Baskets, Paper Products, and Trays are three of my favorite things! You will see below how these can positively impact our senior years. Surprised? Check out these hints to see if they will be helpful to you!
Use a Basket: Whether in the car, to and from car, or around the house, baskets with one or two handles are the perfect answer for many tasks. Today, I tried this idea and it was fabulous! In the process of decluttering, I filled a basket with papers to sort, a pair of scissors, stapler, paper clips, pen and a garbage bag then headed to a table on my screened porch. Enjoying the beautiful day and fresh air, I pitched, forwarded, and organized a huge stack! What is usually a tedious, boring task became a much more pleasant experience. Baskets are perfect to take food to someone’s home, to organize supplies in one room, or to carry items from one room to another. Even my garden tools and gloves are in a basket. And a basket, which fits in the floor behind the driver’s seat of my car, holds paper towels, window cleaner, a bottle of water, pen/pencil, paper and other items. In what creative ways do you use baskets?
Use Paper Products: I never thought I would see the day, but it is here! Despite my love of beautiful thin china, colorful pottery, or sparkling crystal and glass, I have resorted to using paper plates and bowls often! Cooking for one is not really fun, and there are always leftovers! I use a microwave and paper plate when I heat the second helpings for another meal. Warning, however. Do read the details of the paper products you select. All are not made for microwaving! Also, look for pretty ones to make your meal more appealing. You might also treat yourself to matching paper napkins and cups. Pretty holiday products are fun, too! Why not? A careful shopper can enjoy special, attractive mealtimes! And if you can, please recycle appropriately.
Use Assorted Trays: In so many sizes, shapes, designs and materials, trays are a great help as we strive for the most convenient ways to keep some semblance of order in our surroundings. I am a tray person, no doubt! Going from room to room, I see a tray of some sort in almost every one. In my kitchen, a tray holds all of my coffee supplies and pot in a certain spot on the counter. Everything is together and that makes my first cup of coffee each morning so much quicker and easier. In my dressing area, all makeup and such are on a tray for immediate use. Another tray hold various hair products. Small travel treasures are arranged on a table tray in my living room. And of course, I have several more which are perfect when serving guests or taking a meal to the screened porch. Think about ways that trays can help you.
Please share your ideas about using the above tips. Tell us other helpful secrets that have made your days happier and safer. Convenience is Critical!
Relocating Home Essentials: Having what you need where you need it is a challenge! Can we do it? Of course, we can! It is time for change.
Do you still use all of your holiday decorations or just some of them? Are the ones you use easy to reach, put into place throughout your home, and enjoy? For years, I would go to the attic, hunt, select, haul up and down the stairs, then decorate; afterward, the putting away process was not fun. Now, however, I have simplified! I have moved only the decorations that I use into a closet on the main floor of my home. They are convenient, organized in well marked boxes, and neatly stored. I can decorate without fear of an accident in the process.
Whitmor 6129-2688 Christmas Ornament Storage BoxSnap ‘N Stack Seasonal Home Storage 13Household Essentials Holiday Ornament Storage Chest for 36-Piece, Red with Green TrimHoney-Can-Do SFT-01597 Ornament Storage Box with Movable Dividers, Holiday Red
Simplifying closet space may also involve serious steps of evaluating your entire wardrobe and disposing of all excess. Share, put in a yard sale or donate to a worthwhile cause! You will have more space to use for your home essentials, save time when selecting outfits, and love the reorganized closet! You may find a special niche for that new lightweight vacuum and other cleaning supplies (gathered appropriately in a basket).
And don’t forget to take a good hard look at your kitchen! Open each upper cabinet door. Are the items you use most located on the lowest, easiest to reach shelf? Again, for convenience and safety, reorganize! Consider using lower cabinets and drawers as well. The risk is too great not to make changes now. We may drop and break dishes, slip and fall while stretching to get a certain bowl, or even worse, fall off a ladder if we resort to that. And last but not least, please walk through your home and gather every small, slippery throw rug! These can become truly hazardous for seniors.
