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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 4 people who are 65 years old in the United States will live into their nineties. If current trends continue, the Pew Research Center estimates that 27% of people age 60 and older will live alone.

Yet most homes are not designed with the needs of older adults in mind, so living independently and aging in place — either alone or with a partner — takes planning. Simple modifications can often be enough to empower active seniors to live and thrive safely in their own homes.

Making sure you or your loved one stays safe and connected, even when living alone, doesn’t need to be expensive either. From bed rails to kitchen tools and shower seats, there are plenty of products available to help you make adjustments for a safer and easier living situation.

A note on price

The safety products on this list represent several categories that range in average prices. However, to make budgeting easier, we’ve indicated costs as follows:

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

Best shower grab bar

Vaunn Medical Adjustable Bathtub Safety Rail

Vaunn Medical Adjustable Bathtub Safety Rail Shower Grab Bar Handle

  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 6″ in length x 6.5″ in width x 17″ in height
  • Colors available: white
  • Pros: easy to install, can be used by people weighing up to 300 pounds (lbs)
  • Cons: can’t be used on curved, textured, or angled tubs; can loosen over time and require adjustments

Getting in and out of the bathtub can become challenging as people age. A grab bar enables people to enter and exit the bathtub with a larger modicum of safety, even if they’re wheelchair-bound.

This safety rail and shower grab bar is very easy to install. It can be used on standard tubs and walk-in tubs. At 6 lbs, it’s light enough to be handled for installation by most people. However, people with reduced upper body strength may need to ask a relative or friend to install it.

Best bathtub mat

Gorilla Grip Bathtub Shower Mat

Gorilla Grip Bathtub Shower Mat
  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 35″ x 16″
  • Colors available: 14 colors including clear, black, gray, pink, and green
  • Pros: contains hundreds of suction cups and drainage holes, BPA free, strong gripping action
  • Cons: can’t be used on tile surfaces

Adding a bathtub or shower mat that grips the floor’s surface is an easy safety fix to strongly consider, even in tubs with textured bottoms.

The machine washable Gorilla Grip Bathtub Shower Mat is meant to be used in the tub, not outside it. It’s made from soft plastic that’s comfortable to stand or lie upon. Hundreds of suction cups ensure a nonslip surface. It also reduces mildew and mold by supporting good drainage and airflow.

Runner-ups in this category include the SlipX Essential Round Shower Mat and the Tike Smart Extra Long Extra Long Bath Mat. Both of these are good choices for creating a slip-resistant surface in a shower. This is critical, as a high proportion of fall injuries (e.g., hip fractures) occur in the bathtub.

Best shower seat

Drive Medical Shower Chair

Drive Medical Shower Chair
  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 22.2″ in length x 6.9″ in width x 17.9″ in height
  • Material: plastic
  • Colors available: white
  • Pros: has a back and arm rests, powerful suction cups, adjustable seat height
  • Cons: takes up room in the bathtub and may be cumbersome to move back and forth for seniors living in mixed households with several people

Shower seats enable seniors who can’t stand on their feet comfortably to sit while bathing. A sturdy shower seat can significantly reduce chances of falling while bathing.

This option has a full back and arms for sturdier support. The seat is nonslip and has drainage holes for added comfort and safety. It can accommodate people who weigh up to 350 lbs.

Best toilet seat riser

Vive Health Toilet Seat Riser

Vive Health Toilet Seat Riser
  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 19.25″L x 13.75″W (elongated), 22″L x 17.25″W (standard)
  • Material: plastic
  • Colors available: white
  • Pros: can be used on an elongated or standard toilet bowl, fits into small spaces, nonslip grip base, padded handles
  • Cons: only comes in one color

Toilet seat risers add height to existing toilet seats. This makes sitting and standing easier for people with reduced mobility or body strength.

The Vive Health Toilet Seat Riser adds 3.5 inches of height to your existing toilet seat. It has a compact width, making it a good choice for small spaces. Users say it’s very sturdy and easy to clean.

People who weigh up to 300 lbs can use this toilet seat riser.

Installation is tool free.

Best bidet

SmartBidet SB-1000

SmartBidet SB-1000
  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 20.6″ in length x 17.95″ in width
  • Material: plastic
  • Colors available: white
  • Pros: available in elongated or round shape, adjustable water temperature and pressure, soft-closing lid
  • Cons: corded, requires access to electrical outlet, help with installation may be required for some people

Cleaning oneself after toileting requires twisting, bending, and assuming positions that can be challenging for seniors and people with disabilities. For those with balance or strength issues, accidents can easily occur while using the toilet.

A bidet eliminates the need to clean up manually after toileting. This helps ensure safety as well as optimal hygiene.

This bidet is operated via remote control to further reduce the need to twist the body towards a control panel. It has multiple settings for water pressure, temperature, and oscillation. The nozzle can be adjusted for front or back cleaning. It also has an automatic dryer, so there’s no need for toilet paper.

Best can opener

Bartelli Soft Edge Automatic Electric Can Opener

  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 3” x 2.1” x 7.4”
  • Material: plastic
  • Colors available: red
  • Pros: smooths out sharp edges on the can and can lid, works on pull-tab cans
  • Cons: requires manual shutoff, may not work on dented cans

Preparing food requires hand dexterity and strength. It can be challenging for older adults to open cans with manually operated can openers that require turning a handle and constant pressure.

