I am sure each of you knows someone in your life that has difficulty reading because of small print. Many of us as we near the forties and fifties will find our selves in the same predicament. Do you know that there are national and local resources available which provide large print books as well as books on audio? Some of the organizations that provide these items do so at no cost while others do at minimal costs.

What a wonderful resource to have available especially if you are caring for a senior who has always been and independent, avid reader. My neighbor down the hall was 100 years old. She was a former school teacher who was house bound. Her eyesight was failing and so was her hearing. She read so much and always had listened to music. Show tunes were her favorite.

For a while I found that if I brought in some of my old piano music and a microphone, I could sing some of her favorite songs. I bought music on tape and let her use the headphones and we would sing along together. I discussed her lack of contact with the real world since she know longer could hear the radio or television and she only saw shadows.

I spent time researching with the Lighthouse for the Blind and the New York City Library to find out, indeed that there was much available. I shared all I learned with Tillie and she was ecstatic that the world would once again open up to her.

Did you know that there are large print books of the Bible, crossword puzzles, cookbooks and so much more…You may be wondering where you begin.

Call or visit your local library. It’s free. If they don’t have it, request that they acquire from another library on loan. This is definitely possible if you live near or within a big city system. The system may also have a service for rental of a special audio cassette machine that adapts specifically for the hard of hearing. Some may have a wait list so don’t hesitate to put your name on it. Many of these libraries will mail the books, cassettes and player to you or your loved one directly through the US mail with no cost to you for the delivery or return. Such a blessing for so many. All you do is file an application for them. It is detailed so that information is compiled on the interests the individual you are filing for are kept on file. When books and cassettes come in that fill the need, you are notified.

Call the Library of Congress National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at (800) 424-8567 or (202) 707-5100 to get a list of libraries and centers that can accommodate you in your area.

The R. R. Bowker’s Complete Directory of Large-Print Books and Serials is a publication that most local libraries have. The directory contains thousands of titles in a variety of subjects and genres, including crossword puzzles, the bible games and almost every topic you can think of.

National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped – The Free Talking-Book ProgramThe NLS loans talking books, and the special cassette player needed to hear the audios throughout the country. The cassettes are quite unique in that you can control the speed of the speech, the decibels and much more so that it can accommodate the needs of the one your are providing it for. The NLS records approximately two thousand new titles per year. You can order as many as ten titles for a certain period of time. Delivery and return of the items and equipment along with a catalog of items available is all free of charge.

To telephone call (800) 424-8567 or (202) 707-9275 or (202) 707-5100 or inquire through the mail to Reference Section,National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20542

Also check into the Choice Magazine Listening, a free, privately funded, nonprofit service, provides audio cassette tapes of current magazine articles to people who are blind, visually impaired, or unable to read because of other physical limitations. Their phone number in Long Island, News York is: (800) 424-8567 or (516) 883-8280 Their web site is:


National Association for the Visually Handicapped

A private, nonprofit organization with offices in both San Francisco and New York City providing a catalog with over 7000 titles. Call the San Francisco office at (415) 221-3201, or New York City office (212) 889-3141for a catalog.

The New York Times (800) 631-2580, The Readers Digest (800) 431-1246 ) and other reading materials also offer large print editions which you must pay for.

American Printing House for the Blind: (800) 223-1839.

Books on Tape: Phone: (800) 882-6657 Web site: www.booksontape.com

Barnes and Noble: Web site: www.barnesandnoble.com

Amazon Web site: www.amazon.com

Borders Web site: www.borders.com

The Bible Alliance Phone: (941) 748-3031 – The Bible Alliance PO Box 621

Brandenton, FL 34062

Address: American Printing House for the Blind

1839 Frankfort Avenue

PO Box 6085

Louisville, KY 40206-0085


  • Ms. Mitchell began her full-time caregiving experience in the early eighties when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Later on she became the primary caregiver for her father, along with her mother who had become critically ill from burnout prior to her dad’s passing. In recent years, she cared for several friends with AIDS while continuing to care for her mother and actively providing support, information, referrals and resources for caregivers.

    Gail's leadership on the Internet and her success with Empowering Caregivers led her to found National Organization For Empowering Caregivers (NOFEC) INC in 2001.

    Prior to founding NOFEC, she created the iVillageHealth Chat: Empowering Caregivers, which she hosted for over 5 years. Within a month of hosting she created Empowering Caregivers: www.care-givers.com in 1999 as a resource for caregivers around the globe. Over three million visitors have frequented the website.

    She has presented at national and international care-related conferences and programs and has been a keynote speaker for many programs as well.

    Ms Mitchell has assisted thousands of caregivers online and offline in ways to empower themselves in their roles in caring for loved ones.

    For a list of clients and/or her resume, please contact info@care-givers.com

    Gail's articles have been published in many venues nationally and in Canada. Presently, she is a member of American Society on Aging and National Quality Caregivers Coalition.

    Gail has discovered that there is life after caregiving: She has become a successful ceramic artist and installation artist. She created Crystal Illumination Art to bring the transformative quality of illumination, light and color to the human experience and celebrate its ability to inspire, heal and nourish our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.