Caregiver and elder-friendly products, services and technology
"Minding Our Elders" columnist Carol Bradley Bursack runs through some services and products that could be helpful for caregivers and the senior citizens they care for.
Dear readers: While I occasionally mention outstanding products or services in my regular Q&A columns, the recent changes to caregiving due to COVID triggered a more serious look at some of the tech and services I’ve noted through my work. So, here’s the next installment of new or not-yet-mentioned ideas for you to consider. Unless I say otherwise, these mentions are not meant as an endorsement.
Adaptive clothing and aids
General clothing: Both Buck and Buck ( www.buckandbuck.com ) and Silvert’s ( www.silverts.com ) have been around for a long time. Each has its fans, but it’s worth checking out both sites before making purchases. There are others of course, but these two stand out due to their long track record.
Women’s underwear: Clip Knix are pretty, yet easy to put on and take off for people with limited dexterity. Not intended for incontinence; https://www.clip-knix.biz/
Car accessories for older adults: There are all kinds of gadgets available to help people get in and out of cars more easily. Daily Caring, an award-winning resource for caregivers, recently published a list ( www.dailycaring.com/6-simple-auto-aids-for-seniors-make-car-travel-easier ) that is worth looking into.
Standing assistant: Stand Assist is a handy standing aid for a couch or chair available on Amazon or Vive Health; www.vivehealth.com
Books, film and emotional support
Dementia books: Five Alzheimer’s daughters who had written their own stories created AlzAuthors, which has grown to offer reviews of over 250 caregiving and dementia books — including some by people living with dementia. This is one website that I can personally recommend; www.alzauthors.com
Short film: I viewed "You See Me" and found Linda J. Brown’s documentary about dementia and a dysfunctional family compelling. It's available for rental through her website; https://youseememovie.com
Gratitude: Is there someone from your past who deserves a huge thank you? How about using 7 Thank Yous to create a short video and send a card? Check this out if you like the idea of a formal thank you; www.7thankyous.com
Tell your story: I wish that I’d saved some of my grandparents' and parents' stories. Now you can do that! LifeBio asks a series of questions so you or a loved one can easily write a biography; www.lifebio.org
Credit card management: Customizable prepaid credit cards are available for older adults with dementia or people living with disabilities; https://www.truelinkfinancial.com/
Meals on Wheels: A wonderful organization where volunteers not only drop off a hot meal but will visit and keep an eye on people who may be housebound. You can contact your local organization through your Area Agency on Aging; https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/
Mom’s Meals: Customizable, nutritious meals delivered to the home. Some insurance programs including Medicare or Medicaid may cover all or part of the cost; https://www.momsmeals.com/
Medication dispensing: Total Linked Care serves as a connected care assistant that assures medications are being taken. This is one of many such services, each slightly different. I’m mentioning it here because it’s a fairly new offering that was brought to my attention; www.totallinkedcare.com
Non-tech option: PillMap Visual Pill Planner is a non-tech solution for medication and vitamins management; search for "pillmap pill chart tracker" on Amazon .
Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran caregiver and an established columnist. She is also a blogger, and the author of “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.” Bradley Bursack hosts a website supporting caregivers and elders at www.mindingourelders.com. She can be reached through the contact form on her website.