Great gift-giving is an art, especially when you are shopping for seniors. Many older adults have reached the point where they are no longer interested in receiving dust-gathering tchotchkes or frivolous items, but they still want to be remembered at the holidays. From the practical to the unique, there are plenty of creative ways to select a gift that will keep giving all year long.
Keep boredom at bay and engage the brain with gifts that require thinking and concentration.
- E-readers are a thoughtful gift for seniors who enjoy reading but can’t easily get to the library or bookstore. E-readers come in a range of sizes. Look for one that is lightweight such as an Amazon Kindle or one with a larger screen, like the Kobo Forma, for those with loss of fine motor control. Many older adults have vision problems so choosing a device with backlighting is helpful. For adults who find it challenging to swipe for page turning, consider an e-reader with a button option like the Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight 4. Remember, most e-readers allow you to adjust text size for easy reading.
- Jigsaw puzzles often make the senior gift list, but for good reason. They offer hours of entertainment while providing mental exercise including productivity, problem-solving and improved memory. If dexterity is a problem, consider senior puzzles with larger pieces like Puzzle Warehouse large piece puzzle. Those with Alzheimer’s or dementia may enjoy an easier puzzle with fewer pieces such as the Springbok Garden Helper puzzle.
- Board games such as Monopoly and Risk or hand-held electronic games like Yahtzee or Sudoku are other entertaining ways to engage the brain.
Cozy Gifts for Comfort
Pamper your loved one with a gift that will keep them warm and cozy during the winter months.
- Slippers with an indoor/outdoor sole such as Uggs Ascot slippers offer both comfort and safety. Look for slippers with nonslip soles and closed heels to prevent falls.
- Weighted blankets have become popular in recent years, and some studies have shown they can improve sleep and reduce insomnia. When choosing a weighted blanket, look for one that is 10 percent of bodyweight and comes with a removable cover for washing. Just be sure the recipient can easily lift the blanket off when necessary.
- A fleece shawl with pockets is not only useful for keeping warm, but also a great way to carry reading glasses, remote controls and other easily misplaced items. Gifts like this Collections shawl will be appreciated throughout the winter months.
- Towel warmers are the ultimate luxury gift. Protect your loved one from the chill with Live Fine towel warmer.
Technology Gifts that Enhance Daily Living
Keeping up with changing technology is challenging even for younger adults, but for seniors, it can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, there are some options that work for those of all ages and abilities.
- Raz memory phone is a unique cell phone for those with Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory loss. Even seniors who are looking for a simpler option will enjoy the ease-of-use Raz offers. Remote management allows caregivers to assist seniors through a simple app or online portal. With one touch dialing, location tracking and a 911 emergency button, family members can rest easy knowing their loved one is in good hands. Raz is compatible with all wireless networks, including At&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and more.
- TV ears help seniors with hearing loss enjoy their favorite TV shows without cranking up the volume so high it drives others out. With connectivity to analog and digital TVs, TV ears are the original wireless headset option.
- Robotic vacuums are the ultimate in convenience. These handy helpers come with many different features in all price points. From the Shellbot LiDAR, which mops and vacuums and is ideal for hard floors, carpet and pet hair to more basic generic brands, robotic vacuums make life easier for loved ones.
- Wireless chargers are a convenient way to charge your phone, especially for elderly adults who may lack the dexterity to plug into the tiny port. The PowerPic Mod is a sleek charger that is compatible with all wireless charging mobile phones and features a 4×6 lucite frame to accommodate a special family photo.
Gifts that Promote Activity and Interest
Many seniors struggle with what to do with their time. Developing a hobby or learning a new skill is a great way to meet people and build skills.
- Musical instruments are an ideal gift for someone who has always dreamed of learning to play or who simply loves music. Instruments such as the ukulele or harmonica are easy to learn and don’t require a lot of mobility. Many community centers offer lessons, and lessons are also available online at sites such as Harmonica.com.
- Woodworking crafts come in all skill levels and price points and are a perfect way to pass the time. Plus, many seniors enjoy making these gifts for others. Many kits provide all the materials needed to complete the project, like this customizable birdhouse kit or Adirondack chair kit.
- Knitting is entertaining, relaxing and helps improve memory. Look for classes at craft shop or check out the many online courses available for all skill levels. Materials are basic—a skein of yarn and a pair of knitting needles.
If your loved one struggles with daily living activities, consider a gift that relieves the burden of those chores. Mobility aids help seniors stay safe and remain independent longer while household gadgets take the frustration out of daily chores.
- Sock and shoe aids are appreciated by elderly adults with arthritis or those who may not be as flexible as they once were. With a variety of options, such as Sock aid, they are easy-to-use and make this daily task more tolerable. For assistance in putting on shoes, consider a long-handled shoehorn.
- Lid-looseners are helpful tools for those with weakened grip strength. The Trio jar and bottle opener assists with opening vacuum lids, screw-on caps, and bottle caps. Battery powered jar openers are another helpful tool for seniors.
- Long-handled back scrubbers and lotion applicators are helpful aids that take the stress out of personal care.
- A magnifier floor lamp Daylight24 lamp makes it possible to read small print or enjoy crafts. The full-page magnifier has built-in LED lights along with an easily accessible push on/off switch.
Gift of Time
Never underestimate the value of spending time with your loved one. Older adults benefit greatly from social interaction. Is there a special activity the senior in your life would enjoy? Wrap up tickets to an event or outing and plan to join them.
- Theatre or movie tickets are the perfect gift for a senior who enjoys the arts. Look for an early showing or matinee that will be less fatiguing than an evening show.
- Plan a visit with an old friend or family member your loved one doesn’t see often. Coordinate the visit to be sure everyone is up for it. While you’re at it, consider scheduling a lunch out or bring a bakery treat to share.
- Do an activity your elderly loved one enjoys. Whether it is birdwatching, a drive in the country or simply an afternoon reminiscing about old times, seniors enjoy spending time with others.