Copco 2555-1978 Adjustable Bakeware OrganizerCopco 2555-0188 Non-Skid 3-Tier Cabinet Organizer, 15-InchShelf On Wheels Expandable Pull-Out Kitchen Cabinet Shelf, WoodGrayline 40231, Door or Wall Wrap Rack, White
Now, think about your daily routine and at least make a list of the changes you believe will make each day happier and safer for you. You may want or need to ask someone to help you with the reorganization. Watch for Part 3 of Convenience is Critical – to challenge you and to provide more helpful hints.
Suddenly I knew! I was struggling with a heavy, older model vacuum cleaner when the light dawned! Convenience is truly critical to my comfort level and to my success with projects on my daily list. Whether putting away holiday decorations, worrying about running out of gas or replacing some home items and services, reorganizing my home and my lifestyle must happen…now! With that not-so-profound realization, let’s think about ways we can change, improve, and maximize joy – and senior safety — every day.
Home Equipment: Keeping our home or apartment clean, tidy, and most functional is important. Doing so just isn’t as easy as it used to be! A lightweight, perhaps even cordless, vacuum cleaner is a great way to begin change. Too, we need to think about the extension type dusters that enable us to get to places we earlier may have cleaned easily while standing on a ladder. Ladders are definitely “no-no’s” for seniors! Various tools are available to help with clean-up, including long handled dust pans! Think of the projects that are difficult for you, and learn more about solutions!
Another “steps and energy saver” idea is to have your land line phones in several locations, or switch to and use a cellphone to have with you at all times. Putting pens, paper and scissors in various rooms enables us to make notes or accomplish a task without going from room to room when they are needed. Check your lighting in each room as well. Can you turn on a light immediately when entering? Do you need more lamps? Reminder: Do not exceed the recommended wattage in any lamp or lighting fixture or you may have a dangerous electrical situation. Smoke alarms are a must! Do you have one or several in your home? Do they have good batteries?
And in the kitchen, the simple addition of jar openers is amazing when we no longer have good hand strength. In fact, one of my favorites is a simple designed metal one that fits several sized lids, and works like a charm! A definite safety item for our list is a coffee maker with automatic shut off! I try to unplug after my second cup, but sometimes I forget. Remember to check the bathroom! Getting in and out of the slippery tub/shower can be dangerous! I learned the hard way when I injured my leg in the process. Investigate installing hand rails to give extra security when maneuvering. Be sure to have a skid free mat in your tub and shower as well as a skid free bath mat on the floor.
Helpful home equipment is a safety factor as well as a convenience factor! Falls, breaks, bruises, cuts and scrapes can be avoided if we change and simplify our daily used home equipment. Think about various ways to improve your surroundings for better function for you! These become great wish list items! Watch for more ideas in Parts 2 and 3 of the Convenience is Critical series.
Seniors! Are you missing adventures, friends, festivities and sights? Do you hesitate and respond negatively because you must travel alone? Why? Let’s explore some great ideas that may make you feel more comfortable and confident when you have an opportunity to do something special or you “get a bee in your bonnet” to do something different!
Senior Driving Course: The AARP Course is a must! I recently participated in this class for the first time, and found it to be most helpful. With many great ways to be a better driver, it encourages awareness, provides great tips, and motivates us. An added benefit is a possible discount on your car insurance. Check this site: AARP Driver Safety Program
The Automobile: By all means, be sure to have a “trip check” so that your vehicle is in tip-top shape. We each should have a reliable mechanic to provide regular, good maintenance and to deter car problems around home or on the road. I have also found that a “clean and tidy car” makes for a happier/safer trip! Too, I keep a basket of basics in the car at all times. Fill the basket with such things as paper towels, window cleaner, air freshener, and other supplies you may want or need whenever you are in the car. Two final important hints: Wear your seatbelt and lock your car doors whenever you are driving!
Communication: We should never be on the road without a cell phone! My children insisted on it some years ago and I purchased the simplest one I could find. It was turned on/used only when I was traveling, but oh, what a sense of security it provided me. I could check in with them whenever I stopped along the way to give progress reports, and knew that if I had car trouble or a concern on the road, I had a way to get assistance quickly. I have learned more and invested in a better cell phone, but the process is the same.
