Push, don't pull.
The recent letter about difficulty racking the slide on a semiautomatic interested me. I am well into my Social Security years and have a little arthritis in both hands. A gun salesman gave me this idea, and it really works for chamber checks and loading a round.
Assuming you're right-handed, hold the gun in your right hand and grasp the slide at the rear with your thumb and as many fingers of your left hand as you need. Hold the slide firmly and push the pistol forward firmly. In a way you are racking the gun, not the slide, and using much less effort pushing forward rather than pulling back. All this assumes obeying all the usual safety issues regarding pointing the weapon in a safe direction, finger off the trigger, and so forth.