Environmental Issue & Sick Building Syndrome Blog

Simple and Economical Holiday Gifts For Seniors Aging in Place

November 23rd, 2013 9:29 AM by Dan Howard


Go through the home and change all of the light bulbs. A senior may not be safe climbing on a chair or ladder to change a light bulb. On the other hand, it is difficult to ask someone to come over and change a light bulb. 

Installing grab bars and hand rails where needed is a great gift. Proper placement is critical, but a person may need to pose on the commode or get out of a bathtub to determine the right location. Many seniors find it difficult to face the embarrassment of calling a stranger to install these simple but important safety features.    


Buy a nice decorative cloth bag.  Simply add a visible, but tasteful label that says”Medical Information” It should be hung near the front door.  Medical information is critical during a medical emergency.  Having this bag in plain sight can make a life or death difference in a medical emergency.  Having it be pretty, that is a nice bonus.


Change turning door knobs to lever handles. Everyday living is easier with lever handles and when trying to get through a door to call for help or escape a fire, it can make a life or death difference. 


Add an exterior blinking light to signal emergency personnel that they have the right home. This does not need to be fancy. It could even be a fun gift like a decoration that can be appropriate as a Christmas decoration but also stay up all year. One example is a star decoration.  It could also be as simple as an extension cord run through a window with a colored light bulb screwed into a socket that has a built in blinker.  The plug into the wall socket device for making a light blink will be easy to find this time of year in your favorite store’s Christmas decoration area. In our family, a lighted Leprechaun would fit the bill.


Install a keyless combination door lock at an exterior door.  Nobody wants to bust down a door to check if someone is OK.  Imagine the embarrassment of “oopps, I busted down your door while you were out Christmas shopping”.  A code combination lock can provide access to friends, relatives or emergency personnel without the delay that usually occurs before someone is willing to break down a door.


Purchase a freeze alarm.  Snowbirds and winter vacationers alike can avoid the possible flooding and major damage of their home if the heat goes out and pipes freeze.  There are alarm units that will call out to another phone number before homes or crawl spaces freeze. Many of these are available for under $ 100.00.

Posted in:General
Posted by Dan Howard on November 23rd, 2013 9:29 AM



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