5 handy gadgets for boomers and beyond

One of the rewards I enjoy as a geriatric care manager is the opportunity to pass along helpful tips to make the day-to-day job of growing older a bit easier, safer and sometimes, more fun!

I regularly accompany my dear clients to medical appointments, on routine errands like grocery shopping, and everyone’s favorite – going out to eat. It is true that life isn’t only about the destination. We all want to enjoy the journey too.

If you haven’t ever helped your own aging self or your 88 year old mom, 90 year old dad, or another loved one in and out of a car, you may not know that the enter/exit process is a mini-exercise session for everyone! To keep frustration, pulled muscles, creaky knees and bumped noggins to a minimum, a small investment in the following 5 handy-dandy gadgets is your short cut to a more successful outing.

1. Give me a hand: A driver and a passenger have 4 hands and 4 legs to accommodate the passenger’s exit from your car. The maneuver from sitting to standing requires at least one more hand than is available. While you are holding the car door, your grandmother’s purse, her sweater, tissues, and her walker plus your own “stuff” this Stander Handybar slides easily the car door latch/striker to offer your passenger a good grip and extra leverage to provide a safer transfer.

2. That standy-uppy thing: the Stander Car Caddy allows you to give yourself (or your favorite elder) a hand. The nylon assist device fits any framed vehicle window and installs/removes in seconds. It even adjusts in length to accommodate different heights. Weight capacity is 250 lbs.

3. It’s like a lazy susan for people: Swivel Seat helps you pivot up to make getting off or on a vehicle seat easier. Those hips, lower back, stiff legs or arms feel better already. Weight capacity is 300 lbs. Swivels up to 360 degrees. It is comfortable, safe and portable.

4. We probably should have used the restroom before we headed home: Peace of mind for about $10 plus shipping. These absorbent, washable, waterproof seat protector pads come in several colors to match your vehicle upholstery. Incontinence no longer means being a prisoner of your home. Disposable undergarments come in all shapes and sizes, giving elders more confidence and freedom to shop, dine, etc. If a traffic jam or an appointment runs late, a waterproof pad for the car provides an extra measure of protection so no one has to stress about a little leak here or there.

5. My the sun is bright today! Wish I’d brought my sunglasses: We can’t always remember everything. And particularly for those folks who are post-cataract surgery a sun shiny day can be torture on the eyes. It is a kind gesture to keep an extra pair of shades in the car JIC (just in case). Unisex sunglasses that fit over regular eyeglasses make a great gift item too. 

I think the thing to do is enjoy the ride while you’re on it.” – Johnny Depp

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