Map File and Directions: A small, current assortment of maps is another basic for any driver. A map of your own city can be most helpful at times, and a good state map may be handy. Another plus is a small magnifying glass! Often street names and highway numbers are in very small print – hard for older eyes! When driving to a new location, even in town, specific, step by step written directions are essential. It has only taken me a few times of “Oh, I will remember that turn” to realize I needed the details with me because I forgot a major point! A clipboard with large print instructions can be placed on the seat beside you as a security reference if you need to stop and check details. And a GPS is a great tool for finding where you are going. Join the electronic age and learn to use a GPS system.
Now, the essentials for senior driving are fresh on your mind! Traveling Alone – Part 2 will be added soon to challenge you to explore further. In the meantime, investigate the above for your own safety as well as that of others. Enjoy the process!
Driving around town to accomplish errands may be one small challenge, but how do you feel about being alone in your vehicle for 30 or 300 miles? Regardless of the distance you are driving, the suggestions in Part 1 are critical. Once these are in place, you should feel more confident and be ready to review and prepare for longer trips alone – if that is your choice.
There is a point when we, as seniors, should/must not drive. Then alternative travel arrangements can be made. You may think about asking a friend to drive and enjoy the adventure, take a bus, train or plane to visit relatives, or hire a driver. It may be time for family to visit you rather than your taking risks to drive and see them.
Giving up the privilege and freedom of driving is most difficult. But it is a matter that we should seriously think about and address. A good friend or two, and/or perhaps several family members, should know that you are aware of our slower response time and the reality that, at some point, other arrangements will need to be made. I have some of these in place so that one or two people will tell me if they notice driving dangers on my part, and tell me! I surely do not want friends, neighbors or family knowing, but simply talking about it behind my back. If I am not a good driver, then I am dangerous on the road –for myself and others! Say so!
However, let’s assume skills are fine, and a trip alone is on the agenda. You may want to explore interesting towns or historic locations within a hundred mile radius of your home. You may need to plan two or three days of travel to reach a more distant location. Here is my list of Betty’s Rules for the Road from my article, “Make It An Adventure”, Southern Distinction Magazine, March, 2006:
Make reservations and stay in reputable hotels/motels.
Pack one suitcase for ease at overnight accommodations.
Allow an extra hour or two for unexpected interruptions in your plans.
Take a cell phone for emergency use and don’t forget to charge it!
Have some cash—especially ones and change to cover toll roads or fees.
Follow the posted speed limit. Don’t waste your fun money on a ticket!
Step for rest, food, and gas only where there are other people.
Drive five or six hours maximum each day; stop to stretch every couple of hours.
Travel in daylight hours.
Make it an Adventure! Anticipate, Observe, Interact, Grow, Enjoy.
Buying gifts for seniors is not always easy. There are so many things to be considered including where they live, their interests, and their mobility. With those in mind, this selection of good gifts for senior citizens will assist with shopping and giving year round!
Gifts from your travels – Where ever you go, whether to a different city or different country, there will be specialty items available. Think of your fellow seniors then! When you spot an item that you know your friends or family members would enjoy, buy! Tuck these away, and they will be readily available at gift-giving time. A note attached to the package can explain, “I thought of you when I was in ___________!” Special, indeed.
EIFFEL TOWER PARIS COOKIE CUTTER 4.5 IN. B0903Australia – 50Las Vegas Mini Model, Las Vegas Souvenirs, Las Vegas SouvenirNew York Magnet – Jumbo Skyline, New York Magnets, New York SouvenirsWestland Giftware Mwah Magnetic Hawaiian Kiss Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, 3-3/4-Inch
Emergency stash – It is easy for us to forget to keep our battery supply up to date and be prepared for emergency power outages. Perhaps a rechargeable flashlight would be the perfect gift for the senior man or woman on your list.
