fun senior activities with iPads and accessories

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

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

If you, like me, were unable to attend the most recent #ElderCareChat on 12/5/12 about Scam Prevention for Seniors and Caregivers, click here for the grand recap.


Tis the season for us to be so busy with the regular issues of caregiving and kids along with the extra duties that go with buying and wrapping gifts, Christmas parties and more. That can make it easier to miss little health symptoms that could spell big problems for our aging parents. Here are three quick reference helps:

  1. Symptoms of heart attack from the NIH (National Institute of Health) BUT REALLY, IF YOU HAVE ANY SERIOUS CONCERN YOU OR A LOVED ONE ARE DEALING WITH A HEART ATTACK  – PLEASE FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIVES FROM THE NIH – Call 9–1–1 for help right away if you think you or someone else may be having a heart attack. You also should call for help if your chest pain doesn't go away as it usually does when you take medicine prescribed for angina. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.
  2. Symptoms of stroke from Mayo Clinic and NIH AND AGAIN, IF YOU HAVE ANY SERIOUS CONCERN YOU OR A LOVED ONE ARE DEALING WITH A STROKE  – PLEASE FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIVES FROM THE NIH – Call 9–1–1 for help right away if you believe someone is having a stroke – if he or she suddenly loses the ability to speak, or move an arm or leg on one side, or experiences facial paralysis on one side – call 911 immediately.
  3. CPR basics from the Mayo Clinic, including "hands-only CPR" which is recommended for those untrained in CPR.

Grandparents and Grandkids

If you have older grandkids, interested in boomerangs like mine, you and they might enjoy this article on how to make your own boomerangs.

More grandparents are spending their golden years caring for grandchildren.

Holiday Joys for Family Fun

Oh my, check out these Adorable Recycled Tree Ornaments.

And one of my favorites, Enchanted Learning has some more fun and easy Christmas crafts for our whole family – from kids and grandkids to aging seniors. 

Follow SandwichINK on Twitter for Sandwich Generation News and Updates

Don't you love 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…

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