Products You Didn’t Know Existed

What I discovered as a caregiver

I may not be a professional caregiver, or a full-time caregiver, or a sole caregiver, but I’m a caregiver all the same. Like the estimated 43.5 million others Americans who care for someone else, I found myself helping my parents out a little, then a little more, and then even more, until one day I looked up and realized, “I’m a caregiver.” As the demand for my assistance increased, I started to seek out products to help with my parent’s daily living activities—things beyond a walker.

Stander Handy Bar for getting in/out of the car

One example is the Stander Original Handy Bar. After we had a near miss accident when my father’s hand got caught between the door and the door frame while he was getting into the car, I remembered seeing it and promptly ordered one. It immediately improved my father’s life, not only giving us all peace of mind, but also making getting in and out of the car much safer and easier. The handy bar is a sturdy metal handle that you put into the door jam. It provides leverage and balance, and most importantly, it makes Dad feel in control again. As caregivers, we may think our loved one can simply hold on to us, but just like the wheels on a walker, we don’t present the most stable grab bar. Having something solid removes hesitation and increases ease of movement. The Stander Original Handy Bar provides security in it’s stability.

See a Problem, Look for a Solution

We don’t always look for things we don’t know are out there. My family was pleasantly surprised when I brought the Handy Bar to my parents. They hadn’t heard of it. That’s when I realized that my daily exposure to products, through my work, provided me valuable insight on what was available to make life’s challenges easier and safer. There are a lot of products out there that help preserve the sense of independence and dignity our parents want, like the Cravaat. Dignity is the reason I created the fashionable dining scarf. Instead of wearing a demeaning bib that screams “I can no longer take care of myself,” the Cravaat® dining scarf says, “I’m still a dignified adult.” But, again, you may not look for it if you don’t know there is an option available. That’s where catalogs are helpful.

Books of ideas

Whatever situation you want to resolve as a caregiver, there’s probably a solution. Just go on the internet to find it. But if you don’t want to fall into the proverbial rabbit hole, start with one of the many wonderful catalogs designed specifically for caregiving. Here are just a few:

You can find these catalogs online, but if you’re like me and like to turn the pages, you can order a hard copy directly from them. But even these are limited. Sometimes what you need isn’t in a catalog. That’s when you need to search the internet.

Products Buried in the Internet

Cravaat adult bib dining scarf protects against spills
Cravaat saves the day!

In this day of Shark Tank, you can see that there are a lot of people starting their own company with a simple idea. Maybe one of the many new startups has just what you’ve been looking for, but you’ll have click past the first page of your search. I encourage you to scroll past the ads and amazon listings to find some of the more unusual items. You might need to change your search terms or phrase. You might go to Etsy and find something close. Ask that artisan if they can make a special order for you.

It may take more time to dig through all the noise on the internet, but don’t give up. Sometimes the smallest things can make a big difference. The time investment will be worth it when you find that item that gives your loved one independence, security, and dignity. One item you won’t have to dig any deeper for is the Cravaat® dining scarf. It preserves dignity while it protects clothes. Find the right style for your needs at

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