As a member of the Baby Boomers Generation caring for elderly parents, I'm always on the lookout for helpful tools that make life easier for my senior mom and often myself as well. Here's a few of our favorites:
Backscratcher. Twenty years ago, we could only find these in Chinatown. Now it's nice to be able to find them all over. Our favorite spot to check out is any Dollar Store. They're definitely one of my favorite ways to save money. They usually have at least once choice available. Backscratchers are certainly great for scratching hard to reach spots. They're also useful for reaching something that was dropped or moving an item closer when it is too high to easily reach. In addition, many have rollers on them, making them cheap and easy back massagers. Great for achy muscles. Amazon carries this Bamboo Back Scratcher and Massager:
Water bottles. Even if your tap water tastes great, having a water bottle with a cap makes it easier to handle and less likely to spill. There are many refillable ones available but I personally prefer one of the sets you can purchase, like Dasani, as the caps seem to fit tighter. I used these extensively when I was on bedrest for a severe broken left ankle. I could keep several by my bed and not have to wait for someone to get me fresh water.
Grocery Stores That Deliver. A local grocery delivery service has been especially handy for me a few times. When my ankle was broken, I could order groceries from the Safeway grocery store and have them delivered to the house. My senior mom was still driving then, but it just made things easier for her to not have to go shopping at that particular time. I've also been able to use Albertsons grocery delivery service to help an elderly relative who lived in another state when she was ill. In both cases, I had coupons that saved me from any delivery charges. The option of grocery delivery service is not available everywhere, but when it is, it's great!
Bells – These are useful when one of us is sick. We started using them with my elderly father when his Parkinson's Disease symptoms kept him confined in bed. He could ring the bell to get our attention and we were able to hear it all over the house. We found ours at Pier One Imports, but many other stores also sell them. Amazon carries a Long Handle Call Bell. It's affordable, lightweight, and loud. Perfect for any size house.
Cell Phone – Even better than a bell for our elderly parents can be one of the easy-to-use, large cell phones for seniors . Not all elderly parents can handle these, but if yours can, we personally consider the Jitterbug to be one of the best, if not the best, cell phones for senior citizens. It's a very simple, basic cell phone that is ultra-easy for our beloved seniors to use. As they put it,
All of these are great tools for members of the Sandwich Generation and Baby Boomers Generation caring for elderly parents!
P.S. They also make good practical gifts for grandparents, not to mention the other elderly relatives in our lives. 🙂