Swiss inventor George de Mestral came up with the idea for Velcro after a walk with his dog left them both covered with seed-bearing burrs. The burrs held fast to the soft fabric of his pants and the dog's fur with microscopic hooks. Since then, the fastener has found myriad uses. One of the most creative is in shoes. Thanks to the magic of de Mestral's genius, putting on shoes no longer means struggling with painful arthritic fingers or battling a creaky back. Available at Wal-mart, JCPenney. $20-$75.
PG graphic: Gifts for senior citizens (Click image for larger version)