Carol Cummings, RN, BSN, Expert on Aging Well

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20 November 2017

Senior Gift Ideas

Few things are more gratifying than finding the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones. I love shopping for my friends and family, wrapping up their gifts and watching their faces light up when they open them on Christmas morning. But as our loved ones age, coming up with gift ideas can get harder. What do you get the person who has everything and asks for nothing? I have some ideas for every senior on your holiday shopping list.

1.   Technology that helps them keep in touch - Social interaction is good for seniors, but they may not get out as much as they would like. Technology can help them stay in touch and feel connected with friends and family, no matter how far away. An easy-to-use device like an iPad can be a great communication tool for seniors. Before you wrap your gift, be sure to adjust it for your loved ones needs; enlarge screen fonts, turn up the sound, preload apps they’ll need for communication like Facebook, email and more. Also, schedule some time to help them learn how to use the device, which is a great way to spend time together.

2.   Tools to help with mobility challenges - As we grow older, our mobility can change. Many seniors need some assistance staying mobile and sure on their feet. Try giving your loved one gifts that help them be more mobile and confident, like custom canes or walkers, comfy socks with rubberized soles to help grip floors, or a device that helps them put on shoes and socks. For those who have difficulty getting out of the car, try a portable grab bar that fits securely into the metal latch on the car door frame.

3.   Services and products that encourage independence - Seniors want to remain independent and active for as long as possible, so tools and services that help them maintain their independence are great options. Maid services, landscapers and other types of home aides allow seniors to keep their home nice while freeing up their time. Meal delivery ensures they’re getting a good meal without the work of cooking for themselves. If your loved one wants to do things themselves, meal services that provide recipes and pre-prepped ingredients are a great way to go. A variety of products can make tasks like meal prep easier — can openers made for people with arthritis, grab wands to reach items from high shelves or off the floor, etc.

4.   The gift of comfort and relaxation - Everyone loves a little pampering. A massage chair or pillow, scented warming neck pillow, or a spa basket with lotions can help seniors relax in the comfort of their own homes. Or, get them out of the house with a massage gift certificate or salon gift card for a manicure or pedicure.

5.   Games to keep their brains active and healthy - Numerous studies show mental exercise such as brain games are important for staying cognitively well. Try to tailor the games to your loved ones personality and interests. For example, if he’s always loved reading and writing, a crossword puzzle book might be perfect. Old-fashioned jigsaw puzzles may appeal to problem-solver. Has she always been a math whiz? Try a Sudoku book. Memory games can also be good mental exercise for seniors.

6.   Give them the gift of your time - The gift they’ll probably treasure most is the one that costs you the least — your time. Set up weekly lunch or dinner dates with children and grandchildren. Make a point to call at the same time every week and chat for a few minutes. When you stop by to mow the lawn or deliver groceries, make sure to spend some time just talking to your senior loved one.

7.   Help them make and keep memories - Your loved one has lived a long, full life. Look for ways to help them retain and cherish their memories. Create a life bio book, complete with pictures and stories from throughout their lives. Or, make a video of everyone in the family sharing their favorite memory of your loved one, and include pictures from their lives.

I would love to hear what you are getting the seniors in your life? Comment below and tell us what’s under your tree. Be Well on Purpose and Happy Holidays!


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