Friday, November 28, 2008

Great gift ideas for aging parents

Today I want to share a couple of terrific gift ideas for your aging parents.

First gift idea:
Thanks to my new friend, Amy Clark (, I found a great website,

It's the place to "buy and sell all things handmade". This site was launched in 2005 and is made up of 100,000 sellers. You can sell/buy handmade goods, supplies for crafts and vintage items. I went to this site for the first time last week to find a holiday wreath for my mother's apartment door (her door faces an interior corridor of her retirement community). I was delighted to find a lightweight, beautifully handmade wreath. The other neat part is the transaction itself was personal and very easy. I corresponded directly with the woman who made the wreath.
Her handmade items can be found at (Rhody's Wreath and Crochet Shop).

So, if you're looking for a quality, handmade Christmas item for your aging parents, look here. The quality is excellent, prices good and my seller shipped the item directly to my mother.

Second gift idea:
I found another great site,

With this site, you upload your photos. The free software walks you through the entire process of creating a DVD. You select template, music and can also add titles, transition slides, speed of playback. You can include up to a maximum 150 pictures on each DVD.
I already received my first DVD. And, I am thrilled with the quality and speed of delivery. The packaging (DVD case) is also personalized and lends to the overall product quality.

I created a DVD to include photos of my grandson from birth to 2 years old. I'll be giving him, his parents and my elderly mother the DVD as a Christmas gift.

The nice part about this gift is that your aging parent can just pop this DVD in and enjoy a 10 minute show (all on their TV). My mother often has insomnia at night so I'm hoping she can perhaps use this in the middle of the night to give her pleasant memories and a way to get back to sleep.

For those of you reading this, if you have other gift ideas for aging parents, please comment.
Thank you. Dale...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Santa train video clip

Hello all,
This is a bit off topic. But, I decided to post an entry with a holiday theme.
I found a cute Santa video (animated) that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

It's 6 minutes long. Watch and enjoy. And, share with your family and friends.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Virtually Aging in Place

I recall when my mother could no longer drive but needed to get to doctors, grocery store, pharmacy. She had only 2 friends who were willing and able to drive her. As I checked into resources to help her in the interim until she could get into her retirement community (in Maryland), I found the resources fragmented and all over the place. I had to seek them out and negotiate with and comply with the requirements of each resource. It was daunting.

So, when I read a blog about a new type of private non-profit organization in Andover Mass. I was delighted with the concept. It describes an innovative approach for aging-in-place called "retirement living without walls". A yearly membership fee allows access to services similar to those available to those living in retirement communities.

As the blog points out, there is strength in numbers! The non-profit organization has a central office and members receive transportation, attend YMCA classes, optionally obtain services such as home repair, pet services, etc. The cost is much less than that of a a retirement community but members gain the care and peace of mind they need and deserve, as they continue living in their homes.

Perhaps those reading this blog will approach their local Bureau/Council on Aging and seek their cooperation in exploring/implementing this concept. What a service it would be for seniors wishing to stay in their home!

Be sure to read the entire blog that describes this new concept,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Closet Organizing for Retirement Community residents

If you have moved your parent into a retirement community or are in the planning stages, you will want to read the article I've referenced below. Closet space is usually at a premium in retirement apartments. It will help your elderly parent so much if you will take some time to organize their closet. My mother has no interest in organizing but my sister-in-law has been doing it in small chunks. She'll find a complete outfit that my mother has forgotten all about. It's a simple thing such as this that delights my mother. I was so excited to find the following article that provides other good organizing tips.

So take a few moments to read the following article written by a closet designer. She breaks the process down into easy steps:

Step 1: Remove items that you no longer use

Step 2: Create groups for the items you have removed (the author provides some good leading questions to help decide what to do with the items)

Step 3: Organize your closet. A great tip I never thought about is to hang lightest to darkest. She also offers suggestions like using different colored hangers to differentiate navy blue from black.

This is a great article, worth a few minutes of your reading time.