of 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, nonslip handle. It enables the user to button blouses, jackets, and pants easily by minimizing stress on the user’s fingers and hands.

There’s even a hook on one end of the tool to help with zippers. The button hook is 7.5 inches long, so it’s portable enough to take on the go.[02]

Price: $9.99 (price may fluctuate)

Find it here:RMS Button Hook

3. Bed handle

This specialized bed handle from KingPavonini makes getting out of bed safe. It’s is easy to install between a mattress and box spring of any size, and it features adjustable legs that extend to the ground for added support.

The handle itself is only about 6 pounds but is designed to support up to 300 pounds. Its safety strap and nonslip handle allow for a firm, stable grip.[03]

This is a must-have item for individuals with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or vertigo.

Price: $44.79 (price may fluctuate)

Find it here:KingPavonini adjustable bed handle

4. Toilet aid

The Juvo Toilet Aid tool is ergonomically designed for people with limited dexterity who have difficulty reaching when they wipe. This assistive device is 18 inches long and is equipped with a tissue holder that securely grips moistened wipes and toilet paper.[04]

The handle has a trigger for locking wipes in place and one for releasing that makes for easy disposal of wipes after use.[04] This is a great device for someone who needs assistance but still wishes to use the toilet independently.

Price: $24.99 (price may fluctuate)

Find it here:Juvo Toilet Aid

5. Medical alert device

The Lively Mobile2 is a wearable medical alert device with an urgent-response button that can call for help whenever it’s pushed. Its fashion-forward design allows it to be clipped to clothing or worn around the neck, although using the lanyard is required for the fall detection technology to work.[05]

This device can also be worn in the shower, where a significant number of falls occur. A Certified Urgent Response Agent will be notified if a fall is detected. Family members can also be registered for notification if the button is pressed.[05]

A monthly service fee is necessary after purchase of the device.

Price: $79.99 plus monthly fees that range from $24.99 to $44.98, depending on the services you want

Find it here:Lively Mobile2

6. Reminder alarm clock

The Rosie 2, a unique voice-controlled alarm clock, is a great device for seniors struggling with memory loss. It’s incredibly user-friendly: no fussy buttons, no frustrations associated with Wi-Fi, and no difficult programming features.[06]

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 everyday tasks.

Rosie’s large display and battery backup make this a practical device to help seniors maintain independence and ease caregiver stress.[06]

Price: $199.99 (price may fluctuate)

Find it here:Rosie 2 reminder alarm clock

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7. Wireless TV headphones

The AudioRange ITE-1000 can be connected to a television and worn like a headset to hear dialogue clearly.

Using only the headset, seniors can mute the TV and still listen to the audio. The headset also includes a microphone button to pick up surrounding voices, so the user can turn it into a hearing aid.

This product’s design features ear buds, which go inside your ears, but AudioRange also offers the OTE-1000 with a more traditional, over-the-ear design.[07]

Price: $129.99

Find it here:AudioRange ITE-1000 Wireless TV Listening System

8. Chair lift

The Able Life stand-assist device can be used with a recliner, love seat, or sofa to manually lift the user into a standing position. This wonderfully adaptive tool for the elderly can help those with coccyx pain or other joint ailments.

The frame can accommodate a couch or seat up to 26 inches wide and up to 27 inches deep. Its handles are adjustable between 7 and 10 inches, and they’re also padded for comfort.[08]

Price: $88.07 (price may fluctuate)

Find it here:Able Life Universal Stand Assist

Benefits of 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 (ADLs), such as dressing and personal hygiene tasks. These devices can restore confidence and increase freedom. For example, seniors can use adaptive tools to get out of bed, remind them of appointments, or button up a shirt.

Assistive devices can also provide peace of mind to family members. By helping seniors access tools such as medical alert technology and stand-assist devices, you can feel more confident about their safety and mobility when you’re not with them.

Seniors may benefit from assistive devices if they relate to any of the following experiences:

  • They need help with mobility and balance, either in everyday life or after a surgery.
  • They struggle with clothes fasteners, like zippers and buttons.
  • They have trouble getting in and out of their bed, couch, or chair.
  • They need extra support with toileting.
  • They are prone to falls or need a quick way to get help in an emergency.
  • They experience memory loss.
  • They have trouble hearing.

What to look for when choosing an assistive device

It’s important to set your senior family member up with tools that are truly helpful and won’t become a source of frustration.

As you shop for assistive devices, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will the device help my senior loved one regain some independence?
  • Can my loved one use the device safely and confidently on their own?
  • Will the device provide help for months or years to come, or does it only provide a quick fix?
  • Is the device made to last throughout many uses?
  • Does the device have positive customer reviews?

Invest in future comfort

Investing in devices like the products described above means investing in continued independence, comfort, and safety for your loved one in the years to come.

Assistive technology can greatly improve a senior’s lifestyle by making daily tasks easier. But when your loved one’s care needs increase, you may need to start thinking 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 a Senior Living Advisor with A Place for Mom to learn more about future options and how to prepare for any changes — all at no cost to your family.

SHARE THE ARTICLE

  1. Amazon. (2024). RMS Button Hook.

  2. Amazon. (2024). Juvo Toilet Aid.

  3. Lively. (2024). Lively Mobile2.

  4. Amazon. (2024). Rosie 2.

Meet the Author
Kayla Van Erdewyk, senior living writer

Kayla Van Erdewyk is a content specialist at A Place for Mom, where she focuses on senior-friendly technology, the move to assisted living, and many other topics that help families choose the right type of care. Kayla holds a master's degree in special education from the University of Northern Colorado, plus a psychology degree from Creighton University.

Edited by

Marlena Gates

The information contained on this page 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 endorse the contents of the third-party sites.

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