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Must-have assistive devices for seniors

As people age, it can become more difficult to complete certain tasks. Assistive devices are technology, tools and instruments designed to help people perform a specific task or function.

Though it can be difficult to admit the need for an assistive device, investing in them early on can prevent injury, limit pain, contribute to a better quality of life and encourage independence. Consider these must-have assistive devices for seniors to make life easier and safer.

Video doorbell

Motion-activated, voice-controlled video doorbells with high-definition recordings, wide views, color night vision and more allow users to be notified of visitors before getting up. Many newer video doorbells are able to connect to third-party smart devices, helping those with mobility issues access video quickly.


Top-rated ACTIVATOR poles help to relieve tension from bones and joints and can aid during the rehabilitation stage of an injury. Designed by a physical therapist and gerontologist, the poles improve balance while providing stability and encouraging upright posture.


Tasks requiring fine motor skills and small objects, such a pulling zipper or securing a button, can become more difficult (and frustrating) with age. Certain debilitating conditions can also limit dexterity. Buttonhooks are a simple, inexpensive tool to help with securing shoes, gloves, shirts and other clothing.

Bathroom rails and shower bench

People over 85 suffer more than half of their injuries near a toilet, according to a 2011 CDC report. Grab bars near the toilet and in the shower can be an easy-to-install, lifesaving device for seniors. Shower benches can also offer relief and support in a wet, potentially hazardous setting.

Fall detector

Fall detectors can measure when a user has suddenly fallen, using sensors to monitor body positioning, physical activity and the acceleration of movement. These medical alert devices can afford peace of mind to seniors living alone, as they automatically notify emergency workers or personal contacts for an urgent response The technology, which is typically waterproof, can be worn around the neck, on the wrist or sometimes the waist.

Smart home assistant

There are several smart home assistant options available to control television, lights, heating and cooling, music players and more. These devices save steps and help keep several tasks under one central system.

Robotic vacuums

Modern robotic vacuums can now keep track of where they’ve been, understanding a home’s layout and emptying debris automatically after suction. Having a robotic vacuum is a quiet, low-maintenance option for keeping areas tidy, saving seniors the hassle of crouching, bending or contorting to clean.

Large-print keyboard

Keyboards with high-visibility keys make it easy for the visually impaired to type and navigate their computers. Often, there is no assembly required; many large-print keyboards are also equipped with USB or wireless capabilities, making connection to a computer or tablet simple.

Cass County Medical Care Facility staff can help assess people’s needs for assistive devices and guide prospective users to a safer, better quality of life.