Independent Living Aids: The Best Products for Aging Parents to Maintain Freedom and Self-reliance

Independent Living Aids are vital to help our aging parents maintain their lives with as much freedom and self-reliance as possible. Lillian Rubin, Psychotherapist, Author, and Lecturer, in a 2007 interview, described the new phenomena of aging as "both a demographic miracle and a social disaster waiting to happen". Listen to how she frames the issues:

Young old age, middle old age, old old age are new categories. There will certainly be new physical and mental challenges at each stage of living. The social disaster comes only if we are not prepared.

How can we help our parents stay as healthy and independent for as long as possible?

Daughter of an elderly father with an allergy and a heart condition-

by Kathryn
(Las Vegas, Nev USA)

I found a nifty Identification Holder for seniors, or anyone with special needs or disabilities. It's called Medipal, and I got one for my dad who is 89, lives by himself and still drives to town and back everyday (a great independent living aid for peace of mind.)

Basically the MediPal is an Identification Holder that wraps around his safety belt and displays a red cross on the front so it is really noticeable. Inside is a document which is filled out by hand or I simply downloaded the document off the company's website and fill it out on my computer. I printed it out with my dad's emergency medical information, inserted it into the MediPal holder and then sent it to my dad. It wraps around his safety belt and is secured to itself with velcro. He can move it to any position, wherever it is comfortable.

I feel better knowing that my dad's information is available for any first-response EMT's in case he is in an accident and gets hurt, I am listed as a contact on the document so I can be called if anything should happen to dad. And EMT's also will see that my dad is not only allergic to penicillin, but has a heart condition.

Thanks, Kathryn!

I had not heard about this simple device before, but it looks like it could be really useful in a number of situations.

I would urge people to look at the pictures throughout the company's website -- it shows a number of possible options of how the product can be used.

I would urge anyone who buys it to let your doctor know that you have it -- may help in distilling the most essential information that should be included.

Also, if your loved one has had encounters with emergency personnel in your community, I would alert them as well.

Thanks again for this helpful tip!

Rev. Dale Susan

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