14 Useful Home Products for People with Limited Mobility
When simple daily tasks become challenging, these innovative products can make them easier—and improve quality of life overall.
The everyday chores and activities most people take for granted can seem impossible for others. Physical limitations, even mild ones, can affect the ability to eat, dress oneself, move about the home safely, and perform routine tasks. Fortunately, many manufacturers today are making products that allow those with limited mobility to live comfortably at home, giving them more freedom in their daily lives.
The following products assist in different ways, but all encourage independent living and help individuals perform tasks that might otherwise be too difficult.
1. Lift Chair
For the elderly and those with reduced leg and back strength, standing up from a sitting position can be difficult without assistance. A lift chair, such as the Mcombo Electric Lift Chair, safely and easily elevates the occupant from a sitting to standing position. The chair also reclines and offers a footrest to increase comfort and minimize leg and ankle swelling. It supports up to 320 pounds and comes with two convenient cupholders.
2. Smart Devices
Over the past decade, smart devices like Amazon’s Echo Dot, which syncs with Alexa, have become increasingly sophisticated, making it simpler than ever to tackle everyday tasks with the use of voice commands. When paired via Bluetooth or a home WiFi network, smart devices let residents turn on lights, adjust the temperature in the home, make phone calls, and even see and talk remotely to delivery persons, all without ever having to get up from a chair. Depending on the device, professional installation may be required.
RELATED: The Best Smart Home Devices of 2022
3. Shower Chair
With reduced mobility comes an increased risk of slips and falls in the shower. This hazard is greatly reduced when the bather can shower safely from a seated position. The Medokare Shower Transfer Bench features nonslip feet, height-adjustable legs, and a sturdy hand brace. Its extra-wide seat can straddle the side of a bathtub, allowing users to sit on the bench and then scoot over the tub for a shower or sponge bath.
4. Sliding Transfer Bench
For more assistance than a shower chair provides, consider a sliding transfer bench, such as the HydroGlyde Padded Sliding Transfer Bench. The bather sits on the seat, and then an assistant slides the seat into position over the bathtub. A removable cutout facilitates thorough cleaning of intimate areas, while a backrest and safety strap provide support and security. The bench is waterproof and can also be used as a shower chair.
5. Robot Vacuum
Keeping the floors clean is a chore for anyone, but for those with restricted mobility, it can seem virtually impossible. Today’s Roomba robot vacuums are changing all that. These small, smart units, such as the popular iRobot Roomba 694, use artificial intelligence to map out a room’s configuration, including the furniture, and they can be programmed to vacuum at predetermined times. The vacuum does require manual dumping of the dustbin, but it does everything else on its own.
6. Extension Grabber
Deep countertops and high shelves put many items out of reach for those in wheelchairs and power chairs, and that’s where extension grabbers come in. Handy tools like the RMS Grabber Reachers are lightweight and feature a trigger-type handle that allows the user to grab objects up to 30 inches away securely. Don’t expect to lift heavy objects with an extension grabber, but these convenient reach-assist tools make retrieving lightweight objects a snap.
7. Portable Battery-Powered Jar Opener
Opening a jar by hand isn’t an option for those with arthritis or other debilitating hand conditions. With the battery-powered Sinceller Electric Jar Opener, users simply position the opener on top of a jar, then push a single button to activate the tool. Easy peasy!
8. Floor-to-Ceiling Tension Bar
Getting in and out of bed safely can be difficult for those with limited mobility. Floor-to-ceiling tension bars, such as the Stander Security Pole, give users a stable brace they can grab onto for support when standing up and sitting down. While tension bars are frequently placed by a bed, they can also be helpful near a favorite chair. To install, put the pole in the desired location, and then use the included wrench to increase the tension in the pole until it is tightly in position.
9. Remote-Control Blinds
Most blinds operate manually by pulling a cord or moving the blind up and down while holding its bottom rail. Traditional blinds work well for most people, but they can be problematic for those with limited mobility who can’t reach to pull them down, or can’t stretch over furniture to reach the cord. Remote-control window treatments like the Yoolax Motorized Blinds let users operate the blinds with a simple push of a button.
The wiggling, pushing, and prying that are sometimes required to get a foot into a shoe or boot can be aggravating. For those who lack hand strength or dexterity, however, this task can seem like an insurmountable ordeal. A good shoehorn, such as Gainwell’s Stainless Steel Shoehorn, makes it much easier to slip a heel into a shoe without the back of the shoe folding underneath. In fact, this tried-and-true helper is a handy accessory for anyone, with or without mobility issues.
11. Motion-Detection Bulbs
Trying to navigate from bed to bathroom in the dark presents a hazard for those with limited mobility. Enhance safety with a motion-detector bulb that will turn on automatically when light is most needed. The Motion Sensor Bulb from Energetic Smarter Lighting illuminates when it detects nearby motion and remains on for an additional 30 seconds after motion is no longer detected.
12. Adaptive Eating Utensils
While most of us take eating for granted, those who suffer from weak hands, arthritis, or tremors may find it exasperating—or impossible—to feed themselves using standard utensils. If this is an issue for you or a loved one, you can increase independence during mealtime by switching to adaptive eating utensils. The lightweight, oversize handles of utensils from the Special Supplies Store allow the user to get a firm hold, and their nonslip rubber grip offers a comfortable hand feel.
13. Raised Toilet Seat
Standard toilet seats measure about 15 inches from the floor, which is too low for many with limited mobility issues to use comfortably. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) suggests a seat height of 17 to 19 inches to make toileting easier. When installing a brand-new toilet isn’t an option, a raised seat, such as the RMS Raised Toilet Seat, can provide the extra height needed to use the toilet safely and securely.
14. Vehicle Support Handle
Getting in and out of cars can pose a challenge for those with limited mobility. Standard cars simply aren’t designed to accommodate passengers or drivers with mobility issues. Sometimes a well-designed tool can make all the difference: The KOUNATSURI Car Door Handle fits in the latch on the jamb of the car door to provide secure support for entering and exiting a vehicle.
All prices in this article are accurate as of publication on February 14, 2022.