Abco Tech Black CREE LED Rechargeable Flashlight 500 lumens 3 switch Mode, Strong Brightness, Normal Brightness, FlashingAmbient Weather WR-111B Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Digital Radio, Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger with NOAA Certified Weather Alert & CablesRechargeable LED Lantern – ImprovementsNew Arrival 5-LED Rechargeable Flashlight with An AM/FM Radio and Siren RD-300
Kitchen supplies – For the senior at home, nothing perks up the day to day chores like a fresh, happy set of new kitchen towels, dish cloths, or hot pads. Good kitchen shears, too, periodically need to be replaced. Seasonal or holiday napkins, paper or fabric, are fun to use even when eating alone and doubly nice when company shares a meal.
Ticket to an event – What a wonderful gift! Consider a ticket or two for a concert, play, or a movie for the senior! Do remember to think about the time of day and especially about transportation and assistance if the senior is no longer driving or unable to attend alone. Your company (and transportation/assistance) may be the added joy to the outing!
Donation to charity – This is one of my favorite gifts! When nothing else seems quite right, your loving thoughts can be shared by a donation to a charity. Some will provide you with an acknowledgment card which you can box and wrap as a gift and deliver. Others will send an acknowledgment letter stating that a donation has been made in the senior’s honor. What a wonderful way to celebrate a friendship.
Now, I hope your own creative juices are flowing and that some of these recommendations for good gifts for senior citizens will be helpful to you. Good luck with your shopping and selection of the perfect gift for someone special!
As seniors, we purchase gift items for our senior family members and friends! We also are asked for ideas about good gifts for senior citizens. What do seniors want and/or need? Here are a few of my choices to give and receive:
Desk Supplies – Oh, nothing makes me happier than a new box of pretty note cards! If I don’t have the appropriately worded card, I can write my own for a friend who is ill, celebrating an event, or just in my thoughts. Another most helpful idea is a box of assorted cards for birthdays, sympathy, and get well. Even boxes of legal and letter envelopes come in handy for everyone. An extra plus would be a book or two of stamps! Select unusual ones to brighten the sender’s envelopes. Investigate the various pen options. Sometimes large ones are easier for a senior’s hands. Various point sizes, ink types and colors add interest to the choices. Several different ones would be a fun package! Attractive or personalized list pads are always useful. Don’t we all make a list for the grocery, for errands, or for daily chores?
Flower Note Cards Floral Fine Art Watercolor Notecards (Set of 8) Blank Greeting CardsAssorted All Occasion Greeting Cards 30 PackSenior Fountain Pen Hero 88 Red Jubilant with Golden Chinese ‘Fu’ (Blesing) Iridium Nib
Food Items – What fun to receive something special for our plates! Do keep in mind whether your fellow senior follows a special diet – diabetic, gluten free, etc. Think about such goodies as unique preserves, cookies, snack items, or candies. Assorted fruit is always a treat. And wow, if immediate refrigeration is available, how about a homemade or purchased casserole, unusual cheeses, and even a nice steak or two for the freezer? Specialty canned items for the pantry are fun surprises. Remember that often seniors are alone or only preparing for two, so smaller quantities, casserole sizes, and such are most important to avoid waste and add pleasure.
Gift Cards or Cash – When at a total loss about what to give, a gift card or cash is the answer. From variety stores, grocery stores, gas companies, and restaurants, the list of gift cards is endless! I recently retired, and one of my favorite gifts was a gift card to a local bookstore. Hurray, I can choose exactly what I want and when I want it! For those who are computer skilled, there, too, are a number of choices of gift cards. Cash is always a good option as well. I recently gave a fellow senior an unusual coin purse with a note that simply said “Something Green for your Purse” on the card. Inside the small pouch, I had tucked a bill, the green for her to spend whenever/wherever she wanted. Perhaps the senior man needs a new wallet, and you could do the same with an added bill or gift card.
These are my favorite good gifts for senior citizens. I hope you have gotten an idea or two from the assortment. An especially pretty gift bag or brightly wrapped package adds even more fun, as will a note if there is a “story” about the gift or why you chose the particular item. What do you like to give and receive? Watch for Part 2 coming soon!