Saturday, September 22, 2012

Buy Jewelry that Will Age Well

Photo by Stacie Stacie Stacie
For two years, I have been volunteering at Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that is home for almost 200 seniors.  This gives me an opportunity to socialize and support people with a wide range of challenges and opportunities.

One of my observations includes the change required in selecting jewelry.  As we age, many people find it difficult to manipulate the small clasps.  Vision changes and fine motor skill changes make it difficult if not impossible to open and close most kinds of clasps on necklaces, bracelets and brooches.

Photo of lobster clasp by Mauro Cateb
Photo by Revere.Academy
There are several types of clasps available.

Most are too hard for aging hands and eyes to manage.

The magnetic clasp is fairly simple to manipulate, and you can retro-fit magnetic clasps on favorite pieces of jewelry.  These are available online.

Yes, magnetic clasps are very easy to use.  However, an accidental tug on a bracelet or a necklace with a magnetic clasp can send it to the floor.  If the woman wearing it has diminished hearing, touch, or vision, she may not realize that she's pulled it off.  And unless a Good Samaritan notices that the jewelry was pulled off or fell off, it could be lost forever.
Photo of magnetic clasp by JunkByJo
I have seen that most women at the CCRC -- even those in the independent living wing -- simply choose to wear  necklaces and bracelets with no clasps at all.  And many brooches go on jackets or sweaters rather than on blouses or shirts so that they don't require removal as frequently.   But then again, necklaces with magnetic clasps that fall off with a good pull can prevent a choking risk.

Weigh the pros and cons when choosing jewelry, when converting clasps, and when deciding whether to continue wearing jewelry that possesses value to the wearer  because of cost or sentiment.  (See Missing Personal Items: Lost or Stolen?)

Photo by notmargaret
So look at the clasps when buying jewelry for an older adult...or even for yourself.

I haven't hit the jackpot yet, but if I did have a windfall that allowed me to purchase a nice piece of jewelry, I would get something that I could still wear when I get arthritis and when I experience age-related changes to dexterity and vision.


The Senior Discount: A Matter of Fashion

1 comment:

  1. Bravo to this informative blog! It can provide readers with learnings about the value of buying jewellery that are timeless.