Dear readers: My first column featuring new technology and services for caregivers was written not long after COVID-19 first upended our lives. The reason behind it, of course, was that providing care for our vulnerable older population quickly became a scramble to find tech and products to help us do so safely while staying within some strict limitations.

Caregiving options have improved regarding the pandemic, but the thirst for products to serve caregivers and older adults has continued, so I’m back with more options to consider.

Just a reminder that this list is only a way to provide information. Other than the Alzheimer’s stamp and the videos, I’m not endorsing these products.

For dementia

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Helpful products

  • Stop sign banner: People who live with dementia can become confused about whether or not they should go through doorways. There are no guaranteed solutions other than vigilance, but sometimes a simple step that helps is to place a familiar stop sign or banner on a door. The Alzheimer's Store sells one online for about $33; https://www.alzstore.com/stop-sign-banner-p/0134.htm

  • Elastic shoelaces: These stretchy shoelaces can make nearly any tie shoe easier to get on and off, which is often helpful for people with limited flexibility; https://theoriginalstretchlace.com/
  • SitnStand: This portable lift chair might be helpful for those who have trouble getting out of chairs; https://www.sitnstand.com/

Companionship

  • Listeners on Call: Listeners on Call (LOC) provides 24/7 access to peer support to help older adults feel heard and less lonely; https://www.listenersoncall.com/
  • Nana’s Books: Large format books offer nostalgic topics to stimulate conversations and allow people to revisit pleasant milestones;

    https://www.nanasbookseries.com/

  • GrandmaJoan: This service helps people find and screen live-in caregivers, which can be difficult on your own. As with any agency, check into their vetting process and any contracts, and ask for references; https://grandmajoan.com/

Technology

Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran caregiver and an established columnist. She is also a blogger, and the author of “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.” Bradley Bursack hosts a website supporting caregivers and elders at www.mindingourelders.com. She can be reached through the contact form on her website.