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Say “No!” to Toys for Tots….”Yes” to Toys for Tottlers!

Seniors need compassion at Christmas more than kids do.

To heck with “Toys for Tots!” Instead think “Toys for Tottlers!” Because tottlers (seniors who walk unsteadily and just tottle along for whatever the reason) are much needier than kids. Their friends have all died or are so out of it that they may as well be ornaments dangling on a tree. So the tottler frequently faces Christmas alone.

Don’t buy a teddy bear and put it in some box at a church. Buy a carton of lubricated catheters and put it in a senior’s mailbox! Forget stuffing some shiny new red toy truck in a bin at the fire station. Instead lay a shiny multi-compartmental medication box on a senior’s doorstep! Think about it. The tot won’t even know what you’re giving him. He’ll take the stupid truck and suck on it and won’t even remember it in two days. (True, the senior might do the same things. But at least he’ll have a better chance at getting his meds right for a while.)

A tot has his whole life ahead of him. But so does a senior! It might just be a matter of days or hours but it is still ahead of him! So who should get the higher priority when it comes to getting toys?

Interestingly, the same cautions apply when getting gifts for tots or tottlers. Avoid things with sharp points. The tottler might poke himself trying to smell or taste it; the senior might jab himself if he shakes or spasms cleaning out his ear or nose hair. In fact, don’t buy anything that requires high levels of eye-hand coordination. The tot doesn’t have that yet, and the tottler only has it a few moments a day when his drugs are at peak absorption. Obviously, only get things that are waterproof and can withstand a sudden unexpected drenching.

So how about some real compassion this Christmas? How about skipping “Toys R Us” or “Babies R Us” and going to the medical supply store or “Fallers R Us” and getting something for that old neighbor trying to make it through another year. Whichever option you decide upon DO NOT carol when you deliver the gift. You might wake up the tot. And if the tottler hears singing he might think he’s already dead and walk out his third floor window.

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