Thursday, January 3, 2013

My favorite life-enhancing gadgets for boomers

tray tableYou know that stage of life between being a young, healthy, vibrant 20-something and needing medication reminders and Lifeline pendants?

I think I, and many of my friends, are there.

It’s that time of life when a simple gadget newly introduced into your life could make living just a little easier. We are still vital, competent people; we just appreciate a tiny bit of help now and then.

Here’s my list of my favorite life-enhancing gadgets for boomers.

The first item on my list might be a little embarrassing or at least tell a bit too much about my husbands’ and my lifestyle. I love my tray table. You know the white one where the two legs slip under your armchair? The one you can buy at those bed and bath stores for $19.99? Of course, fancier ones do exist.

My husband and I eat our dinner in front of the television most nights (that’s the embarrassing part), and the tray just makes it so much easier to eat dinner, rather than balancing a plate on my lap. I use the tray table to write notes, create my shopping list and hold my reading material while I am seated in the comfort of my living room armchair. Life is good when I have my tray table.

My next boomer gadget is an entire series: Oxo household tools. Sam Farber, a housewares entrepreneur, came up with a set of kitchen tools that won’t hurt your hands when using them.

Farber’s wife, Betsy, had difficulty gripping ordinary kitchen tools due to a slight case of arthritis in her hands, and he saw an opportunity to create more comfortable cooking tools.

The kitchen tools expanded into a line of more than 850 products that are all based upon the concept of universal design, a philosophy of making products that are usable by as many people as possible. I especially like the can opener, vegetable peeler and the no-slip mixing bowls.

The third item on my list is a lighted magnifier the shape and size of a credit card. It fits easily into a back pocket or purse.

Have you tried reading menus at fine dining restaurants these days? The lighting may be great for ambiance but not for reading the menu. Even those of us who don’t need reading glasses have difficulty sometimes. The lighted magnifier is a sight saver and makes reading the bill a bit easier, too.

Lest you think that all of my recommendations revolve around eating, my fourth item is for those of you with eternally cold hands and feet—a space heater.

My husband loves a cool house, and I am always cold. To save on gas bills, if I am working in my office I just turn on my little space heater, and instantly my feet and hands are toasty warm.

Lastly, every once in a while a heating pad comes in handy, too. Last week while walking my cocker spaniels during an especially cold morning, I slipped on a patch of ice that was the result of sprinkler water freezing on the sidewalk. The next day I relieved my sore back with a couple of Advil and my heating pad.

Let’s face it, we all have a few more aches and pains than we did in our 20s, so the heating pad is a handy gadget.

Come to think of it, I suppose we are not all that different at 50 than we are at 20 or 80. We want comfort and convenience. We want to feel and secure.  If a gadget can do that, then I am all for it.

And I’ll remind myself of that when my nephew suggests I get a Lifeline pendant when I’m 80.

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Tags: boomer gadgets,Oxo tools,table mate trays

Categories: General, Eldercare InnovationNumber of views: 2492

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Andrea GallagherAndrea Gallagher

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