Struggling with gift ideas for your elderly loved one this holiday season???
Finding the perfect gift for an elderly family member or friend can be challenging. People in their later years of life may have downsized or live in group homes with limited personal space. Many times, comfort, practicality, and improvement in the quality of life may outweigh novelty when picking a gift for an older adult.
We've compiled a list of great ideas to help you in a pinch. They range from spendy to homemade, so take a look, there should be something for everyone!
Gifts to reduce anxiety and promote
calm and relaxation
1. Weighted blanket- these have been scientifically proven to relieve anxiety. They’re great for any older adult who has trouble sleeping, feels anxious, or would just enjoy feeling more relaxed.
2. Heated blanket – keep seniors warm and eases aches and pains
3. Wheelchair lap blanket – keeps knees warm and conveniently attaches to the wheel chair warm and eases aches and pains
4. Humidifier- this is a must for our long dry winters here in Colorado!
5. Essential Oil Diffuser- they bring a lovely fragrance to any room, increase air quality, and some come with light features that can provide a soothing light therapy while sleeping.
6. Sound Machine- this would be most helpful for a senior who has recently transitioned from their home. Sleeping in a new place comes with unfamiliar new noises and a lack of old ones they might have come to find comforting.
7. Electric Fireplace- wood fireplaces might not be the best idea for the elderly due to fire hazard, however, an electric fireplace could be the perfect solution! It adds both warmth and ambiance to an otherwise boring room.
Gifts that Warm the Belly
1. Fruit of the Month Club - this is amazing for so many reasons. Sending fresh, seasonal fruit is such a fun AND healthy option versus a large candy gift basket. Not only do they look forward to the new arrival each month but also enjoy sharing it with their friends. Another great option is Flower of the Month Club!
2. Gift Card to their favorite Restaurant- most seniors are on a budget and as much as they enjoy to get out and about they usually won't dine out without a reason. A Gift Card burning a hole in their pocket is often times is all the motivation they need to treat themselves to a nice dinner.
3. Home cooked meal- whether your senior is still at home or in a facility, saving them a trip to the grocery store, all the clean up, or providing something that has the comforts of home is always a hit.
1. Magnetic clasps for jewelry- taking jewelry on and off with those teeny weeny clasps, especially lobster clasps can be very difficult. Just attach them to each end of the normal necklace or bracelet clasp, get the magnetic ends in close proximity and SNAP!
2. Key-less Door Lock- this is not so much a great gift for very elderly senior citizens as it’s a great gift for those who might be caring for a senior citizen. Sometimes there may be multiple care givers coming and going from the home. If there is a change in staff, there is no tracking down the key or changing the locks, just set a new code.
3. Time of Day Clock- these clocks have a large display with time, time of day (Morning, afternoon, evening), date, and day of the week. The use of a day clock also establishes a bit of independence for your elderly loved one as the information they might be seeking multiple times a day is right there on that handy dandy clock.
4. iPad- this will definitely require an initial investment of time and money to get your loved on up to speed but the uses are endless. Magazine subscriptions, Audio book subscriptions, memory games, sleep sound apps, Facetime calls, photo sharing. All provided on a large well lit screen. There are lots of online resources with setup tips for seniors, such as deleting all the unnecessary preloaded apps to declutter and simplify the interface.
Gifts for Fun
1. Adult Coloring Books- per a USA Today report, a 2006 study found people over age 65 who engaged in creative activity had better overall health than those who didn't. Many coloring books can have very intricate designs, so be sure to choose one that is suited for your seniors dexterity and eye sight level. Don't forget to include a set of colored pencils or crayons!
2. Grandparent Talk game- this is game grandparents play with their grand kids. the game is a set of 100 cards attached to a ring. Each card has a life question for grandparents to answer. Such as "where did you hang out as a teenager?" It helps to connect and cement the bond between generations. Also helps seniors recall memories they may not have thought about for decades.
1. Memory Journal- a memory journal is a book that contains all kind of memory-jogging questions about person’s life, and makes it easy for a senior to write his or her life story by answering those questions right in the book. This is a great way for them to record their life stories and pass them to the next generations. *** LifeBio makes an amazing hardcover book with jacket. Once the book is complete, multiple copies may be made using LifeBio's website. Each copy is about $20 and can be personalized.
2. Make a Photo album or Calendar- grandparents love to be sentimental and brag about their kids and grand kids and there are tons of great sites such as Shutterfly that help you create photo albums, calendars, blankets, cups, ect, that you can bedazzle with your favorite family photos.
Check out these sites for more great ideas and direct links to products: