As I get older (become more GEEZERfied [new word to add to your vocabulary]), I find myself looking for those things that can make my life easier. Like most people, I am a little hesitant about anything new and have always found it difficult to change my ways. But recently, I find the quicker I accept the problems that come with old age, the quicker I can find a solution. All of the things on this list have made my life a little easier.
Lawn Mower—For years I used a gas-powered mower to trim my lawn and put up with the hassle of a gasoline engine, the noise, and (even if self-propelled) the increasing difficulty of pulling and pushing a heavy machine. When my last mower died (probably because I willed it to die), I bought my first battery-powered mower—I am in love with it.
I now find the process of mowing my lawn to be much easier and enjoyable. the mower is so lightweight you have to get use to it feeling like a toy, but it does a good job of mowing and is very easy to handle. I like “Big Orange” so much I went out and bought the trimmer (“Little Orange”) that shares the same battery.
This mower isn’t for everyone, but if you have a smaller yard and don’t let your grass get too tall, it is great (my next mower, however, will be my neighbor’s boy).
Walking Cane—I started using a cane when I had my first knee replaced, but now I use it when I have to be on my feet for very long. I have my orthopedic cane with the nice foam handle for utilitarian use and my gentleman-dandy cane for days I want to look spiffy. The one cane is simply an adjustable length aluminum tube and the other (also called a walking stick) has a cherry wood shaft capped with a knob of real gold (my total investment in precious metals). The second is an heirloom passed down from my grandfather to my dad to me which makes it a bit special.
There are a wide variety of canes to match the amount of assistance you need. The canes aren’t a cure-all for my wobbly legs, but they do make me a bit more stable and most importantly give me a bit more self-confidence. They are also a great deterrent for any thugs, thieves, or unruly children who might try to ruin my day.
Notebook and Pen—I carry these most of the time. My memory isn’t what it used to be—nuff said?
Multi-tool—I carry this tool on my belt everywhere except to church and bed. They come in dozens of different configurations, but I favor a simple one with a set of pliers, two screwdrivers, and a knife blade. I did find it lacking a bit the other day when I found the last device on the tool was a can opener, not the bottle opener my beer required (the days of using my teeth for popping open a cool one are long over).
Reading Light–fluorescent floor lamps that can be put next to your chair or bed are the best way to provide the light you need for reading with your GEEZER eyes.
Timer with Alarm—Since I bought my Big Manly Timer (I think that’s what they called it) I have found dozens of use for it. It tells me when I need to take the steaks (GEEZER steaks are actually hamburgers) off the grill, when the lawn sprinklers need to be moved, when I have to take that one pill in the middle of the day, when the eggs are hardboiled, when I have to leave to pick up the grandkids after school, and lots and lots of things that if left to my own sense of time will be spaced out (I know for certain people tend to freak out when you don’t pick up your kids after school). My Manly Timer has an alarm so loud it will wake the dead or at least allow me to hear it from the next room.
Magnifying Glass—I think most publishers worry more about how much text they can fit in a certain space and not the fact many people can’t possibly read 2-point fonts. The worse challenge is reading directions for taking medications—I guess it just isn’t that important to them if GEEZERS take two pills every day or two pills every hour. I keep my magnifying glass next to my favorite chair.
Bag Balm—This salve is absolutely the best thing to eliminate dry skin (especially on feet). It’s a bit like petroleum jelly, but isn’t as gooey or sticky. The salve was developed to keep cows udders from getting tender during repeated milking, but will end flaking and cracking feet in one or two treatments.
Jar Opener—Arthritis is a pain-in-the-ass, especially if you have it in your hands and need to open a stubborn jar lid. These simple tools are cheap and work well.
Eye Glass Neck Cords—I have these glass leashes on every pair of glasses I own. They allow me to be instantly ready to take them or off and always have them close at hand. I find I scratch my lenses much less than just plopping them down all the time and save hours of time trying not having to find the spectacles I just took off.
Orthopedic-type Shoes—I find myself blessed with bunions, hammer toes, and plantar’s heel. I can keep them all from causing crippling pain if I am kind to them. I have found that having shoes (and slippers) that are well-cushioned, give good support, and are wider than standard can really help relieve foot pain. If needed, shoes that open wide to make them easy to put on and are then held in place without having to tie them are also available.
Step Stools with Handrails—That’s step stools plural because I like to have them in several locations so they are readily available. Then I won’t have a tendency to step onto a chair and (too late) find that I don’t have the strength or flexibility to pull myself up and balance with nothing to hold on to.
Hand Rails—If you have stairs, you need handrails. Inside the house I could not have gone into the basement rooms of our house after knee surgery for quite some time without having a rail to pull myself up with or keep my balance. Outside the house, two (slow learner) falls on black ice convinced me that even with just two steps, rails were needed. Near the tube and shower grab bars are also a great safety feature.
Tall Boy Toilet—A toilet that is a few inches higher than a standard toilet is the best gift a GEEZER can get for themselves.
Universal TV Remote—Gradually the electronics industry had increased the number of remotes I need to operate my television to five. Reducing this number to one control turns out to be a huge stress reliever that will add several years to my life.
If you have found some things that make your day a little better, please send in your favorites as a comment.