Those caring for seniors or those with chronic health problems say the best holiday gift you can give is an item that will make it easier for the recipient to go about their daily routine.
According to Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, there are 133 million Americans living with chronic conditions.
“Sweaters, pajamas, candy and perfume are all very nice, traditional and thoughtful gifts for the compromised, but if you want to really show them you are concerned about their well being, check out your local pharmacy for gifts they’ll use every day,” said Debbie Jansky, assistant nurse manager, Home Health Services, at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.
It’s very sad to see patients receive gifts of expensive perfume or cardigans that they will never enjoy because they can’t open the bottle or unbutton the buttons.
Her suggestions include a battery of products designed to help those with limited mobility or chronic health problems that are readily available as well as affordable. Although many of these gifts are available at local pharmacies, several of these items can also easily be ordered from firstSTREET and mailed in time for holiday giving.
One ongoing chore that can be made easier with organizing devices and technologies is taking medications. There is a wide range of products designed to help someone take the right pill at the right time. The DFS Med Minder dispenses medications on schedule. Caregivers will appreciate that the system notifies them if a medication is not retrieved.
Tools such as pill cutters or a pill punch can make taking medications in the correct dosage much easier. Medical alert jewelry is another thoughtful gift that can alert first responders to any important medical information, be it medication allergies or conditions such as congestive heart failure or diabetes.
For those with diminishing and limited mobility, various tools can help them achieve a modicum of independence. The Rollator — which Jansky describes as “a luxurious walker with high-quality wheels and brakes, with a basket for shopping and a handy bench to stop and rest” — also makes Jansky’s list. Item grabbers or similar devices can be used to retrieve a box of crackers from a top shelf or grasp dropped keys from the floor. The 3-in-1 Portable Reacher, for example, enables a user to pick up items from a sheet of paper to car keys or clothing with one of three aids: an adhesive disc, a magnet, or hook.
Adjustable canes are also good gift idea, especially if they can be folded or stowed when not in use. The Deluxe Foldable Safety Cane is one such product.
Compression socks are another good gift idea, especially for “those with leg circulation problems to those who are on their feet all day for work, or who fly frequently,” says Clark Chrisman, pharmacist at the hospital. He says compression stockings or socks “help increase blood circulation in legs and provide comfort.”
Various aids and items designed to help make bathrooms safe and accessible for those with decreasing mobility are also good gift ideas. This might include hand-held water sprayers, toilet seat benches, or bathtub safety rails. Along those same lines, the Neptune Toilet Lift Seat is another idea for a gift that will be used regularly. And don’t forget that it is important to make certain these items are properly installed, whether you do the work yourself or get the assistance of a licensed contractor.
If you have any of these items in your firstSTREET shopping cart, to be certain these items are shipped for Christmas Eve arrival, orders must be placed before 2 p.m. ET, December 20. Otherwise, these items can become thoughtful and unique gifts for the senior in your life any time of year.