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The Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets for Older Adults

Updated: May 1, 2023

The right tools can make a challenging job manageable. This can be especially true in the kitchen. If you have ever tried to cut a tomato or a butternut squash with a dull knife, you can understand the struggle. The tomato can turn into a pile of mush and your dull knife doesn't even dent your butternut squash. Age-related changes like arthritis and decreased grip strength can make kitchen tasks even more complicated. Below are a few of my favorite kitchen gadgets to simplify kitchen chores.

"Pick the right tool for the job, not vice versa" - Paul Colligan

Tip #1 - Meat chopper

I found out about this tool through a client. His spouse has arthritis, and she found this tool that helps her with chopping meat and mixing thick foods (like cream cheese or dips). I love that I learn so much from my clients, and I have been using this meat chopper ever since then. This tool has a nice big handle that is easy to hold, is lightweight, and makes it super easy to mix or break up different foods. It can be found here on Amazon for $10.

Tip #2 - Pop top opener

This is definitely a favorite of mine. I keep several of them in my car. You can find them on Amazon for 5 dollars! They can be used for pop tops, small bottles, and those pesky plastic peel-off seals. I also love that they are orange and easy to find.

This is another type of opening tool. This is also a top favorite! The smaller white tool can help with popping the tops of jars and cans, water bottles, and more. The larger device helps with opening jars and has various sizes to fit your jar. You can also find this tool on Amazon.

Tip #3 - Under the counter jar opener

This jar opener has to be mounted under your cabinets. But because it is mounted, you don't have to hold it like you do other jar openers. I find this to be the easiest way to open tight jars. It can be easily installed with just a few screws under any wood cabinet. It can be found on Amazon for approximately $22.00.

Tip #4 - Dycem

This is more of a "therapy" tool vs a kitchen tool, but I use it all the time in the kitchen. This is a super grippy plastic-like material that can be cut into various sizes. You might have some similar grips that you use to open jars. Dycem is similar to those grips but is More grippy. I like to use it under plates, bowels, or cutting boards to keep them from sliding or to open jars. It is great for a variety of kitchen tasks.

Tip #5 - Oxo Good Grips

Did you know that the company Oxo Good Grips company was created by Sam Farber when he noticed his wife Betsey was having trouble with her vegetable peeler due to arthritis? He was inspired to design a line of kitchen tools to benefit everyone and started with a peeler. Pretty cool! You can read his story here. I do love this peeler.

The entire line of Oxo Good Grips products is helpful. I love the measuring cups. They are lightweight, easy to pour, and have a great handle that is easy to hold.

Beware of ineffective kitchen tools.

Most people have a habit of holding on to kitchen tools well past the point that they are effective. I think everyone has that measuring cup that is cracked or the vegetable peeler that takes twice as long to do the job. I challenge you all to take stock of your kitchen supplies and consider replacing those tools that are not working well for you.

Energy is a precious resource. Having the right tools in your kitchen can save time, energy, and reduce pain. These recommendations barely scratch the surface of tools that can improve your efficiency in the kitchen. If you are having trouble with your daily kitchen tasks reach out to your OT.

Jenny, OT

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