btmj....Yes, the elder have trouble with semi-autos as well as women who don't have a lot of strength.
Even my Dad (70) is considering buying a new revolver next week because due to some medical issues does not have a lot of strength and I had to rack the slide for him to make sure it was clear.
Just get a revolver. Easy to load, no racking. Why do you think they always show old folks in cartoons etc. with a double barrel shotgun (kinda like a revolver except bigger)? They can hardly see or stand, but can shove a few rounds into the gun and fire at a younger threat. Not very well, but it is more to get the point across.
We are going to look at new Ruger, Taurus and Smith and Wesson in a smaller and modern form factor.