Aging Parents-Holiday Gifts: When “No Big Deal” Means a Great Deal (updated 2012)

We know the holidays can be a difficult time for many.  Yet there’s an opportunity to bring a sliver of  joy to them as we try to help parents and grandparents and older people age well.
What may be a little thing to us–(making a nursing home basket like those featured on my blog last week) can surprise with its impact…..
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Dear Ladies,
My nice little plant is doing very nicely and is happy.  The Christmas tray and notepaper plus pens are a wonderful gift. We are all very appreciative of all the goodies you sent to us. You make our holidays much more exciting. We are old and sick, not dead. I hope you all know that your thoughtfulness is appreciated.

My Christmas basket from last year still decorates my room.
Thank you and God Bless.
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While no more important than a gnat’s eyelash when compared with the challenges of the older people in nursing homes, normal age-related changes affect many people’s eyesight as well as strength as they age.  For them two of my most favorite, most helpful small gifts.

Click to Enlarge

1.  A well-designed pocket magnifying glass by Great Point–LED light and 3x magnification with a simple pull. (It also comes in a low vision model called “Low Vision Amber Contrast.”) It was carried by Staples, The Container Store, and Office Max. This year it’s advertised at Barnes and Noble. Just enter it in the search box. I have the red one pictured at right. 
The Great Point website gives more details along with reviews. 

2.  The best jar opener I’ve ever used, no matter the size of the screw-top–and it’s FREE: a wide rubber band (found on produce in grocery stores or produce markets).  Note how it grips the cap on the jar/bottle.  Older people’s grips weaken, making twisting off tops more difficult.  Rubber band to the rescue. Just twist and turn.  PS– it takes up no room.
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The most valued gifts needn’t be large or expensive, we know that. Indeed it’s the little things that often mean the most. And both of these gifts–as well as the baskets for those in nursing homes–enhance older people’s existence. Doesn’t that contribute to their aging well?

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.

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