This electric can opener by Bartelli smoothes out sharp edges on both the inside of the can and the can lid. This reduces the possibility of getting cuts. It also requires no hand pressure to operate. You attach the can opener to the top of cans of any size and turn it on by pressing a button.

Best automatic stove shutoff device

FireAvert Auto Stove Shutoff

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 7.5″ in length x 3.7″ in width x 2.5″ in height
  • Material: electrical conductor materials
  • Colors available: black
  • Pros: protects against kitchen fires, syncs to smoke and gas leak detectors, easy to install
  • Cons: works with only electrical stoves, won’t work in extremely humid or very dusty environments

Anyone can forget they’ve left something cooking on the stove. The FireAvert’s internal smoke alarm system syncs with your home’s smoke detector. When your smoke detector goes off, FireAvert will automatically cut off the power to your stove.

This product is easy to install without tools. Three-pronged and four-pronged versions are available.

Best bed rail

Stander EZ Adjust Bed Rail

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 26″ in width x 22″ in height
  • Material: alloy steel
  • Colors available: black
  • Pros: compatible with twin- to California King-size mattresses, adjustable to several bed lengths
  • Cons: can be heavy to lift and install

Bed rails can be helpful for assisting you in and out of bed, or to keep you from falling out if you’re prone to tossing and turning.

This brand features a convenient pouch for keeping items like eyeglasses and books in close reach and for freeing up space on the nightstand. People who weigh up to 300 lbs. can use this bed reail.

Best high tech medical alert system

Aloe Care Health Total Care

  • Price: $$$, monthly
  • Dimensions: multiple device package, dimensions vary by device
  • Colors available: white
  • Pros: 24/7 emergency response monitoring indoors and outside, includes automatic fall detection, two motion sensors with voice recognition, caregiver tools
  • Cons: one-time hardware cost required, set up may be challenging for people who aren’t tech savvy

This system features a voice-activated smart hub device that connects you to a five-star emergency response center within seconds. It includes built-in temperature, motion, and air quality sensors.

You can set up automatic fall detection in one room, such as the bathroom, that doesn’t require the use of a worn device.

For outdoor protection, a 4G LTE mobile on-the-go smartwatch and pendant come in the package.

Caregiver tools are available through an app.

Best plug-in and play medical alert system

Bay Alarm Medical SOS Home

  • Price: $, monthly
  • Dimensions: multiple device package, dimensions vary by device
  • Colors available: white and black
  • Pros: can connect through a landline or cellular 4G LTE service, wearable help button is 100% waterproof and can be worn in the shower
  • Cons: doesn’t provide protection on the go; unit is for in-home and yard use only

Bay Alarm Medical is an established company with an excellent track record for quick response times and reliable service.

The SOS Home unit has a plug-in base station with a large help button. The system also includes a wearable help button that you can wear around the neck or wrist. The help button will operate within a range of 1,000 feet from the base unit.

Automatic fall detection is available but is sold separately.

Best locked pill dispenser

e-Pill Voice

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 10″ x 10″ x 3″
  • Colors available: white
  • Pros: eliminates the ability to forget a dose or to take a second dose, holds 28 days worth of medication
  • Cons: may be expensive for some people

Taking the wrong medication dose or forgetting to take a needed medication can have serious consequences. This device comes with a locked lid and key.

Each compartment can hold up to 24 aspirin-sized pills. It can be programmed to remind you to take medication up to six times a day with a light-up alarm and friendly voice reminders.

It requires AA batteries.

Best pill dispenser for caregivers

MedaCube

  • Price: $$$
  • Colors available: black
  • Pros: customizable, comes assembled, easy-to-use touch screen
  • Cons: expensive, may not be a fit for people who get easily confused

This pill dispenser is programmable and has an easy-to-use touchscreen. Alert sounds are customized and include chimes and familiar voices. When a scheduled dose is dispensed, the device will take a picture so that remote caregivers can see the dosage amount later. Caregivers also receive notifications about missed doses and low medication supplies.

The MedaCube can also dispense as-needed medication by answering prompts on the touch screen.

This device is simple to use but may be too high tech for some older people, or for people who get confused or flustered easily.

Best treadmill

Sunny Health and Fitness Walking Treadmill

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 58″ in depth x 29″ in width x 53″ in height
  • Material: alloy steel
  • Colors available: gray
  • Pros: easy-to-use console, multigrip padded handrails, emergency stop clip, low running deck, floor stabilizers
  • Cons: weighs 123 lbs

Treadmills can be dangerous, especially if they’re accidentally set to a high speed. This low incline treadmill has a maximum speed of 5 miles per hour, alleviating that concern. It also has an emergency stop clip. You can shop some of our other top picks for walking treadmills here.

What products do seniors need the most?

That very much depends on the senior in question. For many older adults, a medical alert system that includes fall protection is the most needed product. Other practical products like toilet seat risers, safety rails, or walking treadmills may be helpful.

What are some innovative products for seniors?

Today’s generation of older adults is more active and vibrant than in decades past. Innovative products, including fitness trackers and at-home gym equipment, are worth considering. Hearing aids that sync up to smartphones and enable media streaming are also game changers for many seniors.

Aging in place at home is a priority for many older adults. There are products available for each room of the home that makes this reality possible for many seniors. Even so, “smart” products don’t take the place of a caregiver or neighbor.

If you or your loved one wishes to age in place, make sure social connection and contact are on your list of must-haves, as well as good products.