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New Discoveries Bring New Life
by Marcy Whiteside
Delta Junction, Alaska
Since I am a senior citizen living in a rural area of Alaska, there are many complicated aspects of vision impairment to be considered. Half of the year is bright sunlight (Land of the Midnight Sun) while the other half of the year is mainly extremely cold and dark. In order to survive these unique conditions, I have an ongoing project to learn about equipment, materials and ideas to make life comfortable, safe, productive and positive. I sincerely hope that some of these discoveries will help you as well.
Finally, a talking medicine bottle. Isn't it what we really need? Just push the button to identify the medication and obtain complete dosage instructions. The system is called Rex--The Talking Prescription Bottle and your pharmacist can record the information on your Rex bottles, or you can purchase your own system and have a health care professional record the information for you. The starter kit is available for $55 and includes three bottles, a recording unit with microphone, AC adapter and instructions. Additional bottles in packages of three can be purchased for $18. Contact Medivox Rx Technologies, Inc., 5001 Baum Blvd., Suite 770, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; Phone: 866-798-2557; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; Web site: www.rxtalks.com. Note that your billing invoice will show WIZZARD Software Corp., the parent company.
Light up your life! An aluminum and clear PVC 30-inch tall walking cane with LED light, on/off switch and metal handle lights up your day and helps you find your way. As an added bonus, others can see you. I love the ergonomic design, the idea of being able to turn the unit on and off and the need for only three AA batteries. The Light Up Walking Cane (Item: 94548) for $24.97 is available from Dream Products, 412 Dream Lane, Van Nuys, CA 91496-0001; Phone: 800-410-2153 or 818-773-4233; Web site: www.dreamproductscatalog.com .
Elegance with magnification is something special. Dream Products also has a six-piece magnifying glass set which includes 4X, 5X, 6X, 7X, 8X and 10X magnifiers. Each magnifier has an ornate silver-plated handle with a sturdy magnifying glass. The Deluxe Magnifying Set (Item: 93380) is available from Dream Products for $16.97. I also had a bonus that a $30 or more purchase qualified for free shipping and handling and a free gift upon request. What a deal!
I have relied heavily on Independent Living Aids ( www.independentliving.com or 800-537-2118) for essentials as well as fun products. The handy Key Locator Whistle and Flashlight (Item: 412300) for $4.50, which operates on a replaceable CR2032 button battery can sure save the day. It's a real lifesaver when you drop your keys in the snow! Or, your sighted partner keeps losing the keys.
Also available from Independent Living Aids is the new Optima A4 (Item: 126584) for $39.95, which is an 8.5 by 12 inch plastic braille slate and stylus made in South Africa. The slate is hinged for inserting into a binder and accommodates various size sheets as well as tape. Life does get easier! I also like the idea of supporting the industrious South African people who make the product.
Light your time in style. Another product from Independent Living Aids is the Timex Big Easy Reader Gold Tone Watch (Item: 856876) for $39.95, which has a 1.25-inch diameter face that lights up at the push of a button. The watch is water-resistant up to 30 meters, has an expansion band, great colored back-up light and bold black numbers which combine to make this watch a winner.
I remember participating in seminars and having the rooster go off on the hour--so much for blending in. I like the idea of looking sporty and being able to have the option of the discrete vibrator alarm system offered by the Independent Living Aids Freestyle Shark Buzz Watch (Item: 856992) for $69.95. The vibration notification alarm, backlight and beeper are a great combination for the more athletic. It even has a countdown timer and sports a simple black plastic band.
Another neat item I have found is the Talking Watch from Direct Source, Inc., which speaks the time and temperature and includes chime alarm, quartz movement and sweep second hand. It is silver tone in appearance with two gold tone stripes down the band. One watch is $14.95; two or more are $12.95 each. This watch is available from Direct Source, Inc., P.O. Box 161, Orangeburg, NY 10962; Phone: 845-398-1317; E-mail: email@example.com ; Web site: www.directsourceinc.com .
Dr. Leonard's Healthcare catalog has been great for me and shipping is very reasonable especially to Alaska. I found the Zip-Around Wallet (Item: 88741) for $4.99, which is a genuine leather wallet that holds 12 credit cards and photos or ID and has a snap closure coin compartment. It also has one large pocket and two small pockets and can open flat to 9 inches. Call Dr. Leonard's at 800-455-1918 or visit www.drleonards.com .
Many of us need a medical ID bracelet and want to have something cheap, simple and easy to change. A great solution from Dr. Leonard's is the Medical I.D. stainless steel band with Medical Alert symbol and flip-up tab to install the appropriate medical information. I plan to use it in conjunction with the other Medic Alert medallions. Available from Dr. Leonard's (Item: 34227 for women and Item: 34235 for men) for $9.99 each.
Have you found yourself tripping over your shoes? Dr. Leonard's has a three-tier revolving shoe carousel that holds 18 pairs of shoes in one square foot of floor space. The Revolving Shoe Rack (Item: 35018) for $24.99 is a super deal that may save that ankle or hip.
Avon has a great, handy little talking wrist blood pressure unit that also includes pulse rate. The Oregon Scientifictm Blood Pressure Monitor and Alarm Clock (Item: 256-987) for $59.99 has been a lifesaver since I can't use the arm units. Contact your local Avon representative, call Avon directly at 800-500-2866, or visit http://shop.avon.com .
The Hadley School for the Blind has a fantastic tuition-free set of programs. A course to consider is "A Birdsong Tutor," which only has four lessons. What a delightful way to enjoy the sounds of nature and learn to identify the beautiful songs of birds. Contact Hadley at 800-323-4238 or www.hadley.edu . New courses are constantly in the works; be sure to ask about the courses under development. To continue to learn is a gift to ourselves that should be shared with others.
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