Harvard Health Letter

Tools to make your life easier

grabber-balance-aging
Image: Thinkstock

Little gadgets such as weighted utensils or shirt buttoners make a big impact on daily living.

As we age, our dexterity and fine motor skills tend to diminish. That makes it hard to perform simple tasks, such as but-toning a shirt or writing a letter. Add in some physical challenges such as arthritis, injury, or stroke, and older adults can easily lose the ability to care for themselves. "Being able to perform one's activities of daily living is often the difference between living independently at home or needing others to provide assistance, either at home or in a group living facility," says geriatrician Dr. Suzanne Salamon, an instructor at Harvard Medical School.

Fortunately, there are tools to assist people with everyday activities (and these gadgets happen to make great holiday gifts). Most cost less than $50 or $100. You'll find them in drugstores, at medical supply stores, and online.

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