Open Thread Update: Senior Life Hacks

It looks like older people are the original ‘hackers,” using their ingenuity to solve issues in products that were clearly not designed with aging in mind.

Our commenters stepped up and shared their quick fixes and shortcuts. One of my pet peeves (jars that won’t open) was solved by Suz, who uses rubber bands on the lids  – a lot easier that using a wrench!

Get hip….bags

However, the biggest category of solutions addressed a problem I haven’t yet considered – heavy bags and purses.

I sometimes look like I need a sherpa to handle the wallet, makeup, ID, keys, tissues, hand sanitizer, reading material, notebooks and other items that litter the inside of my big shoulder bag like mulch.

At least five women have sidestepped all that – with a child-size backpack, a fanny back, a belly bag or waist pack, or a smaller wallet instead of a purse. Most cited health reasons for the switch, but one reader had a more compelling rationale:

“My hip bag works best for me…I would also not feel safe walking around with my valuables… (wallet, keys, phone) where someone could grab it…And it is not really visible when it is around my waist. And if someone tried to grab it from the front, I could knee or kick them.”

Susan Nehez 

You GO, girl.

The all-time winner

Kudos for Reader Mona Lisa, who offered several excellent tips, including a brilliant solution to the laundry day problem of wrestling a fitted bottom sheet off a big mattress.  I’ll leave it to you to read through for her mattress hack, and all the others…and leave this thread open for a while to get even more Senior Life Hacks.

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at