Losing Your Grip

As one ages, the ability to grip and hold, turn or lift items starts to decline. Door knobs, taps, and opening jars becomes more difficult. However, small changes can make these activities relatively easy again. Below are some useful suggestions. Please note that any products suggested, are suggestions only and not recommendations.

Door Knobs

Change standard door knobs that look like Image 1. Round Door Knob, which can be hard for someone to grasp and turn to Image 2. Lever Door Knob, where they just have to press down with their hand to open the door. If you can’t change the door knobs, put elastics around the round door knob so the person can grip the knob to turn it.

Image 1. Round Door Knob
Image 1. Round Door Knob
Image 2. Lever Door Knob
Image 2 Lever Door Knob

Key Locks

Gripping a small key and turning it to open car or house doors can be difficult. Different key turner designs that are for one or more keys is available online from Canadian Companies through 2Care4medical, Age Comfort, and Well.ca.

Image 3. Key Lock
Key Lock
Image: Courtesy of Well.ca

Sink Taps

Change the standard 2 knob tap to a lever tap.

Image 4. Bathroom Lever Tap
Image 4. Bathroom Lever Tap
Image 5. Kitchen Lever Tap
Image 5. Kitchen Lever Tap

Bottle Openers

Opening bottles and jars is often a challenge even if you don’t have grip issue. But if you do, there are products on the market that will help you grip the lid so you can turn the lid or the bottle. There are bottle openers that improve your grip, as well as battery operated bottle openers (The RoboTwist Hands Free Jar Opener. Look in the store, Bed, Bath and Beyond, or on their website, for the battery operated jar opener, as well as Agecomfort, a Canadian home care product company that carries different types of grip-based jar openers. There is also a US supplier of Home Care Products called ArthritisSupplies that may be useful.

Can Openers

Opening cans using a manual can opener can be difficult. Bed, Bath and Beyond carries automatic can openers, and they deliver.


Grip also applies to carrying things. The heavier the item, the harder it is to grip and lift. If china or stoneware dishes are becoming too heavy, move to melamine plates and dishes. These are light, and usually come in pretty patterns as they have become popular for use on the patio because they are hard to break if you drop them. Below is a picture of melamine dishes from the store Pottery Barn, but you can find them at many stores in Canada such as the Bay or Sears and Home Hardware.

Image 5. Melamine Dishes
Melamine Dishes

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