7 Small, Inexpensive Gifts Help Parents Age Well in Various Ways
1. A wide-ish rubber band (often found around produce like celery) can be stretched around something that’s hard-to-unscrew like a little bottle cap or a jar lid of any size. Unlike the contraptions or rubber disks one buys, this costs nothing, takes up no room, is easily replaced when worn out or lost and gives the gripping power most older people, especially, are losing…or have basically lost.
2. A crystal nail file seems to be easier on nails than an emery board. I found one at an Arizona Walgreen’s for $.99. Don’t know the make; didn’t even know there were differences. My first ones were bought years ago at a small fair in the park in Republic, Washington (population around 1000). Think it was imported crystal, came in small and medium sizes. I bought one of each–$5 and $7 respectively. I’ve since Googled and guess there are differences (click for some ratings). Actually my $.99 one seems fine and after losing the first two, I’m glad to have this one.
3. Have you thought about Lottery tickets? Price: you decide. They always add a bit of excitement to life, but think of what they can do for bored seniors.
4. Netflix. If Dad were alive I would order his favorite movie, School Ties. For my husband’s father we would begin with The Treasure of Sierra Madre. And we would attach a note inviting ourselves to watch the movies with them…and bring some snacks. And then, of course, there’s always Casablanca.
5. Atractive forever postage stamps are a handy time saver for older people who don’t pay bills through autopay and/or still write letters.
6. The pocket-lighted-slide magnifying glass (Black & Silver Pocket LED) from Great Point Light offers magnification and light with a simple pull–a great little gift ($9.95). It was carried at the Container Store, Staples, and Office Max last year. Haven’t physically checked this year. (Also comes in a low vision model: “Low Vision Amber Contrast.)” This website offers more details, including how-to information for selecting a magnifier.
7. Panasonic’s Nose Hair Trimmer
was older men’s most popular 2012 purchase according to Hammacher Schlemmer’s NYC store ($19.95). Check catalog: http://www.hammacher.com/Product/79764?promo=search
Have fun and feel good, knowing you’re adding something positive to an older person’s life.
Changing weekly: “Of Current Interest” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities, plus some free and some fun stuff–to help parents age well.