Jitterbug – best cell phones for senior citizens

The Sandwich Generation caregiver can rarely take time off from multigenerational caregiving when illness strikes

Between "How to Solve the “I’m Bored-itis” When Babysitting the Grandchildren – Part 1" and Part 2, we've got lots of fun activities ideas for days when we are babysitting grandchildren and they are bored. But what about those times we are babysitting grandchildren and don't feel that great or, as in my case last week, you are babysitting with NO VOICE.

Yup, that laryngitis I had went on…and on – total silence for three days, then hoarse for the next week – all thanks to the wonderful greenery in our area all the great allergenic pollen. So, what's a grandma to do with no voice while babysitting very active grandkids? After all, like parents, we caregivers rarely take time off for colds, flus, or laryngitis. How DO we cope?  Why, with lots of help from senior mom and grandkids, of course, along with a few ideas, tips and solutions:

  1. As I wrote last week, one of my favorite helps was for them to play with cardboard boxes – big AND small
  2. Have the grandkids order any food in a drive-thru window while you whisper what to say (and yes, I just found out that whispering is bad for the throat. But sometimes, ya just gotta do what you gotta do!)
  3. Use the grandkids to call my senior mom to give her any messages. She does have a cell phone (the Jitterbug, which we still consider to be one of the best cell phones for elderly senior citizens) but she does NOT have texting – by choice. 
  4. Play lots of audio books in the car, like Encyclopedia Brown and Down Gilead Lane
  5. Do as much homework as possible via the computer and iphone
  6. Keep a shorthand notebook handy to jot down notes for the readers (the doc really doesn't want you to talk when you have laryngitis!)
  7. Hand signals help too – thumbs up and down, A-OK, etc. 
  8. Clapping helps too. Many teachers do a sharp -staccato- three claps to get students attention. I tried it with the grandkids and it worked great. I didn't have to try to talk over them. First I got their attention, and then I could quickly whisper.
  9. Legos legos legos
  10. Pray for and with me (in soft whispers)
  11. If you feel fine, like I did, play dodge ball – very quietly.
  12. Also, swinging ball kick – again quietly. If the grandkids didn't keep score, it didn't get done.

Hand signals were a big help for me to communicate with my Sandwich Generation multigenerational family

Well, that's what helped me. How about you? Have you ever dealt with no voice while babysitting grandchildren. Got any more tips or activities ideas for us? Just in case that pollen strikes me again!!! 🙂 

Jitterbug cell phones for senior citizens can definitely help in an emergency

A couple of weeks ago, I did a two-part series that mixed serious news for all of us boomers and seniors caring for elderly parents, along with some colorful fun, in Safety Preparedness For the Sandwich Generation Issues and  Fun Yet Practical Hand Crank Radio for Sandwich Generation Safety Issues. Now that all the excitement of the Ultimate Blog Party 2011 is behind us, I wanted to continue on exploring safety issues and aids for boomers and seniors and their elderly parents. And, of course, have a little more colorful enjoyment while we're at it. 🙂 

One of my favorite aids to help all of us caring for elderly parents is the Jitterbug, which we consider to be the best of the cell phones for senior citizens. As I've shared before, it gives me a lot of peace of mind knowing that she has that easy to use cell phone for seniors tucked into her pocket when she take a walk alone. Not to mention how handy it is when we are shopping at the mall, and I need to go in one direction while she wants to head in the other. 

Did you know you can also get this great cell phone that is especially good for elderly senior citizens in different colors? Yup – black, white, and RED! Sadly, no PINK (though really, RED is pink without the white added. 🙂 ).

Here's one of the cute RED Jitterbug cell phones for senior citizens:

This red jitterbug is as close to pink as you can get for the best cell phones for senior citizens

And now for some fun – here's one of my cute Webkinz stuffed animals cuddling my senior mom's white cell phone taken with my digital camera – and PINKly adjusted by the easy to use Picnik.com:

WooHoo - Pink teddy bears and Jitterbug cell phones for senior citizens are fun for PINK Saturday for the Sandwich Generation

Hmmm, maybe someone will see this and create a great-looking and not-so-bright PINK elderly cell phone just for us. What do you think? 🙂

In the meantime, though, whatever the color you pick, it's wise to make sure your senior parents have one of the handy dandy and easy to use senior friendly cell phones whether they are out and about, or even in their own home. It can even be a matter of life or death! Definitely serious stuff for the Sandwich Generation – but fun stuff too, including PINK Saturday and REDnesday! Enjoy! 🙂

P.S. After I wrote this I got a notification in my email about a MAJOR security breach for a company named Epsilon who handles emails for a lot of the large companies many of us do business with including, but not limited to:   1800-Flowers, Abe Books, Brookstone, Chase, Hilton Honors, Ralphs, Target, US Bank, Verizon, and lots more. They think the bad guys only got names and email BUT that means MORE phishing, fake scammy emails, etc. Bottom line seems to be BE CAREFUL about clicking links in emails – especially financial ones and VERY CAREFUL about typing in any personal information that way. Go to the site directly and see if they really contacted you and what they need. Definitely important security issues and info for all of us in the Sandwich Generation AND our elderly parents!  And another reason I LOVE Norton Internet Security software for my PCs. 🙂 

Important Baby Boomer news is that it's Practice Random Acts of Kindness Week. Why is that important? As those of us in the Sandwich Generation, dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents in our family while babysitting grandchildren, can tell you – life is getting more stressful by the second! That's true for everyone, and especially for those of us juggling non-stop! But following the Biblical principles to be kind to others, to do to others what we would have them do to us, and to show love to whomever God puts in our lives has been shown to lower stress which is doubly important for all of us caregivers – boomers AND young seniors! 

