Solutions: Products make it easier to get older

Jeanine Matlow

Though aging gracefully can be challenging, there are some products that make the process a little easier.

Alison Emerick, owner of Beverly Hills-based Ease Living, an online company that offers unique aids geared toward aging consumers, believes that you don’t have to lose your style and dignity along the way.

Emerick, an occupational therapist for the past 20 years, selects products that promote independence and dignity. “There’s a whole interesting kind of movement in destigmatizing assisted devices,” she says.

For instance, she says, “People are starting to make funky reading glasses. It’s more into the mainstream and people are starting to catch on. They aren’t OK with the standard industrial-looking stuff.”

Her patients and family members planted the seed for her business. “I came up with idea because it was harder to find products than I thought it would be,” she says. “When my grandmother started getting dementia, my mom and I wanted to get her a clock that showed not only the time, but the day and date.”

That’s when her mother mentioned the lack of a luxury site for such specialty items.

Among Emerick’s current bestsellers are compression socks that come in playful patterns like polka dots. “The socks appeal to people who spend a lot of time on their feet, like nurses. They have good uses that are not just medical,” Emerick says.

Decorative canes, such as those adorned with cat and dog themes, come in handy for those recovering from hip surgery that might require temporary assistance.

While some products offer comfort, others provide added convenience, like a combination walker/transport chair, which is ideal for those who don’t want to bring a walker and a wheelchair when traveling.

Something as simple as a swivel seat can make it less challenging to get out of a car. “The swivel seat is not particularly glamorous, but it makes you independent,” Emerick says.

One of her personal favorites is the handy bar for getting up and out of the car. “I hate when people grab for doors because doors move,” she says.

For the home, the folding shower seat has been popular among contractors. Another clever device is a shampoo shelf with a grab bar.

Expandable offset door hinges add 2 inches to a doorway opening, which is often enough room for walker or wheelchair access.

Those concerned about aging loved ones might try noninvasive remote monitoring sensors for appliances (like a coffeemaker) that let you track daily routines.

Fashionable items include braided-leather medical ID bracelets and an owl pendant magnifying glass that doubles as a necklace. Adult clothing protectors that resemble scarves come in different colors and patterns.

Animal print pill cases are a fun alternative, while a pill splitter simplifies the task of cutting meds in half.

Every product is meant to make life a little easier for Emerick’s favorite age group. “Most people love babies,” she says. “I love older people.”

For information, call or go to 866-532-4243 or go to

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at