eldercare for aging parents

My elderly mom loves iPad Netflix apps that allow her to enjoy Magnum again -smDon’t you love it when you find a great tool with plenty of multigenerational uses – perfect for our many Sandwich Generation needs? My senior mom’s iPad is definitely one of those tools I am appreciating more every day!

My mom continues to enjoy her photo app that enables her to look at photos of her many beloved great-grandchildren. And I’ve stuffed it full of some of her favorite audio books. She still struggles with remembering which button does what, particularly since they aren’t always consistent from one program to another. For example, I have an arrow pointing to the button that starts and stops her iTunes audio player. However, if she accidentally hits the button that takes her out of the playlist page, the arrow doesn’t do her any good. Overall, though, she is doing better and really enjoys it.

The arrow pointing down - top left - points to the stop and start button for my elderly moms ipad itunes app   The arrow is not useful for the main page of the iPad but when my senior mom uses her iPad iTunes app - it is great

She has been blessed with a sharing heart in so many ways and that includes the iPad. So we have also loaded it with several of the best kids game apps so the grandkids can sometimes use it when she isn’t. We’ve even added an app of her favorite board game, Chinese Checkers, to play with the grandkids when she gets brave enough. I keep telling her that playing games is one of the best ways to learn a computer. She hasn’t tried it yet, but soon, I hope.

BB Checkers is a fun app for Chinese Checkers - a great game for grandma and grandkids alike

And now, she is doubly thrilled with her iPad. Thanks to Jenn Fowler of Frugal Upstate, I found out that Netflix streaming video has several of the older TV shows our family has enjoyed through the years like MacGyver, Rockford Files, and one that my senior mom had just asked about – Magnum P.I. When I added the Netflix to her iPad, linked to my account, and let her watch Magnum, she was so happy. It reminded her of wonderful vacations she and my dad had enjoyed in Hawaii. What a treat for her!

MacGyver is a new fave for my grandkids and an old fave for this baby boomer and my senior mom

And what a treat for the grandkids and me to occasionally borrow it to watch some educational shows we like as well as test drive MacGyver (while not perfect, it’s better than a lot of things currently available on TV and my oldest grandson and I really enjoyed watching it together).

This Sandwich Generation granny nanny loves educational shows for the grandkids

Multigenerational fun, via the iPad, is a treat for us all and a BIG help for an uber busy Sandwich Generation caregiver. It can often lead to a few minutes of peace and quiet while cuddling a loved one or letting them listen while we’re off working. How about you? Got any special shows you watch on Netflix? We’d love to hear.

Such fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grandparents Say It Saturday Linky Party - Do Join in the fun

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social

My senior mom used her iPad so much today she actually used up her battery - a grand signWell, it's been a few months and my senior mom still loves her iPad. Granted, the technology – relatively simple for me – has been a definite issue for her. She still struggles to use the iTunes to listen to her audio books. I left her with one open and reminded her to press the arrow key to play and the " mark to pause. When I checked back later in the day, she still hadn't listened to it. But by the time I got home, she not only had enjoyed listening to several chapters, but she was quite proud of the fact that she had finally figured out how to properly tap the go and pause buttons. And she actually used her whole battery up today! HOORAY.

Not only that, she glows every time I add new photos to her album and she has, for the most part, got that part down pat! To me, that makes it totally worthwhile.

My next project is to work on Smileboxes for various loved ones, and this year – that can include her. It should play quite nicely on her iPad and I know she'll really enjoy it. I usually make these with Christmas carols and I still plan to. But I might also make one with some of the grandkids voices.

I considered putting some Christmas-y wallpaper on her iPad, but I think that would make it too difficult for her to easily spot the icons she needs to press for the photo album, etc. 

There are definitely more things to take into consideration for our aging parents' iPad than for ourselves. And by the way, did you spot the iPad link in Monday's roundup? If not, click here to read Part 1 and here to read Part 2 of an article by another boomer looking into all the things you need to think of to buy an iPad for a beloved senior. I already had a Mac and knew I would be using that to sync my senior mom's stuff. Since we live at home, I didn't have any worries about how and when to link up. But as this two-part article wisely points out, if you are thinking of giving iPad gifts for any of the elderly parents and relatives in your family who do NOT live with you, there are some vital considerations to think through first. 

How about you and your parents? Do they already have an iPad as well? Got any tips to help us? We'd love to hear! 

I love it when my grandkids help me with decorating our Christmas tree. This year, it's been slow going so we've done a few here or there. This week we added a lovely pink ornament that was a special gift from a dear friend…

The Sandwich Generation granny nanny loves it when the grandkids help me decorate the Christmas tree full of unique and handmade ornaments 

My favorite Santa Claus ornament ever…

The Sandwich Generation granny nanny loves the unique Christmas tree ornaments that reflect the priority of Jesus' birth for Christmas

and a handmade ornament from one of my grandkids…

Sweet family memories - one of my grandkids made this cute and unique Christmas tree ornament

All are full of sweet family memories and lovely and unique Christmas tree ornaments that bless the heart of this Sandwich Generation granny nanny. And they make great pictures to add to my senior mom's iPad as well. Do you have any favorite ornaments from friends or handmade by grandkids? We'd love to hear about them.

The Sandwich Generation granny nanny loves Rednesday

Baby Boomer and Senior Citizen News is an important part of SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation sIt's time for another roundup of great news items and resources to help those of us in the Sandwich Generation, juggling the multigenerational caregiving issues in our family:

The Sandwich Generation Issues

The Parenting Issue has a great article on the Sandwich Generation issues

Bittersweet food for thought for all of us in the Sandwich Generation – Celebrating Thanksgiving with 'Generation Alzheimer's'

This definitely hit home for me – how about you? Elder care: Baby Boomers are being hit harder with parent care responsibilities


Taking care of our aging parents isn't always easy, but it is a blessing. "Caregivers face challenges, find rewards taking care of loved ones."

Morro expert gives tips on elder care – important pointers when visiting aging parents.

My senior mom and I keep toying with the idea of getting a dog in a year or so – primarily for her to keep her company. But, as this article points out, there are some definite points to consider carefully before we do so. 

Some more useful iPad apps for caregivers and/or our senior parents. I just added Instant Heart Rate thanks to this post. 

Grandparents and Grandkids

Looking for creative ideas to keep your long distance relationship with your grandkids closer?

Fellow grandmother, Susan Adcox, has 12 Cool Christmas Activities to share with us.

I'm always looking for ways of leaving a sweet spiritual legacy in the hearts of my grandkids. Check out the great tips from Sticky Faith, 40+ Ways to Build Sticky Faith in Your Grandkids.

And here's a few more grand ideas for grandparents to stay connected and encourage our grandkids' spiritual relationship.

Holiday Joys for Family Fun

Christmas music at Amazon that should include several sweet freebies (subject to change with little or no notice 🙂 ).

TV specials and movies – Do you love Christmas shows and movies? For yourself or your grandkids? If so, make sure you check out my article from Friday with several great lists for the 2012 Christmas holiday season!

WOW! Check out the awesome tutorials for a wide variety of easy crafts for the whole Sandwich Generation family – from kids and grandkids to all of us boomers and seniors and even our aging parents! 

I do love cute and easy Christmas crafts for seniors and kids

Easy crafts for kids and seniors can also be found at Martha Stewart. I love the cute little mice with candy cane tails that I repinned at Pinterest, don't you?

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I really appreciate all the great resources and news for all of us boomers and seniors in the Sandwich Generation! These roundups are a regular part of SandwichINK, along with the tips and info I share at PinterestTwitter, Facebook, and G+, so be sure to follow me there and…