On Jar Lids, Doorknobs, and Buttons

What do these daily life tools have in common? They require fine motor skills that may be difficult. Other daily life activities are called ADLs.


If we can’t use these simple little items with ease, they grow into a huge wrench of despair and frustration, when we have arthritis or other difficulties.

Jar lid—we just tap it with a knife handle to break the seal, right? Glass jar with metal lid + knife handle + tap + slip= shattered shards. We purchased a jar lid opener. Ours is a rubber gripper and Mom happily uses it. She often states that she doesn’t like feeling helpless.

Buttons—grip + slide into hole + pull= voila! Not if you have arthritis + limited eyesight. We purchase pull-on shirts now. She wears her favorite blouses from years ago as lightweight jackets. Mom is “stylin” and always receives compliments on her outfits. She enjoys dressing snazzy and still applies her own makeup using her gooseneck magnifying mirror.

Doorknob—grip + turn, right? Not with lotion on, or arthritic hands. Emergency + slip + stuck door= accidents. Knobs can be replaced with latch type handles requiring no gripping or twisting.


One of the many ways we can help our older loved ones is to provide them with useful tools or fixes for their struggles.

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