Adapting Household Items to Make Life Easier

man with lumber
March 1st, 2015

Seniors know that successful aging means adapting to change. Many senior citizens employ creative strategies to customize their surroundings to address changes in their lives. If you’re looking to embrace a DIY lifestyle to accomplish more each day, these tips will get you started:


Whether you’re a chef, a cooking enthusiast, or just looking for a quick snack, there are many ways in which you can adapt your kitchen to accommodate your personal needs. Here are just a few:

  • Cut a tennis ball in half to use as a gripper to open jars.
  • Slide washers onto utensil handle to add weight and make them easier to use.
  • Use a pizza cutter to safely chop foods such as bread and leafy vegetables. Scissors also work well when you’re cutting the ends off asparagus, green beans, or scallions.
  • Place rubber bands around glasses to help make them easier to grip.


A clean home helps maintain good health, but if you’re overexerting yourself to reach high shelves, clean low corners, or perform other household tasks, you may be putting yourself at risk of a fall. These tips can make it easier for you to accomplish tasks at home:

  • Attach a vacuum cleaner tube to a floor clamp (available at most hardware stores), turn on your vacuum, and sweep dirt and dust toward it. The stationary suction will serve as an active dustpan.
  • Wrap foam tubing around door knobs to help you grip and turn them more easily.
  • Ask your pet: If you train a dog to fetch certain items, carry small bags, or help you transport commonly used items, you won’t have to exert yourself quite as much.

Other Areas

Think of the many small (and large) things you do on a typical day. Senior citizens are continually developing innovative ways to make these things easier. Here are just a few examples:

  • For easier dressing, attach key rings to zippers. This makes them easier to grasp.
  • For easier gardening, use stout garden beds raised to your preferred height to prevent knee strain.
  • For hard-to-reach objects, a bamboo back scratcher can be converted into a grabber and multipurpose tool.
  • For ease of grip, sponges and rubber bands can be added to almost everything from remote controls to pens.
  • For Monopoly players, rattling dice placed in flat, plastic containers make them easier to roll and throw.
  • For computer users who can’t use their hands, a wireless mouse can be attached to a T-shaped block of wood to fit between the toes.

Add your creative ideas to this ever-growing list of adaptations. Once you start embracing a DIY philosophy, you’ll find adapting to life changes to be easier than ever before.

Aging in place can take some creativity — not to mention a strong support network. Even if your loved ones live far away, with a medical alert device, you and your family can rest assured that help is always just a button push away. Learn more about how a medical alert system can help seniors live independently.