Gifts Nursing Home

Father’s Day Gift Suggestions

Father’s Day is next Sunday. Herewith, a list of gift suggestions to make Dad’s day especially nice. (Many of these suggestions appeared on the recent Mother’s Day Gift Suggestions post, but there are a few new ones to inspire you, too.) These items are particularly suited to fathers who live in assisted living or nursing homes, but most of them are things just about anyone might enjoy.

For TV-watching dads:

Simple Remote Controls for TV

Sleek, Super-Size Remote Control

Fun and Games:

Marble Run for Dexterity and Better Hand Coordination

Holders for Playing Cards

Engaging Hand-Held Game for One or More

More than a card:

Coloring Books For Adults

Loving company:

Companion Pets — Blondie the Golden Retriever

Companion Pets — Puzzle the Cat

For happy feet:

Slippers for Swollen or Sensitive Feet

Shoehorn With a Sense of Humor

Better than a Rolex:

Super Large Analog Date/Time Clock

Custom rims:

Spoke Guards for Wheelchairs


GIMP – Fame and Frailty

Image of the Cover of the Book GIMPThere are a lot of reasons to read GIMP, the autobiography of Mark Zupan. Zupan was eighteen years old when he climbed, drunk out of his mind, into the back of a friend’s pick-up truck and fell asleep. Sleeping off that drunk changed Zupan’s life permanently.

GIMP is the story of the aftermath, written in Zupan’s voice by co-author Tim Swanson. It’s gritty and real. It’s explicit, and is brutally, not to say crudely, straightforward about what quadriplegic injuries meant to Zupan then and what they’ve meant in the years since.


Truck-Spotting, Wheelchair-Style

Image of a Man in a Wheelchair Whose Handles are Stuck in the Grille of a TruckHere’s a hazard you probably never considered. The handles on this unidentified fellow’s power chair stuck in the grille of a semi-truck when the two were stopped at a gas station.

Four miles later — after travelling at speeds up to 50 MPH — the truck stopped and the shocked driver realized he had a hitchhiker. Police caught up to the pair just outside of Paw Paw, Michigan.

Add another notch for seatbelt use — the 21-year-old who was in the chair had his latched. He’s uninjured, but it looks as if his cupholder (lower right) didn’t make it.

Everyday Gear

Extra-Large Easy-to-Hold Pill Organizer

Image of a Large Pill OrganizerIt’s amazing what helpful things turn up in unexpected places. Witness this pill organizer 7-compartment craft organizer sold by Craft Mates. It’s large enough for almost any number of giant pills, has a compartment for every day in the week, and easy-open, easy-close lids for each section.

Its size (about six inches in diameter by about one-and-one-quarter inches high) and the handy hole in the middle make it easy to grasp, too. Although the label doesn’t mention it, it just happens that the first letter for each day of the week is inscribed on the box in Braille.

Image of a Large Pill Organizer with Retail Label IntactDon’t go looking for this one at the pharmacy, though — I saw it in the crafts section at a WalMart store for under three dollars. (You can see how it’s packaged at the right.)

If you could find it at a pharmacy — because, guess what, the small print on the label says it’s made by Apothecary Products, Inc. — I’ll bet you’d pay close to three times as much. Or more. Because you know the rule — if it’s medical equipment, it’s gotta be hugely expensive.

Before going that route, check out the bead section of any craft store for this organizer and other, similar, options. You might be pleasantly surprised.

At Home Home Modifications

A Kinder, Gentler (Rubber) Wheelchair Ramp

We used portable metal wheelchair ramps for my dad‘s visits to the house, and they’ve worked well for us. We needed a rather long ramp, so our options were limited. In other situations, I’d have much preferred a rubber threshold ramp instead — every time we moved our portable ramps I worried that the metal edges would catch and maul a door, the side of the house, or our hardwood floors. Rubber ramps would be kinder to anything they accidentally encountered — and, I suspect, hose off more easily as well.

Games/Recreation Travel Wheelchairs

SF-Area Trails for People Who Use Wheelchairs

GearAbility is back, and the laptop is feeling much better now, thank you. In honor of the summer weather — which is currently rotten on the east coast, but probably lots better in California — today’s post celebrates the great outdoors.

Image of Ann Sieck and Friend on a Wooded TrailBerkeley, California resident Ann Sieck has a website called San Francisco Bay Area Wheelchair Accessible Trails, with a rather comprehensive listing of trails she’s either used herself with various wheelchairs, or which have been rated by other “reliable sources”.