Monday, December 1, 2014

Gifts For An Ailing or Aging Loved One

It's all about making life better for them with the challenges they face, more comfortable as there are more aches and pains, making it easier to get around and safer -- as much for your peace of mind as theirs!

She'll look sweet in this and it will keep her warm, and best of all, without the struggle of putting arms in sleeves or getting something on and off over her head. Only comes in this color. For $29. Sizes S/M and L/XL. CLICK HERE

This little LEELO is not just a night light with adjustable brightness, it's an alarm for their alarms.  It listens for both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as the temp and humidity in the house, and better -- it alerts the people in the house as well as the emergency contacts that you program in if you or whomever is not at the house.  So you can get help from neighbors or family if you're not nearby!!

It does require WIFI at home to connect- which should be possible at an assisted living apartment as well- working through an iPhone 4s and up, a 5th Gen iPod touch w/ OS 7 or and Android app  $99 BUY HERE.  and there's a place to click on that page for the free app.

I would hope this worked as they said, and that the LED was bright enough for older eyes, but it's a great idea. Battery operated and self sticking, it detects motion 10 ft. away and lights up. $19. CLICK HERE. They also offer an outdoor motion activated floor light on sale for $30 HERE. TIP: $25 % off and free shipping on Cyber Monday.

Well, maybe we ALL could use this! This clock not only tells time but the day too. $49 CLICK HERE (25% off +Free Shipping on Cyber Monday).

For someone who has to sit a lot, this Gel Comfort Seat is 2" of ultra-plush gel in a waffled matrix construction. It's claimed that it won't flatten or compress over time. It will relieve the pressure from sitting wrong or on old joints, while being firm and supportive in comfort. It's nice that the black zip cover is washable stretch fabric. There's a non-skid base with a carrying handle on the side. Made in the USA. 16"x 18"x 2". BUY at Herrington for $89.95.

How about these innovative reading glasses? Looks like a monocle (try the tortoise shell for him) or necklace. They'll never be asking WHERE ARE MY GLASSES (I think I need these too!). In Black, Tortoise, Red, Purple and comes in +150, +200, +250, +300. Chain 18" long, 2"x 2" closed, 4 1/2" opened. ON SALE for $15 down from $19 and free shipping at this date,  at

Introducing the SMUSHION. You can put this memory foam on a table for a footrest, or under their legs or against their back for support. Turn it over and use the flat side as a desk, or for sprained arms or sore shoulders while reading or watching TV. Slip the remote inside so they don't have to search for it. Comes in many colors, on sale now online at PLOW and HEARTH for $19!

This picture doesn't look appropriate, but this might be just what someone needs. Break their isolation during the cold months and feel more confident getting them out in the fresh air and light with this torso warmer. Adjustable size $74. Read all about it and see if it's right for them. I imagine it would be great for people who live in places like Chicago, the The Dakotas, Alaska, And Minnesota where it's pretty cold as a rule, and for a long time. CLICK HERE.

Boy would it have helped us out… so I have to include this. Our parents pills were taped to a piece of paper with the name, dose and use handwritten and that was taped to the kitchen cabinets where Mom and Dad's pills were kept. This is great to put in the car or a purse too, as long as they are used just for medical help or doctors visits, instead of being mistaken for today's pills to take. Holds 8 different prescriptions. Get a second for more pills or use it for vitamins! $15 CLICK HERE.

Not a drab thing about this clothing protector. A great little cover up for mealtime -- or ice cream --or arts and crafts. Four patterns to choose from, and a nice sublet striped one for dad. $20 at Gold Violin. 

How about large Print Bible Verses (from the Books of John, Psalms, Matthew, Isaiah, Numbers and Genesis) and Hymns (24 of the most popular, I assume Christian, from "Amazing Grace" to "What a Friend") for $12.95?

Videos: Things to watch that are cute and being out loving feelings can be a lifesaver at times - and  bring happiness in general. Some good ones are the That's Entertainment Trilogy for $28 and That's Entertainment: From the Vault  for $35 - they contain all the old movies dance numbers without a lot of talking…

Or how about the ambient kitten or ambient puppies DVD's from the Alzstore!! Your loved one can watch groups of kittens and puppies of different breeds play, nap, swat each other and tumble for over an hour. Each for $15.95 You might be smiling just to think about it!

