Saturday, May 9, 2009

Items That Help an Elderly Parent

I want to tell you about a couple of things that will make your life easier.

Item No. 1: The telephone receiver—and I don't mean for a landline. This gadget is shaped like the telephone receiver of yore but it plugs into the headphone jack of a cellphone. The familiar elongated U-shaped tube allows my mom to talk comfortably. (She has digital hearing aids and they create terrible feedback that make it impossible for her to hear.)
I found the one above at left at for about $30, plus shipping. (You can find other vendors by Googling "retro handset" and cell phone.) It was a godsend when she was in a hospital room without a phone and my sisters wanted to talk with her. She could hear and felt comfortable, and the sisters could hear her. We still use it when I get a cell call and the caller wants to say hi.

Item No. 2: A lightweight, folding wheelchair (above, right). The first time I needed to take my mom to the doctor I was petrified I was going to drop her, but I should have been more worried about picking up the loaner wheelchair without straining my back. (She's not confined to a wheelchair but she does need one occasionally.) I found one at by (It's called Transport Folding Lightweight Wheelchair With Carbon Steel Frame, Dual Handbrakes, Padded Armrests, Detachable Footrests, and Drop Back Handle.) Amazon lists it at $299.99, but discounts it to $99.99. Shipping was $26.73.
It is all the things it says it is and one more: Because it folds, I can easily get it in the car. Plus I like its handbrakes, which sort of remind me of riding what we used to call an English racer. This may not be the model for you, but my mom is about 100 pounds, so she's only about four times as heavy as the chair.

More info on items as they come to my attention, but meanwhile, if you know of anything, please e-mail me at Thank you!


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  2. See? All that sweating and hand wringing you did getting me in and out of your house in my manual chair was for not!
    You are much stronger than you think you are, Chica.