How to Find the Right Can Opener for Seniors
Assess Dexterity and Strength
Start out by looking at the overall dexterity of the senior in your life, as this will greatly determine what type of can opener is best for them. If they suffer from an ailment such as arthritis that makes it hard for them to use their hands, then you’re going to want to focus on minimizing the amount of effort they need to exert.
More severe cases might eliminate manual can openers completely, in which case an electric can opener might be the best choice. In this case, you’ll need to find out of the senior is capable of placing the can into the machine and securing it properly. Most electric models do not require a significant amount of force to use, though some do call for some effort on the initial penetration of the lid.
General Ease of Use
If the senior doesn’t have a serious impairment and can still use their hands, then you can look at some manual models that have special features for that enhanced usability. Can opener handles that have padded grips make it easier for seniors to hold them, which helps reduce the chances of them dropping it or having it slip out of their hands during use. Larger knobs are also easier for seniors to hold as well as being easier to turn.
Some manual can openers also include special extra features that help to remove the lids, such as magnets or gripping teeth. These can help seniors that want to continue to use manual can openers; they are designed to handle some of the trickier aspects of the process easily and safely. They can provide a great compromise to give seniors a sense of control over their lives without complicating any existing health concerns.
Another important aspect of finding the best can opener for seniors is the overall safety of the model. Many seniors may be more likely to cut themselves on rough edges, which would mean that a can opener that cuts under the lid would be the best option. These models create smooth edges on the lids that reduce the chances of cuts, which are always more dangerous for the elderly. The can opener should also be sturdy and lock securely onto the can so that it doesn’t come loose during use. If a can opener moves off the can in the middle of operation, it can cause the senior to cut or otherwise hurt themselves.
Benefits and Concerns with Electric Models
In many situations an electric can opener is ideal for seniors because it requires the least amount of effort. All the senior has to do is place the can into the machine and it will open it for them. However, some electric can openers can be difficult for seniors to use, especially if the model includes unnecessary extra features or a tricky mechanism for holding the can.
Also, electric can openers can cost more, which may make them too pricey for seniors living on a budget. When considering the cost of an electric an opener, look at all of the additional features on the models to identify any that are unnecessary. Eliminating useless extra features like electric bottle openers or removable tools can help to greatly reduce the overall price.
My Final Advice
Overall I would say that both an electric or manual can opener could work great for any senior, depending on their physical and financial state. You should discuss the different options with the senior in your life, so they understand all the factors and so that you can give them the final say on which device they want to use.