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Senior Spectrum Newspaper
September 2018
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Senior Spectrum Publications

Eclectic Observer
by Janet Ross
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Janet Ross
Janet Ross

Once we reach a certain age (sometimes as young as 50) it does feel as if we've been dumped into a huge data base for the aged and infirm, becoming the target for all sorts of related information – hearing aids, burial services, prosthetic devices, medicines, retirement planning, trusts, senior living facilities, etc. The list can also include catalogs that feature a little bit of everything an ageing person might want or need.

A few weeks ago a new elderly-focused catalog showed up in my mailbox. This one calls itself “Easy Comforts” and the front cover features comfy shoes, Diabetic socks and a “magical support” cane that comes with an LED flashlight built into the handle. The catalog also touts itself as “Solutions for an independent lifestyle”. It was a hot afternoon and I was content to hibernate so I carefully explored all 75 pages that promised “fast and friendly service” from Easy Comforts in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Before we continue, a caveat. I have not ordered from this firm, nor do I endorse any of its products. However, I am going to offer a tour of the catalog's contents for your edification … and amusement. Among the items on page 2, the inside cover, you'll find Organic Ear Oil (not legal in California it seems). If you have trouble with keeping track of pills, page 3 has a 14-day pill tote (choice of four attractive covers). Walkers are on offer along with special wheel covers, baskets, special seats and trays. There are canes, of course, in a variety of styles and colors, plus devices to help you sit or stand from a chair.

Page 20 came as a big surprise. Yes, there was an old-fashioned water bottle, but everything else was related to “sexual health” from pills, and DVDs to vibrators. Page 22 addresses incontinence with a selection of pads and panties and more options for bedding. Toilet seats (the supportive and raised types) follow on page 28 and then we're on to (in?) the shower for several pages with a number of useful accessories.

Now come the cosmetics – ladies here's where you find the latest in crepe-away crème and under-eye lift serum. If you're pinching pennies, pages 36 and 37 provide “great everyday solutions at great prices $4.99 and under.” I could definitely use the bamboo toast tongs to keep from burning my sensitive fingers these days, plus a grip handle for opening those pesky pull tabs. We've now made it halfway though Easy Comforts and it's time to take care of the kitchen. Remember those old aluminum ice cube trays with the handle? You can get one for $11.99. On to cleaning and most of what I saw here you'll easily locate closer to home. Furniture protectors are available for those popular recliners in a variety of colors, fabrics and patterns. I liked the shredder scissors on page 45, but arthritic hands might make them hard to use. You'll find coloring books and large print puzzles locally, ditto for reading glasses, hearing aids and natural remedies.

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Compression gloves (page 52) might be helpful. If you remember J.R. Watkins products, this catalog has four of their creams and liniments. I have a fancy, German engineered, made knee brace, but Easy Comforts has eight knee supports at reasonable prices that look pretty good. And I have a peddler for exercise; this catalog has two, one expensive, the other more pricey.

Time to care of our feet page 58 has lots of solutions from toe separators to hammertoe crests. There are four devices for heel pain. Diabetic socks and slippers have several pages. Then we move on to bras, girdles (remember those?), loungers and robes, jewelry repair kits and casual shoes. Guys, there's nothing for you and I think the folks at Easy Comforts have dropped the ball on this; unless the marketing gurus have determined only women order from catalogs.

We've come to the end of our exploration. As I stated earlier, this is not an endorsement, but if you want a catalog of your own they do have a toll free number you can try: 1-800-308-1384.

Catalog shopping can be fun and convenient – with no need to deal with the frustration of a computer for some, and you get to speak with a real, live person when you call.