27 Life Hacks for Seniors Aging in Place

By Devin Bevis

Getting older comes with unique challenges from vision changes to memory loss. Sometimes these changes require older adults to adapt how they tackle everyday tasks. Here are some tips and tricks to make day-to-day life a bit easier and more efficient as you age.

  1. Increase the font size on your phone. If you struggle to read text messages, increase the text size within your phone's settings.
  2. Avoid sketchy websites by checking the website address bar. Stick to sites that start with HTTPS. The S stands for secure. Also, look for a small padlock next to the address bar.
  3. Make ice packs with a wet sponge or towel. Just place it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer!
  4. Take a photo of where you park your car in a large parking lot. With a picture, you can easily see the row number or other landmarks to help you find your car.
  5. Color code your keys. Instead of fumbling around with your keyring, color code your keys with dots of bright nail polish. You could also have keys with different patterns made or purchase key covers.
  6. Store frequently used cleaning supplies in a hanging shoe rack. Hang the rack over the pantry or laundry room door. This hack can help reduce falls since seniors won't have to bend down and search under the sink for cleaning products.
  7. Use grip tape to keep rug corners down. You can buy special rug grips or try double-sided tape. Rugs become a big fall risk as we age, so consider getting rid of your rugs altogether, too.
  8. Set an alarm for medications. Use a smartphone or a traditional alarm so you never miss a dose of medication.
  9. Put your belt through your belt loops before putting your pants on. This tip helps you avoid threading your belt behind your back. To take this tip to another level, consider belts with hook and loop fasteners instead of the traditional buckle.
  10. Make zippers easier to grab by attaching keychains, rubber bands, bobby pins, or safety pins to them. Then you can easily zip up your jacket wherever you go.
  11. Secure extension cords or loose wires. Use tape or cable ties to keep cords organized. This looks better and can help prevent dangerous falls.
  12. Carry a small light with you when you stay somewhere new. Or use the flashlight on your phone. Your light can help you get to the bathroom or walk around safely at night if you don't know where the light switches are.
  13. Buy pre-chopped produce. Most grocery stores sell chopped fruits, vegetables, and even herbs. These items are great for people with arthritis or difficulty with fine motor skills.
  14. Put a lazy Susan in the fridge. If you have a hard time reaching items in the back of the refrigerator (or cabinet), get a turntable or revolving tray.
  15. Easily identify buttons on remote controls with stickers or nail polish. As your vision declines, small buttons on devices are harder to see. Adding contrast can help you continue to use your devices independently.
  16. Put bar soap inside a pair of pantyhose and tie the top to the shower head or a grab bar. This hack helps prevent soap from falling on the floor. Just get the soap wet and lather it up in your hands as usual.
  17. Pour liquids from large bottles into smaller ones to make them easier to hold. For example, if you buy liquid dish soap in bulk, pour it into a smaller bottle. Or look for liquids with a pump top so you don't have to pick up the bottle. 
  18. Put rubber bands around cups or water bottles. Rubber bands add texture and grip to make them easier to hold.
  19. Swap out round door knobs for lever handles. Round handles can be harder to turn as we get older and lose fine motor skills.
  20. Ask for non-childproof lids from the pharmacist if you have a hard time opening medication bottles. Of course, make sure to keep these bottles away from your grandchildren.
  21. Use magnetic jewelry clasps so you don't have to fiddle with small hooks. These clasps attach to existing jewelry pieces, making them easier to wear.
  22. Opt for stretchy shoelaces. They provide enough stretch to slip them on and off without tying and untying. But they stay secure enough that your shoes won't come loose.
  23. Keep medication lists handy. Take a picture on your phone. Send it to your kids if you are worried you won't be able to find it in your albums. Or write down a list on a paper and put it on the fridge.
  24. If holding playing cards is difficult, place them in an upside-down ice cube tray. Or you can purchase holders for playing cards. Get an automatic shuffler, too, to enjoy your favorite card games.
  25. Use the foam from foam hair rollers to make it easier to hold silverware. You can also use this hack for pens, toothbrushes, lipstick, and other thin objects.
  26. Wear rubber gloves to get more grip when opening jars. You can also use silicone heat pads or oven mitts to make them easier to grasp.
  27. Use brightly colored duck tape to add contrast to stair treads. As you age, it might be harder to see the edges of stairs or floor transitions. Add a strip of bright tape to these areas so you can safely get around. 

We hope these tips for seniors help make life easier as you complete daily tasks. However, if you need help remaining independent, reach out to your local team of professional caregivers

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Tags: Senior Living