Old lady aids <sigh>

I am SO fed up with aching hurting, weak hands, especially in the mornings :-( last night was the last straw - I had an ice cold bottle of water, raging thirst, hot flush and a hot bedroom, and Andy was asleep so I could hardly wake him up. I couldn't even shift a plastic cap. I think I have to give in and see if there's anything that can help...

It is practicalities that bug me most. I have no strength in them at all, and for ages have been struggling to open things like jars. So it's a practical question. Do any of you bodacious babes have a secret stash of gadgets to help hold and open jars, bottles etc? I know they exist, but do any of them work? What should I buy (and hide away somewhere nobody will know...)???

Yours grumpily

Sue xxx

31 Replies

  • Good morning! I usually stick a cap in the door by the hinge, push the door shut, and turn with both hands. Ok, thats a desperate solution i know! Failing that. I pour hot water over the cap and it usually gives easily. I buy pull top tins when they're available. My mother in law bought a cap opener from one of these door mat mags which works but she only uses it if she's desperate. X

  • I do that as well but it sometimes leaves a dent in the door frame

  • There is a sort of microfibre plastic-like circle that you can grip the top with. Think it may be by Betterware. Or Lakeland....that's very good for gadgets. Will keep my eyes peeled and report back

    Love Wendy xx

  • I was going to suggest something similar! Asda and various other supermarkets carry textured plastic cut in circles which work very well. The only problem I have with them is that my husband (who doesn't usually need their help) will keep putting them on a shelf which is out of my reach, so that I have to get out the stepladder to get one when I need it!

  • I use a old fashioned metal nut cracker which grips the bottle top like gripping a walnut and gives the leverage needed, works every time. Love Sandra xx

  • That's brilliant lateral thinking!

  • Must get one of those for when the husband can't be summoned. I've broken a few of them trying to crack nuts though! :-)

  • You aren't supposed to use them on HIM...!

  • LOL. Haven't resorted to that just yet. As long as he keeps opening the pesky screw tops he's safe.


  • No suggestions for screw top bottles, Sue but I have a gadget that is a larger plastic version of a beer bottle opener which is very good for releasing the vacuum on jars making them much easier to open. Available from all good kitchen shops I should think. I've had it for ages - long before I ever thought growing older was something that would happen to me!


    Linda xx

  • Yes, I've got one of those too - and it works!

  • Hi, try this on Amazon it works. Eddingtons EasiTwist Jar & Bottle Opener. Good luck Gill xxx

  • Got one of these - it works, brilliantly simple! Thank you, Gill, for the tip


    Sue xxx

  • Hi Sue,

    I am exactly the same the best gadget I've got is Tony (you can't have him LOL ) but if he's not around... I have a thingy like Sandra described... but this doesn't solve the baby proof bleach/ cleaning caps or pulling apart packets etc but I can say that cleaning products last for ever in my house LOL (for this reason) :-/ ;-) love x G x :-)

  • I forget to mention turnig taps, knobs well anything that you have to turn or pull is a problem... best to keep your hands in your pocket teehee :-/ ;-)

  • Oops turning (or tapping on an IPad Doh!)

  • Ooooh another thing unopened biscuits stay right where they are... there's an upside to everything ...the downside is they go out of date

    :-/ ;-) love x G x

  • a knife opens the biscuits and cakes.....but apart from that, I agree The OM is the best opener I've got. Nut crackers are a good idea, but first I've got to find them!!!

    Love n hugs


  • Sooooooo I'm not the only one then that struggles with this...........maybe I could trawl the streets for a handsome young man to open my bottle for me.

    Seriously can't occupational health at your hospital help with this?

  • Hi. The people to ask for are occupational therapists. You could also ask you GP if there's a local community based team it varys around the country

    Also Boots has a catalogue of equipment you can get ordered in by them

    Rubber gloves are also useful for jar lids, especially if you run hot water on them first

  • Lots of great suggestions as usual, ladies, so thank you. I tried many of the low tech ones long ago, but I will be shopping online on amazon and there's a big Lakeland near me, so will give those a try. It is really gadgets I am looking for. I warned my husband I might be wielding nutcrackers....that made me laugh! I already do hand exercises for strength and flexibility, there's nothing an occupational therapist could usefully tell me I dont think. its not rocket science. Doc said learn to live with it, I just don't accept that!

    Thanks all!




  • Have you tried brufen, your fingers may be a bit athritic, I take brufen with omeprazole for my athritic hands. Your Dr has a bloody cheek xx

  • Hi Sue,

    If nobody is around to help i sometimes use a piece of sandpaper- it just helps to get a better grip.


  • Hi sue, I use a slightly damp microfibre cloth, if that doesnt work, a hard tap on the lid with a knife handle usually does the trick!


  • I've got a gadget that has a piece of rubber that threads through a plastic handle and round the screw top, basically acts like a mini winch on the screw top, will try and find a link xxx

  • Between us we will build a good list...! Ta x

  • completecareshop.co.uk - check out kitchen aids has all sorts xx

  • I fancy the tipping kettle!

  • Hi PR Chick

    If you did choose to access your local Occupational Therapy team you could probably get the various gadgets that could help you. I think you can self refer but there would probably be a wait and it would likely be quicker and less frustrating to just buy the gadgets that can help. You could also try opening all the tight lids to release the seal on bottles and jars as soon as you buy them, before you put them away. So if you are on your own and you want something, the jar is already easier to open.



  • Just not sure I can beat the OH thing, happy to just buy stuff to help. Evaluating!

    The idea about using Andy to open stuff in advance is genius, thank you!

  • Hi,

    If you're anything like me and I think " old lady aids" means you are,I didn't want to go down the Occupational Therapy route.I already had arthritis and muscle problems before OC which rapidly got worse after surgery.At only 50 I did not consider myself old lady aids material but the Occupational Therapy have been fantastic,they know the best aids and will not try to force you into granny mode.I live alone so I haven't got built in opener at home but I manage fine.I have even had the dreaded stair lift put in which I wish I'd had a long time ago,I get a lot less pain and am a lot more independent with the aids.So if you do have to eventually be referred to OT don't worry it's a lot better than you think and they won't make you have any aids you don't want.


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