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Gifts Ideas for Elders in Care Facilities

Tuesday, 03 May 2011 10:50

giftPurchasing gifts for loved ones in care facilities can be difficult since they are limited in the amount of space provided in their rooms.  Likewise, it is challenging to generate gift ideas since their basic needs are being met on a daily basis and each care facility has its own rules and regulations regarding items that are permissible in the facility.

The next time you are looking to buy a loved one a gift, consider the following gift items:

Box Set of Holiday and/or Birthday Cards
It can be extremely difficult for residents of an assisted living facility or nursing home to go to the store and pick out holiday cards and birthday cards for their family and friends.  Therefore, you can purchase a stylish box and several different cards to place in the box for your loved one that will itemize occasion dates and provide a list of addresses for family and friends.  If your loved one is artistic and would prefer to make the card, you can purchase blank cards at a local craft store and some supplies with which to decorate the cards.

Flowers/Fruit/Muffin of the Month Club
Consider weekly or monthly deliveries of flowers, fruits and/or muffins. 

Brain Teasers/Puzzles
There are many handheld, electronic games on the market that serve to keep the brain active.  For instance, 20Q is a game that keeps the brain alert and provides entertainment to your loved one.   Games for the elderly can be found online at www.seniorstore.com.

Spa/Salon Treatment
Spa gift certificates are wonderful if the elder would enjoy a soothing massage.  Or perhaps they would enjoy a salon gift certificate where they can not only get their hair styled, but also treat themselves to a manicure or pedicure.  These services may be provided at the care facility, but your loved one may enjoy the day out.  If they are unable to physically leave the facility, you may be able to retain services where the professional goes to the care facility.

Book and Magazines
Reading materials provide hours of entertainment.  Consider purchasing magazine subscriptions or a small collection of books (and perhaps even a small bookshelf) for your loved one.

Digital Picture Frames
Many residents in care facilities are not provided with much shelf space.  Therefore, you may want to consider purchasing a digital picture frame that you can upload photos to.  This will certainly give your loved one something to boast about.

Clothing and accessories easily get worn out and may even get lost at the facility.   You may want to purchase an adequate supply of clothing (perhaps zipper clothing for ease and convenience), scarves, watches, nonskid socks and shoes.  Similarly, the bedding gets overused and new throws, linens and pillows are needed.

Often, electronics, such as telephones, TV’s with a remote control and alarm radios are already provided to your loved one by the care facility.  However, your loved one may benefit from a large button phone or a large button television remote control.  They may even need an alarm clock with large numbers.   

Lap Tables
You can have a personalized lap table made for your loved one that is cushioned with a bean bag on the bottom and filled with pictures of family and friends on top of the table.  Your loved one may use this lap table while eating meals and playing cards; the possibilities are endless.

Family Celebrations Book
Store your family’s memories in a personalized family celebration book.  There is no limit to how these books can be designed and it may provide significant quality time that you can spend with your loved one as you design the book together.  Family celebration books can be purchased at www.elderluxe.com.

- Posted by Mary Kastelic

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U.S. Savings Bonds Options Upon Death

Wednesday, 13 April 2011 14:29

savings_bondU.S. savings bonds (Series E & EE) have been a popular investment for a long time.  While they accrue interest, taxation of that interest is usually deferred until the bonds are cashed.  If a bond is titled jointly with another then, upon the death of the principal owner, that other can have the bond reissued in his name and continue to defer taxation.  He can also choose to have the bond reissued with another joint owner, creating the possibility of continuing the deferral of taxation almost indefinitely.

An E or EE bond that is titled solely to someone who dies is included in his estate and the income tax on accrued interest usually paid by the heirs.  Often those heirs are still employed, and pay taxes at a much higher rate than the deceased owner had.  Tax law provides a solution for that.

Even after the owner dies, it is possible to include on his final income tax return the savings bond interest that accrued while he was alive.  Thus that interest can be taxed at his lower rate, saving the heirs money.


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The White House Monthly Disability Call

Monday, 14 February 2011 08:51

white house logoThe White House hosts monthly calls regarding updates on various disability issues.  It is also an opportunity to become familiar with people who work on disability issues for the Federal Government.  The calls are off the record and not for press purposes.

On Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. ET, Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to  the President on Disability Issues, will host the next monthly call.  The topic is the President's budget as it relates to people with disabilities.

Dial in for listeners (US): 800-288-8974
Title: White House Disability Call (use instead of code)
For live captioning at the time of the call, click here.

- Posted by Jill Fowler

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The Beauty of Winter

Wednesday, 02 February 2011 11:45

Snow_AngelIt was a skating rink outside my house today when I left at 6:30 a.m. to catch the bus to work, but I made it safely.  On the bus, I talked with a woman who was in her 50s.  She walks with a cane, and we were commiserating about the treacherous conditions.  Then, she shared with me that a couple of weeks ago, when the snow was white and beautiful, she got down on the ground and made snow angels.  Isn’t that wonderful?  And, what a nice reminder that there is beauty and joy to be found in almost every situation.

- Posted by Carol Culley

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