For someone in their golden years, a simple task like making a smoothie can present a few challenges. Extra-snug blender lids can be problematic for someone with diminished hand strength or arthritis, and glass blenders tend to be heavy and difficult to handle for some seniors.
What to Look For in Blender:
I. Easy-to-Remove Lids
Some seniors lack hand strength and a reliable grip. Avoid blenders with lids that aren't easily removable. We prefer blenders with lids that have a good seal, but come off smoothly without requiring two hands.
II. Simple Controls
For seniors who have problems operating a blender's controls
, look for models that are as simple to use as possible. The control scheme for activating the blender should only require the push of a single button, the turn of a dial or the flip of a switch. One easy-operational model is the Waring Pro WPB80BC Professional Bar Blender with 48-Ounce Jar
III. Ergonomic Buttons
If someone has diminished motor skills or vision, the buttons or dials should be large and clearly marked. Buttons should be well spaced and easy to feel so that a senior with diminished sensitivity in their fingers can easily work the controls.
IV. Stable and Lightweight
All blenders, especially those used by seniors, need to be stable. The blender should be light enough to handle with ease, even when full. Glass jars
are nice, but they can become heavy when filled and they are especially dangerous if dropped. Plastic or polycarbonate jars, like the one on the KitchenAid 5-Speed Blenders with Polycarbonate Jars
, are a safer option for the elderly.
V. Easy to Clean
The blender must also be safe and easy to clean. It's helpful if the blender's blades come off so that the senior doesn't have to reach inside to clean it. The bottom of the jar should screw off easily as well. If the jar or base has any unnecessary gaps where food can get stuck then it's probably more trouble than it's worth. The Cuisinart SPB SmartPower 40-Ounce 7-Speed Electronic Bar Blender
has few nooks and crannies, making it easy to clean.
In the interest of providing you with the most elderly-friendly blenders we've looked at each of these models in person. Here is what we found.
The Top 5
Waring Pro WPB80BC Professional Bar Blender with 48-Ounce Jar, Brushed Chrome
Only one switch with two speeds, lightweight jar, removable blade.
None that we could find.
This blender is as simple as it gets. and it couldn't be any more elder-friendly.
KitchenAid 5-Speed Blenders with Polycarbonate Jars
Intuitive control scheme, buttons are easy to feel and push, lightweight jar, easy-to-remove lid.
Small buttons and print.
Aside from the small controls and fonts, it's a very nice unit for elders.
Hamilton Beach 50161N10-Speed Wave-Action Blender, White
Buttons are easy to push, lightweight jar, removable blade.
Buttons too close together.
If you are looking for something inexpensive, then this is the blender.
Cuisinart SPB SmartPower 40-Ounce 7-Speed Electronic Bar Blender
Stable and sturdy, seamless, easy-to-clean base, removable blade.
Lid is hard to remove, glass jar is heavy, buttons are smooth and difficult to feel.
This is a fairly nice blender, but the glass jar is exceptionally heavy. Not only is it very heavy, but the lid barely fits.
Oster 4093 Classic Beehive Blender, Chrome
Only one switch with two speeds, removable blade.
Heavy glass jar, somewhat top heavy and unstable.
This blender is high-quality, but the glass jar maybe too heavy for some.
Waring MBB518 Professional Quality Food & Beverage Blender, Stainless Steel
Only one switch with two speeds.
Top heavy and unstable, hard to remove lid.
The glass jar makes the unit unstable and it isn't worth the extra $50 in price.
Cuisinart SmartPower Premier 600-Watt Blenders
Big buttons are well spaced and easy to see and feel, easy to remove lid, removable blade.
Gap around buttons can make it hard to clean. Blender jar is poorly designed.
The unit on display looked like it had seen better days, making it appear cheaply made. The glass jar had a plastic handle and metallic banding around it, making it unattractive and hard to clean.
Oster 6642 12-Speed Blender, White
Intuitive control scheme, buttons are easy to see and feel, removable blade.
Heavy glass jar, buttons not well spaced.
This inexpensive blender is somewhat elder-friendly, but there are much better options out there.
Black & Decker 10-Speed Blender - Black (BL10475BM)
Big buttons are well spaced and easy to see and feel, removable blade.
Locking jar, heavy glass jar.
The jar must be locked into place and but gets stuck easily. The jar's locking scheme is a deal breaker with this blender — it is unnecessary and potentially frustrating.