Labels help the Elderly

You may have people in your life who have reached their golden years. As loved ones age, they may experience more difficulty in processing certain information. Impairments in information processing run the gamut from difficulty associating names with faces to moving new facts from short-term to long-term memory.

The power of the label can help the elderly make their lives easier. By simply printing labels with general information and placing them around the home, those who have trouble recalling certain things will find the information literally in front of their faces.

Labels for the Elderly

For example, those who may have trouble recalling their phone numbers or addresses would benefit from clear, well-defined labels placed near phones or the front door. Another idea might be to print photos of loved ones on labels with their contact information, so those who have difficult putting names to faces will be constantly reminded of the association of facial characteristics to information and avoid potentially embarrassing situations, saving “face” as it were…

Not only is the text on the label important, but color can be used to convey the importance or tone of the information. For instance, labels with passive information such as phone numbers or addresses can be printed on white labels with black ink, while labels on potentially harmful products like drain cleaner could be printed on red labels to denote a tone of caution.


Another potentially beneficial use of labels for the older generation is recreating existing labels in a more legible way. We all know that, as a whole, the elderly population takes a lot of prescription medications. Even for the younger generation, the small print on the auxiliary labels (labels that say “Take with food” or “Do not operate heavy machinery”) can be difficult to read.

The information printed on auxiliary labels is very important; indeed, research has shown that auxiliary labels on medications significantly contribute to patients’ understanding and correct usage of their prescription medications. By simply replicating the information on the auxiliary label on a new label with a larger, more legible typeface, you will know you have helped your loved ones better manage their health.

By Nicole Concepcion (nconcepcion @

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