Music is always a wonderful gift - My mother loved Michael Jackson - she'd come to life and say, "BOY does this have a good beat!" and start moving her hands and shoulders around. Music changes all of our biorhythms! So why not make a few really nice playlists on DVD and get them a little player? Or buy some from their favorite artists from back in the day… soothing or upbeat things. I got my father military tunes that were popular when he was in the service. And found some Robert Goulet, Rat Pack CD's, and for my mother, there was Perry Como and Andy Williams and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass… remember them? For some it would be country, others it's classical. Remember at this difficult time that gifts can be simple and few  -- and be just right.

When you're not there to read at their bedside, if their vision isn't so hot, or if they were voracious readers and just can't anymore, for whatever reason, this is a great substitute. You may need to get them set up with something they can work - like one of those boom boxes, but has all kinds of digital downloads (TIP: the first is free). There are so many services out there that provide this too. And don't forget your local library has lots of books that can be taken out for free. It could be that your first thought would be to do a mini iPod (like the SHUFFLE or the ITOUCH) and speakers (LIKE THE BLUETOOTH BOSE) that caregivers can work for them, but you can also do it as simply as a boom box. That does require that the discs get changed. Think about what will be easiest for your situation and work it out - worst case, you can dial in NPR podcasts of book reviews- as long as the hosts talking  isn't a drawback for them.  I highly recommend the Thomas Jefferson Hour. A scholar friend of mine speaks with the host first as if Thomas Jefferson were being interviewed today, then speaks in the last half as himself to discuss. Chock full of interesting topics for an hour every week, with hundreds of backlogged episodes on everything from gardening and wine to politics old and new to technology.. a great listen for ALL actually.

So needed!  SAFE WANDER! Reader Pat Kelly Envold told me about this so I'm adding it post publication:  I just saw a device called SafeWander. It will be available early 2015. This kid on the Meredith Viera show invented it to help his aunt know when his grandfather with Alzheimer's gets out of bed and starts to wander. It is built into his sock. A smart phone app alerts the can find more info at or Meredith Viera show. Com. Tuesday, December 2 episode

Check out a few of these websites that just have so many good things you need to go through them to pick what's just right for your loved one.

Please check out my former post which was the most popular of all I've ever done: What Gift to Give if Your Loved One has Dementia

 SOLUTIONS for a variety of storage and home gadget items that make home life easier. And right now, they are doing $35 off and free shipping using code TW2344.

GOLD VIOLIN has an extraordinary amount of things for everything from transportation to help with getting dressed, to clothes, safety, health helpers, gifts, the list goes on and on. Waste no time checking it out. I especially like the shop by need menu drop down where they cover things like memory loss, vision or hearing support, rehab and recovery, incontinence, circulation support, mobility and sleep aids. etc

ALZSTORE - I got a lot of items on this website before there was something like Golf Violin. Take a gander. For example they have baby dolls and teddy bears (though we used a veery realistic cat that looked a little like one we used to have) that helps a person with Alz calm down when agitated, feel secure, distracts them when on a snag, makes them smile, allows them to hug and talk at their pace, and helps lull them to sleep. That would be a nice gift.

TIP: For parents who are confused or have some stage of dementia, as mine were, it can be a delicate time for you. We learned that even the bright lights and sparkly paper was sometimes cause for upset. This can be very hard on you, who is most likely doing all you can to make this time of year especially festive. But, it's all about meeting them where they are at. So we chose paper that didn't have designs and had matte finishes, and didn't tape them on the ends - using only one small piece on the back so it could be opened easily. Tissue paper makes little sound, and that's another option in a less vibrant color like forest green, navy blue or even white. If you're at the place where your loved one seems not much there, don't be disheartened. Remember that the holidays are about being together. Putting on quiet holiday music sung by the gentle crooners of their time often is soothing and pleasant to them, as the past is usually a place they can still recognize somewhere in there. And it will be relaxing for you too.

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