Need some ideas? How about –

My senior mom loves her Jitterbug - considers them the best cell phones for senior citizens - she got a big smile when I told her I was going to use a photo of hers to help the grandkids with their Bible Memory verses for the children

  1. Call a senior long distance to chat. Remind the kids and grandkids to call periodically too – our time is often so busy, and that can easily put put at the bottom of our to-do list. But it makes the day so much brighter for those who aren't so busy. My senior mom loves to get phone calls from the grandkids and great-grandkids on her Jitterbug cell phone. We used to have to call and ask the nursing home staff to run one of their phones to a patient for us to be able to encourage a sweet elderly relative – and they were always so nice and glad to do it because they knew how important it was to the patient's mental and emotional well-being. 
  2. Bring home a tasty, but healthy treat (MUFAs, maybe) for the senior citizens who live with you.
  3. If you spot a magazine that appeals to the interests of your senior parent, snap that up or make a note to pick it up for them at the library
  4. Take walks regularly with your local senior parents – that's a great way to Practice Random Acts of Kindness that blesses you as much as them – both for the good company and the good exercise. And don't worry, even if it's slow, it's still good exercise.
  5. When you head to the grocery store with a senior parent, budget in time for a "date" for lunch or dinner. Dating senior parents (and grandkids) is just as valuable as dating your sweet spouse (make sure you schedule that in regularly as well – my kids still mention all my dates with their dad. With him in heaven for over ten years, I wish we'd done it even MORE often!)
  6. Leave a sweet note for them in the kitchen, along with the morning newspaper
  7. Bring home flowers even when it's NOT a holiday – or if your senior parent loves gardening like my mom, make it flower seeds or a potted plant for the back yard

For the senior who loves birds and butterflies and gardening - a fun way to practice random acts of kindness is to bring a flower and birdseed - dont you love this bird and flower clip art

Now it's your turn. Got any creative ideas or suggestions for ways to Practice Random Acts of Kindness for fellow members of the Sandwich Generation, caring for elderly parents? We'd love to hear. It's always GOOD NEWS to find new ways to encourage those we love. And isn't it wonderful to remember encouraging Bible verses that tell us, "Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure -pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."  Now that's de-stressing Good News for all us boomers and the seniors we love, isn't it? 🙂

P.S. I just found out that Seniors For Living is having their Second Annual Celebration of Practice Random Acts of Kindness Week, complete with a fun contest that is perfect for all of us caring for the elderly parents in our family! Enjoy!  🙂 

The never-aging Baby Boomers Generation caring for elderly parents can all make good use of these sunglasses that fit over eyeglasses in the summer

Once again, the weather is in the news. Since summer just started, hot weather is starting to show its hot face more and more. Since this is Current Events Thursday, with baby boomer generation and senior citizen news for you, it seemed appropriate to discuss it a bit.

What with family vacations coming up (including multi-generational vacations which are becoming more popular than ever); summer activities for grandparents and their grandchildren – like swim lessons and vacation Bible school; and the always ongoing doctor and dentist appointments for both elderly parents and grandkids, it can be very handy to know what kind of weather you can expect, even in the summer. For some of us, such as those in hurricane country, especially the summer.

The Sandwich Generation issues of caring for the elderly include monitoring our senior parents during times of extreme heat or cold

Here are some weather resources that can be a great help for all of us. They’ll come in handy now, and continue to be useful when the wild, woolly and cold winter weather arrives in six months:

  • Weather.com is pretty popular and well-known. But did you know that it also has the latest info on both  Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean hurricanes ? Not only that, they give you the option to have weather alerts sent to your email or your cell phone. Your aging parent won't be able to have them sent to their Jitterbug cell phones for senior citizens, but most cell phones that support texting will work.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) weather site is terrific too. They include such things as fire weather, aviation, tsunami alerts. lightning information, and more. You can sign up for text message alerts from them also. Not only that, they have an excellent education/outreach section including fun activities for grandparents and their grandchildren!
  • If you are monitoring elderly parents from a distance, check out Weather Bonk. You can type in their zip code, then see the week’s weather along with live photos of the surrounding area. It might be a good help if an aging parent is afraid of the noise from the rain, and you can assure her that it looks fairly calm where they are at. 🙂

These are all great resources and it’s especially nice that they are all free – making these great money saver tips as well! Now that’s timely weather news we can all use.

A high definition digital television is usually lightweight making it easier to carry for the Baby Boomers Generation caring for the elderly parents

Speaking of news you can use for seniors and boomer, the Boomers & Seniors: News You Can Use Blog Carnival is out! If you haven’t already checked it out, now’s the time to do so. You’ll find several interesting articles for the Sandwich Generation and Baby Boomer Generation on such topics as:

  • TV’s Changing Bandwidth
  • Retiring Overseas
  • Arkansas’ Institute on Aging Gets $33.4 Million
  • The new ‘female problem’: Caregiver stress
  • Planning to Retire Later Also has Risks

Head on over to Seniors For Living to read all these and more (including one by yours truly 🙂 ) at the Boomers and Seniors: News You Can Use Blog Carnival. Definitely plenty of useful news for boomers and seniors.