Getting old sucks when you’ve got shoulder aches, bad joints, and dwindling eyesight. The beauty of the wisdom you gain is the bright spot for baby boomers, of course. But the physical limitations can threaten to put a halt to some of the activities that you enjoy, and yes, that includes DIY.
I’m a part of the generation “Gen X” at age 42 years young, but I’ve started experiencing soreness and pain in places I had never experienced it before (can you say “shoulder pain”…? OUCH). If I am struggling with these issues, I realize that someone who may be older, a part of the Baby Boomer generation, they likely have similar (or more complex) health issues that affect their ability to DIY and care for their home.
These physical roadblocks shouldn’t be the reason to stop decorating, improving, or maintaining our home ourselves.
So I decided to search for some of the tools or accessories that might be helpful for those of us who love DIY, yet have physical limitations due to age or disability, so that we can enjoy pain-free DIY!
10 Pain Free Tools for the Baby Boomer DIYer
Here’s a quick list of all the products in the post. I participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
- Foot Operated Pedal Controller
- Laser Tape Measure with LCD Digital Display
- Rustoleum Comfort Grip for Spray Paint
- Heavy Duty Gel Cushion Kneepads
- Arrow Fastener Trutac Light Duty Forward Action Stapler
- Garden Hose with Thumb Control
- Magnifier Glasses with LED Light
- Plasti Dip for Non-Slip Tools
- Rubber Lid Openers
- Magnetic Pickup Tool
If you’ve ever tried to turn ON/OFF some of the switches on power tools, you’ll know that some of them will leave you frustrated because it requires too much effort, which is tough for arthritic or fumbling hands. However, with a foot operated pedal controller like this, your power tool (corded-only….sorry, my battery-operated, friends!) simply plugs into the controller and now you can operate it with your foot. Reminds me of a sewing machine foot controller. Love this, and I ordered myself one for my scroll saw!
I’m 42 years old and I’m right on the cusp of needing to pull things away and squint just to read the fine print. It’s coming….I know it is. And one of the smallest things to read is a tape measure! Not only because it’s hard to even look at one without having to use fingers to count, but the measurements are so small to read. Even if you’ve got readers on, having a digital display is easier on old eyes.
With arthritis, it’s hard to grip. If you’ve ever spray painted something, those little nozzles hurt your finger because you continuously have to press for extended periods of time, depending on what you’re spraying. But with this comfort grip accessory, just pop it on the top of any can of spray paint and grip the handle without less fatigue on that spray finger.
I don’t even have to tell you what a relief these are on old knees. Heck–even young knees! When I installed my vinyl flooring in my basement, a pair of knee pads were essential. If you’ve got sore knees, look for knee pads that have gel cushioning inside of them, like this ones.
Have you ever noticed that most staplers require you to squeeeeeezzzeeee when securing a staple? With painful hands and joints, that’s not possible to do for long periods of time without inflicting even more pain. That’s why Arrow Fastener made this light duty stapler for craft projects and DIY for people that would rather push down to secure the staple instead of squeezing. This is a must-have for people who’s hands hurt when squeezing.
Garden hose sprayers can be uncomfortable if you’ve got a lot of watering to do. If you’re continuously squeezing, it fatigues the hand. However, with a thumb control there’s no need to pull a trigger continuously. You simply use your thumb to lift the lever and then comfortably hold the handle without a continuous squeeze. Perfect for gardeners!
If you’re a crafty person who works on larger projects, like furniture makeovers, you may not have any problems with seeing. But what if you enjoy doing beed work? What if you enjoy sewing and sometimes need a bit more magnifying when threading that needle? You may want to dry these magnifier glasses with an LED light. Keep them in your crafting desk or toolbox for eyes that need a bit more light and close-up detail.
Tools can get slippery. If you’ve got problems with your grip, Plasti Dip may help you get a better grasp on your tools. Simply dip it into the rubber coating and–voila!–your tools just got that much less slippery. 🙂
#9 – Rubber Lid Openers
I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to open paint jars that have sealed themselves shut. I always wonder why paint manufacturers even use plastic lids to close off paint (probably cost!) because no matter how careful I try to be, paint always seals them shut. I have to run them under hot water and then use one of these rubber lid openers for better grip. These are perfect for tight lids and weak hands.
But a better option might be to either use these easy-to-open SHUR-LINE Pour & Store quart paint can lids if you’ve got quart paint cans. I’ve considered transferring my furniture paints into quart-size cans and using these tops so that I don’t have to fight tight plastic lids.
#10 – Magnetic Pickup Tool
When I’m working on projects, I’m always dropping screws, nails, drill bits, driving bits–you name it. To avoid having to bend over if you’ve got a bad back use a magnetic pickup tool. It’s also helpful in helping to locate those items if you’re not sure where you dropped it. The large surface makes it easy.
I absolutely love DIY and building and home improvement, as I’m sure you do! And while 42-years-old isn’t part of the baby boomers generation, I can attest to the aches and pains with each passing year ,and I worry about what happens when it starts getting tough to DIY.
My grip isn’t as strong. Dare I bend over for long periods of time I feel like I’ve run a marathon! And I know my eyesight is on the cusp of changing in the next 5 years.
I don’t ever want aging to cause us to not be able to do what we love most: CREATING! I can only hope that brands continue to manufacture ergonomic products that allow older DIYers and homeowners (or physically disabled people) in mind so that we can continue to decorate, improve, and maintain our homes ourselves!
Do you have any favorite tools or accessories that make it easy for baby boomers (or anyone with physical limitations) to to DIY without pain? Leave a comment below to add to the list of helpful suggestions!